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Art Basel

Art Africa Miami Arts Fair Brings Miami Art Week to Overtown

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Audrey Armitage
Art Africa Miami Arts Fair at the Lyric Theater in Overtown.

Paintings, masks and mixed media fills two floors of the Lyric Theatre as Overtown celebrates Miami Art Week with the annual Art Africa Miami Arts Fair.

The exhibition, organized by The Urban Collective, features work from local and international artists.

Organizer Neil Hall says the art fair reflects many narratives of the African diaspora, bringing a modern twist to traditional African art forms. Works include paintings by Haitian artists Turgo Bastien and Philippe Dodard, a series of masks by Nakkazi Hutchinson and a map of the United States made from bullets by artist Moal.

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Credit Audrey Armitage
"Offrande" by Haitian artist Philippe Dodard.

  “We look at the Caribbean and the diaspora as a collection of us--all over,” explained Hall. “It is not quote-unquote African in its form, but it is because we believe it is the root of art.”

The Art Africa Miami Arts Fair has taken place in Overtown for the past five years as Hall sees the exposure to and participation in art as an important way to engage the community.

Hall described Overtown as the heartbeat of Miami art and culture and hopes to use art and design to help revitalize the area. “It is an attitude that says ‘it can happen in Overtown’--that we, as artists, can transform this space,” he said.

The exhibition will be up through Sunday, but Hall aims to launch monthly art exhibitions, including an art walk, in Overtown in 2016.

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Credit Audrey Armitage
Masks by Nakkazi Hutchinson.]