Preview: “No Vacancy, Miami Beach” Launches its 4th Edition

Read Time: 8 mins
No Vacancy Miami Beach 2023

The 2023 edition of No Vacancy, Miami Beach kicked off Thursday, November 16th, and runs through December 14th.

Now in its fourth year, the juried art competition spotlights and nurtures the city’s innovative arts scene. The program is spearheaded by the City of Miami Beach in collaboration with the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA). Chosen artists receive a $10,000 stipend to create their projects. 

Visitors are encouraged to experience the exhibits and their iconic hotel locations throughout the Art Deco historic district and beyond. A public vote will determine two grand prize winners, who will receive a public prize from the GMCVB and a Juried Prize by local arts professionals.

Above: MDPL Video highlighting last year’s No Vacancy Program

No Vacancy coincides with Art Week Miami Beach, which will take place from December 4th through December 10th. It is the perfect occasion to join in and celebrate Miami Beach’s vibrant arts, culture, and architecture scene.

“It’s great to see our Art Deco, Mediterranean, and MiMo landmarks highlighted with contemporary installations from local artists at a time when all eyes will be on Miami Beach,” adds MDPL Executive Director Daniel Ciraldo.

Ready for this year’s edition? Here’s a preview of the 12 artists and their works being featured at this year’s competition:

"The Future Eternal"
Carlos Betancourt

📍Betsy Hotel 1440 Ocean Drive

The Betsy Hotel
Built: 1941
Architect: L. Murray Dixon
Carlos Betancourt

Carlos Betancourt (b. 1966 in San Juan, Puerto Rico; lives and works in Miami, FL) is a multidisciplinary artist exploring issues of memory, dwelling in issues of nature, the environment and matters of beauty, identity, and communication. Through re-examination, he recycles and reinterprets the past by delivering it in a fresh and new relevant context.

"Before Miami Design Preservation League"
Liene Bosquê

📍Faena Miami Beach 3201 Collins Ave

Built 1948
Architect: Roy France
Liene Bosquê

Before Miami Design Preservation League is a site specific installation based on the now demolished and lost building silhouettes of Miami Beach before the 1980’s. The Miami Design Preservation League formed in 1976 to preserve and protect the historical and architectural integrity of Miami Beach. Liene Bosquê, a trained architect and artist based in Miami, explores a multidisciplinary practice weaving investigation and sensorial experiences. In this suspended aluminum curtain hanging overhead, Bosquê delineates the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern shapes we now work so hard to preserve, underlining the importance of history and the architecture of this city.

"Yield to Immigrants"
Carola Bravo

📍Riviera Hotel South Beach 318 20th Street

Built 2013
Architect: Choeff + Associates
Carola Bravo

Multimedia artist Carola Bravo (born in Caracas, Venezuela; lives and works in Miami, FL) challenges the concept of migration as a norm and not a crisis by using the traditional image of a general traffic sign, showing silhouettes of herself carrying suitcases and a text with the phrase: Yield to Immigrants. The work addresses the tension between migration issues and the authority of public signs as civic markers. It also questions how manipulating traditional public signs alters their meaning, reminding us about the value of inclusion and our critical role in society.

"Machine Mangrove Lobby"
Leo Castañeda

📍 Esmé Miami Beach 1438 Washington Avenue

Built: 1925
Architect: Robert A. Taylor
Leo Castañeda

Machine Mangrove Lobby is a multivideo and augmented reality installation by multimedia artist and video game designer Leo Castañeda. Inspired by South Florida’s biodiversity and reinterpreted through immersive technology, this piece cycles through surreal transmedia landscapes. Activated through a QR code, the augmented reality application will allow viewers to surround themselves with the beings and landscape as well as record their experiences straight into Instagram.

"The Happy Hour"
Gonzalo Fuenmayor

📍Avalon Hotel 700 Ocean Drive

Built: 1941
Architect: Albert Anis
Gonzalo Fuenmayor

The Happy Hour by Gonzalo Fuenmayor references the popular fragment of time with discounted alcoholic beverages. Suspended in outer space, the tropical cocktail garnishes– some shaped like stars and fruits– portray escapism through intoxication, which is prevalent in our local culture, so infused with nightlife. Fuenmayor suggests a galactic landscape where the viewer is invited to cruise with no destination. The weightlessness of the artificial garnishes aims to explore the relationship between exoticism and the construction of otherness.

"Miami Color Theory"
Laura Paresky Gould

📍Royal Palm South Beach 1545 Collins Avenue 

Built: 1939
Architect: Donald G. Smith
Laura Paresky Gould

Miami Color Theory is a photography project by award-winning artist and graphic designer Laura Paresky Gould. The series, shot on an iPhone and posted daily to Instagram @miamicolortheory, focuses on the colors, lines, and shapes of Greater Miami and Miami Beach’s built environment, and encourages the practice of seeing to appreciate the beauty all around us.

For No Vacancy 2023, Gould presents three installations:

Somewhere showcases 44 framed 12”x12” minimal photographic images of Miami that form a vibrant rainbow of color.

Three is a Magic Number features six framed 24”x24” minimalist photographs in black, white, and yellow, accompanied by three colorful cube chairs. Viewers are encouraged to sit and truly see, hear, and move, as a reminder of the power of enhancing perception and overall well-being.

Beach Palette is a collection of six 24”x24” lifeguard station images highlighting their colors and shapes. The striped graphic background with bold numbers emphasizes the streets where these bright towers can be found.

"Get Haiii All the Tiiime"

📍Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel 1717 Collins Avenue

Built: 1948
Architect: MacKay and Gibbs

Get Haiii All the Tiiime is a rigorous exploration into the nexus of space, time, light, and human perception. In this project, multimedia artist Haiiileen (b. 1991 in Miami, FL; lives and works in Miami, FL) recontextualizes the sundial, an ancient time-keeping device, as a metaphor for the cyclical nature of existence. The rainbow mirrors, known for their refractive properties, provide a counterpoint to the sundial’s temporal narrative, producing a visual play of light and color that is constantly evolving. The piece engages viewers in an active relationship with the artwork and their surroundings, inviting them to consider the subjectivity of their perceptions and the relativity of their experiences.

Marco Inzerillo

📍Hotel Croydon 3720 Collins Avenue

Built: 1937
Architect: Dean Parmalee
Marco Inzerillo

Street photographer Marco Inzerillo (b. 1966 in Palermo, Italy; lives and works in Miami, FL) captures scenes from daily life, serendipitous moments, and poetry that show the eclectic mix of people that contribute to the energetic and diverse atmosphere of urban life. For No Vacancy 2023, Inzerillo presents a series of photographs in both color and black and white, highlighting and celebrating the cultural variety of Miami Beach. His work has been exhibited at the Coral Gables Museum, the HistoryMiami Museum, the Cultural Center Hacienda Castilla in Colombia, and several galleries around the country.

"Source of All Hair, Wearer of All Socks"
Samantha Modder

📍Catalina Hotel and Beach Club 1732 Collins Avenue

Built: 1946
Architect: Milton Sherman
Samantha Modder​

In her series Source of All Hair, Wearer of All Socks, Samantha Modder (b. 1995 in Nigeria, raised in Sri Lanka; lives and works in Tampa, FL) presents a subjective Black woman’s fairytale to process interlocking structures of oppression. Like a storybook made into a mural, the installations are made up of digitally manipulated ballpoint pen drawings that follow a Black woman in her nightdress and striped socks in a world made up of only her and her duplicates. This work serves as an allegory for our contemporary condition, confronting questions of power, exploitation, and resistance.

"The Garden of Evil," Christina Pettersson

📍Cadillac Hotel and Beach Club 3925 Collins Ave

Built: 1940
Architect: Roy France
Christina Pettersson

The Garden of Evil by Christina Pettersson is a large-scale allegorical drawing on wood panels, imagining a futuristic Miami Beach overwhelmed with invasive animals; a visually tropical but ultimately apocryphal world where only the most opportunistic creatures remain. This technicolor menagerie of non-native fauna populates a solitary, gnarled driftwood tree, all that remains of our vanquished coastal landscape. Even the decapitated head of a Henry Flagler statue, the once heroic developer who ushered in the destruction of Florida’s natural wonders, is only ocean detritus. The garden is dead. This “Alice in Wonderland” sinister paradise lost reminds us that however beautiful, an environment absent of native flora and fauna will soon find itself absent of humans as well.

"Murmuration," Alette Simmons-Jimenez

📍International Inn on the Bay 2301 Normandy Drive

Built: 1956
Architect: Melvin Grossman
Alette Simmons-Jimenez

Alette Simmons-Jiménez (b. 1952, Madison, WI; lives and works in Miami, FL) is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the relationship between humans and nature. Her work emphasizes co-existence as the core of sustainability, bridging the real and the metaphysical, and our perceptions of live and inanimate objects. Materials are recycled, upcycled, and reinvented, again and again, conveying ideas of interconnection and reciprocity in the human/nature relationship.

With Murmuration she has created a multi-sensory experience using space, form, sound, light, color, and patterns, for audiences of all ages.

"Extravagant," Federico Uribe

📍Kimpton Hotel Palomar 1750 Alton Road

Built: 2020
Architect: Kobi Karp
Federico Uribe

Federico Uribe (b. 1962 in Bogotá, Colombia; lives and works in Miami, FL) creates magical creatures and playful installations from everyday objects. Finding beauty in simple materials such as books, colored pencils, wood fragments, and shoes and transforming them into animals and natural environments, Uribe creates an immersive and whimsical landscape. These new and innovative forms are simultaneously entrenched in sculptural and painting traditions while breaking free of their constraints. Uribe’s work has become prominent in the United States over the past decade. His artwork has been collected by and featured in multiple museums around North and South America.

These works will be on view from Nov 16 to Dec 14 at their corresponding locations.

Artists were drawn from a call for submissions issued by the city and selected by representatives from the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places Committee, Cultural Arts Council (CAC), and MBVCA.

The winner of the Juried Prize and the winner of the Public Prize will be announced on December 14, 2023. 

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