COMMUNITY NEWS SNAPSHOT

Snapshot: Grandson of Overtown art icon Purvis Young exhibits in Wynwood

 

Open Media Miami

With Art Basel Miami Beach at its peak, Wynwood, the homebase of several ABMB satellite fairs, is teeming with painters, tourists, musicians, "Occupiers", and people watchers. A few blocks to the south, in Overtown, the picture is very different. It’s a day like any other.

At least that’s how 19-year-old Miami photographer De'Quan Williams sees it. When he tried to spread the news of his exhibition in Wynwood, he found that many of the Overtown residents he talked to didn’t know about all the Art Basel related events that would be happening just a few blocks away.

“These are two communities in the same location that aren’t even aware of each other,” he said.

Williams would like to help change that, and, as the grandson of Miami art icon Purvis Young, he has some authority on the subject.

Young was a self-taught artist whose work, a blend of collage, drawing, painting, and found objects, tended to focus on the plight of the impoverished neighborhood where he lived and worked for almost three decades, Overtown. He died last year at 67 after a heart attack. [For more on Young, see his New York Times obituary, or this Miami New Times blog post about his death, which includes links to all their past stories about him]

Williams is heavily influenced by his grandfather’s legacy. His current project began when he was approached by Ali Spechler, 22, a South Florida-born artist living in Brooklyn who is a recent graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York. She asked him to send her photos of everyday life in Overtown for her to paint.

“I wanted to take De'Quan's photos and experiences and put them in a different setting where they couldn’t be ignored,” said Spechler, who since graduation has had several shows in greater New York, including a solo show in Brooklyn.

The collaboration resulted in a series of paintings and drawings which are currently on display at the Purvis Young studio in Wynwood. The exhibit has been extended to run until the next Second Saturday, which is on Dec. 11.

It should be said that Williams and Spechler are emerging artists and this exhibit hasn't been acclaimed by an established critic. That could change tomorrow.

What’s clear at this point is that they are both committed to the idea of art with a purpose, and are unlikely to stop anytime soon.

“I want to collaborate forever,” Williams said. “Eventually we would try to find different themes to it.”

Open Media Miami Staff writer Maria Murriel contributed to this report.

Read more z-delete492 stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category