The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami is pleased to announce a series of public activations, “Under the Electric Tree” at Griffing Park. Programming will include site-specific performances, live music, hands-on art activities, and more, in conjunction with the recently restored public artwork “Electric Tree” by international renowned artist, Mark Handforth.
“Electric Tree” was first installed just blocks away from MOCA at Griffing Park in 2011, in conjunction with the artist’s major exhibition “Rolling Stop” at the museum. The 2021 restoration of this significant public artwork was made possible with major support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the City of North Miami and is one of the most important public artworks that MOCA has commissioned in its 25-year history. Handforth’s sculpture traces the branches of a 100-foot-wide banyan tree with brilliantly colored fluorescent tubes that illuminate its understory. The restoration of “Electric Tree” offers arts and culture to a community park that is open year-round.
Handforth graduated from the Academy of Fine Art in Frankfurt and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. He is internationally acclaimed for his large-scale installations in public spaces including Central Park in New York, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the MCA in Chicago, as well as during the FIAC offsite event in Paris. Handforth has also received public commissions from the cities of Paris (Porte de Bagnolet) and Zurich (Tessinerplatz).
“The stunning ‘Electric Tree’ at Griffing Park in North Miami is one of the most important permanent
public artworks that the museum has commissioned. We are proud to activate the park with consistent programming for all ages at the center of our community,” said Chana Sheldon, executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. “The initiative launched in April with a concert by Lang Cook Live and Brother Dan of Terrestrial Funk. MOCA welcomed guests as well as food trucks and local vendors. It was a great night! We are deeply grateful for support of the Knight Foundation and the City of North Miami for this initiative.”
“Mark Handforth’s ‘Electric Tree’ is an innovative and stunning work. I love that Mark has created a way for us to experience the banyan tree 24/7 through his light painting. The ability of artists to interpret the world around them in new ways is endlessly fascinating, and especially so when used to create art that is easily accessible to the public,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president of Knight Foundation’s arts program. “That MOCA’s new programming will connect visual art to great live performances by local talent is a great way to showcase the power of the arts to connect us to each other and to place.”
Located at 12220 Griffing Boulevard, North Miami, FL 33161, the full lineup of programming includes:
The Mento Philharmonic Orchestra In Celebration of Caribbean Heritage Month | Saturday, June 11, 7 p.m.
In celebration of Caribbean Heritage Month, MOCA North Miami is proud to feature The Mento Philharmonic Orchestra. Mento is a style of Jamaican folk music that predates and has greatly influenced Ska and Reggae music. Mento typically features acoustic instruments, such as acoustic guitar, banjo, hand drums, and the rhumba box (which is a large mbira in the shape of a box that can be sat on while played.) The rhumba box carries the bass part of the music.
Tallawah Mento Band is a Florida-based Jamaican Mento Band founded with four of the original members of the Jamaica Folk Revue. Tallawah adds its particular flavor to the music of several genres, including the music of Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad and many loved hits from the 50’s and 60’s. With the addition of internationally acclaimed jazz guitarist Keith Stoddart, formerly of the Jamaican Jazz Band “The Sonny Bradshaw Seven,” the band has extended its repertoire to include old jazz, classical, popular, and soca/calypso. The group has entertained all over the USA, and recently in Jamaica, and has won numerous accolades. They have also been featured on NBC 6 Television, Radio Waves, Mystic Radio, and Radio WOKB 1600, in Orlando.
For more information or to RSVP, please visit:
Pioneer Winter in Celebration of Pride Month| Wednesday, June 29, 7:30 p.m.
Choreographer Pioneer Winter and sound artist Juraj Kojs will collaborate with performers and community members on a Pride Month activation at the Electric Tree. Collected oral histories and elder stories of ‘first prides’ will become an interactive soundscape for dancers to embody themes of memory, resilience, and community –
reflecting on the Electric Tree created by artist Mark Handforth as a meeting place for corporeal and social exchange.
Pioneer Winter is a Miami-based choreographer and artistic director of Pioneer Winter Collective, an intergenerational and physically integrated dance-theater company, rooted in social practice and community, queer visibility and beauty beyond the mainstream. Recognized in Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch, Pioneer Winter’s work democratizes performance in public spaces, museums and galleries, stage, and film. Juraj Kojs’s (he/him) commissions for acoustic, electroacoustic, multimedia and installation pieces include Meet the Composer, Harvestworks New York, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Deering Estate, Miami Light Project and Miami Theater Center. His works have received multiple awards in Europe and he currently directs Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts (FETA) and teaches at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.
Editor’s Note: High resolution photos may be downloaded at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gnuovb2xzgh0pr5/AADxtSZ2wnp4JqBeF1SaParna?dl=0
About the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami
MOCA North Miami presents contemporary art and its historical influences through exhibitions, educational programs, and collections. Inspired by its surrounding communities, MOCA connects diverse audiences and cultures by providing a welcoming place to encounter new ideas and voices, and nurturing a lifelong love of the arts. MOCA developed from the Center of Contemporary Art which was inaugurated in 1981. The establishment of the permanent collection coincided with the institution’s move into their current building designed by Charles Gwathmey of GSNY in 1996.
Under the direction of Executive Director Chana Sheldon and a newly installed Board of Trustees, MOCA premiered AFRICOBRA: Messages to the People during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2018. AFRICOBRA: Nation Time, the next chapter of the exhibition, was selected as an official Collateral Event of Biennale Arte 2019 in Venice, Italy. Original exhibitions include: My Name is Maryan curated by Alison Gingeras (2021),
Michael Richards: Are You Down? co-curated by Alex Fialho and Melissa Levin (2021), Raul de Nieves: Eternal Return and The Obsidian Heart curated by Risa Puleo (2020), and Alice Rahon: Poetic Invocations curated by Teresa Arcq (2019).
“Under the Electric Tree” is made possible with major support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the City of North Miami.
MOCA North Miami is generously funded by the North Miami Mayor and Council and the City of North Miami; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes); the National Endowment for the Arts; The Nathan Cummings Foundation; the Sol Taplin Charitable Foundation; and The Cowles Charitable Trust. We also thank our Board of Trustees, Curator’s Circle, and MOCA Members for their meaningful support.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:
We are social investors who support a more effective democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers. Learn more at kf.org and follow @knightfdn on social media.