Walking, the Ocean Breeze, and Art
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) presents an outdoor installation highlighting its permanent collection in downtown’s Maurice A. Ferré Park. Fresh Air | Fresh Art is on view through June 16, 2021.
As human ingenuity overcomes the pandemic — it has throughout history — a new trend has become apparent. Vogue Magazine calls it Silly Little Walk, a solo outdoor stroll taken “with no real purpose, no direction or tacked-on errand, just a vague desire to be out among the living again after a year of isolation.”
Maurice A. Ferré Park is an ideal place for a solo walk, or in the company of a friend, child, pet, lover... For local residents the park is a green and turquoise oasis, flanked by the Frost Science Museum, the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), and beautiful Biscayne Bay.
Residential towers rise westwards across the boulevard, including the architectural jewel the late Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid legated Miami.
Maurice A. Ferré Park now offers an irresistible incentive. Scattered around unobtrusively you will find replicas of works from PAMM’s permanent collection. Each piece opening a colorful window to a creative mind. The vision of artists such as José Bedia, Ed Clark, Morris Louis, Wangechi Mutu, Beatriz Milhazes, Christina Pettersson, and Sandra Ramos.
The three-month installation of 19 works is free and open to the public. Take advantage and experience it, while breathing fresh ocean air. “The art garden within our urban core’s garden is about serenity, contemplation and exercise for both pets and their two-legged friends. Maurice A. Ferré Park is a place where locals become a community,” volunteered a nearby resident.
Anita Braham, PAMM Associate Director of Adult Programs and Audience Engagement said: “We are thrilled to continue to find new ways to make the museum’s permanent collection — really Miami’s art collection — more accessible to all. We strive to extend our reach and impact well beyond the museum walls and the Fresh Air | Fresh Art collection helps us do just that, while also encouraging Miamians and visitors to spend a little more time in the beautiful Maurice A. Ferré Park and the larger downtown cultural campus…”
Downtown News: What role does public art play in fostering a sense of community?
Anita Braham: Art is at the core of what Miami does best and public art provides the space and opportunity for Miami’s diverse communities to gather together around art that can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. I see public art as an entry point to finding your own artistic community and your people in Miami, a city that often feels overwhelmingly large until you find where you are meant to be. Public art can take many forms and is key to community building because it creates a common ground upon which to connect with others.
DN: About the collection…?
AB: The PAMM Fresh Air | Fresh Art collection aims to give the public a good feel for what our larger permanent collection with absolutely no barriers to access it. There are replicas throughout the park of abstract works, landscapes, collages, graphite drawings on paper, and much more, with something different for everyone. We hope it makes art in general more accessible and really a part of daily life in Miami.
Of course, if you are curious about the artists, a free audio tour of the collection is available on the PAMM App. If you find yourself wanting more art, the museum galleries are just a few steps away!
Pérez Art Museum Miami, led by Director Franklin Sirmans, promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. The 36-year-old South Florida institution, formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, on December 4, 2013 in Maurice A. Ferré Park.
The facility — the official word has it — is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces.
And Back to Walking
Cities and walking married from day one. Or, few had best expressed the relationship as Rebecca Solnit in Wanderlust: A History of Walking: “Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.”
As April starts, let us walk, enjoy the ocean breeze, and pause to appreciate art!
Aurea Veras contributed to this article. She writes about culture, and is a Downtown News photographer.