Where artists go, galleries follow — and not just in the cerebral sense. Miami galleries are trickling into Little Haiti and Little River, in the same area where artists have found affordable studio space in collectives such as Fountainhead Studios and on their own. Wynwood pioneer Nina Johnson-Milewski has moved the highly regarded Gallery Diet to a complex of four buildings in Little Haiti (6315 NW Second Ave., gallerydiet.com). Yeelen Gallery (294 NW 54th St., yeelenart.com), which moved into the neighborhood in 2014, retains its focus on contemporary urban art, not far from the Little Haiti Cultural Center (212 NE 59th Ter., littlehaiticulturalcenter.com). A few blocks north, in Little River, Michael Jon Gallery (225 NE 69th St.) opened in late 2014 with 1,000 square feet of exhibition space for showing contemporary artists who have included Math Bass and Paul Cowan. Mindy Solomon Gallery has also relocated from Wynwood to Little River (8397 NE Second Ave., mindysolomon.com), up the block from pioneering artist-run GUCCIVUITTON (8375 NE Second Ave.; guccivuitton.net). After a 2014 stint on Second Avenue, Bill Brady Gallery (7230 NW Miami Ct.; billbradygallery.com) has moved into Little River // Miami, the district being developed by Matthew Vander Werff and Avra Jain, along with Spinello Projects (7221 NW Second Ave.; spinelloprojects.com), in the same area long home to Fountainhead Studios and ArtCenter/South Florida’s pop-up space (7252 NW Miami Ct.).
▪ Bass Museum of Art: A $7.5 million renovation that will add about 30 percent more space to the Bass Museum of Art is slated for completion in 2016. This year, the museum is staging exhibitions at BassX, at the nearby Miami Beach Regional Library, 227 22nd Street. On Dec. 3, the museum opens an installation by Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury; it remains open through Jan. 10, 2016.
▪ Fairholme Foundation: A new home designed specifically for James Turrell’s “Aten Reign” and Richard Serra’s “Passage of Time” has received zoning approval from the City of Miami. Fairholme Fund manager Bruce Berkowitz says he plans to open the museum, on Biscayne Boulevard and 26th Street, in 2017.
▪ Institute of Contemporary Art - Miami: The ICA has broken ground on its permanent home on land donated by the Design District’s developers near the De La Cruz Collection. The museum, which focuses on cutting-edge contemporary art, expects to open in 2017. Meanwhile, it operates out of the Moore Building, 3841 NE 2nd Ave., in the Design District.
▪ Nader Latin America Art Museum: Art dealer Gary Nader is hoping to partner with Miami-Dade College in a project that would include space for the 120,000-square-foot downtown museum designed by Fernando Romero, plus a sculpture garden and performing arts theater, as part of a mixed-use residential-hotel project. Meanwhile, Nader is exhibiting sculptures by Fernando Botero in downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park. He will open a temporary museum Dec. 2 atop his Wynwood Gallery (62 NE 27th Street.)
FAENA ARTS DISTRICT
Years in the making, the ambitious Faena district is coming to life in the center of Miami Beach. A vision of Argentine developer, art collector and “urban alchemist” Alan Faena, the district stretches from the Atlantic to Indian Creek between 32nd and 36th streets. Pockets of the area started opening in late 2015 and will continue for the next couple years. The Faena Hotel Miami Beach opens Dec. 1, with 169 rooms and star-studded credentials: interiors and public spaces were created by film director Baz Luhrmann and Academy Award-winning production and costume designer Catherine Martin.
New owners at the sold-out Faena House, an 18-story luxury residential tower that has fetched some of the highest prices in Miami-Dade history, started closing on their purchases in early September. The artistic core of the area, Faena Forum, is scheduled to open in April of 2016. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the 50,000-square-foot building will host projects, installations, performances and discussions. Still to open: additional luxury residential buildings and retail spaces.
Art is woven throughout the district, with major works including pieces from Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. Antwerp-based collective Studio Job has created a site-specific outdoor sculpture, while the hotel will be filled with works by artists from Miami and Argentina. Among the most striking: Storms, two chandeliers created by Alberto Garutti that flicker every time lightning strikes the Pampas in Argentina.
During Art Basel Miami Beach, the district will go disco — on wheels — with an interactive roller skating rink featuring appearances by international and local DJs. The artist duo assume vivid astro focus, or avaf, first created the installation for the Faena Art Center in Buenos Aires. A site-specific work called A Site To Behold by Spanish artist Almudena Lobera — known for encouraging observers to “meditate on the performance of the everyday and the spectacle of the natural world” — will also be open on the beach.
Collector, co-author and arts patron Ruth Sackner died in October at age 79. She and husband Marvin Sackner amassed more than 75,000 pieces of word art, making the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry the world’s largest collection of its kind. Nearly every inch of their Miami condo was covered with works from the collection, which they shared with the public in exhibitions including a show that opened the Perez Art Museum Miami. Together, the Sackners authored The Art of Typewriting, recently published by Thomas & Hudson. Ruth Sackner was also an ardent supporter of Seraphic Fire, the Miami-based professonal choral ensemble.