Miami Worldcenter Launches $5M Public Art Program in Downtown Miami

MWC Aerial Day. Courtesy of Miami Worldcenter Associates.

Miami Worldcenter, the 27-acre ‘city within a city’ transforming the heart of Downtown Miami spearheaded by Miami Worldcenter Associates, is teaming up with international art dealer and curator Jeffrey Deitch who will lead the overarching curatorial vision for the $4 billion mixed-use development’s public art program. Deitch will collaborate with Primary, a Miami-based curatorial collective with a focus on public works, to bring Miami Worldcenter’s aesthetic vision to life.

Jeffrey Deitch has been involved with modern and contemporary art for nearly fifty years as an artist, writer, curator, dealer, and advisor. Deitch was director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He has been especially active in Miami advising private collectors and public art projects since 1982. Deitch is known for the art performances and curated projects that he has presented in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach every year since 2002.

Primary (Books Bischof, Cristina Gonzalez, & Typoe Gran) is a context and research-driven curatorial collective with a focus on public art. Based in Miami, Primary’s contributions to contemporary muralism have sculpted the international urban perspective since 2007, delivering a distinct brand of outdoor and gallery-based projects that harness the defiant spirit of the counterculture.

“Miami has become one of the leading centers of contemporary art,” said Deitch, “with its prestigious art fairs, public and private museums, and its innovative public art projects. The art program at Miami Worldcenter will enhance Miami’s stature as an international art destination.”

The first group of artists slated to display their works throughout Miami Worldcenter are as follows:

  • Nina Chanel Abney is a contemporary artist who explores race, gender, pop culture, and politics in her work. Combining representation and abstraction, Abney’s paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture through a bracing use of color and unapologetic scale.

Abney’s large-scale mural at Miami Worldcenter, which recently became the first piece to be completed under the development’s site-wide art curation program, is bright, colorful, and active – and deals with the heritage of Miami’s historic Overtown community:

Nina Chanel Abney, R&R, 2022. Mural at Miami Worldcenter in Downtown Miami. Photo by Oriol Tarridas.

Nina Chanel Abney, R&R, 2022. Mural at Miami Worldcenter in Downtown Miami. Photo by Oriol Tarridas.

Nina Chanel Abney, R&R, 2022. Mural at Miami Worldcenter in Downtown Miami. Photo by Oriol Tarridas.

“I created pictorial language to tell an imagined narrative that investigates community renewals and removals. The mural location, a tunnel formed by the dark passageway under the building, inspired me to consider the legacy of preserving sacred spaces with story. I hope to spark a dialogue around gentrification and encourage a curiosity amongst viewers to engage with and learn about the previous and adjacent neighborhoods,” says Abney.

  • Woody De Othello is a Miami-born, California-based sculptor of Haitian heritage. The subject matter in De Othello’s art spans household objects, figurative elements, and the natural world. His sense of humor enlivens his work.
  • Viktor El-Saieh is a Miami-raised artist of Haitian and Palestinian heritage who explores folklore, politics and culture through the lens of Haitian political-mythology.
  • Nick Cave is an American sculptor, dancer, and performance artist. Cave is best known for his Soundsuits – wearable fabric sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and other-worldly. This is his first ever outdoor figurative sculpture.
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock is a Texas-based artist working with multiple mediums. Influenced by comics, graphic novels, cartoons, music and film, Hancock is known for his visual work that focuses on the mythology and representation surrounding the eternal battle between good and evil.

Additionally, Miami Worldcenter has created an art advisory committee, comprised of distinguished curators and museum directors who will have a role in shaping the artistic landscape of the $4 billion development. The committee is comprised of Franklin Sirmans, Director of Pérez Art Museum Miami; Alex Gartenfeld, Artistic Director at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of Public Art Fund; and Cecilia Alemani, Director and Chief Curator of High Line Art in New York and Artistic Director of the 2022 Venice Biennale.

“Miami Worldcenter is home to residents from more than 50 countries around the world, a representation of the global economic powerhouse the city has evolved into. Art is something that transcends language, borders and culture, and we are investing in something that is meaningful and will impact our community for decades to come,” says Nitin Motwani, Managing Partner of Miami Worldcenter Associates.

“Arts and culture are vital elements that transform developments into inspiring destinations. CIM is well-acquainted with Jeffrey’s curatorial vision through our partnership developing his namesake Los Angeles gallery in the Sycamore District. I believe that under Jeffrey Deitch’s direction, and in collaboration with Primary, Miami Worldcenter’s collection will have international renown,” said Shaul Kuba, Co-Founder and Principal, CIM Group.

As the second-largest urban mixed-use development in the U.S., only behind New York City’s Hudson Yards, Miami Worldcenter will be the City’s epicenter for where lifestyle and business intersect, comprised of a diverse mix of residential, commercial and hospitality uses complemented by approximately 300,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and entertainment space. The development’s curatorial assemblage is devising an art program befitting the region’s most transformational project.

Worldsquare (looking SE towards Blocks F East and H). Courtesy of Miami Worldcenter Associates.

Block C West and Paramount (looking SE from 1st & 10th). Courtesy of Miami Worldcenter Associates.

Block F East (Looking NE). Courtesy of Miami Worldcenter Associates.

“Working with Miami Worldcenter is an honor and a homecoming, allowing us to contribute to a neighborhood we have an intimate relationship with,” explains Books Bischof, founding partner of Primary. “Advancing the curatorial of the public art collection at Miami Worldcenter is a unique opportunity to highlight the values and lifestyle of Miami through the prism of world-class artists.”

Miami Worldcenter’s rise coincides with a surge of development, tourism and population growth within Downtown Miami. Ten years ago, the urban core was a 9-to-5 district, but today it is home to the largest concentration of entertainment and cultural venues in the Southeast U.S. Miami Worldcenter is surrounded by some of the most exciting demand drivers in Miami, including: Museum Park, home to Perez Art Museum Miami and the Frost Museum of Science; FTX Arena; the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts; and Miami-Dade College’s Downtown Miami campus.\

MWC Aerial Night. Courtesy of Miami Worldcenter Associates.

Miami Worldcenter is also adjacent to Brightline’s MiamiCentral station, which offers direct train service to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and soon to Orlando, together with access to TriRail, the Metromover and the Metrorail – making Miami Worldcenter the largest and most-connected transit-oriented development in Florida.

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