Author: Fernando González

outsideart2   Knight Foundation blog, October, 2016  

It was perhaps fitting that an event titled “Artists As Citizens” took place on the same evening of the final presidential debate of this election season.

But the conversation, held Wednesday at the headquarters of the National YoungArts Foundation in Miami as part of its Salon Series, was not about partisan politics but art, activism and social practice, beauty and community engagement.

In fact, the talk, featuring artists Teresita Fernández, Mel Chin and Chat Travieso, was “the beginning of a dialogue here in Miami about social practice and how artists want to engage in this kind of work that we need to model better, “ said host Carolina García Jayaram, president and CEO of the National YoungArts Foundation, in her introduction. By the end of evening, the extraordinary work and the broad range of approaches discussed spoke of the importance and enormous potential of social practice.

Masterpieces spark new work. Piazzolla in Brooklyn was inspired by a dreadful recording. Take Me Dancing, a 1959 jazz tango album by New Tango master Astor Piazzolla, was dreadful. Astor Piazzolla said so. Still, Pablo Aslan was curious. Aslan, an Argentine-born, Brooklyn-based bassist, bandleader, and producer, has...

Firelei Báez: Bloodlines Installation view Pérez Art Museum Miami, 2015 Courtesy Pérez Art Museum Miami. Photo: Oriol Tarridas. The Knight Foundation blog, on January, 2015 Identity and racial politics in the United States and the Caribbean are central themes in the work of Brooklyn-based, Dominican-born artist Firelei Báez, whose...