For those who find museums a bit daunting or just can’t bring themselves to head inside on a summer day, the Pérez Art Museum Miami has a fix. And it doesn’t require a single technology download or battery charger.
Through August, replicas of select artworks owned by PAMM are displayed in parks, on the beach, along a canal and throughout city streets in three Miami-Dade neighborhoods: Little Haiti, Surfside and North Miami Beach.
The project name says it all: Inside/Out.
The idea, said Anita Braham, manager of adult programs and community partnership at PAMM, is to make art more approachable and accessible. “We’re incorporating it into daily life by putting the art in some place people normally are.”
Not only do passersby get a taste of art they may not have seen before, but they begin to feel a sense of ownership, she said. When they do come to the museum, they may see a familiar work — and that can help them feel that PAMM, and other art museums, are places where they — and everyone — belong.
And of course, the works are in public places where access is free.
“We try to take works that are aesthetically pleasing,” said Braham. “You want them to start a dialogue or catch someone’s eye with color.” Artists include both well-known masters and locals whose names may not yet be household names.
In North Miami Beach, Ed Clark’s joyful “Pink Wave” and “Rose Sky” by Miami-born Hernan Bas are set along the Snake Creek Canal along NE 177th Street. A few blocks away, the Ancient Spanish Monastery (worth a visit on its own) is host to Ed Ruscha’s “Word Going Round” and “El Patio,” a painting by Fernando Botero, best known for his rounded figures. Also in the neighborhood are works by contemporary masters Kiki Smith and Alice Aycock and Miami’s own Glexis Novoa.
Off Northeast Second Avenue in Little Haiti Soccer Park, visitors will find a graphic mask-like face entitled “Big Black” by Faith Ringgold, a floral riot by Beatriz Milhazes and a dramatically different take on tropical foliage by the late pop-art master James Rosenquist. A few blocks south, clustered around the Little Haiti Cultural Center, they can check out the bold painting of a torso by Miami-based Jose Bedia and cutout-style depiction of a woman, “Gina,” by Mario Ybarra Jr., then stroll past “After Heade-Moonlit Landscape” by neighborhood local Edouard Duval-Carrié on the way to grab an afternoon beer at Churchill’s Pub. Twenty works appear throughout the neighborhood.
Beachgoers in Surfside will find a graphic depiction of palm trees by the late Cuban-American Emilio Sanchez among the real palms, an ethereal black-and-white image of a car-shaped cloud floating above downtown Miami by Vik Muniz and a collage, “Recall,” by the late art icon Robert Rauschenberg among the 15 works there.
But you don’t need to know a Rauschenberg from a Rosenquist to appreciate these works. Each has an explanation attached. And for visitors who want to take a tour of the works, downloadable maps of each neighborhood with artwork locations are available online.
All artworks featured belong to the museum’s permanent collection. The artist (or his estate) has to give permission.
“I think it’s a great initiative,” said Carrié, whose studio is in Little Haiti. “Conceptually, museums are thought of as inaccessible, like cathedrals. For a city like this that has prominently placed itself in the arts world to attract more sophisticated tourism, I’ve always said the large immigrant population needs to be brought into the fold. They need to feel like PAMM and other museums belong to them.
“In places like Little Haiti, I hope they will get to know and appreciate art and see why it is important to the city. I hope it will get them to go into the museum.”
Christina Pettersson, whose work is on view in Surfside, echoed his thoughts. “The Inside/Out Program is a wonderful way to bring artwork into public spaces. Additionally, as a local artist it has allowed my work to be placed alongside incredible artists like Kiki Smith, Wangechi Mutu and Hernan Bas, and made me proud to be a part of the PAMM family.”
Inside/Out is a Knight Foundation-funded program that began in Detroit and has since spread to other cities. In Miami, the program is now in its second year. Thanks to $150,000 per year in Knight funds, PAMM has been able to place works in nine Miami-Dade neighborhoods for three-month stints, giving them the buzz of a pop-up event without the glaze-over factor that can come with permanent installations.
Live events add to the pop. On July 7, Surfside is combining its monthly First Friday Beach Event with a walking tour of the artworks and art-making activities, courtesy of PAMM. It runs from 4-7 p.m. at 93rd Street and Collins Avenue; guests should bring their own picnic and beach gear. A second event is slated for Aug. 4, same time and place.
IF YOU GO
Replicas of 50 artworks from the Pérez Art Museum Miami Collection are on display in Little Haiti, North Miami Beach and Surfside through August. Downloadable maps are online at pamm.org/insideout.