A while back Brandon Polite interviewed me about the aesthetic importance of ruins. His series, “Polite Conversations” (get it, his name is Professor Polite?), has really taken off! I urge you to watch all of his videos. He has lovingly closed-captioned all of them. In this interview, I talk about what makes ruins aesthetically interesting. I was also experiencing vertigo at the time of the interview so I was really hesitant to accept his kind offer to be interviewed. But it turned out ok – so here it is!
We’re over a year into COVID, which led loads of people to watch more movies. I wish I could say I got to see more films too but for half the year I was experiencing vertigo, which prevented me from watching as many movies as I’d like.
The strongest Oscar-contenders this year, I believe, are in the best feature-length documentary category. I think documentaries deserve their own list, and I loved so many of them this year (including Crip Camp, My Octopus Teacher, and Time – all nominated- but so many that deserved a nom and didn’t get one).
For this brief post, I’ll tell you the three categories I’m looking forward to while watching the Oscars, and then list some movies I really enjoyed this year.
Cinematography: Joshua James Richards, Nomadland
I think Zhao’s The Rider is a far superior movie (see my letterboxd review), but I do think the cinematography in both Nomadland and The Rider is drop dead gorgeous. And both were thanks to Joshua James Richards.
Writing (Original Screenplay): Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7
You either love Sorkin or hate him – and I love him. I think it’s a weakness. I just love the dialogue and hope he wins for this movie. President Bartlet forever.
Directing: Another Round, Thomas Vinterberg
*I* *haven’t* *seen**Minari**yet* – so I know I’m not a competent judge. But I do love Vinterberg for his moody interiors and strained relationships. I’m a Dogme95 fan (The Celebration)– and he seems to work well with Mads (he’s excellent in Vinterberg’s The Hunt). I was charmed by the movie – drunk it in.
(Although I think it would be awesome for an Asian woman to win the best director…it’s just hard for me to give Zhao it for this one. I hope that now she’s getting the attention she deserves she doesn’t cave to corporate control. Amazon got off way too easy in Nomadland.)
Here are some great movies from this past year that got ZERO Oscar recognition:
Family Romance LLC
This technically might be 2019 (?) but wasn’t available to me until 2020. Directed by Werner Herzog, it reads like a documentary, although it is a fiction film. I won’t give too much away but it is about a Japanese man who runs a business “renting out” actors to perform important social roles (think rent a father for a wedding, or rent a girlfriend for a family dinner). It so easily could be morally flatfooted, but isn’t.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
I don’t quite understand how this got nominated for nothing. It’s on a bunch of critics ‘best of’ lists – and is on mine. The teenage actors were great – and the titular scene was heartbreaking and beautiful.
I’m No Longer Here (Ya no estoy aqui)
Beautifully shot! Director of a fav tv show of mine, “Los Espookys.” This movie follows teenagers who are obsessed with the cumbia music and dancing scene. I found the movie mesmerizing.
Controversial likes from this past year: Cuties/Mignonnes, Bacurau, Deerskin, Tommaso
Favorite horror from 2020: Gretel & Hansel, She Dies Tomorrow
*I haven’t seen Possessor yet (but like both Cronenberg the elder and younger)
Art Basel (Miami) was this past weekend. No surprises there – the ‘bananna incident’ made international news. I didn’t make it to Basel-Basel (the actual art fair in the convention center) in time to see Comedian. It had been eaten/taken down before Sunday. However, when I walked around the convention center there were plenty of dude-bros with bananas taped to their shirts and other such mockeries.
Art Basel is the main art fair during #ArtWeek here in Miami. Many folks come down for the parties or for the ancillary art fairs. Basel-Basel (as I call it) is the largest of these fairs and, to my mind, the point of the whole shebang. Basel is huge. Worldwide galleries come to the Miami Beach Convention Center to shop their wares. Some galleries have artworks ‘reasonably’ priced in the thousands of dollars, while some of the bigger ‘fine art’ galleries sell artworks in the millions of dollars (to the best of my knowledge I didn’t see anything in the tens of millions of dollars). I enjoy the spectacle and I enjoy asking questions of the gallerists. Some of the gallerists see themselves as curators of their shops, with exhibits that have themes and interesting juxtapositions. Others are there to increase the value and visibility of the artworks they display (or to sell those artworks).
I will have another post about my favorite things I saw during #ArtWeek here in Miami but these are a few of my Basel-Basel favorite things:
1.Fairfield Porter – Woods
This was my favorite thing. I saw it from across the room and was immediately attracted to it. It reminded me of the woods I visited as a child with my Grandpa in Skowhegan, Maine. I walked up to the gallerists (not knowing who the painter was) and asked where this was painted. He said – “Most likely Maine.” A beautiful Basel moment.
It was priced at $250,000 (negotiable) at the fair but a quick google search revealed that right before the fair it had been listed at $95,000. I was familiar with some other Porter paintings – typically landscapes with people in them (very New England-y) but these woods are luminous.
2.Faith Ringgold – Story Quilts
The night before I went to Basel-Basel I went to the Faena Forum to watch digital shorts on the shore (they had set up a projector on a boat and the audience was able to watch the movies sitting on the sandy beach). One of the shorts was the BBC documentary on Faith Ringgold. So I was properly primed to see some of her pieces in person. The story quilts didn’t disappoint. Painted fabric surrounded by quilting, Ringgold’s quilts have a distinct style. Stunning! The gallery displaying the quilts decided to only display Ringgold’s work which also included her painting A Man Kissing His Wife (pictured at the top of this post).
3.Helen Lundeberg- Untiled
This was also displayed in a gallery that only exhibited one artist, Helen Lundeberg. I like her abstract works (1950s on). There is something very architectural about her hard-edge paintings. This one reminds me of the arches at the Pacific Science Center.
4.Hans Hoffman – Purple Patch
This too struck me from across the room. It was in one of the ‘fine art’ galleries which also displayed Miro, Henry Moore, Chagall, and others. Big names for big collectors. It was ‘competitively priced’ at $675,000 (which surprisingly did seem cheap for such a large Hoffman). It took me some time to find the purple patch!
Hi all! I wrote this years ago when I was working at the Grand Illusion Cinema and thinking about these issues (Midnight in Paris must have just come out). This week in class we will be talking about the artwork of moral monsters, so I thought I’d dust this off to give my students some context on the directors I would be discussing. There is a really good Aesthetics for Birds roundtable on this very issues which you can find here.
“Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that every nasty thing ever said about Woody Allen is true. What would that then imply about his movies? Can the man and his work be separated, or are the two inextricably entwined? And if they are entwined, are you – the movie goer – doing something wrong in enjoying and supporting the film?
These sorts of debates have been going on in the super-tiny bubble world of philosophical aesthetic for decades and have been pushed to the forefront by the recent attention given to Allen’s personal life. It is important that this is not the first time in American cinematic history someone’s character has been invoked to besmirch artistic achievement.
In 1999 Eliz Kazan received lifetime achievement award at the Academy Awards despite providing names of fellow actors and directors to the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. Kazan, who had been a member of the Communist Party for two years (1934-1936), turned “friendly witness” for the HUAC and named several of his friends and colleagues associated with the Communist party, effectively ruining their careers. Kazan believed either he testified or he would never make a movie in Hollywood again. His first hit after this affair, On The Waterfront, was written by (Budd Schulberg) and acted in (Lee J. Cobb) by other HUAC informants. What does Kazan’s moral digression show? Many believe it showed a true lack of loyalty, but can we see any of that in On The Waterfront? Perhaps. Brando’s character named names against corrupt labor leaders, and is doing so is valorized. Thus, the rat (in this case) is vindicated. As Jules Dassin stated, a screenwriter that Kazan blacklisted, “There is no way for the films of Kazan to be amputated from the rest of him.”[i]
The classic example given in these cases is that of Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. Generally regarded as a cinematic masterpiece, the movie glorifies the Nazi party. We might be able to say that while the technical achievements are no less marvelous, the movie would have been better –all things considered– if it hadn’t heralded a morally despicable cause. Or, is what we like about the picture precisely the bizarre juxtaposition between artistic exemplariness and its extreme moral wickedness?
And of course who can forget Roman Polanski’s rape of an underage girl while in Jack Nicholson’s hot tub. The man still won the best picture Oscar for The Pianist, although he could not re-enter the United States to accept the award. Here we might ask: do Polanski’s movies glorify rape or rape culture? Does the morally objectionable thing he did seep into his work somehow? I would argue no; there is nothing in The Pianist that glorifies rape culture. In fact, the movie reminds us of what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil,” and I would say the “banality of good,” – it reminds us how people are capable of unfathomable cruelty and unexpected kindness in almost equal measure. Further, Polanski’s Repulsion is a movie that, I believe, demonizes rape culture. The protagonist of the film (if you could call her that) is perpetually terrified and lashes out in violent ways. We learn she has become this way because of what men have done to her. It is, I believe, an anti-rape movie — one made by a rapist.
And finally, Woody Allen. Ah, Woody Allen whose movies often have a ‘Woody Allen’ character in them: Alvy Singer of Annie Hall, Isaac of Manhattan, Harry Block of Deconstructing Harry, and Mickey of Hannah and Her Sisters, just to name a few. It is much harder in the case of Woody Allen to separate the man from his work because the man is literallyinhis work. In the grand tradition of other auteur directors, his work is about his life. We believe Guido Anselmi (played by Marcello Mastrioanni) is some sort of wish fulfillment on behalf of Fellini in his 8 1/2. Similarly I suspect Woody Allen’s ‘Woody Allen’ characters are half fact, half fiction. Again we can ask: is there anything about Allen’s films that glorify rape culture, sexual abuse, or child abuse? And it is here where you have to be familiar with the movies to come up with an answer. Isaac in Manhattan has a sexual relationship with a seventeen year old, the ultimate conclusion of which is (perhaps) that the child is more grow-up than the man. (See Joan Didion’s 1976 scathing review of Manhattan for more on this theme)[ii]. As a young woman watching this movie for the first time at 17, I found the premise incredibly creepy. ‘Who would want to date that guy?’ I thought. 17-year-old me shrugged it off as yet another man living out in film what he couldn’t and/or shouldn’t do in life. (To be fair to auteur directors with wish fulfillment, at least Guido’s banished women staged a revolt!)
What’s interesting to see is how people responded in these three cases. In the case of Kazan, people who attended the Oscars but who were outraged that the man was receiving an award refused to clap when he was honored: a small, silent protest captured aptly by the cameras for the viewers at home In the case of Polanski, a documentary film was made examining his arrest and subsequent abscondment (Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, 2008). And in the case of Woody Allen, some people have boycotted his films since the first allegations of child abuse came out (for example, my mother), but most have ignored the issue.
Do you praise the work and demonize the man? Do you boycott anything related to Woody Allen, as my mother has done for decades? Do you watch the movies, and discuss the moral implications with your friends afterward? Do you try to separate, the best you can, the artist from their artwork? This is your – the movie goers — choice. Being reflective about this choice is a good first step.”
[ii]Find it here: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1979/aug/16/letter-from-manhattan/
Here are some relevant articles:
Art Basel (and Art Week) has come and gone and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things. This list is composed of items I’d purchase (if (a) I had the money, (b) I felt that private ownership of art treasures was morally unproblematic). In a world where philosopher-teachers made enough to purchase fancy art, here are a few works I wouldn’t mind hanging on my mantel:
- First up is this small Alberto Burri. I saw a Burri retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum and was blown away. His work is so visceral. This piece uses paint, plastic, and I believe vinavil and combustion cellotex. For scale reference, it was slightly larger than a sheet of paper and I think $140,000 (a steal compared to the other artworks on this list). If only.
- Second is this really beautiful Marc Chagall. I was staring at it when they put the “red dot” on the tag (the red dot means the painting sold). While I don’t know the exact price it sold for, it was estimated to sell for over $2 million dollars. Chagall’s work is so beautiful and important that it worries me that so many of his paintings are in the hands of private collectors. We will just have to trust the largess of the rich and assume they will continue to exhibit his work. There is, obviously, an incentive for private collectors to exhibit their artworks: the more they exhibit and loan their art, the more the art appears in exhibition catalogs, and the more the art appears in the catalogs and the press, the more it appreciates in value. So, with that in mind, I hope you get a chance to see this beautiful Chagall in person!
- For my third pick, I choose this Gabriele Münter. A German painter, this canvas was huge (which was unusual for her). It’s titled “The Letter (The Invalid)” and was painted in 1917. I can’t quite describe why I find it so striking, but I do. This one was too (alas) outside my financial reach at $3 million (I don’t think it sold). While she was one of the founding members of the Blaue Reiter group (1911) her work has been overshadowed by her relationship with Vassily Kandinsky – a common story for women in art history.
And now you know my mundane (but expensive) taste in art!
Art Basel (or Art Week) is almost here…and while it might seem like traffic-fueled insanity, it is worth checking out. We are incredibly lucky to be living in a city with such a thriving art scene. Basel, unfortunately, sometimes feels like it is more about the money and less about the art. Well, we don’t have to make that mistake!
Art Basel itself is specifically the event held at the Miami Beach convention center. It is the “Basel” in Art Basel. The convention center is huge and it is impossible to see everything in a day. It is also overrun with people. AND it is expensive (for a discount, buy your ticket ONLINE ahead of time). That said, it is still worth checking out. 200+ of the top galleries bring their wares to sell at this convention. These galleries usually have tons of art and they have to curate a small selection of what they have to bring to Miami Beach. What they decide to bring is telling – it will show you the (projected) direction of the art market. Art Basel is all about money – go into it with that attitude. I enjoy walking up and down the stalls, seeing pieces of artist I love (e.g., Brancusi, Gerhart Richter) and then asking the gallerists there how much the paintings/sculptures/photographs/installations sell for. It’s fun to guess ahead of time. A posthumous recasting of a bronze Brancusi? $1 million or 5? You can download the Art Basel app for more information.
Art Basel – Day ticket $50 (if purchased online, $60 door). Students can purchase onsite tickets with student ID for $45 (and they WILL check your student ID, so don’t forget it!) Design Miami/ is right across the street from Art Basel and you can purchase combo tickets for both.
Below are some suggestions for things to check out this Art Basel 2018. Those in BOLD are FREE!
- ART BASEL – DEC 5-9 – $45-60, THURS 3-8pm, FIR&SAT 12-8, SUN 12-6
- RAW POP UP – DEC 6-9 ($16-$1,000 tix – 20% ticket discount with STUFFTODOINMIAMITIX code). 21+, late night.
- Little Haiti Art Week Launch – December 2nd, Laundromat Art Space, 12-4 pm FREE
- Art Center / South Florida Open Studios, Bruch & Tour, Sat Dec 8 9am-11 am FREE
- Meet Christo at TASCHEN Miami – Dec 6 6:30pm-9pm, FREE with RSVP
- ART POP at FIU’s Frost Museum, Thursday, Dec 6, 4-7pm FREE
- SATELLITE ART SHOW, December 6-9, $25 tix
- Aqua Art Miami, Dec 6-9, $25 tix
- NADA Miami, Dec 6-9, $20 (New Art Dealers Alliance) not-for-profit!
- Mana in Wynwood has two events: Piñata Miami, $30 & Red Dot $25
- SCOPE $40-200 tix
- PULSE $25-100 tix
- Art Miami, Dec 4-9, $35-$275
- Untitled, Miami Beach, Dec 6-10, $15-25 tix
Here are some FREE events during Art Week!
Here are some ART WEEK CHEAT SHEETS:
This semester my aesthetics class visited FIU’s Frost Museum. We were lucky enough to have Emily Afre to show us around. Emily is the Frost museum’s education specialist and I’m so pleased that she took the time out to answer a few questions about her job, the Frost, and the art scene in Miami!
How did you get involved in museum work?
I took a course called Aesthetics & Values in 2017 with the Honors College at FIU. The class involved visiting museums and galleries in Miami, some of which I had never visited before. Our final project was to curate an exhibition of local contemporary artists to be on view at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. I worked with artist, Felicia Chizuko Carlisle who created a sculpture she used in a live experimental sound performance the night of the opening. As a member of the Exhibitions Committee, we worked closely with the artists and installation, and provided tours of the exhibition during the opening. I was interested in becoming more involved and began an internship at the museum, where I currently work full-time.
What art do you recommend in Miami right now (besides exhibits at the Frost)?
Our neighboring museums and galleries always have something to offer year-round. Miami Art Week is Dec 4-9. Aside from Art Basel, there are several satellite fairs, alternative art shows and independent music concerts and live performances.
What do you wish students knew about the Frost that they don’t currently know?
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum offers free admission to everyone, you don’t just have to be an FIU student. The Frost Art Museum always has programs and events throughout the semester, sometimes featuring artists, scholars, and professionals of all disciplines. Students are also welcomed to experiment with their artistic skills in our MakerSPACE. The Frost Art Museum is also a great place to study!
What do you think the most rewarding part of your job is?
My role at the museum involves a direct relationship with FIU and the community. The most rewarding part of my job is engaging with students of all ages on tours and seeing the larger connections they create.
How does philosophy connect with your work?
Sometimes, we tend to forget that there is a person behind the artwork – the product is the result of one’s psychology and the creative tendencies of the mind. It may be seen as the interpretation of the way an individual understands themselves and the space around them. There are so many questions you can ask when thinking about the nature of art. What and who dictates art as “good” or “bad?” How does art connect to others and how does this change over time? To what extent does the relationship to the human condition deem art successful or effective?
What was your favorite exhibit at the Frost so far?
Hands down, Rafael Soriano: Artist as Mystic. This was a retrospective of Cuban painter, Rafael Soriano. The exhibition spanned works from early geometric abstraction to biomorphic and surrealistic abstractions. His later work following the 1980s, involve themes of psychoanalysis, introspection, the metaphysical, and the unknown. Although he primarily used oil paint, which is heavy and opaque, he is known for achieving extraordinary luminosity in his works. You can find images here.
What projects are you working on right now?
Currently, the Frost is collaborating with The Roar Miami, FIU’s student-run radio station on Art Pop! This event is scheduled to take place Thursday, December 6 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on the PPFAM Terrace. In efforts to celebrate the end of the semester, Miami Art Week, and The Roar’s 30th Anniversary, we will be conducting giveaways to Art Basel and III Points Music Festival. To enter the giveaways, students must participate in an interactive sculpture inspired by Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, an exhibition currently on view at the Frost. There will also be live performances by local bands and Roar DJs.
What do you wish other people knew about your job (or something people get wrong about your work)?
Well, I don’t just give tours! I spend most of my time researching exhibitions and creating study material for all staff and gallery guides. I also coordinate tours with FIU, as well as school and community groups. I also have been tasked with leading our Gallery Guide Program, an internship open to students of all majors. Collectively, we study current and incoming exhibitions, conduct tours, and plan student programming.
What makes the Frost unique?
Unlike most other museums and galleries in Miami, the Frost is located on a university campus. At times, the Frost is a student’s first experience of an art museum. The museum exhibits work from around the globe, as well as from different time periods.
How do your identities shape your work?
Although I love art history and museum work, my ultimate career goal is to record and perform music as an independent artist. I would say that music is a defining feature of my identity and this has helped shape my work at the Frost. I view the act of giving tours, almost like a performance! This also comes into mind when thinking of programming collaborations and opportunities with university and community initiatives. In addition, I am a recent FIU graduate with a Hispanic background – it is easy to relate to the FIU community! Being a young woman in the arts, it’s rough out here – but the Frost encourages forward-thinking and creativity that goes against any limitations that may have been placed by society.
I’m so thrilled that Fereshteh Toosi took the time to answer some questions for this blog. For those of you who do not know them, Fereshteh is a local Miami artist and a member of the FIU faculty. They joined the art faculty here at FIU in 2017. Since moving to Miami, Professor Toosi has been active embedding themself in the local arts scene. Most recently Fereshteh has won a prestigious “Ellie” award – they are the recipient of the 2018 Creator Award. Fereshteh has also published in the Miami Herald and participated in O, Miami’s poetry month. They run the Nature Connection Arts Lab where they design contemplative, sensory outdoor experiences (that you can join them on)! I urge you to check out their work on their website. I believe Fereshteh’s work would be of special interest to folks interested in environmental ethics, or the relationship between art and environmental activism.
1. How did you become an artist?
As a child I liked planning birthday parties for my siblings, making dioramas, photocopying zines, and pressing perfume from roses. I cherished a book called Concoctions which I never returned to the library. It had recipes for things like toothpaste putty and invisible ink. I also took a lot of music lessons and dance classes and I was a yearbook editor in high school, which meant doing a lot of graphic design. All of this influenced the way I make art now, especially because my high school visual art classes were pretty narrow. Like a lot of places, the teacher focused on realistic representation and since that wasn’t my interest, I was unsure what role art would play in my future. I went to a pre-college art program at the art school in Portland Maine and I met students who introduced me to a creative world that was beyond my hometown, but I still wasn’t sure that there was a place for me as an artist. Because I didn’t grow up in a big city, I hadn’t been exposed to a lot of contemporary art in galleries and museums. In college, I learned more about the various ways contemporary artists work, and the fact that I was studying other subjects was really important too. During my senior year I finished my thesis show which was an installation in an empty swimming pool on campus and one of my professors encouraged me to apply for an exhibit at a gallery. Her vote of confidence bolstered me. After graduation I worked in Japan for a couple years and I continued to make art and music while I was there. When I came back to the States, I tried to get an office job to make money but it felt wrong. I started applying to MFA programs and being an artist is what I’ve been focusing on ever since.
2. What art projects are you working on now?
I run an initiative called the Nature Connection Arts Lab which produces performances and media art to foster gratitude, respect, and a renewed commitment to our ecosystems. I guide occasional nature connection art walks in Miami. If you want to join one you can follow the Lab on Instagram or Facebook for announcements.
My Water Radio project is a series of participatory performances during kayak outings along Miami’s canals. Participants travel, share stories, listen, and respond to the sounds of nature underwater. I think about Timothy Morton’s book Ecology without Nature a lot. But I still use the term nature because it serves as a useful shortcut for people understand that my current work is about how humans can cultivate stronger social relationships with other species and with Earth. It’s mostly about affective experience, but being informed about science is part of it too. I want my work to contribute to the political resistance against ecological crisis.
3. How do your identities shape your work?
Our identities shape everything we do. In my art work, my identities inform the work even if an audience doesn’t notice it expressed in a straightforward way. Art shifts people’s perceptions. As someone whose identities are misunderstood or marginalized, I think about perception all the time. Some of my projects are more directly about my identity as a first-generation American, an immigrant from Iran. But those aren’t my only identities. People have certain expectations of the kind of art someone like me is supposed to be making, and it’s limiting. Everyday I do the quotidian work of being me, of holding my multiple identities, of juggling all my differences. The way I am perceived by others and how I navigate interiority and exteriority is always in the background of everything I do.
4. How does philosophy connect with your art work?
My first meaningful encounters with philosophy were in an English class in college, which focused on analyzing literature through critical theory that was largely informed by continental philosophy. The same texts are really important for contemporary art too. The most significant concept is probably the critique of representation. As artists we act as mediators between people and objects, or people and experiences, and we need to understand how to do that in context. If we don’t know philosophy, our art and media literacy is impoverished. I never took any philosophy classes, I was just thrown into some advanced texts. But with time and patience, I was able to connect and I fell in love with philosophy. There are huge gaps in my philosophical knowledge. But that’s ok because it means I get to explore and be exposed to new ideas. We are meant to be in conversation and dialogue with philosophical writing. Philosophy constructs worlds and metaphors and experiments that are very similar to the methods of art. Philosophy is a really important tool for artists who want to make smart work that engages with issues and aesthetics in a critical way. It helps artists to identify and communicate the significance of our work to ourselves and to our audiences. I find it very inspiring as I consider the intentions and outcomes of my own work. It’s also part of analyzing other people’s art work.
5. What art do you recommend in Miami right now?
Hi FIU aesthetics students! I am trying to compile a list of free/cheap artsy things to do in the area. Have anything you’d like to add? Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum (FIU campus, free)
A contemporary art museum, this museum is always free (for everyone)! The museum is located on FIU campus (right next to Vicky’s café) and has rotating exhibits. The museum also hosts various talks and workshops – all for free! The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and is closed on Monday. https://frost.fiu.edu
The Wolfsonian Museum – FIU (Miami Beach, always freefor FIU students/faculty/staff)
The Wolfsonian museum is a quirky collection of objects, from the “mundane to the monumental.” Their objects include ephemera (including propaganda posters), mid-century furniture, paintings, and more. They usually have curated exhibitions of their permanent collection on one floor, and a rotating collection on other floors. The collection contains objects from the 1850s to the 1950s. They have an awesome shop/café on the first floor, great for working after a trip to the museum. Bonus: the museum is open to the public for free every Friday from 6 pm – 9pm, so take your family! https://www.wolfsonian.org
Jewish Museum of Florida – FIU (Miami Beach, always freefor FIU students/faculty/staff)
The Jewish Museum of Florida is housed in two buildings that were once synagogues for Miami Beach’s first Jewish congregation. The museum is “dedicated to telling the story of more than 250 years of Florida Jewish history, arts and culture.” They have rotating exhibits, as well as talks. It is a beautiful space and they have innovative and thought provoking rotating exhibits. Bonus: the museum is free for everyone on Saturday. https://jmof.fiu.edu
PAAM ( Perez Art Museum Miami) (Miami, free second Saturdays and first Thursdays)
The PAAM has reopened in a beautiful building, right on the Miami waterfront. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the building itself if worth a visit. The PAAM is “Miami’s flagship art museum,” with exhibits spanning modern to contemporary art. The museum entrance fee is $12 with student ID but is free for everyone every second Saturday and every first Thursdays (every first Thursday with extended hours 10 am – 9 pm). The museum café and shop is also worth a visit!
ICA Miami (Institute of Contemporary Art Miami) (Miami, free)
ICA Miami “is dedicated to promoting continuous experimentation in contemporary art, advancing new scholarship and fostering the exchange of art and ideas throughout the Miami region and internationally.” While ICA requests that you reserve tickets online, the tickets are free. ICA is a great contemporary art museum with loads of community engagement and outreach. They have volunteer programs, public talks, and monthly family days. https://www.icamiami.org
The Bass (Miami Beach, $5)
The Bass is open Wednesday through Sundays 10 am – 5 pm. It is a contemporary art museum, which exhibits in a wide range of media. It just reopened October 29, 2017 with new gallery spaces, a museum store and café. They have an “Art After Hours” program and a “Breakfast at The Bass” program. https://thebass.org
OTHER ART MUSEUMS / COLLECTIONS IN THE AREA:
Lowe Art Museum (U of Miami campus, $8 with student ID)
The Margulies Collection at the WAREhouse (Wynwood, free for Florida students)
Rubell Family Collection (Miami, $5 students) (reopens December 5th, 2018)
And if you have a library card, you may be entitled to even more discounts! https://www.mdpls.org/museum-pass/museum-pass.aspv