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“Baking History: Past-Forward At Wynwood’s True Artistic Pioneer” exhibit at the Bakehouse Art Complex
February 1, 2017 - April 7, 2017
Xavier Cortada, “Four Elements at the Frost: Aer,” 2008
Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL
Commissioned by the State of Florida Art in State Buildings.
Audrey Love Gallery
On-View Feb 1 – April7
On February 1st, 1987 a group of enthusiastic creatives cut a ribbon to inaugurate the first artist studios and workshops at the Bakehouse Art Complex. Also in attendance were the fiercely intrepid founders: Faith Atlass, Hélène Muller Pancoast, David Arthur and Natalie Nadel. Their vision was straight forward – they needed “a space to work and mingle without the threat of losing their shirts to landlords.” The former Art Deco bakery had been abandoned for a few years before they acquired the property in 1985 with the help of the City of Miami, Metro Dade County, Flowers Bakery and the County Council of Arts and Sciences. Since then, and with the invaluable input of many other community members, the Bakehouse has become a successful collective project that in return, has represented the visual arts in Wynwood long before it became fashionable.
The Bakehouse Art Complex was one of the first local organizations to embrace and legitimize street art when in 1986 it began commissioning local artists to paint graffiti and murals on its walls. Our early relationship with public art has a long legacy, which we proudly display in the gallery as one of many lasting, tangible impacts of our organization. Now entering its fourth decade and mindful of this pioneering legacy, the Bakehouse strives to find new forms of engagement with the community through public art. This spirit is present in Baking History with the inclusion of sketches, maquettes and photographs of past, present and future public art projects from current and former Bakehouse artists. The show’s timeline depicts relevant events in our history and other notable local, national and international moments and data that provide context.
Far from a finished product, this exhibition is part of an ongoing research project, and serves as an invitation to the community to help fill in our historical gaps. A book has been placed at the entrance of the gallery to capture written memories. Visitors are invited to share their stories of the Bakehouse and the bakery. An oral history program is also in the oven and will be launched soon. Ultimately, this celebration expands to all of the artists’ studios – or as it used to be, the “production floor” of the bakery – because though it no longer offers the famous Merita bread, affordable space for artists is an essential underpinning for every city reliant on the creative economy for long-run sustained growth.
Xavier Cortada will be displaying his 2008 Art in State Buildings public art commission: Four Elements at the Frost