Celebrating The Miami Creative Movement
Artist and photographer Barry Fellman shines a light on Miami’s art scene with a tribute to influential Miami artists, past and present, in a brilliantly curated exhibit called The Miami Creative Movement at the Center for Visual Communication, and in his stunning companion photo book, Miami Creative: A Decade of Transformation.
The Miami Creative Movement Comes Alive
Showcasing a unique and powerful mix of the artists who led the charge and those blazing ahead into the future, The Miami Creative Movement is a formidable assortment of new works by 15 of Miami’s leading artists. The exhibit is currently at The Center for Visual Communication (CVC), a gallery in Wynwood, Miami’s creative and cultural hub. CVC Director Barry Fellman is the curator and mastermind behind the new exhibit as well as a companion piece, a new book called Miami Creative: A Decade of Transformation.
Founded in 1987, the Center for Visual Communication collaborates with governmental, educational and non-profit organizations to promote Miami-based art and artists. The CVC showcases visual art and new media in a majestic 10,000 square-foot gallery space in the Wynwood Arts District.
Fellman first curated The Miami Creative Movement for Miami Art Week in 2022. Extended for six weeks due to its popularity, the exhibit currently on display at the CVC features powerful new works of art by Mira Lehr, Carlos Betancourt, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Karen Rifas, Robert Thiele, John Bailly, Asser Saint-Val, Kathleen Staples, Paola Gracey, Jacqueline Gopie, Robert McKnight, Regina Jestrow, Gustavo Oviedo, Pablo Contrisciani and David Marsh.
With a background in science academia, Gracey incorporates scientific concepts, chemical equations and symbolic representations into her paintings. Using different techniques such as pouring, dripping, tipping and mixing, she approaches each painting like an experiment.
A multidisciplinary artist, Betancourt uses art to examine memory, personal identity, nature and the environment.
Eco-conscious artist Mia Lehr has spent the last 50 years using art to document the wonders and ever-changing state of the natural world.
Vivid and lively, Oviedo’s representations of worldly visions serve as a reminder of all the wonder the world contains if one chooses to explore it.
Marsh is consistently developing his own visual language through a rigorous process of inquiry. He is resolutely committed to abstraction, affirming its relevance as a living practice.
Challenging negative media stereotypes of people of colour by depicting idyllic scenes, Gopie’s intent is to rewire the viewer’s learned negative response to racial differences by showcasing alternative positive narratives.
With an emphasis on transatlantic dialogue, Bailly’s paintings explore how we are who we are in relation to history, place and culture.
In her nearly 40 years as an artist, Rifas has used her work and experimentation with materials and process to provide insights into the inner workings of Miami’s private and public cultural institutions.
Robert Thiele embeds found objects from the environment into paintings that he calls wall constructions.
Contrisciani uses art to explore the universe and its unity in the infinite diversity of elements.
After moving to the US from Haiti, Saint-Val began to examine many facets of his uniqueness, spirituality and the realm of thought form. Imbued with a desire to understand the profound nature of his identity, Saint-Val began researching neuromelanin, the pineal gland and consciousness. He expresses his findings in his paintings.
Jestrow creates organically shaped geometric art quilts that “stem from my constant re-examination of American history and recontextualizing of textile traditions.”
Working with paint, wet on wet, in an expressive “go with the flow” technique, Staples uses natural forces to create rough, expressive surfaces that are an exaggerated, fantastic evocation of natural terrain, in a parallel of landscape’s own power.
McKnight’s mission as an artist “is to create works that are individual in style and content reflecting my heart and soul, stretching the poetic and artistic license in both material and content.”
An educator at heart, Duval-Carrié is a contemporary artist and curator who challenges the viewer to make meaning of dense iconography derived from Caribbean history, politics and religion. His mixed media works and installations present migrations and transformations, often human and spiritual.
Miami Creative: A Decade of Transformation
A companion piece to the exhibition, Miami Creative: A Decade of Transformation, is Fellman’s ode to the flourishing creativity that has turned Miami into a global artistic force. An accomplished photographer, Fellman uses imagery to chronicle a pivotal decade in Miami’s arts and culture from 2010 to 2020.
The publication’s more than two hundred vibrant photos and essays record the heart and soul of Miami’s creative community, from major museums and performance venues to popular grassroots events. It documents a decade of artistic growth in Miami, the creative community and the impact of transformational financial investments (both public and private) on the arts.
Writer: Lesley Bishin