BY DOROTHY JENKINS FIELDS
Special to The Miami Herald
In Miami, the showing of black art has expanded into locations never imaged when Art Basel began in 2001 in Miami Beach. The same year in Miami’s Overtown, local black African-American artists Marvin Weeks and Dinizulu Gene Tinnie mounted a show at the Lyric in the then-newly restored original theater.
Without official recognition, black artists throughout the region began to add soul to Art Basel, which is considered by some the most comprehensive international contemporary fair in North America.
A decade later, local black architect Neil Hall, president of The Urban Collective, organized 21 artists of African descent. Through then-Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence Jones, the city of Miami’s Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency sponsored an elaborate installation of contemporary African Art celebrating Art Basel’s 10th anniversary in 2011.
Named Art Africa Miami, the annual exhibition continues as the largest showcase of contemporary artists from the African Diaspora during Art Basel Week. Major sponsorship is through Miami Commissioner and CRA Chairman, Keon Hardemon.