The Art of Transformation Series Celebrating the Revitalization of Opa-Locka

The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) presents the 3rd Annual Art of Transformation (AOT) from Nov. 12 to Dec. 14, 2014. For the first time this annual celebration of the revitalization plan of Opa-locka will be a countywide series of arts events – including performance and visual art, an interactive workshop, exhibit, and Art, Food & Music Street Festival. Renowned South African curator Tumelo Mosaka, formerly the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Krannert Art Museum, is curating the Art of Transformation series.  
Sound and performance artist Pamela Z will kick off AOT at Florida Memorial University (15800 NW 42nd Avenue, Miami Gardens, FL 33054) on Wednesday, Nov. 12. Following, on Saturday, Nov. 15 guests can enjoy the Art, Food & Music Street Festival in the heart of the historic downtown Opa-locka.  This exciting community street bash will feature local food and entertainment; a DJ Battle; arts, crafts, and community vendors; a kids’ zone; and the opening of the art exhibition In Plain Sight at OLCDC’s The Arts & Recreation Center (The ARC, 675 Ali Baba Avenue, Opa-locka, FL 33054). In Plain Sightfeatures the works of sculpture/installation artists Nari Ward and Karyn Olivier, installation artist Yashua Klos, and photographer Renee Cox. The exhibition will run through Dec. 14 and include a pop-up wine bar and entertainment on two Fridays (Nov. 21 and Dec. 12). On Sunday, Nov. 16, the AOT will head downtown to the Perez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132) to close November activities with a screening of award-winning Michelange Quay’s  film “Eat, for This Is My Body.”
Artist Nora Chipaumire will lead the December events with a dance performance on Friday, Dec. 5 at the Little Haiti Cultural Center (212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, FL 33137) during Art Basel Miami Beach week. Emmanuel Pratt will then conclude the In Plain Sight exhibition and the Art of Transformation series with his interactive artist talk, workshop, and reception at the ARC on Saturday, Dec. 13.
Opa-locka founderGlenn Curtiss was Mosaka’s inspiration for the AOT series. Curtiss envisioned the city to be a dynamic place that referenced a distant land, hence its Moorish Revival architecture. Mosaka wanted to bring this same unique character to the celebration of its revitalization and enlisted artists from throughout the African Diaspora to represent the city’s foreign spirit and community.
“I wanted to work off Curtiss’ imaginary vision for place making,” Mosaka said. “The way we think about what is near and far changes depending on where we stand.  Art has the capacity to make us look at things differently, to suspend truth and reflect on imaginary realities. Working with artists from the Diaspora, I wanted to provoke a feeling of familiarity and distance associated with the image of Opa-locka as fiction and real.”
The series is made possible by the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge Miami, which aims to bring South Florida together through the arts. Various components are also supported by the Surdna Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.