SocialMiami Arts Encounter: Public Art Downtown

Saturday, May 6, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Roberto Behar & Rosario Marquardt’s Red M (1996) marks the Riverwalk Metromover Station with a centennial commission by Miami-Dade Art in Public Places. Photo by Robin Hill.

Experience an array of world-renowned art that brightens the downtown streetscape on a special Arts Encounter for SocialMiami readers and guests. Our expert guide Sandi-Jo Gordon, Chair of the Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places Trust, reveals how these projects are selected, developed and maintained (no small feat in a sunny seaside climate) by the pioneering program, established in 1973 with the allocation of 1.5% from construction costs of new county buildings to purchase or commission artworks accessible for all citizens. Meet us at one of the most iconic works in the county’s collection, Dropped Bowl with Scattered Slices and Peels by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, installed since 1990 on the plaza at N.W. 1st Street and N.W. 2nd Avenue by Government Center and the municipal parking garage.

Public art at the civic and cultural complex includes both outdoor sculptures and murals inside the Main Library by contemporary master Ed Ruscha. His permanent wordplay frames several temporary displays of South Florida’s creative output, including Mark Osterman’s paintings inspired by classic noir film stills, and sketches drawn from the personal papers Cuban-American painter Emilio Sanchez donated to the Vasari Project, the library’s archive documenting regional art history. Influential printmaker Tom Virgin talks us through his exhibition “Open Books and Other Stories,” before a break for lunch (dining together but paying separately) connects participants with shared interests. Then we ride the Metromover to view longstanding pieces and recent additions in and around select stations, like the towering Red M that Miami residents Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt designed 21 years ago for the Magic City’s centennial celebration.

The cover is $30 per person, with RSVPs requested by Tuesday, May 2. Please contact SocialMiami Arts Editor Margery Gordon at info@artsencounters.com for details and reservations.

Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen’s Dropped Bowl with Scattered Slices and Peels (1990) cools the plaza outside Stephen P. Clark Government Center. Courtesy of Miami-Dade Art in Public Places.