8 Incredible Art Experiences in Miami This Fall
Go beyond street art at these cutting edge exhibits and shows.
Miami didn’t become a legitimate art destination by hanging stuff on a wall. Okay, except maybe for one duct-taped banana, but otherwise our city’s place on the art scene has been cemented through doing what Miami does best: Excitement, entertainment, and a whole lot of bright flashing lights. That’s why experiencing art here is far more than just moseying through museums. It’s covering ourselves in rain ponchos and walking among foam, or stepping into an immersive mock-up of post-apocalyptic Tokyo. In Miami, art is entertainment more than any city in America, and maybe the world. Here are the best places to take it in this fall and beyond.
The fusion of art and technology lives at South Beach’s Artechouse, where intense colors, interactive experiences, and a space-age soundtrack make a visit here a multi-sensory feast. Its latest exhibit, Renewal 2021, is a look at how nature takes back Tokyo set 100 years in the future, where cherry blossom trees dominate streetscapes, and futuristic marketplaces take second place to encroaching flora. Guests can play live-motion video games, “cook” virtual street food, and see what kinds of vending machines exist in 2121. It’s easily doable in less than an hour, too, if you’re bringing kids (or adults) with minimal attention spans.
Museum of Contemporary Art
MOCA continues its pandemic-hit Art on the Plaza series, where visitors can walk right up to the museum’s breezy courtyard and view rotating exhibits for free. This fall brings Autumn Casey’s “Clint and April” through October 7, a pair of illuminated “swans” intended as a meditation on love and mating for life. The courtyard also hosts free jazz concerts the last Friday of every month, with Karina Iglesais and Nu-Thang performing in August and Peruvian trumpet master Dante Vargas in September. Inside the museum, MOCA is showcasing two Miami Art Week breakout artists. Didier Willian: Nou Kite Tout Sa Deye, and photographer Leah Gordon’s 20-year black and white photo retrospective of Haiti, Kanaval, run through April 16, 2023.
The colorful world of graffiti isn’t usually one associated with monochromatic works of grey washes and white lines. But Doze Green’s summer showcase at the Museum of Graffiti gives the medium a deeper element, where the artist examines the four archetypes of psychoanalyst Carl Jung. You’ll see interpretations of the Persona, Animus, Shadow, and Self expressed on canvas, with what the museum refers to as “creatively chaotic, and intuitive brushstrokes” that look almost like calligraphy.
If there is an exception to every rule, what is the exception to that rule? If the rule in question is “Instagram museums are self-indulgent wastes of time,” then consider the Paradox Museum that rule’s exception. This mind-bending mix of science and psychology actually makes you think before snapping your selfie, a sort of artificial Mystery Spot like the famous ones in Santa Cruz and West Virginia. The interactive art tour is packed with mazes and optical illusions, including a room that seems to move while standing still, and a piano where you create your own concerto.
Cost: $26 - 28 for adults
Every Wall is a Door
Superblue, the first-of-its-kind museum and immersive art experience, features only three artists at a time, and actually gives them a cut of the ticket revenue as part of the deal. Its first exhibit is “Every Wall is a Door,” a look at humanity and its effect on the environment. For this, you’ll don a coat and goggles and walk through clouds in “Massless Clouds Between Sculpture and Life,” touch perpetually-changing flowers on a wall and watch them wilt in real-time as you do, and climb a staircase made to look like lungs. Expect to enter a new state of mind on your tour—we’re all for putting your phone down and taking it all in along the trippy journey. FYI: Because it’s so popular, crowds can get big at Superblue even with timed entrances, so go during the week between 11 am and 3 pm to make the most of your time here. All staff are required to wear masks.
Cost: $36 for adults
Broadway in Miami
Perhaps the one New York transplant South Floridians look forward to coming down for winter is the Broadway in Miami series. This season, Six kicks things off from October 25-30, a sort of Tron-meets-the-Renaissance featuring the six wives of Henry VIII singing high-tech remixes of their sordid tales. Disney’s Aladdin rings in the new year from January 3 - 8, full of songs you’ve been singing since second grade. Mega-musical Wicked comes to town from February 15 – March 5, followed by My Fair Lady from March 28 – April 2. The season wraps up with the eternally danceable Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Time of the Temptations from May 9 - 14.
The Olympia Theater’s immersive Van Gogh experience brings guests through 300-plus floor-to-ceiling projections of the artist’s sketches, paintings, and simple drawings, providing a unique, larger-than-life retrospective of his work. It also boasts a virtual reality gallery called “A Day in the Life of the Artist,” where you’ll see through Van Gogh’s eyes the spaces that inspired works like Vincent’s Bedroom at Arles and Starry Night. Budget about an hour-and-a-half or so to get through it all, especially if you’re planning to take pictures. Masks are required for all guests, with controlled capacity and traffic flow to encourage proper distancing.
Cost: $35 for adults; $20 for children.
Though the Rubell Museum has been open since 2019, the largest contemporary art museum in the Southeast sometimes gets overlooked, tucked next to the Metrorail tracks in Allapattah. The sprawling museum includes 52,000 square feet of exhibitions, featuring early works from the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, and Rashid Johnson. (So a visit here can easily fill half a day or more.) It’s also home to Leku, a beautiful indoor/outdoor restaurant with fine dining takes on traditional Basque cuisine. The museum requires masks for its visitors, and it’s fairly easy to stay apart from others with so much real estate to explore.
Cost: $15 for adults.