‘ArtScape’ highlights art scene in Miami Beach’s Collins Park neighborhood

 

Free arts and culture event takes place every first Friday at Collins Park in Miami Beach

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By Jackie Salo | The Miami Herald

Art Basel is long gone, but the Collins Park Neighborhood Association has tried to keep the arts momentum going in Miami Beach.

On the heels of the 2013 festival, the association launched a free monthly arts and culture event, ArtScape Collins Park, in January. Held the first Friday of the month, the neighborhood art walk includes businesses west of Collins Avenue around Liberty Avenue, which they have dubbed “the new art street of Miami Beach.”

Liberty Avenue runs parallel to Collins Avenue about a block to the west, between 19th Street and the Collins Canal, with the park for which the neighborhood is named in the middle.

“We are trying to put Collins Park on the map,” said Ray Breslin, Collins Park Neighborhood Association president.

ArtScape returns for its fourth event Friday evening and has invited hotels, restaurants, bars, art galleries to participate.

“This is the arts epicenter of Miami Beach,” Breslin said. “All of these things are already here and available. Now everyone can come out and enjoy them without having to spend money.”

Mokai Lounge will join for its first ArtScape this weekend with a video art projection exhibition titled Noise Reduction Experiment #4 by Sri Prabha, a South Florida-based mixed media artist. The exhibition at the 23rd Street nightlife destination will include both digital and analog images inspired by elements of nature.

Down the block from Mokai Lounge, Avant Gallery on 23rd Street will feature more than 20 artists with work priced for every budget.

For more art, make your way down to the the other side of Collins Park. Anthony Liggins Gallery 88 on Liberty Avenue will be open to introduce a new collection of landscapes by New York artist Bruce Brand. In addition, the gallery will host a wine-tasting courtesy of PRP Wines International.

But ArtScape is not just limited to visual art. Breslin says the idea was to highlight all the neighborhood around Collins Park has to offer.

“We want it to be a total experience,” Breslin said. “It is not just art. It is music. It is culture because we have the ability to add all of those things.”

Among those involved from outside of the visual arts scene is the Miami Beach Regional Library, which has gotten on board with ArtScape to hold a storytelling event. Guests are invited to come by the 22nd Street library to listen to staff read stories and learn about upcoming events.

Moreno’s Cuba at the Riveria South Beach Hotel on Liberty Avenue has been involved since the inaugural event. Each art walk, the Cuban restaurant invites an artist to be featured. The work of Miguel Paredes, a Miami-based pop artist, will be on display Friday.

“We try to display local artists because there are a lot of talented people down here,” said Nathan Lieberman, owner of the Riviera South Beach Hotel and Moreno’s Cuba.

Lieberman’s partner at Moreno’s is Jorge Moreno, a Grammy-winning artist, who invites friends to perform live music each night at the restaurant. This Friday, they have brought in Cortadito, a band that plays ’50s Cuban jazz music.

The restaurant will have food and drink specials for ArtScape.

“We really want to help unify the neighborhood as a widespread arts community,” Lieberman said.

The art walk coincides with Beats After Sunset, a monthly event that showcases art and music at the Bass Museum of Art, which sits at the edge of Collins Park.

Each month, Breslin says they hope to add additional locations, local artists, musicians and specials to the lineup for ArtScape.

“We grow little by little each month,” Breslin said. “We are just getting started.”

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