Miami has become the center of the art world, hosting over 20 international art fairs, more than 1,200 galleries, thousands of artists, and thousands of art lovers. Miami Art Week includes pop-ups, festivals, installations, parties, museums, exhibitions, street art, talks, concerts, and more. While people can find artwork by top Haitian and African Artists in various venues in Miami, and Miami Beach, the City of Opa-Locka has all of them on display. For the first time, Opa-Locka is officially part of the annual event, which for 20 years has brought the world’s best artists, curators, and art enthusiasts to Miami and Miami Beach.
“We are excited to be able to bring the Art of Transformation to our diverse community,” says Willie Logan, president, and CEO of Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation, which is staging the exhibits. “Our audiences deserve this type of high-quality, world-class programming.” By maintaining and recognizing its unique history and architecture and remaining committed to its community, the city of Opa-Locka and its community members are working hard to breathe new life into the city, and holding such events is just part of it.
According to Logan, who envisions Opa-Locka as a hub for those interested in art, he firmly believes that arts can serve as a cornerstone for economic development and a representation of people’s view of the world and how they see themselves and their place in the universe. Additionally, the Mayor of Opa-Locka considers that the exhibit, An Art of Transformation, will lighten the city, which has had a dark cloud over it for some time. The exhibition is a four-day event, and it will also feature art shows.
Artists from Africa and Haiti have sparkled in the art world, and the exhibits in Opa-Locka for Miami Art work are proof enough. Some of the artists who have made it to the top are the likes of Frank Etienne and Philippe Dodard, two of Haiti’s best-known contemporary artists. In Africa, the light has shown through Barthélémy Toguo of Cameroon, Viyé Diba of Senegal, whose work incorporates elements of raw and recycled material, and Abdoulaye Konaté of Mali, whose textile hangings draw on his country’s craft traditions.
Tumelo Mosaka is a South African who curated the exhibits of African artists. Mosaka said he intended to launch a more extensive conversation about what was happening between Africa and the diaspora through the pieces he chose to exhibit. According to Mosaka, bringing the finest art from Africa to Opa-Locka was an attempt for people to experience Africa not only as the past but also as the present.
The exhibit aimed to connect Africa and Europe to the Americans through transformed spaces, pop-up street parties, and concerts. The exhibits also focused on children who got the opportunity to showcase their talents and draw inspiration from other artists worldwide. According to mayor-elect John Taylor, the opportunity to view the best art in the world enthralled the residents and acted as an inspiration among the youth.
Miami is a city that has acknowledged the transformative power of art. By holding art exhibits annually, they can showcase people’s talents and views and allow them to convey to others their perspective of life through art. The exhibitions also allow people to interact and create social networks.