Locals and visitors on Saturday explored more than 20 art spaces, studios and galleries in Little River and Little Haiti during “Little River’s Night of Light – a 305 Summertime Culture Crawl,” an inaugural event that introduced the public to art and artists within the neighborhoods’ creative spaces.
Night of Light was organized by Alex Mitow and James Miille, founders of the JAMM Project, which brings art programming and events to cities.
“What the neighborhood was missing, we felt, was a catalyst to organize it and garner the type of foot traffic and reciprocal benefit to all of the spaces that each of them deserves,” said Mitow, whose Miami office is based in MADE at the Citadel, a shared workspace for artists, designers and entrepreneurs at the junction of Little River and Little Haiti. “We decided to be that catalyst and organized Little River's Night of Light as a call-to-action for all of the publics that support the art communities of Little River and Little Haiti to be able to spend one night enjoying all that this wonderful enclave has to offer.”
MADE at the Citadel featured free comedy and improv performances by local theater troupe Villain Theater, as well as a pop-up art show. A few doors down, Studio 84 opened for the first time to the public, showing collage work and night-time paintings of overlooked Miami buildings from two artists. Next door, on 8373 NE Second Ave., FU Art Gallery showed the work of six emerging artists in a group show called Not There, a journey into the blurriness of life. Other studios included Moksha, which moved from behind the Little Haiti Cultural Complex to 599 NW 71st St., Yo Space Gallery and Studios, & Gallery, the artist-run collective, Laundromat Art Space, and a floating installation in the pool of the Vagabond Hotel.
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“I’m really excited to be an artist in Miami,” said 25-year-old mixed media and collage artist Deming Harriman, of Studio 84 at 8371 NE Second Ave. “I feel as though there’s this energy where everyone wants to collaborate together and are excited to see each other succeed. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for other artists helping me and wanting to see me grow. Now I want to do the same for other artists.”
She says of the Little River/Little Haiti area: “I think that there’s so much art and culture already here, that needs to be showcased and included within the arts movement. We don’t want to be pushed to another place. We need to work with the neighborhood that we’re in and make a community within the one that exists.”
Mitow said he hopes to make Night of Light an annual or bi-annual event. “I think there's an incredible benefit to spotlighting an entire neighborhood with a multitude of stakeholders from all walks of life versus each vying for individual attention” he said. “Our goal here is for each participating space to share in the wealth of interest that is pouring into the neighborhood, and raise the profile of the neighborhood as Miami's true art and culture hub.”
To see upcoming events from JAMM Project and its art fair Superfine!, visit the group’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/theJAMMproject/.