Today, we take you to Miami Beach, for a conversation with British-born artist Ellen Harvey. In 2002, the art fair known as Art Basel traveled here from Switzerland, to set up a winter home. While the South Florida metropolis has grown into an international contemporary art mecca, this coast has also become recognized as ground zero for sea level rise.
Despite increased flooding from high tides, the population keeps growing. Public and private investments continue to pour in. In 2015, the City of Miami Beach allocated 620 million dollars to renovate and expand the Convention Center where the Art Basel fair takes place every December. Seven million dollars of the budget were dedicated to public art. Six new site works are adding star power to the City’s permanent collection.
Selected for one of the high profile commissions, Brooklyn-based artist Ellen Harvey seized the moment, to create what she describes as “a hopelessly romantic call to action.” We sit down with her to talk about the endangered eco-system that informs Atlantis, her shimmering glass wall installation.
Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Photography courtesy Miami Beach Art in Public Places, Ellen Harvey, Fresh Art International |Feature image and AiPP photography credit: Robin Hill
Related Episodes: Art and the Climate Crisis with IKT Miami, Curating and Creative Resilience with IKT in Miami, Whithervanes: The Art of Anxiety, Where Art Meets Activism, Art and the Rising Sea, Rauschenberg Residency on Rising Water
Ellen Harvey’s Atlantis joins other public art projects to be realized in and around the Convention Center. Accessible to visitors and locals, the full set will include a vivid painted mural by Franz Ackermann (Berlin), a bent swimming pool sculpture by Elmgreen & Dragset (Berlin), a neon global positioning installation by Joseph Kosuth (London/New York), whimsical park seating by Joep van Lieshout (Rotterdam), and an expansive patterned tile wall by Sarah Morris (New York).
Cathy Byrd, Fresh Art International Founder and Artistic Director, participated in the review and selection process from 2015-2016 as a member of the City of Miami Art in Public Places Committee.