Artist Germane Barnes learned everything he knows about cooking in his grandmother’s Chicago kitchen, from Saturday morning’s scrambled eggs to smothered potatoes and sausage from scratch. On Oct. 20, he will open “Rosie’s Fare” at Oolite Arts, a tribute to her that explores black identity and spaces in America by constructing a non-traditional kitchen in the gallery – one of two fall shows at the Miami arts organization.
Barnes’ kitchen space will be paired with audio interviews from Puerto Rican, Jamaican and Haitian families in Miami, on the role the kitchen has played in their lives. Barnes sees the exhibition as a way to celebrate Black tradition and contributions to American cuisine that are often removed or ignored.
“I want people to understand the history, the trauma, the deliberation and delight of what it means to be black in the kitchen in the United States,” said Barnes, whose grandmother moved during the Great Migration from Arkansas to Illinois, where she worked as a cook. “Oftentimes, we celebrate other people’s cuisines. Or we celebrate American cuisine, and the black presence is typically ignored or improperly attributed. This exhibition will tell these stories.”
“Rosie’s Fare” is a continuation of Barnes’ installation at MoMA’s recent show, “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America,” which explored the relationship between architecture and the spaces of African-American and African diaspora communities.
Additionally, Oolite Arts will present a group exhibition titled “Miami is Not the Caribbean. Yet It Feels Like It,” which will also open on Oct. 20. Danny Baez, founder of the New York gallery REGULARNORMAL and co-founder of MECA Art Fair in the Caribbean, is curating the show.
As part of the exhibit, Baez asks artists of Caribbean heritage the following questions in the context of their own personal relationships with Miami: While Florida sits on the Caribbean’s northern border, many in Miami call it a Caribbean city. But is it? Though the city is home to many Cubans, Haitians, and people from across the Greater and the Lesser Antilles, does life in Miami resemble or reflect the culture of the region?
“Although Miami seems to have the biggest percentage of Caribbean immigrants, it seems like New Orleans has a more ‘Caribbean heritage’ feel to it in comparison to Miami. I wanted to question the artists to either support this or challenge this idea of whether or not they thought Miami is or is not like the Caribbean,” Baez said.
The diverse group of participating artists from Miami and New York are Destiny Belgrave, Kim Dacres, Mark Fleuridor, Amanda Linares, Jeffrey Meris, Na’Ye Perez, Bony Ramirez, Monica Sorelle, and Cyle Warner.
Both exhibitions will be on display from Oct. 20 -Dec. 11 and during Art Basel, at 924 and 928 Lincoln Road. Oolite Arts invites the public to an opening reception 7 – 9 p.m. on Oct. 20, which will coincide with the Miami Beach Culture Crawl.
Oolite Arts helps Miami-based artists advance their careers and inspires the cultural community to engage with their work. Established in 1984, the nonprofit is both a community and a resource, providing visual artists with the studio space, exhibition opportunities, and financial support they need to experiment, grow and enrich the city. Through its educational programming, Oolite Arts help Miamians learn about contemporary art and develop their own artistic skills. Coming in 2024—in time for the organization’s 40th anniversary—Oolite Arts will open a new campus in the City of Miami that will help build Miami’s next creative chapter.
Exhibitions and programs at Oolite Arts are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the Miami Beach Mayor and City Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Jorge M. Perez Family Foundation at the Miami Foundation, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
For more information on the exhibition visit oolitearts.org.
This is Hy-Lo News Staff Report.