PRIZM Art Fair 2018 Review – Black Art Matters!

Editor’s Note:  Read related interviews in the George Floyd: In Memoriam roundup.

PRIZM Art Fair 2018 Review – Black Art Matters! - now in its 6th year, PRIZM showscases 63 artists of the African diaspora during Miami Art Week

PRIZM Art Fair
America and me is complicated, ok. (I), 2018 9 x 12 in. Hand-cut collage Artist: Christa David; Image courtesy of TILA Studios and PRIZM Art Fair

Just shy of seven years…

 In the same state of Florida, and only 260 miles away…

17 year-old Trayvon Martin was murdered by a gunman who walks free to this day.

This painful fact was perhaps in its DNA but not in the December 3 afternoon air as PRIZM Art Fair was getting dressed for its public opening in the shadow of Art Basel Miami, one of the world’s largest art fairs that now has spawned a dozen or so junior shows in its shadow during Miami Art Week.

There wasn’t much “junior” about the art though in this 6th edition of PRIZM, an art show dedicated to works of the African diaspora. Actually, George Zimmerman’s memory doesn’t define the feel of PRIZM 2018.

PRIZM Art Fair
Artist: Jasmine Williams, Mia X Taught Me, 2017, Woodcut. Williams was recently commissioned by the Stacy Abrams campaign to create art to capture the campaign spirit. Image courtesy of TILA Studios and PRIZM Art Fair
PRIZM Art Fair
Tiffany Latrice, Executive Director, TILA Studios enthusiastically explains their No-Boys-Allowed arts incubator for Black Women Artists
PRIZM Art Fair
2018 Garden Fellows- Winners of the TILA Takes Art Basel Experience Photo: Dierra Font

More accurately, it is Stacy Abrams’ spirited concession-not speech that drowns out his ghostlike presence. In fact, it is easy to spot a work by an artist that Abrams’ team had commissioned to make art for the Abrams campaign that would have won, but were racially profiling voter fraud de-legitimized in Georgia and beyond.   This artist, Jasmine Williams, was brought to PRIZM and Miami Art Week by Atlanta-born and based TILA, which works to be a safe space for Black Women Artists. Speaking with TILA Studios Executive Director Tiffany Latrice we learned that Williams was one of ten artists chosen from 80 applicants for this PRIZM project, which also includes a brunch meeting with 250 women artists hosted by Miami’s prominent Perez Art Museum.

PRIZM Art Fair
Asian Uboikpa (Hip Sista) Series #11, 2015 60 x 48 in. Acrylic on canvas Artist: Victor Ekpuk; Image courtesy of Morton Fine Art and PRIZM Art Fair
PRIZM Art Fair
Artist: Tahir Carl Karmali, Strata 1; Alaina Simone Inc.
PRIZM Art Fair
Nigerian-American Adire Busayo readies her unique clothing that she describes as made in that place where fashion and art intersect
PRIZM Art Fair
Stephen Arboite of N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art is assembling his recent works of archetypal Black faces drawn with coffee ground and charcoal on large coffee filters
PRIZM Art Fair
Artist: Victor Ekpuk; Morton Fine Art, Washington D.C.
PRIZM Art Fair
Artist: Elia Alba; Alaina Simone Inc.

TILA is one of eight galleries exhibiting at PRIZM that, combined with two curated shows, present works by more than 60 artists. Meeting PRIZM’s Founding Director and curator of The Dark Horse exhibit ,   , we learned that PRIZM began as her labor of love somewhat in homage to one of her important mentors.

PRIZM Art Fair is a Refreshing Trump-Free Zone

Today, PRIZM shouts to this writer as first and foremost a Trump-free zone, where works oozing with humor mingle comfortably with those showing slaves’ broken shackles, archetypical Black faces emerging from a dreamscape drawn of charcoal and coffee grounds, while others, and especially in the Transceivers: channels, outlets and forces show curated by Peruvian-born artist William Cordova poke into intersections between futurism, ritual and folklore.

PRIZM Art Fair
Artist: Daniel Lynd Ramos
PRIZM Art Fair
here, together, 2018 36 x 36 in. Mixed Media on Canvas Paper Artist: Jared McGriff; image courtesy of PRIZM Art Fair
PRIZM Art Fair
Artist: Helina Metaferia, Out of the roots of my head, 2018 Collaged paper Image courtesy of PRIZM Art Fair
PRIZM Art Fair
Artist: Deborah Willis, Hortense's Mirror

Like African clothing, expect to see more color, than perhaps art shows elsewhere. Expect to see artwork in conversations with the likes of Franz Fanon, more than Andy Warhol.   But most of all, like top shelf art shows anywhere, expect to see distinct artist personalities making their imprimatur on your imagination.

PRIZM is an art stop worth making during Miami Art Week.   Black Lives Matter is making a point to also be there, offering on-site acupuncture to help define PRIZM   and similar African diaspora art events as a healing space.

Indeed, PRIZM is a tonic for our times.

Exhibiting artists include: Olu Amoda, Stephen Arboite, Osi Audu, Nicole Awai, Lillian Blades, Alicia Brown, Nyame Brown, Kesha Bruce, Christopher Carter, Ify Chiejina, Taha Clayton, Yanira Collado, Victor Ekpuk, Adriana Farmiga, Maya Freelon, Alfred Conteh, Damon Davis, Morel Doucet, Shaunte Gates, Monique Gilpin, LaMont Hamilton, LaToya Hobbs, Wayne Hodge, Deborah Jack, Justin D. Johnson, N. Masani Landfair, Nate Lewis, Kelley Ann Lindo, Daniel Lind-Ramos, Tahir Carl Karmali, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, T. Elliott Mansa, Mildred Beltré Martinez, Jared McGriff, Helina Metafari, Kishan Munroe, Marilyn Nance, Shervone Neckles, Khaulah Nuruddin, Nnenna Okore, Niyi Olagunju, Charo Oquet, Alexis Peskine, Robles-Gordon, Marton Robinson, Phillip Robinson, Michael Roman, Tylonn Sawyer, Dread Scott, Frank Schroder, Onajide Shabaka, Stephon Senegal, Tariku Shiferaw, Nyugen Smith, Stanley Squirewell, Jean-Marcel St. Jacques, Felandus Thames, Dareece Walker, Ronald Williams, Deborah Willis, Paula Wilson, Sephora Woldu and Ezra Wube.

PRIZM Art Fair
William Cordova, curator of the Transceivers... Exhibit, whose own work is being exhibited both at Art Basel and the untitled show this week, explains that giving other artists access to resources and tools he has developed as a curator is part of his practice


Tuesday, December 4, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, December 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, December 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, December 7,10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, December 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For details on panel discussions and other PRIZM events visit the PRIZM Art Fair website


PRIZM Art Fair
Mikhaile Solomon (right) founded and currently serves as Director of PRIZM Art Fair


PRIZM Art Fair
169 East Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33131


On site--$15 day pass, $5 students, $50 multi-day


Photos by Peter Kachergis, unless otherwise indicated.

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