The "Through the Eyes of Others"
exhibit, featuring works by Ebony G. Patterson, Dread Scott, Hank Willis Thomas, and Bernard Williams, and related programming, curated by Tumelo Mosaka, aimed to provide a critical platform for re-imaging the past, present and future possibilities of blackness as something more complex than race.
Panelists, including "Through the Eyes of Others" curator Tumelo Mosaka, artists Dread Scott and Bernard Williams, and Sherika Shaw from the
presented an in-depth look at and discussion of their work, the relevance of race in their practice, and the role of art in transforming society today.
The Interrupters—125 minutes running time, unrated—by Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz, is an award winning documentary that tells the stories of three individuals who try to protect their communities from the escalating violence they once engaged. Filmed in Chicago, when the city became a national symbol for violence, these individuals, known as the "Violence Interrupters," intervene in conflicts before they explode. A short discussion facilitated by
Freedom Flicks followed the screening.
VIP's ventured a few miles north of Art Basel | Miami Beach to our urban oasis in Opa-locka to enjoy the closing party for "Through the Eyes of Others" hosted by OLCDC and some of contemporary art's groundbreaking artists, including Tumelo Mosaka, Hank Willis Thomas, Franklin Sirmans, Dread Scott, Nari Ward, Renee Cox, Xaviera Simmons, Yashua Klos, Dr. Willie Logan, Melissa Hunter Davis, Ludlow E. Bailey, Asser Saint-Val, T. Eliott Mansa, Jason Fitzroy, Germane Barnes, Mikhaile Solomon, Aileen Alon, Marilyn Holifield, PAMM Ambassadors for African American Art, Olalekan Jeyifous, Marlon Hill, Graylyn Swilley Woods, Amir Baradaran, Marie Vickles, James Brutus, Hattie Mae Williams, Loni Johnson, John Guess and more.
From November 12 - December 14, 2014, Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) presented a county-wide series of events, curated by Tumelo Mosaka, to celebrate Opa-locka's historic past, promote its present, and envision its future.
Read the Miami Herald's "Art fuels Opa-locka's transformation."
Read the Miami Time's "Opa-locka's popular art event becomes a symbol of the city's revitalization efforts."
OLCDC's mission is to transform neighborhoods by capitalizing on community assets, empowering residents and creating community and economic initiatives that serve as a catalyst in promoting sustainable development.
As a 501(c)(3) established in 1980, OLCDC has successfully provided critical services to low-income families and communities, particularly in Opa-locka and north Miami-Dade, including but not limited to quality affordable housing and real estate development; financial and housing
counseling services; job, career, and economic development; education, family, and health initiatives; civic engagement and planning; and arts, culture, and creative industry.
In 2011, the OLCDC received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)'s Our Town program for creative placemaking to begin to strategically shape the social, physical, and economic character of Opa-locka around arts and cultural activities. OLCDC in partnership with Miami-Dade County's Art in Public Places launched a national call to artists for public art and public space designs, including proposals to replace metal barricades installed in 1987 around the Magnolia North neighborhood (formerly "The Triangle") to curb drug trafficking and crime.
A collaborative selection process led to four artist teams being chosen out of over 200 responses to work with existing architects, project developers, urban designers, community members and partners to implement this public art component of the neighborhood's redevelopment. In July 2012, OLCDC hosted the Opa-locka Arts Master Planning Charrette with the artists to develop the conceptual framework for incorporating art into revitalization projects throughout the city, with Magnolia North as the pilot neighborhood.
The artists are currently in various stages of implementing their individual projects in the neighborhood and throughout the city. The projects will serve as emblems of the goal that public art works do not serve as standalone fixtures in space but as integral elements of the public realm.
In a few years, this community will be very different from today. We believe these physical changes will create a new spirit and energy. The transformation will come from beautifully rehabbed or new housing, safer streets and lush landscaping, parks and playgrounds for kids, public art that celebrates our history, new programs to improve the health and wellness of our neighbors, education programs for our youth, and more.
Our overarching goal: by 2026, its centennial year, Opa-locka will become one of the region's better known centers of the arts, culture and living. Its population will have risen as its reputation as a 'community of choice' grows, one where people want to live, work, play and create. This is not going to happen because we are displacing residents to build million dollar condos or a fancy shopping mall. This is going to happen because we are investing in the community.