No need to wait until December’s Art Basel week to engage in art. Around the region, galleries, museums and alternative art spaces are bubbling with shows. Here are a few you shouldn’t miss this month.
Havana meets the Hudson
Miami may be the center of mainland Cuban culture, but the New Jersey side of the lower Hudson River is home to its own tightly knit community of Cuban Americans — musicians, doctors, academics, Realtors, visual artists. North and South meet in the work of 10 artists featured in “Kindred Spirits: Returning Havana to the Hudson,” an exhibit at the Coral Gables Museum organized by collector Jose Valdes-Fauli (brother of the city’s mayor). Among the works are intricate drawings of the material detritus of life — Purex detergent jug, Buddha statue, flamingo planter — by Jairo Alfonso; sensuous sculptures by Armando Guiller; dreamy underwater scenes by Ariel Cabrera; subtle white-on-white recreations of Versailles in “Ruins,” paintings by Douglas Arguelles. More than 1,800 packed the show on its opening days; through Dec. 9, visitors can contemplate these exquisite works in relative peace. Bonus: Go before Nov. 6 and you can also see “Sacred Ground: The Rise, Fall and Revival of Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery,” final resting place for African-American lynching victims, millionaires and many of the workers who built the City Beautiful.
Xaviera Simmons mixes together painting, photography and text into her collages that reference the complex and tragic history of slavery, Jim Crow, migration, the civil rights struggle, even the early writings of Christopher Columbus — really, she creates historical artistic documentation of the constant conflict from the beginning of the New World. Her fifth solo show at Castillo, Simmons has been widely exhibited in museums in New York, Boston and Chicago to name a few; and was resident at The Studio Museum, Harlem. The sculptures and collaged works here are her latest pieces.
Threads of Life
Organized by Aluna Curatorial Collective, “Women Weavers: The Warp of Memory” showcases large-scale works created over the past 40 years by 20 noted textile artists of the Americas. Maria Angelica Medina’s woven sculpture hangs like a vine, creating its own jungle. Hawaii-born Aikio Jackson uses long black hair braid to express her ethnic heritage. Other sculptures recall disappearing traditions, the fragility of life, and the initial thread that gives us life: the umbilical cord. Miami-based artists included are Marina Font, Agustina Woodgate and Mira Lehr.
“Women Weavers: The Warp of Memory,” at Aluna Art Foundation through Nov. 15. 1393 S.W. First Street, Wynwood, alunartfoundation.com; 305-305-6471.