Miami Art Week: The Art of Contemporary Art 2022

Art Basel Brings All Little Sugarplums Along


Irene Sperber

Art Week is short and intense, this year running from  Monday, Nov 28 through Sunday, Dec 4.

The remainder of this year is rapidly careening from too much turkey, to a ridiculous amount of ArtWeek activities, quickly followed by the wide-eyed “Oh (add favorite expletive here)” freak out moment, as you watch the holidays zoom straight at you.

Where was I? Oh, yes, Contemporary art immersion.

I hesitate to use the word “trend” when referring to art in any form but there are obvious waves we’ll encounter during Miami’s Contemporary tsunami as Art Week 2022 floods every local wall and venue. The rise of Contemporary African Art and African American artists is of clear current interest, sharing the stage with women in the arts and NFTs changing the terrain (not to mention the terrain suddenly changing under the NFTs).

Tesfaye Urgesse,


Tesfaye Urgesse, "Love Doesn't Grow on Trees," Saatchi Yates gallery, photo supplied by PRIZM

Words like “representational, surreal, cubist, fauvist, expressionist” fall off the pages of latest art reviews as the industry delves into grasping an understanding of the diverse African culture genre. The arts have always been an effective and eloquent communication device, sometimes less aggressive than words, often much more so.

Background: “The Black Arts Movement (1965-1975) was a Black nationalism movement that focused on music, literature, drama, and the visual arts made up of Black artists and intellectuals. This was the cultural section of the Black Power movement, in that its participants shared many of the ideologies of Black self-determination, political beliefs, and African American culture.” (from the National Archives, African American Heritage) Their art cleared a path for future generations of Black artists, and certainly female painters…another strong showing in 2022 fairs.

Miami is adding its own page to the book with this year's offerings.

Point Comfort Art Show and Art Fair changes up the weeks experience by wrapping the viewer in a cloak of old Miami life during segregation.

Located at the Historic Ward Rooming House (249 NW 9th Street, Miami) in the Overtown district, this 1925 rooming house provided accommodation for African American, Bahamian and Native-Americans in the early to mid-20th century when the area was referred to as “Colored Town.”

“Charles White, Move on Up!” exhibition is front and center on the site’s art gallery run by the Hampton Art Lovers (“we inspire the appreciation of African-American Fine Art”). White was an American artist known for observing African American-related subjects in paintings, drawings, lithographs, and murals during the Harlem Renaissance era.

"Point Comfort" refers to the place in colonial Virginia where captives from West Africa arrived in 1619. Spend some time at the Comfort Point Fair for the Indaba Lounge Series of talks and music. The art show and fair will bring out “the song, dance, art, knowledge and power of today's African American community.” Times and events are listed on Friday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.


"J'Accuse" by Charles White - Primas Family Collection. (Photo by Chad Redmon, Lowes Gallery)

The University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum (1301 Stanford Drive, Miami) has an official companion exhibit of nearly 50 pieces, "Charles White, A Little Higher.” I was taken with White's drawings, beautifully executed in etchings, linoleum cuts, lithography, monotype, and print. He does not back down from truths witnessed. These works are appropriately referred to as “images of dignity”. White shared friendships with photographer Gordon Parks, painter Jacob Lawrence, and singer and actor Harry Belafonte. Showing now through Feb. 26, 2023

African Heritage Cultural Arts Center focuses the community with “instruction for children and youth in dance, drama, instrumental music, vocal music, media and visual arts.” Add to that in-house performing arts companies, a residency program for emerging artists, performances and visual arts exhibitions for the public. AHCAC has been busy amassing activities for the 2022 Miami Art Week.

Location: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Avenue, Miami

  • The Sixth Annual Art Blues and Soul Festival provides a soundtrack with Marsha Ambrosius, Lenny Williams, Meli’sa Morgan and Next. Your soul will be nourished along with the body as local food vendors keep you sustained. Refresh your eyeballs from reams of art fair walls and toe tap your way back to consciousness. (Saturday, Dec 3 from 3:30  to 9 p.m.) Tickets

  • First Frequency, an exhibition at the the Amadlozi Gallery showcases work displaying the First People of Knowledge, an African Diaspora art exhibition created by Bayunga Kialeuka. Kialeuka is a Congolese born narrative painter, curator, and mural artist living in Miami. I know you are wondering what the name First Frequency refers to: The lowest resonant frequency of a vibrating object is called its fundamental (or first) frequency. Now that we got that out of the way. Opens Tuesday, Nov. 29 through Jan. 22, 2023. Hours are  9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Daily through Jan. 22, 2023. $10 for the exhibition epening and reception on Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 7 to 11 p.m.  Tickets info here.

    LeArtNoir exhibition. African Heritage Cultural Arts Center


    LeArtNoir exhibition. African Heritage Cultural Arts Center


    Wait. You’re not through here yet. LeArtNoir, Diversity in Color, is in its second year with an array of Fashion, Art, Music, Entertainment. Runway shows from breakthrough designers, creators that have “their finger on the pulse of pop culture” will lead you “there.” Did you know? The AHCAC “is known as the artistic home of alumnus Tarell Alvin McCraney, co-creator of the award-winning movie, 'Moonlight' ”? VIP preview Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 to 10 p.m. ticketed opening $100 General Admission. Thursday, Dec. 1 and Friday, Dec. 2, 7 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tickets. Self-parking available on premises.

    The Prizm Art Fair 2022, after 10 years, will show two sides of its personality with the Main Fair located in Miami’s Design District (4220 N. Miami Ave.) and a Global Caribbean Pavilion Satellite “in partnership with the Little Haiti Cultural Center and the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance.” (212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami). Prizm is presenting Vernacular À la Mode with galleries and artists probing art making from global African environments influencing the fine art sphere.

    Jeremy Biggers,


    Jeremy Biggers, "Mattie", Daisha Board Gallery. Photo supplied by PRIZM

    The Design District has several more influential venues to explore. Saatchi Yates gallery (35 NE 40th St) has a temporary exhibition of fascinating new work by Ethiopian Contemporary artist Tesfaye Urgessa dovetailing with his presentation at the beautifully displayed warehouse setting at the Rubell Museum (1100 NW 23rd St., Miami)

    While we’re at it, check out the 2021 addition of Art of Black Miami Podcast Series as artists discuss their work and influence.

    Post Script: I should add the rise of AI as a new trend, since its emergence is making everyone upside down as they quarrel over the old chestnut “what is art?” I suppose the word “Artificial” coupled with “Intelligence” might explain some of the problem. Photography started out with a very cold shoulder and now look at its lofty standing as a viable artistic means of expression. If you need to know about web3, the next evolution of the internet, Miami Week has something for that too. Mana Common and NFT Now present ‘The Gateway: A Web3 Metropolis’

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