Miami Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), located at 770 NE 125th Street in Miami, was designed by Charles Gwathamey of New York. The relatively new 23,000 square foot Museum, approximately 10 years old, houses exhibits and collections of young, aspiring artists, as well as those of national and international fame. The main galleries in the Joan Lehman building display artwork by Yoko Ono, Dan Flavin, Alex Katz, Julian Schnabel, Jennifer Steinkamp, Jose Bedia, Gabriel Orozco, Jorge Pardo, and many others. Through the years, MOCA has presented permanent and traveling exhibitions and special showings such as sculpture by Joan Lehman in 1998, fashion design by Gianni Versace in 1999, a special Valentine exhibit, After My Heart, by Morris Lapidus, Salvador Dali’s Dream of Venus, and Louise Bourgeois, Stitches In Time.

A recent display at the Museum, Metro Pictures, included paintings, sculpture, photography, and videos of urban life. Other exhibits have included Bruce Nauman’s Elusive Signs, neon signs and fluorescent lights, and Make Your Own Life: Artists In and Out of Cologne, featuring over 25 artists such as Cosima Von Bonin, Mike Kelley, Nils Norman, Josephine Pryde, and Josef Strau. The latter exhibit focuses on the interaction between German and American artists in relation to three generations of community history, economy, and social attitudes in the cultural center of Cologne. Another attraction, in early 2006, was the U.S premiere of Isaac Julien’s three-screen video installation True North, held in a specially designed viewing room at the MOCA.

Pablo Cano’s exciting exhibit of 100 marionettes in City Beneath the Sea, is a special production of the MOCA. Cano, born in Cuba, is a well-known performance artist who has appeared at Lincoln Center, along with his sculptures fashioned from discarded trash on city streets, and at the Hermes of Paris stores in New York and Bal Harbour, Florida. City Beneath the Sea, written by Carmen Pelaez and directed by Katherine Kramer in coordination with Cano, is the story of a young girl’s journey beneath the sea to save the city from evil. With lighting by Eric Fliss and the puppeteers hidden in the upper rafters of the stage, the production and scenery are unique and inspiring. Some of Cano’s fascinating marionettes include Princess Tula, whose head was created from a plastic lamp and shoes made of tin candy boxes; Queen Coral, with a clear body made of plastic and tinfoil, and King Otto, an octopus fashioned from an old cracker can, gold placemats, and toy snakes with gemstone insets. With a black and white stage inspired by George Melies and new lyrics written to the music of the 1920’s and 30’s, Cano’s production has great audience appeal. Ticket prices for non-members – $15.00, $10.00 for members, residents, and children under 12. The exhibit and set remain on display during regular Museum hours.

On December 1, 2005, the Goldman Warehouse opened as an extension of MOCA in the Wynwood Arts and Entertainment District of Miami at 404 NW 26th Street. Donated by the Goldman brothers to be used through 2009, it doubles the current gallery space and includes an additional 4,000 square feet for art storage. These new galleries house part of the permanent collection, as well as additional artwork by new artists.

Ongoing exhibits at the Goldman Warehouse include Artificial Light, emphasizing electric light, nature, and technology, and featuring artists such as Jennifer Allora, Spencer Finch, Douglas Ross, and Ivan Navarro.

MOCA’s 10th anniversary collection, from March to June 2007, will have two large-scale displays, Thomas Hirschhorn’s Diorama and Jose Bedia’ s Cargo Cult, in addition to Cocklebur by Roxy Paine and a film Stereomongrel by Luis Gispert and Jeffrey Reed. Also scheduled for 2007 is choreographer Merce Cunningham’s Dancing on the Cutting Edge Part II, produced in conjunction with the Miami Performing Arts Center, a different type of performance with a perspective on the surreal.

The Museum also sponsors docent programs, children’s art classes every first Saturday of the month from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., and a summer creative arts camp for children ages 6 to 12, an 8-week program for $125.00/week. Free outdoor jazz concerts are held on the last Friday of the month at 8:00 p.m. Moca’zine, one of the few art journals in the U.S., is an online publication edited and prepared by high school students and junior docents in the Miami area. Consisting of poetry, essays, artwork, and art criticism, Moca’zine’s circulation reaches approximately 60,000 and is also free to download at www.mocanomi.org.

Hours: Tuesday — Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday — Noon to 5:00 p.m., Closed Mondays. Last Friday of the month, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Admission: Adults – $5.00, seniors and students with ID – $3.00, members, North Miami residents, and children under 12 — free. All day Tuesday — by donation.

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