Temporary Contemporary

Friends of the Bass Museum, Inc. d/b/a Bass Museum of Art

Funding Received: 2012
Miami Beach, FL
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
September 3, 2012

TC: temporary contemporary is a city-wide, public art program initiated by the Bass Museum of Art with the City of Miami Beach. It seeks to activate the urban landscape with art, surprising and engaging residents, visitors and passers-by with outdoor works of art in unexpected places. Sculpture, murals, sound installations, video and other interactive works of art, will interrupt people’s daily routines and encourage thoughtful interactions with the city and its communities.

Recently ArtPlace spoke with Chelsea Guerdat, Director of Exhibitions at the Bass Museum of Art about the planning and goals of the project.

ARTPLACE: What do you have to do really (really) well to achieve success with your initiative?

GUERDAT: We are working with artists to develop a selection of temporary projects that are site specific, or site sensitive to the City Center/Arts District/Collins Park areas. The objective is to transform the public association with the area and elevate public art as an iconic placemaking tool in Miami Beach.

Each city brings a different set of criteria to determining what is needed to achieve this engagement. Miami Beach has worn many different hats throughout the decades, yet its distinctive spirit carries a respect and value for modern architectural design, art and design. TC projects will explore this aspect of Miami Beach and draw attention to the relationships the beach holds to its iconic character.

Miami Beach is also a very social and diverse city, so we are working with an international group of artists on projects that are interactive and that encourage social engagement. Our focus is on exhibiting works that explore the nuances of communication and interactivity, while creating new spaces for people to gather and foster connections between the viewer, art and Arts District/City Center setting.

ARTPLACE: How do you expect the community to change as a result?

GUERDAT: TC will thread the roughly 40-block area, which houses a majority of Miami Beach’s cultural spaces and arts facilities. TC will trigger new internal associations, emotions and narratives between the public and the space, heighten its visibility, foot traffic and will fortify Miami Beach as a creative destination.

The enhanced beauty and personalization will enliven Miami Beach into a vibrant social space, engage and surprise a diverse public of passers-by and prompt those people who are not regularly exposed to the visual arts to consider its impact. For good or bad, people will be forming opinions on a piece of artistic expression as it relates to themselves and the context of Miami Beach. Even if people hate the art, they’ll be thinking about it and this will create a ripple effect for reflection and exchange, stimulate creative thinking and connection making -  activities which are crucial to the ongoing development of Miami Beach’s cultural identity.

We see TC as ushering in a second, humanizing phase of development in Miami Beach, a city that has transformed enormously over the past ten years. It will serve as a catalyst for the community to creatively reflect on where we have been, where we are at now - as a principal site for contemporary art in the region - and where we are going.