ARTcycle 2015: Submit Your Cycling-Inspired Artwork to Promote Bike Safety in Miami

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Courtesy Coral Gables Museum/ARTcycle
Progressive cities have progressive ideas. Miami certainly wants to play with the big boys, but there are so many simple gestures this town lacks that earns it the appropriate "third world" stamp many other states have assigned it. Recycling here is a joke. Green areas are few and far between, and the willing offering of the tax payers' derrieres to scheming developers has congested what was once an easily-recognizable coastline. Oh well, you can't fight all the ills at once, right?

But one that should be a no-brainer is making Miami a bike-friendly city. With the notorious amount of incredibly challenged automotive operators in this county, you'd think a concentrated effort would be made to alleviate traffic with more designated bike paths and stricter laws ensuring the safety of cyclists. Apparently, this is too much to ask for and that's why bike chefs get hassled, doctors knock over defenseless cyclists willy-nilly (which we are sure violates the Hippocratic Oath on so many levels), and Florida continuously ranks high in the nefarious fatality listings.

One organization, however, is using Miami's thriving art community as a platform to promote cyclist safety. The people behind ARTcycle have created a bond between the art and bike scenes here with a mission of creating a "road to awareness, respect, and tolerance."

See also: Florida Is One of the Most Dangerous Places in America to Ride a Bike, Study Says

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Fringe Projects Curator Amanda Sanfilippo Talks the Future of Public Art in Miami

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Nicolas Lobos' cannisters ready to "perfumize" downtown.
Amanda Sanfilippo is one of the younger curatorial voices working in Miami today. Trained in the Northeast and London's Sotheby's Institute of Art, she's had experience working in both places and has been rising through the Miami art ranks through Legal Art and now with Locust Projects. Sanfilippo's attitude towards art is a blend of academic knowledge, community/spatial relation and appreciation for the contemporary.

That she manages to filter all of that into a cohesive explanation without suffering the pedantic nature most purveyors of conceptual work harbor is her strongest asset, and one she uses when developing and curating work like that of Fringe Projects in downtown Miami. Part of the 2014's DWNTWN Art Days this month, Fringe featured six public site-specific projects by selected artists.

In her short time working in South Florida, she has managed to find the city's voice and has proven that art's greatest gift lies within its availability for all and not the elite few.

See also: DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

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DWNTWN Art Days Kickoff Features Exhibits, Short Films, and Food Trucks

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Courtesy of McCormick Place
The arts are alive and well in downtown Miami. What's that, you say? Hasn't Wynwood already assured that fact? Hasn't Art Basel proven that Miami's already become a center of the art universe? Yes, and yes, but in this case we're talking specifically about that other "downtown," the one that encompasses Brickell and the commercial hub of those concrete canyons.

Credit McCormick Place, a onetime warehouse repurposed as a haven for artists, events and exhibitions, and the Downtown Development Authority with the upcoming launch of the Miami Downtown Arts District -- conveniently known as MDAD -- an extensive initiative that will combine support for museums, galleries, artists, art studios and various cultural institutions with participating businesses, live venues, hotels, and restaurants, all in an effort to promote art, culture and historical preservation throughout downtown and Brickell. The proposed boundaries for the district will be YoungArts on Biscayne Boulevard and 21st Street to the north, I-95 to the west, 26th Road to the South, and Biscayne Bay to the East.

See also: DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

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DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

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Courtesy of Fringe Projects
Conceptual work by Domingo Castillo.
Downtown Miami will become a living canvas during the third annual DWNTWN Art Days. The event, developed by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (Miami DDA), brings together Miami's cultural venues with artists from Miami and around the world to celebrate the city's vibrant love affair with visual art.

Sonja Bogensperger, team leader of business development, real estate, and marketing for Miami Downtown Development Authority, and Claire Breukel, the creative director of DWNTWN Art Days, say that the weekend-long event was developed from a desire to showcase the area's growing art community.

See also: André Mehmari: Mixing Classical Music and Improvisation at DWNTWN Art Days

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Miami Gifted Piece of Berlin Wall for Permanent Display

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons
A bit of German graffiti will soon join our own.
Miami is about to get a piece of world history, just in time for the Art Basel madness to come this winter. German officials announced that Miami will receive a two-ton piece of the Berlin Wall to join our city's sprawling public art presence.

WLRN reports that the chunk of wall will become a permanent exhibit across Biscayne Boulevard from the Freedom Tower.

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FEAST Miami Feeds You, Funds Groundbreaking Local Artists in Style

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Art, food, and mingling are a few of Miami's favorite things. It's no wonder there's a constant flow of gallery events ready to feed hungry mouths and egos, one artist showing at a time. But something's missing, and that something is consideration of what artwork can do outside of white walls.

Toward filling that void, Knights Arts Challenge winner, FEAST Miami, plans to inject a little comfort and a lot of substance into their upcoming gathering.

FEAST Miami (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics), created by Chef Loren Pulitzer of Meals That Heal and curator/producer Susan Caraballo, is a meals-based micro-funding project. FEAST Miami aims to produce a series of vegan pop-up dinners at art venues to financially support new and emerging creative projects, ones that are "innovative, feasible, and impact the community." The dinners will be held at various art spaces throughout South Florida, the first of which starts at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at The Light Box. Cocktails will be provided until dinner is served at 6:30, which features a vegan, locally-sourced menu designed by FEAST Miami co-founder and head chef, Loren Pulitzer.

See also: Posters Campaign for Small Boobs, Last Name Equality in Wynwood, Midtown

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Cool Spaces! Architecture Series Premieres Tonight on WLRN

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Courtesy of Stephen Chung, Cool Spaces!
Seattle Public Library, Seattle by OM/REX
Consider the space you're occupying as you read this. It exists because someone you've probably never thought about envisioned and created it. So, go home tonight and instead of watching some of the crap that passes for late night TV, catch the public television premiere of Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture and find out what goes into making the buildings we pop in and out of daily.

Tonight at 10 on WLRN, Cool Spaces! will debut its first hour-long episode in a series profiling North America's most innovative and provocative public architecture. Each episode tackles a central theme and examines "three very different cities, buildings, architects, and very different designs," according to host and project creator Stephen Chung. Originally an architect and educator, Chung only stepped in front of the camera as a means of introducing the world to quality architecture and its importance after the recession hit the industry and his practice hard.

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Shira Lee Abergel's Arts Wagon Is Coming to Put on a Free Show in Your Face

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Shira Lee Abergel: keeping her hands warm while counting all that cold, hard cash
Knight Arts Challenge winner Shira Lee Abergel has "always wanted to be a traveling hippie." But it took meeting a circus family while on a road trip for her to understand want this would actually mean.

"The mother was a hand balancer or a stretchy person," Abergel says. "When I asked about their lives, she told me that they go on the road, from gig to gig and whatever else they feel like doing. And wow, I thought that sounded magical."

Unlike most traveling hippies, Abergel has just won a $50,000 grant to fund the traveling carnival of her dreams. But like most traveling hippies, she will not be blowing it all at the deodorant store. Abergel -- currently on tour in New York with Miami's Rosie Herrera Dance Theater -- is a dancer, choreographer, singer, writer and actress (and, what, feline orthodontist?) whose Knight grant will go toward building a wagon that converts into a stage for music, dance and multimedia theater performances.

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Florida Man Campaigns to Build "World's Largest Underwater Peace Sign"

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Photos courtesy Peter Wolfson
Online project funding site Kickstarter is full of first novels and comics and bands trying to tour. But what about the starry-eyed hippies out there looking to donate some of that Whole Foods salary to a good cause? If you're one with the earth, the ocean, or even just love The Little Mermaid a bit too much, the Peace Reef Project is for you.

Launched September 26 on Kickstarter, the Peace Reef Project was created by Florida resident Peter Wolfson. Its goal: to build the world's largest underwater peace sign off the coast of Florida, in the waters near Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

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Wallpeople Miami 2013: An Outdoor Pop-Up Gallery That Wants Your Art UPDATED

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Courtesy of wallpeople.org
Wallpeople participating in Barcelona
Make it, tape it, and gather for a universal celebration of creative expression. That's what Wallpeople wants you to do.

On Saturday, June 1st, artists in 40 cities across the world will simultaneously turn the walls of their city streets into outdoor pop-up galleries. And yes, that includes Miami.

UPDATE: The Wallpeople venue has changed to Miguel Paredes Studio, 173 NW 23rd St., Miami, due to weather.

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