On Thursday, February 10, Locust Projects — Miami’s leading alternative art space — hosted its Annual Benefit Dinner honoring the Knight Foundation’s transformative impact on the arts in Miami and celebrating internationally renowned food and art pioneer Antoni Miralda at the Rubell Museum East Wing.
The INFINITY Annual Benefit Dinner was an unforgettable art and culinary experience commemorating the Knight Foundation – their transformative impact on the arts in Miami and specifically, their support of experimental art and ideas at Locust Projects – and celebrating iconic food and art pioneer, Antoni Miralda, an artist with longstanding ties to Miami.
“With our distinct mission to support the creation of cutting-edge new work by local, national, and international artists at all career stages, there’s no more fitting artist for Locust Projects to honor than Miralda, an internationally-renowned experimental artist for more than sixty-years who has made Miami their part-time base since 1982,” says Lorie Mertes, Locust Projects’ Executive Director. “Guests enjoyed a taste of Miralda’s vision in a unique, immersive dining experience envisioned by the artist. At its center, was the concept of infinity—in both the shape of the table and in the convivial exchange around it.” Mertes continues, “Each guest was an essential ingredient, seasoning our joyful time together.”
The 120-person sold out event was held in the 7,500 sq ft Rubell Museum event space and featured a 150-ft long, custom-made infinity-shaped table decorated by objects referencing Miralda’s past works– from the centerpieces referencing the Statue of Liberty’s torch in a bowl of dried “moros y cristianos” representing the marriage of old and new worlds in his global Honeymoon Project from the 1990s, to airplane style plates recalling past feasts from the 1970s. The experience included a dramatic curtain reveal, Pea-flower colored “InfiniTEA” ceremonial offering drinks, dazzling magenta colored light infusing the space, a performative placing of chairs, lighted food carts, and waiters in headlamps—all choreographed to a series of wall-sized video projections tracing Miralda's work from the 1970s to the present.
The creative multi-course menu by Le Basque Catering was created in collaboration with Miralda and his longtime partner and chef, Montse Guillén to reference Miami's cultural and culinary influences. At every table was a small pot of locust (projects) powder to season each dish as a nod to the 22-year old arts organization.
The event was co-chaired by Richard and Susan Arregui, Debra Scholl, and Munisha Underhill, with major sponsorship from Richard and Susan Arregui, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Diane and Alan Lieberman, and Craig Robins. A full list of sponsors listed in the event program here.
The convivial gathering included artists, Locust Projects board members and a wide array of Miami’s art collectors and patrons, including Miralda and Montse Guillén, Micky Wolfson – who, in 1982, supported Miralda’s first of many projects in Miami – Richard and Susan Arregui, Mario Cader Frech and Robert Wennett, Marvin Ross Friedman and Adrienne bon Haes, Diane and Alan Lieberman, George Lindemann, Dede Moss, Ariel Penzer and Jeremy Milgroom, Mera and Don Rubell, Jason and Michelle Rubell, Debra Scholl, Rosa Sugrañes, Munisha Underhill and Rosie Gordon-Wallace, and artists Carlos Betancourt, Robert Chambers and Mette Tommerup, George Sánchez-Calderón, and Locust co-founding artist, Westen Charles, to name a few.
Proceeds from the event support Locust Projects’ mission to CREATE opportunities for visual artists at all career stages; INVITE risk-taking and experimentation; ACTIVATE conversations around new art and ideas; and ADVOCATE for artists and creative practices.
Click here to view event photos by Alejandro Chavarria of World Red Eye
Locust Projects’ Infinity Annual Benefit Dinner was made possible thanks to the in-kind support of: Jacober Creative, Rubell Museum, Miami Herald, Tito's Handmade Vodka, CDR Maguire, and Le Basque Catering. Additional thanks to SoFlo Studios and DJ Peoples. Event support from Josep Maria Civit (Lighting design); Ferran Martín (Construction); and Coralí Mercader (Video archivist/editor).
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