Letters to the Editor

See Opa-locka’s artistic transformation

This fall, with generous support from the Knight Foundation and Surdna Foundation, art lovers can visit Opa-locka to enjoy a survey of works from acclaimed visual and performing artists.

For many in the communities that surround us, art is the last thing they might associate with Opa-locka, but it is fundamental to the positive changes we are making here.

The art and design movement in Opa-locka began in 2011 when the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “Our Town” grant to create dynamic public art spaces to replace street barricades in the city’s most notorious neighborhood, “the Triangle.” The Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places program identified four renowned art teams to begin work throughout the city of Opa-locka.

Gale Fulton Ross, R&R Studios, Jennifer Bonner & Christian Stayner, and Walter Hood joined forces with renowned urban planners, landscape architects and project developers to implement the public-art component of the redevelopment of Opa-locka, particularly in the Magnolia North neighborhood. Since then, the arts have been infused throughout the city’s revitalization efforts, from housing to infrastructure development to education and more.

This Wednesday, we are kicking off the 3rd Annual Art of Transformation, bringing our story, our art, and our message across Miami-Dade. The OLCDC has worked with renowned South African artist Tumelo Mosaka to curate a stunning exhibition called In Plain Sight, showing at Opa-locka’s first art and recreational space, The Arc.

For the next month, a series of innovative and heartfelt events will feature artists including sound and performance artist Pamela Z; sculpture artists Nari Ward and Karyn Olivier; photographer Renee Cox; installation artist Yashua Klos; a showing of Michelange Quay’s film, Eat, for This Is My Body, at PAMM; dancer and choreographer Nora Chipaumire; urban planner and designer Emmanuel Pratt; and visual artist Olalekan Jeyifous.

The artists have responded with passion and vigor for our cause, as have the leaders of the art world.

The beauty of art is it forces our minds to expand and consider different points of view. We invite South Florida art lovers to push their own geographic and creative boundaries by celebrating this new era of art in our community. Learn about the exciting changes in Opa-locka, and most important, help tell our story. We have an important message; please be our messengers.

Join us for the third Annual Art of Transformation and see the wonderful changes in Opa-locka first hand. Visit http://www.opalockaart.com for more information.

Willie Logan, president, Opa-locka Community Development Corporation, Opa-locka