Caribbean people are everywhere, aren’t we? In Miami, a brand new exhibit that is currently on display to the public, at the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, has been curated by Donnamarie Baptiste, a Trinidad and Tobago national. Baptiste provides arts & culture management consulting to national and international creative clients and is presently based in Miami.
The new project , “Veo, I See I See, Mwen wè Mwen wè,” combines visual art, storytelling, and technology. It celebrates the heroic civil rights work and the bravery of Judge Lawson E.Thomas, encouraging the community to explore the rich history of Historic Overtown. The project is meant to tell unfamiliar stories of individuals and sites significant to Miami’s hidden Black history.
The mural project began at 1021 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL, the office building of the late Judge Lawson E. Thomas. Thomas was Miami-Dade County’s first Black judge, who presided over the only purely racially segregated court system in the United States known as the “Negro Municipal Court.” The mural was created by artist Anthony Reed II, known as “Mojo,” and pays homage to this important place and its history.
“We are excited to tell some of these little-known stories of individuals and locations significant to Miami’s hidden Black history. In addition, the site-specific murals embedded with unique QR codes engage the public and showcase works of talented Black artists,” said Co-founder of Miami MoCAAD, Marilyn Holifield.
The oral histories share untold stories of the people and places of this proud Black community that thrived before “urban renewal” highways decimated homes and businesses in Overtown and Black communities across the country. By scanning the QR codes, viewers will become immersed in Overtown-related interactive treasure hunt games, an interactive 3-D model of the artist providing biographical information, and an interactive museum experience map that invites engagement to chart the future MiamiMoCAAD.
The murals and oral histories will become part of Miami MoCAAD’s archive, documenting the museum’s journey to a digital/physical hybrid museum space. This is not the first major project curated by the Trinidad and Tobago national. Baptiste organizes exhibitions in traditional and non-traditional spaces. She has held roles in programming, sponsorship, marketing & communications, operations, and production with organizations that include Photo Miami, Art Basel, The Armory Show, and Creative Time. Her clients include a mix of tech, art, design, luxury brands, and spirits.
The exhibition of “Veo, I See I See, Mwen wè Mwen wè,” was made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor, and Board of County Commissioners and the Knight Foundation, and private donations.
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