Other exhibits have more direct connections to Miami and its many links to Latin America and the Caribbean. They include a show of Cuban modernist painter Amelia Pelaez del Casal, the first major U.S. retrospective of Brazilian painter Beatriz Milhazes, and shows by Edouard Duval-Carrie, the well-known Haitian painter based in Miami, and Adler Guerrier, a younger Haitian-American artist also working here. Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, an exhibit organized by three New York museums that will come to PAMM in April 2014, highlights two centuries of work related to the Caribbean.
The museum also will showcase its own collection in a large, long-running show entitled Americana, which will present work by artists from throughout the Americas, with an emphasis on those living in Miami.
Still to come is a slate of performance art, dance, music, film and video programs, to be put together by a curator who Collins says will be announced in the next month. The museum also plans to expand its education offerings, including a program to reach every third-grader in Miami-Dade schools, as well as talks and workshops with visiting artists and others.
Lindsay Pollock, editor-in-chief of Art in America, said the programming struck the right balance between international appeal and Miami-specific character that would help the museum stand out. Bartana, Locke, Khalili and Canadian Geoffrey Farmer, who has been commissioned to create a new installation for PAMM, are highly regarded in contemporary art circles, she said, while the Milhazes and Pelaez shows would be of interest to many.
“They have a lot to prove — this is a new building, and Miami is a tough city with a lot of dynamics at play,” Pollock said. “This sounds like a really interesting and dynamic mix.
“I travel to cities around the U.S. and the museums are often very homogeneous, like one big art fair. In looking to the Caribbean and Latin America, these are artists that are overlooked and underrepresented in the art world,” she said. “Highlighting Miami, Cuban, and Haitian artists is really smart, and will make the place feel specific and give them a special voice.”
How that voice will be heard in Miami remains to be seen. The museum has been criticized by some for not involving more people in the local art scene in its plans. The decision to change the name to reflect Jorge Perez’ $35 million donation of funds and artworks prompted controversy and led some board members to leave. Although art collectors Dennis and Debra Scholl recently donated 300 works to the museum, other important collectors and influential players on the Miami art scene, such as Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz and Marty Margulies, have been among the museum’s most vocal critics. And PAMM faces competition from institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Bass Museum on Miami Beach for funding and audiences.
Collins hopes that the museum’s offerings will ultimately overcome these issues.
“Not everyone likes every show or is interested in every exhibit,” he says. “But it’s a hallmark of contemporary art that it’s about offering people fresh experiences, and this is a town that seeks out fresh experiences all the time.”
In a previous version of this story, the name of artist Yael Bartana was misspelled.