MOCA and Bonnie Clearwater

Gearing up for Art Basel

As Art Basel approaches, SocialMiami shifts its focus to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and its Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater. Under Clearwater’s direction, MOCA has evolved into a highly celebrated art venue, placing the City of North Miami on the international artistic radar.

MOCA’s “Art in America” party is one of the most anticipated events during Art Basel. This year’s party takes place on Tuesday, December 4th and celebrates the opening of Jorge Pardo: House, curated by Clearwater.

Pardo creates extraordinary works in the form of recognizable objects that cross the boundaries of art, design and architecture, often defying genre and definition. His work investigates the aesthetic experience, speculating on what separates art from the everyday.

“Our emphasis right now is making deadlines,” Clearwater says. “In addition to installing the Jorge Pardo exhibit and finishing the catalogue, we are launching the first solo U.S. museum exhibition of Enoc Perez at the Goldman Warehouse, MOCA’s satellite gallery in the Wynwood Arts District.”

Also curated by Clearwater, the Perez exhibition features more than 40 canvases from 2000 to the present. The opening reception is on Thursday, December 6 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Jorge Pardo: House

Of course, with close to 30 art fairs coming to town, there is certainly more to see than the MOCA exhibits. When asked about which art fairs she is most likely to attend, Clearwater remains coy.

“I’ll attend them all,” she says. “I’m always looking for new contemporary artists to bring to MOCA. Although, I’m excited to see the group show French Kissing in the USA at the Moore Space in Miami’s Design District.”

Not surprisingly, Clearwater, who studied art history at NYU and Columbia, derives her inspiration from working with artists and watching emerging patterns. “I am particularly interested in performance-based works that are multi-disciplinary,” she explains.

In April, MOCA unveiled architectural plans for the expansion and renovation of its Joan Lehman Building in North Miami. The expansion, designed by world-renowned architect Charles Gwathmey, triples MOCA’s current exhibition space and offers the public ongoing access to its permanent collection.

Seagram Building by Enoc Perez.

The 24,000 square-foot expansion of MOCA’s current 23,000 square-foot facility also will include such features as an education wing, expanded space to present concurrent exhibitions and public programs, new art storage facility, and enhanced public areas.

“We’re working to take MOCA to another level, especially in education,” Clearwater says. “2008 promises to be a defining period in our facility’s evolution and we’re all very excited to be a part of it.”

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