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The Art Lover’s Guide to Miami: The ultimate guide to Miami’s coolest art galleries, museums, and experiences.

Article by Galenda Mosovich, June 12, 2019

Miami is more than just beautiful beaches and beautiful people. Behind its glittery façade is a world-class art hub with ever-evolving contemporary and street art scenes. From the colorful murals of Wynwood to the internationally acclaimed Art Basel fair and many museums to choose from, here’s how to dive into the Magic City’s vibrant art scene…

Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) Nest Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in the heart of North America’s only subtropical wilderness. Since 2001, it has hosted more than 100 artists, writers, choreographers and musicians who spend a month in a live-work space in the Pine Island section of the 1.5 million-acre park, communing with its wildlife and creating original works for display in the gallery. Unconventional programming like immersive dance, musical performances, and bicycle theater excursions take place throughout the year with multidisciplinary artists who are eager to express the importance of conservation. It’s worth the drive to nearby Homestead.

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ArtBurst Miami

AIRIE (Artists in Residence in Everglades) host author talk and info session at Books & Books

Article by Josie Gulliksen, May 14, 2019

“The Everglades, lovingly known as the “River of Grass” thanks to Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ iconic book of the same name, are now a host site for artists in residence. They can come and create among the natural setting of Everglades National Park as part of AIRIE, the Artists in Residence in Everglades Program.

The current artist in residence is Carol Hendrickson, a cultural anthropologist, visual artist and writer based in Vermont. On Sunday, May 19, Hendrickson will speak about her experience at AIRIE as part of an author talk at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

During her residency, which began on May 1, Hendrickson has been collecting words and images to use in the creation of “anthro-artist’s books.” She’s been engaging with different constituents of the park — park staff, visitors, AIRIE volunteers, and others—learning from them, joining in conversation with them, and, where appropriate, encouraging or even teaching them how to create their own visual notes.

“Carol will share the benefits and challenges for artists working in the Everglades,” said Sarah Michelle Rupert, AIRIE’s interim executive director. “At the talk, we’ll be taking questions and sharing news about the upcoming information session for our residency program, scheduled for May 22 at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Wynwood. Interested artists can learn all about the application process and residency at either event.”

Those applications are being accepted until June 1…”

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South Dade News Leader

Art and Science in the Field

Article April 22, 2019

Upon entering the Airie Nest Gallery in the Everglades National Park, one is greeted by strangely seductive, other-worldly looking objects. Custom built tables with leaves and flowers, topographical diagrams and a video of a sugar cane train all represent aspects of the Saw Palmetto, a plant which is one of the oldest living clonal species. This innovative collection of artworks are the result of sculptor Robert Chambers, who participated in the Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) program last year. Chambers, a Miami-based sculptor, is best known for his large-scale sculptures and installations, which bring together whimsy and humor with scientific, mechanical and industrial acumen. Focused on lands north of Lake Okeechobee in the headwaters of the Everglades, he created a new body of work combining elements such as biomimicry, 3D printing and principles of evolutionary biology to express the urgency of conserving the delicate relationships of natural phenomena and indigenous species that make up the Florida Everglades. Chambers’ work is inspired by the Serenoa repens, the tenacious plant commonly known as the saw palmetto, a symbol of the Everglades’ complex interplay of water flow, plant life, fire and weather.

During his month long residency, AIRIE organized a trip for Chambers to visit Archbold Biological Station where its director and senior biologist, Hilary Swain, captivated him with descriptions of the remarkable tenacity of the Serenoa repens, which can live upwards of 5,000-10,000 years, thanks to its expansive root system that Chambers sees as both a power source and liminal subterranean presence that verges on the alien. Chambers’ sculpture, a stylized model of this root system called Clonal Phoenix, created with cellulose fibers and 3D printing, is the exhibition centerpiece, surrounded by smaller sculptures, and scientific graphs, which refer to other parts of the plant and its ecology. Reference sources for gallery visitors are available as scientific essays linked to scannable QR codes, and in a binder on the Base Camp Installation desk. Information is largely sourced from Dr. Warren Abrahamson’s thorough and eloquent writings about his decades-long research of the Saw Palmettos…

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Tropic Magazine

Power Plant: Artist Robert Chambers blends art, science, and 3D printing in a new exhibition that is a clarion call for Everglades preservation

Article by Donna Fields, January 2019

Far from the ubiquitous strip malls and congested highways of his hometown, Miami-based artist Robert Chambers stood under a vast sky in the scrub brush of the Everglades. There, he contemplated the Serenoa repens, an often-overlooked native plant with a crucial role in this complex and fragile ecosystem. The ground-hugging palm, whose common name is the saw palmetto, became the focus of his new body of work that melds art, sceince and technology and highlights the critical need to preserve the biodiversity of the Everglades. Visitors to the AIRIE Nest Gallery in the Everglades National Park can see Chambers’ work in the exhibition SEREPENS: Serenoa repens through April 14, 2019.

The subject was a natural for Chambers, who grew up immersed in scientific inquiry as the son of a cellular molecular biologist and a metalwork sculptor. In early 2018, he was a fellow in the AIRIE (Artist in Residence in Everglades) program. The non-profit organization and voice for conserving the ecology of the region has since 2011, brought over 150 artists, writers, composer and choreographers to Everglades National Park for one-month residencies. During Chamber’s AIRIE residency, he engaged with scientists from the Archbold Biological Station, a renowned ecological research center, and became intrigued by the saw palmetto’s tenacity in the Florida scrub at the headwaters to the Everglades north of Lake Okeechobee.

One of the oldest plants on earth, with a life-space over 5,000 years, the saw palmetto thrives in drought and fire. Though it has survived for millennia, its existence is now threatened by changing weather patterns and rising sea levels. A centerpiece of the exhibition is a sculpture of the plant’s unique clonal root system, the source of its super power, which forms a protective mesh beneath the ground. The sculpture’s black tubular forms a studded “alligator back” surfaces, created with cellulose fibers and 3D printing, evoke its fire-proof exterior that remains after a burn. The sculpture sits on a wood table base produces though computer-guided milling with a surface that simulated naturally occurring patterns in the porous limestone bedrock below the ground.

The saw palmetto’s medicinal qualities, actively marketed in everything from hair supplements to virility enhancers, have made its precious berries the target of aggressive harvesting and poaching, feeding a $700-million-dollar herbal industry. With the aid of 3D modeling software, Chambers produced interpretations of these fruits, which also provide nutrients for many other Everglades species. His sculptures reveal their matrix-like sinews, whose otherwordly aura hint at their ages-old mystical properties. Complimenting the berries are futuristic insects that represent the hundreds of pollinating species who use the plant as a natural highway rest stop. The translucent creates are rendered in polyactic acid, a nontoxic filament resin made of sugar derived from starches.

In creating the works for the exhibition, Chambers collaborated with teams from Florida International University’s Robotics and Digital Fabrication Laboratory, Miami Beach Urban Studios and College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts.

Working with digital technology was a means for the trained sculptor to go beyond his safe zone. “I’m now in a new medium,” Chambers days, “a whole new place that can go anywhere.”

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Culture View Miami: Swamp Spirits

Swamp Spirits – Dale Andree’s Magical “Everglades Imprint” for AIRIE

Article by Jordan Levin, January 3, 2019

An escape from Miami hustle to the quiet of the Everglades seemed like an ideal way to mark the end of a frenzied 2018. But choreographer Dale Andree’s Everglades Imprint offered much more: a spiritual journey, a transformative moment of immersion in the wilderness at Florida’s heart, a place that is mostly abstract to most of us city dwellers.

A pioneering Miami dance artist and thoughtful teacher and artistic mentor, in recent years Andree has been focused on the National Water Dance Project, where she’s the founder and director, creating and organizing outdoor performances that draw attention to the centrality of water in our lives. A sensitive, intelligent dancemaker already attuned to the natural world, Andree was ideal for AIRE (Artists in Residence in the Everglades), a wonderful Miami group that brings artists of all kinds to the Everglades to make work in and about this strange, unique ecosystem.

Close to 200 people traveled to Andree’s performance on Sunday Dec. 30th, an impressive turnout given the considerable trip to get there: along the swooping highways to their sudden end in the quiet, eclectic concrete village of Florida City, past the tourist bustle at Robert is Here, then agricultural fields to the open Everglades prairie. In the midst of a holiday week and the government shutdown, it was an odd combination of quiet and busy; lots of people taking advantage of no park entrance fees and volunteers from non-profit NAME TK manning the Ernest F. Coe Visitors Center. There artgoers crowded into SEREPENS, an exhibit by sculptor Robert Chambers, another AIRE resident, inspired by the saw palmetto – the prickly, tenacious plant whose vast root system symbolizes the intricate interconnectedness of the Everglades.

But we weren’t immersed until we traveled to the site of Andree’s performance, in Long Pine Key, deeper in the park. Following a trail through the pine forest, spindly tufted trees bisecting the sky, we encountered four storytellers, of wind, fire, history, water and spirit. Alexis Caputo narrated a poem about the devastating 1928 hurricane, park volunteer Carmen Farreiro spoke of the pine forests’ cycle of fire and rebirth, and Steve Tennis of the region’s history, the Spanish massacring the Calusa and the Seminoles escaping to Florida’s interior. As we walked, people gradually stopped chattering, and you could hear the wind in the trees. Last, and most powerful, was Seminole/Miccosukee musician Samuel Tommie, playing an eerie, questing melody on a wooden flute and relating how he was born on an Everglades tree island, raised taking water from the ground and spiritual sustenance from the landscape. “The Everglades was a physical shelter that took care of us,” he said. “I know what it’s like out there.”

So it was with a sense of momentousness that we finally emerged into a wide open field, where Andree stood isolated in the tall grass, a lone, gesturing figure, drawing the crowd which strung out along the trail that bisected the field. It was so odd to see so many people, standing quiet and watching outdoors. Five dancers crowned with branches emerged slowly, as if summoned, from the tall grass – like moving, humanoid plants.

Crossing the trail, they moved into a field that opened to the west, with a wide, infinite-seeming vista. Slowly, always slowly, they opened and swung their arms, tilted and turned, seeming to scoop up the air, to embrace and acknowledge the landscape around them. Andree and Tommie stood quietly a little distance past, like sentinels for the land, and the dancers gradually moved towards them, as if summoned once again into the west, following their leaders. A breeze came up, as if on cue, and the human forms sank back into the grass, like spirits returning to their origins. Magical.

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Miami New Times: Ten Arts and Cultural Organizations to Support on Give Miami Day

Ten Arts and Cultural Organizations to Support on Give Miami Day

Article by Celia Almeida, November 14, 2018

Thanksgiving is next Thursday, but before Miamians give thanks at the dinner table, they’ve got a chance to give money to local nonprofits and charity organizations. The Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day returns this Thursday, November 15, and it’s the best opportunity for locals to support the organizations doing hands-on work to improve daily life in our city.

Nonprofits benefiting causes having to do with animals, affordable housing, education, and beyond are participating this year. In addition to accepting individual contributions, the Miami Foundation is awarding prizes to incentivize gift-giving during the 24-hour donation period. For example, the foundation will donate $1,000 to the organization that receives the most unique gifts during midnight to 1 a.m. on Thursday and $1,000 to the organization that receives the 31,821st gift, in celebration of surpassing last year’s 31,820 total donations.

Last year, more than 20,000 people raised just over $10 million for 700 local nonprofits. So get your wallets ready to support the organizations doing the hard work within our community. Here’s our roundup of the best arts and cultural organizations you can support on Give Miami Day.

Read the full article on Miami New Times

Miami Herald

Season of the Arts: Don’t expect to find this artwork, music or drama elsewhere. It’s uniquely 305

Article by Anne Tschida, September 7, 2018

Unlike most metropolitan cultural centers, with long-established institutions and histories, Miami-Dade is an ever-transitioning city, and until the last few decades, one without much of a cultural groundwork. But with a spurt of growth in almost all arts genres, the days of second-cast companies performing retreaded work are past. The touring companies that do land here — such as the Cleveland Orchestra, which makes an annual appearance — are world renowned. More often, South Florida audiences are sampling some of the most diverse homegrown experiences offered anywhere in the country.

Much of the recent evolution is due to the $29.6 million investment made by the Knight Foundation over the past decades. Those dollars have bolstered established institutions and made it possible for new — and sometimes more experimental — groups to get on their feet…

Endemic to Miami’s art scene are themes that have taken on global importance: immigration and climate change. Works responding to immigration, assimilation and diaspora are part of nearly every local exhibition. Increasingly, so are works relating to ecology. Artists in Residence in Everglades, known as AIRIE, has invited artists from around the world to explore the unique Everglades ecosystem. Several local artists have developed practices relating to our endangered environment, including Xavier Cortada, who has focused his science-based work on such issues as the endangered mangroves and coral reefs. The art-science collective Coral Morphologic also emphasizes the ailing reefs in images and huge projections, for example the colorful swirling coral video that was shown on the giant outdoor screen at New World Center.

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Miami New Times: Ten Arts and Cultural Organizations to Support on Give Miami Day

Ten Arts and Cultural Organizations to Support on Give Miami Day

Give Miami Day is almost here. The annual fundraiser, scheduled for November 16, offers the best opportunity all year to help the local organizations, nonprofits, and charities that work to improve the quality of life for Miamians. Now that Election Day has come and gone, you have another way to change your community.

 The arts and humanities sometimes take a back seat to organizations that deal with environmental issues, children’s education, and refugee resettlement, but Give Miami Day’s best-kept secret is that nonprofits often use the arts to advance those same causes. So New Times has compiled this list of organizations that fight the good fight, all while prioritizing arts and cultural programming.

Ten Arts and Cultural Organizations to Support on Give Miami Day
photo courtesy AIRIE

1. AIRIE. Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) provides writers, visual artists, and musicians with monthlong residencies in the unique ecosystem of the Everglades to foster art inspired by the River of Grass. AIRIE recognizes that artists are often the most effective communicators of the importance of environmental preservation. The organization provides a furnished apartment with studio space for visiting artists, who donate their resulting artwork to AIRIE at the conclusion of the residency. Donate to AIRIE here.

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Biscayne Times: AIRIE Gets Its Permanent Nest


Written By Anne Tschida, Biscayne Times Arts Editor


Former AIRIE fellow Elisabeth Condon’s field studies were part of the inaugural “Blooming World” exhibit. Photos courtesy of AIRIE

So much about the Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) program is ideally contemporary and forward thinking that it’s hard to know where to start listing the reasons why.Along with hosting visual artists, writers, dancers, and musicians to work within the rarified atmosphere of the Everglades, which it has done since 2001, AIRIE has a broader mission: to raise awareness of the unique South Florida environment at a time when climate change finally has arrived at the forefront of conversation.

This year, AIRIE landed in a permanent home, which lifts the program to a new level with more exposure and a fixed location to present comprehensive exhibits that combine the arts with experts in various scientific fields.

The new space is called the Nest Gallery, funded by a Knight Arts Challenge grant, and sits within the Coe Visitors Center at the entrance to Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in North America. And the space is gorgeous, with polished concrete floors and picture windows overlooking the park. But what’s inside is extra special.

The inaugural exhibits after its opening in April were a good example of AIRE’s integrated objective. Former resident Elisabeth Condon’s bright, semiabstract painted “field studies” were featured on the walls for the first exhibit, “Blooming World,” accompanied by historical maps and bird specimens chosen by executive director Deborah Mitchell.


AIRIE’s Nest Gallery at the park’s visitors center was funded by a Knight Arts Challenge grant.

The second included photographer Adam Nadel’s multimedia project “Getting the Water Right,” a collaboration with UCLA anthropologist Jessica Cattelino. The program also “required regional experts to communicate updated information for the accompanying audio essays,” relates Mitchell by e-mail. “On the front lines of water management, Nadel was able to convey critical issues to the public via his site-specific installations while in the wilderness of the Everglades.”

The new Nest, she says, “is important because it focuses on interdisciplinary exhibitions of contemporary art that connect with the ecology and cultural history of the Everglades, art-science collaborations, and inclusion of artifacts from the South Florida Collections Management Center archive — otherwise inaccessible to the public.”

In addition, the Nest can capitalize on the 250,000-plus national and international visitors who come through the center annually. Oh, and the interior of the gallery, Mitchell quips, offers “an intimate, air-conditioned, bug-free zone to host our creative educational workshop series.”

On one level, this art-based endeavor may seem somewhat peripheral to the daunting ecological challenges facing South Florida, from flooding and saltwater intrusion to shrinking wildlife habitat and polluted land and water. But AIRIE extends its tentacles to many realms. For instance, just this summer it received its first environmental grant from Miami-Dade County, for the purpose of educating public school teachers. For other exhibits and programs, AIRIE has picked up support from the National Science Foundation and the Florida Humanities Council, among others.

At its core, AIRIE is still an artistic exploration and collaboration. “We offer a fresh take on painting, drawing, mixed media, and writing,” says Mitchell, “while raising awareness for the environment, in the environment.”


Miami artist Jason Hedges in his hand-crafted skiff, built as part of his 2015 AIRIE residency.

So how are these eco-artists selected for a residency at AIRIE? As it is described for potential applicants, the residency isn’t for everyone. The artist — or writer or choreographer or composer — will need a passion about studying the environment, and be somewhat self-driven if they can deal with living alone in the literal wild for a month or so. For much of the year, that can be a pretty hot living. What they can bring for their stay is severely limited, and they can’t obtain or use organic materials from the park to create works.

National and regional jurors look over proposals, judging the link between the artwork and its connection to ecological concerns; and residents can come from across the globe. Artists, writers, and performers are asked to donate a work for the Park Collection, and are encouraged to continue outreach as a fellow. To date, AIRIE has hosted about 150 residents.

The roster for 2018 includes several Israeli artists, a Norwegian curator, and Miami choreographer Dale Andree (founder and director of the National Water Dance and Florida Waterways Dance Project), plus well-known sculptor and teacher Robert Chambers.

In the Nest Gallery, exhibits combining current residents, fellows, and invited guest teachers and scientists will make up the expanded programming.

The fall exhibit starting in October will be “About Florida Bay,” a group show of nine artists, including the internationally acclaimed Mark Dion, who will each interpret the stress that this important body of water has undergone. According to Mitchell, “artists strive to recapture the historical significance of this contested area while recapturing a sense of nostalgia and raising concerns about the future.”


Flamingo Gas Station at Pa-hay-okee Overlook, by AIRIE fellow Valerie George, 2016.

Accompanying the fellows’ art exhibit will be an installation by Miccosukee tribal member Houston Cypress containing water samples, and original photographs from the estate of the “original Gladesman, Glen Simmons,” as Mitchell calls him. An additional educational element will include a “Sundays in the Park” series, in this case a gallery tour followed by a talk on wetlands biology and a workshop on woodworking with Dade County pine, by sculptor Nick Gilmore.

AIRIE’s expansion includes new members of the board and arts advisory council — and new president Valerie Ricordi, who has previously worked with MOCA North Miami and the Bass Museum, and who believes that AIRIE “is really serving a critical role now, as the concern over climate change and the related groundswell of activism grows.”

As dire as many environmental warnings are these days — and there is no doubt that South Florida, in particular, is being negatively affected by the minute — it is encouraging to see this particular groundswell.

“In the past 15 years, both artists’ and their audience’s awareness of ecological issues, especially with respect to coastal ecosystems and water rights, has increased tremendously,” says Mitchell. “In turn, artists’ need for programs like ours has grown. We are expanding to meet those needs by tailoring each project with the corresponding support team.”


AIRIE Nest Gallery, Everglades National Park Coe Visitor Center, 40001 State Hwy. 9336, Homestead; open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., free;


Feedback: [email protected]

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