Into The Everglades
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Presented by Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI) and Bridge Initiative at InterContinental Miami,
100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131
November 16th, 2021
6:30PM - 8:00PM
Tickets Available Here If the $15 dollars admission to this event is cost prohibitive please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a discounted option.
On View Nightly: November 16th - November 29th, 2021
Starting November 16th, one of the most recognizable buildings on Miami’s skyline will be transformed as InterContinental Miami lights up with visions of panthers, birds, and other creatures that call Florida home, as part of a large new video installation by Miami-based artist, Carlos Betancourt. Adapting characteristics from his Cut-Out Series (2009-2010), and his Re-Collections Series (2003-ongoing), Betancourt’s new installation, Into The Everglades, features silhouettes of Florida's most recognizable wildlife. The occasion of the work could not be more timely, capping a year of unprecedented achievements in wildlife conservation for the State of Florida.
Betancourt’s exuberant imagery in this installation reflects how one's immediate surroundings, in this case the Everglades, can serve as a muse (inspiration) to artists, while it is also meant to highlight the vital need to protect the Florida Wildlife Corridor. The “Florida Wildlife Corridor” refers to a vital network of inland scrub, palmetto prairies, riparian forests, and other necessary habitats for some of the state's most at-risk species. Referred to as “The spine of Florida”, this collection of existing public parks and working lands like rural ranches and timberlands, is a top priority for statewide conservation. Protecting and enhancing these lands will increase the survival chances for the Florida Panther, and countless other species like otters, manatees, alligators, and snail kites.
Carlos Betancourt’s work often takes inspiration from his relationship with nature, using at times kaleidoscopic imagery and lush, flamboyant compositions, to depict the flora and fauna of Florida and the Caribbean in transformative ways. Into the Everglades is put together through a process of collage that Betancourt uses throughout his works, uniting iconography from disparate sources. It is through this symbolic layering that collage becomes ecological, as all parts of the composition build upon each other. In this artwork, Betancourt makes visible the deep interconnection between contrasting visual references, in a way that reflects the interdependence of Miami’s urban core and it’s surrounding ecosystems. The Florida Panther, and the Miami Skyline, are two of the most recognizable icons in Florida and Betancourt brings both together in Into the Everglades to remind locals of the rich biodiverse community they are an integral part of.
Video by Carlton Ward, National Geographer Explorer.
Courtesy of Path of the Panther.
Into the Everglades will launch on the facade of the InterContinental on November 16th, with a reception that features speakers from art and conservation backgrounds. The video artwork was created in collaboration with Miami-based filmmaker and animator Milly Cohen, and will play nightly on the InterContinental through November 29th. The launch event will include the release of Carlos Betancourt’s newly commissioned Weird Miami Zine, Secrets of El Portal, published with Exile Books. Betancourt’s zine presents audiences with a self-guided tour through El Portal, a small, intimate enclave between Miami Shores and the City of Miami where the artist currently lives. The tour highlights parts of the neighborhood that have left a lasting impression on Betancourt. Visitors to the opening reception of Into the Everglades on Tuesday, November 16th, will get a complimentary zine while supplies last.
The event is produced in partnership with Path of the Panther. Through impactful storytelling in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and a network of partners, Path of the Panther works to inspire the conservation of the land the Florida panther needs to survive — the Florida Wildlife Corridor — which serves both humans and wildlife. Illuminating the building for 2 weeks, Carlos’s work will be visible nightly from vantage points across downtown Miami, bringing the whole city into celebration for this historic investment to “Keep Florida Wild!”.
This installation is part of WATERPROOF MIAMI, an initiative organized by Bas Fisher Invitational and Bridge Initiative. WATERPROOF is a series of site-specific artists' projects presented in unexpected public spaces developed in direct response to the environmental issues facing South Florida. Each WATERPROOF project presents an opportunity for outreach, engagement, and action.
The directors of all three organizations will be present to introduce the project: Tori Linder, Managing Director of Path of the Panther; Katherine Fleming, Director of Bridge Initiative; and Naomi Fisher, Director of Bas Fisher Invitational.
Carlos Betancourt is a multi-disciplinary artist whose works explore issues of memory, as well as matters of beauty, identity, and communication. By means of re-examination, he recycles and reinterprets the past by delivering it in a fresh and new relevant context; skillfully bending the lines between art, photography, and nature in large format vinyls, photographs, collages, and installations. Influenced by personal memories, he believes that art can be informed by one's own experiences, not necessarily the other way around.
Betancourt's artwork is part of public collections such as the Smithsonian' National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas, New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana, Palm Springs Arts Museum, California, Bass Museum of Art, Florida, PAMM Perez Art Museum, Florida, Museo de Arte Ponde, Puerto Rico. His work is exhibited in various galleries as well as art fairs such as Art Basel and Arco. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Florida Department of State Millennium Cultural Recognition Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and the Miami Beach Arts Council Grant. He has worked as a curator, furniture designer and has collaborated in architectural and site-specific commissions with architect Alberto Latorre in several large-scale public art commissions. Betancourt, together with Latorre established the Betancourt-Latorre foundation, a 501(c) non-for profit organization that helps support projects by artists working in Miami and the Caribbean basin.
Path of the Panther
Telling the story of the Florida panther and the land it needs to survive. As the last big cat surviving in the eastern United States, and the state animal of Florida, the panther is an icon of Florida’s last wild places. Through impactful storytelling in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and a network of partners, Path of the Panther works to inspire the conservation of the land the Florida panther needs to survive — the Florida Wildlife Corridor — which serves both humans and wildlife.
-- Additional support for this project has been generously provided by a Knight Arts Challenge grant, from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida, The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Cowles Charitable Trust, InterContinental Miami, and our exclusive event drink sponsor: Entourage.