In January 2021, the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA) will launch “Art on the Plaza,” a year-long series of newly commissioned, temporary public artworks by Miami-based artists on MOCA Plaza. Featured artists include: Reginald O’Neal, Studio AMLgMATD (Laz Ojalde and Natalie Zlamalova), a collaborative presentation by Morel Doucet and Stephen Arboite, Nice N’ Easy (Allison Matherly & Jeffrey Noble) and Najja Moon. The museum will host a series of virtual programs to coincide with the art installations throughout the year.
The 2021 schedule is as follows:
- 22-March 7: Miami-based artist Reginald O’Neal will showcase a detailed mural depicting his cultural heritage and narratives relating to Miami’s Historic Overtown neighborhood, in a powerful depiction of past and present.
- March 19-April 18: Collaborative Studio AMLgMATD will present a large-scale intervention on MOCA Plaza. Red thread will create an allegory to the interconnections in global networks as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, and draws symbolic connections to the color red among various cultures.
- April 30-June 27: Artists Morel Doucet and Stephen Arboite will showcase a collaborative work that explores Miami’s historically African American neighborhoods. It highlights the specific flora and fauna in those neighborhoods, highlighting issues of gentrification and celebrating the uniqueness and beauty of the African diaspora in a series of banners on MOCA Plaza, based on original artworks. This installation will coincide with Haitian Heritage Month.
- July 9-August 22: Collaborative Nice N’ Easy will playfully activate MOCA’s fountain, transforming it into a swimming pool. The work addresses the prevalent issues of anxiety, concern for safety, and well-being as it relates to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
- September 3-November 14 : Artist Najja Moon will explore themes of reflection and self-empowerment through a dynamic sculptural intervention resembling a large-scale mirror on MOCA Plaza. The work will encourage viewers to experience it from multiple viewpoints, see themselves reflected, and experience intricate shadows.
Completed in October 2018, the MOCA Plaza renovation was made possible due a grant from the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (NMCRA) to cover construction costs of nearly 33,000-sq.-ft. of brick pavers, new landscaping, new LED lights and necessary equipment. MOCA’s “Art on the Plaza” program is made possible with major support from the NMCRA.
Amanda Sanfilippo Long, who currently serves as Curator & Artist Manager for the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Art in Public Places program, is organizing the program. “I am honored and excited to partner with MOCA to host these art programs on the plaza,” said Sanfilippo Long. “‘Art on the Plaza’ brings imaginative contemporary art exhibitions and programming to a wide range of audiences, while bringing diverse cultural and thought-provoking subjects to the forefront.”
“With ‘Art on the Plaza,’ MOCA will offer a boost of creative energy accessible to visitors and passersby. We are so pleased to commission and support Miami-based artists for these temporary installations while presenting at for large and diverse audiences to see,” said MOCA Executive Director Chana Budgazad Sheldon.
About North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency
The North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (NMCRA) is an independent government agency that was fully established in 2005 by the City of North Miami and Miami-Dade County, under Chapter 163 of the Florida Statutes. The NMCRA is charged with the responsibility of eliminating conditions of blight that exist within the City and helping to improve the quality of life by revitalizing the City’s physical, economic, educational and social resources. The agency will achieve this by organizing programs related to economic development, marketing, public relations, security, physical improvements, special events, parking, and any other programs which further redevelopment. The designated Community Redevelopment Area comprises 3,250 acres, approximately 60% of the city.
About Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA) is dedicated to making contemporary art accessible to diverse audiences through the collection, preservation and exhibition of the best of contemporary art and its art historical influences. MOCA began operating in 1981, opened a new building in 1996 designed by Charles Gwathmey of GSNY, and was the first collecting institution in Miami. Under the direction of Executive Director Chana Sheldon, 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: Alice Rahon: Poetic Invocations, and forthcoming retrospective My Name is Maryan, the first comprehensive retrospective of Polish-born Holocaust survivor Maryan’s life and work. The museum has been recognized with grants and awards from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The museum is located at 770 NE 125th St., North Miami, FL 33161. It is open Wednesday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Thursday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Mondays and major holidays). Admission to the museum is $10 and free for MOCA members and North Miami residents. For more information, visit mocanomi.org, call 305-893-6211 or email email@example.com.