This month, #SAVEARTSPACE presents its second public art exhibition during Miami Art Week at various locations throughout the Wynwood neighborhood. Curated by co-founders Travis Rix and Justin Aversano, (both BFA 2014 Photography) the exhibition features the work of eight local south Florida artists on billboards and bus shelters. The artists, with the location of their work, include Joel Gaitan (NE 2nd Ave &NE 31st Street), Leah Guzman (N Miami Ave & NW 19th), Andrew Reid (NW 37th & NW 5th Ave), Amauri Torezan (NW 2nd Ave & NW 34th Street), Troy Simmons (NW 29th Street & NW 2nd Ave), Gianna Veno (N Miami Ave & NE 22nd Street), Harvey Zipkin (N Miami Ave & NE 29th Street) and John Zoller (BFA 1985 Fine Arts) (NW 36th Street & NW 1st Ave).
What inspired you to start #SAVEARTSPACE?
We would walk around our neighborhood of Bushwick, and noticed street art and murals being covered and replaced with advertising. Our initiative began once we recognized the potential of billboard infrastructures to be transformed into public art platforms.
What’s been the biggest surprise about starting the organization?
The biggest surprise has been the vast generous support from our audience and the social impact on the communities that we affect.
Tell us about your project during Miami Art Week?
We have transformed advertisements into public art platforms. We held an open call in which eight artists were selected to exhibit their work in the public space around Wynwood.
How has working in Miami differed from producing your projects in New York?
This exhibition consists of five bus shelters, something we did not have in our previous exhibition in Brooklyn. They allow the viewer to get as close as possible to the art. This makes the art more accessible to the community.
How has launching the project affected your own creative work?
The process encouraged us to reach out to people in our field, to look at more contemporary artists, and to think of art in connection to spatial presentation.
How did your time at SVA help prepare you for launching the project?
It helped us develop a great art history education. SVA gave us access to resources that were unbeknownst to us. And most importantly, the people. We met life long friends that support our endeavors.
We are in the process of planning new public art exhibitions in Brooklyn, Detroit and Chicago. We aim to take our initiative nationwide to affect as many communities as possible.
More information at saveartspace.org.