Miami’s reputation as a destination for deep tans, stiff drinks and all-night parties has slowly been giving way to its newfound notoriety as a growing hub for all things art. There are now countless art galleries as well as numerous art walks, festivals and museums that are solidifying Miami’s exciting art renaissance.
The University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum has been there from the start, and through early 2015, they’re providing the community with a chance to view fantastic works via three new, remarkable exhibitions exploring Haitian, African and Mexican art.
Guest gazes at works in the Lowe Art Museum's new African art exhibition — Photo courtesy of University of Miami Lowe Art Museum
The Lowe began as a cluster of three classrooms in 1950, and after a generous donation by philanthropists Joe and Emily Lowe, it became the first art museum in all South Florida.
These days, the Lowe is just one of many museums in Miami, but it consistently brings refreshing artwork to its neighborhood of Coral Gables.
Boasting a collection of 17,500 objects, it remains one of the most important museums in the region, with impressive assortments of Ancient and Native American, Renaissance and Baroque, Asian and 19th- and 20th-century American art.
Their latest exhibitions, however, explore regions that up to now have garnered less attention but are equally as extraordinary.
Transformative Visions: Works by Haitian Artists from the Permanent Collection features paintings, textiles and sculptures that emphasize the range of art that exists within Haitian and Haitian-American art.
The focus of the exhibition is in changing or transforming the way in which Haitian art might normally be viewed or depicted, pulling back on old stereotypes about what Haitian art should be.
A museum guest is enthralled by a painting from the "Transformative Visions" exhibition — Photo courtesy of University of Miami Lowe Art Museum
The exhibition also explores the different ways in which various artists interpret more common themes, such as religious iconography. The works on display span over five decades and include the creations of metal sculptor Serge Jolimeau; the vibrant paintings of Louisiane Saint-Fleurant; and the complex, mixed-media sculptures of André Eugène.
The objective of the exhibition is to encourage viewers to think about their own perception of Haitian art and to perhaps find new ways of thinking about Haiti as a whole. Transformative Visions goes through Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015.
Taking pieces from their permanent collection, Art in Real Life: Traditional African Art from the Lowe examines the intersection of creativity, tradition, economics, technology, environment and politics.
Viewers of this exhibition should begin by actively thinking about how and why African artists create. While some may be artists solely out of their love of making art, others are influenced by finances and may alter their works to be more profitable.
Additionally, many artists are restricted by the materials that are available to them, or they may be influenced by or attempt to influence the political landscape of their homes through their work.
More than 75 objects make up the bulk of the collection. The final day to see Art in Real Life is Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015.
Museum goers discuss new exhibitions at opening reception — Photo courtesy of University of Miami Lowe Art Museum
1+2 Colección Jumex in Dialogue with the Lowe Art Museum brings works from the Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo and pairs them with pieces from the Lowe’s own permanent collection. Each pairing is completely different and random and seeks to push the viewer into thinking about both pieces in a whole new way.
Patrick Charpenel Corvera, director of Museo Jumex, was inspired by Jean Piaget’s theory that claims abstract thought is the result of the mind forming relationships between objects and ideas.
The best or perhaps most surprising thing about this exhibition is that it’s not relegated to one specific area within the museum. Instead, the pieces are randomly found throughout the other exhibitions to keep you constantly thinking and analyzing the pieces and their relationships with their new neighbors.
This last exhibit will run through Sunday, May 24, 2015.