Posted Oct. 18, 2012
By DANIELA RODRIGUEZ
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. − Emily Corwin, 19, quietly stands still; turning her head side-to-side as she closely studies the wooden sculpture in front of her.
“I don’t get it, but it looks so interesting,” said Corwin about the Robert Therrien sculpture named No Title (Black Chapel) made in 1984.
Douglas S. Cramer, one of America’s leading collectors of contemporary art, gave this sculpture to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami.
Many of the sculptures and paintings found at the MOCA North Miami were given as a gift by individuals who strongly support the world of art.
“When visitors come to MOCA for the first time, they are usually surprised and delighted by the interesting and engaging exhibitions and many innovative programs that are offered,” said Valerie Ricordi, public relations manager for MOCA North Miami.
With the entrance including a shallow pool and a small waterfall, it proves to be very inviting with MOCA written in big black letters. Once inside, the stark white walls and glossy concrete floor play as the background to all the bright and odd shaped contemporary art and sculptures MOCA houses.
The museum opened its doors to the public in February 1996 and within its 23,000-square-foot structure, it houses a large exhibition space for showcasing contemporary art.
The goal of this museum is to discover new artists, contemplate the work of contemporary masters, and to learn about different cultures and their heritages.
Past exhibitions at MOCA include Roy Lichtenstein: Inside/Outside, Dada and Surrealism from the Rosalind and Melvin Jacobs Collection, and Gianni Versace: The Reinvention of Material.
MOCA also includes educational programs directed at teens, adults and families. It likes to emphasize on ways to empower and teach kids about the world of contemporary art.
There is an array of classes and social events for young people ages 13 to 19. All of the classes start at 4 p.m. and end at 6 p.m., which is intentionally made for teens to come after-school. There are classes in fashion design, digital journalism, photography and even a class to teach young girls about female role models in the art world.
The classes are free and the materials are provided by MOCA. But space is very limited; filling out an application is crucial in order to attend.
Corwin said she attended one of the classes during the summer and loved it.
“I thought it was going to be something like summer camp but it was actually fun and I got to learn about photography, which I will start doing more often,” said Corwin.
Jazz at MOCA shows performances by different jazz artists and bands. On Oct. 26, which is the next one of the series, Michael Bellar and the As-Is Ensemble will be performing starting at 8 p.m.
Other events include Art Talks, music, films, and MOCA by Moonlight, which is an event held for adults starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Some of our most popular days are the best days to be at MOCA,” said Ricordi. “The last Friday of every month is when we have Jazz at MOCA, our free outdoor concert series.”
MOCA also has many outreach programs to use creative expression as tool for better communication and empowerment.
The museum partners up with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and offers kids opportunities to make art through different mediums, such as painting, dance, and discussions about art.
An annual special fundraising event will take place on Nov. 17, 2012, is named Mystery Dates. Hosted by the Shakers, MOCA’s membership group for patrons between the ages of 21 to 45, this event kicks off with a cocktail party featuring live music and contemporary art.
What makes this fundraiser unique is that guests don’t know the location of their dinner until they arrive to the location. An average of 450 MOCA patrons are sent to impressive residences throughout Miami, from Aventura to Coral Gables and South Beach to the Design District.
If a visitor wants to purchase a membership at MOCA, an individual membership is only $50. The benefits to having a membership are free admission to MOCA galleries and selected screenings, performances and workshops. Members also receive discounts in the MOCA shop and a special invitation to MOCA’s annual Art Basel Miami Beach Kick-off Party, which was co-hosted with two international editors of the European editions of Vanity Fair magazine last year.
MOCA is currently in the process of expanding to 54,000-square-feet, double its current size. It will also be a LEED certified building, which means that it uses environmentally friendly practices.
The cost of the project is a little more than $13.5 million and will include additional space for galleries, classrooms for studio art, art history and museum studies, an expanded gift shop and elevators to access the second floor. The expansion will be funded by a variety of public and private sources.
“The expansion will create a dedicated wing for The MOCA Art Institute, the museum’s dynamic arts and communications initiative that currently serves 20,000 students of all ages,” said Ricordi.
With the expansion set to finish in 2014, MOCA will still be open to the public and continue showing their exhibitions.
“We are especially known for presenting the work of emerging and experimental artists, and for showing the work of contemporary art masters with a fresh perspective,” said Ricordi.
IF YOU GO
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, NORTH MIAMI
Joan Lehman Building
770 NE 125th St., North Miami, Fla. 33161
Phone: 305-893-6211, Fax: 305-891-1472
MUSEUM GALLERIES & SHOP
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesdays: 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sundays: Noon – 5 p.m.
Last Friday of each month: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. for Jazz at MOCA
Closed on Mondays
Mondays – Fridays: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
General Admission: $5
Students & Seniors: $3
Free admission for MOCA Members, children under 12, North Miami residents, city employees, veterans and Bank of America cardholders on the first weekend of each month through the Museums on Us program.
FROM INTERSTATE 95: Exit I-95 at NE125th Street (Exit #10A). Head EAST approximately one mile. MOCA is located on the right between NE 7th Court and NE 8th Avenue.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Miami-Dade Transit Buses #16, #10, and G stop at the corner of NE 125th Street and NE 8th Avenue. Buses #75, #9 stop on the corner of NE 125th Street and NE 6th Avenue.
Free Parking is available immediately east, west, and south of the museum. Handicapped parking behind the museum, enter NE 8th Avenue, make the first right into parking lot.