In 2011 Architect and Art Africa Miami Founder, Neil Hall, AIA purposefully established the inaugural Art Africa Miami exhibit to showcase engaging and thought-provoking art that served as a continuum of the Black, Caribbean, social, political, hip-hop artistic strand that spoke to the Black presence missing from the Art Basel script. Hall felt it necessary to establish a satellite neighborhood art fair in the historic neighborhood of Overtown.
“From the beginning, I knew that this art fair would be the anchor to help contribute to strengthening the cultural identity of Historic Overtown, as well as its resurgence as a cultural hub. The arts and culture are essential for building a community, supporting development, and contributing to economic opportunity. Collectively, the arts and culture enable understanding of the past and envisioning of a shared, more equitable future,” he said.
Hall, who is a lifelong advocate for the transformational role art and culture play within Historic Overtown, continues to provide a platform for the community’s growth as a creative destination. He believes culture is a space where we can introduce ideas, attack emotions, change values, and find inspiration.
Nine years later, people continue ask Hall to take his programming of Art Africa Miami to Miami Beach, an idea he continues to reject.
“The work at Art Africa Miami is as strong or even stronger. To take it there, just to be accepted, is unacceptable to me. I would like them to say, ‘I want to see the best in their environment’,” said Hall.
A major influence in keeping these talented black artists in Overtown is through the generous support of The Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (SEOPW).
As Art Africa Miami gets ready to celebrate their 10th year in 2020, this year’s theme, A Retrospective, commemorates nine years of social justice through diasporic arts. Art Africa’s mission to showcase the art of the black diaspora continues to resonate throughout our local and global communities. The art fair is a cultural excursion during the Art Basel / Miami Art Week season that should not be missed. AAMAF encourages individuals to question the injustices shaping their lives and embolden them to find their call to action.
“Art has always been a tool to claim space, build power, and to question the injustices that have shaped our social experiences,” said Hall.
Art Africa Miami has always enjoyed a fellowship with an engaged and influential community of artists, community builders, residents, and all-around arts lovers committed to promoting contemporary art from the global Black community. This year Art Africa Miami will focus on some of those artists who have previously been with the fair since the first year.
2019 Art Africa Art Artists include Anthony Burks, Byran McFarlane, Ayo Filade,Carl Craig, Marvin Weeks, Johnny Ray Williams, Doba Afolabi, Emilio Martinez, Gene Tinnie, Kofi Kayaga,Najee Dorsey, Phillipe Dodard, Solomon Adufah, Maximo Caminero,Turgo Bastien, Sergio Garcia,George Endozie, Chris Clark, Tierra Armstrong,Carlos Salas, Evita Tezeno,Jose Bedia, Miles Regis,Tracy Guiteau, Patricio Rodriguez, Franklin Sinanan,Jerry Vallias-Jean, Carl Montes, and Jason Fleurant.
In the last nine years, many of the artists, both local and global, have become recognized as masters in their respective fields. These artists’ works have been shown in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean.
“We invite you to this year’s exhibition to revisit and reassess the works that have been a part of the transformation of art not only in Overtown but also in Miami,” said Hall. “Overtown, the ‘Harlem of the South’ is in the midst of a renaissance. Through the work of Art Africa, Soul Basel, and Art of Black Miami, there is now an understanding that art plays a significant role in our community.”
Neil Shiver, Executive Director, SEOPW CRA, agreed with Hall and shared his views on the significance of the Art Africa Miami events.
“In furtherance of the implementation of the Historic Overtown Culture and Entertainment Master Plan, the Art Africa exhibition in Overtown once again is becoming a global destination of unique culture, history, and entertainment,” said Shiver.
Location for this year’s Art Africa Miami Fair-Plaza is at the Lyric Theater– 919 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33136
Public Hours: Wednesday, December 4th-8th, Noon-7pm, and Sunday, December 8, Noon-5pm.
Below is more info on the full line-up of Art Africa Miami Events.