Formerly known as ArtCenter/South Florida, Oolite Arts is an organization that has worked for decades in order to provide affordable work space for visual artists in Miami, a mission that has become increasingly difficult in a city saturated by blockbuster developments and bombastically global art fairs. However, on Wednesday, Oolite Arts announced that the organization will be getting a facelift via a freshly built campus, which is projected to open to the public in 2022 and is being designed by the Barcelona-based architecture firm Barozzi Veiga. The new campus, which is going to be located in the Little River neighborhood at 75 NW 72nd St. in Miami, will also have features that will make it more accessible to different kinds of artists, such as an exhibition space, a theater for lectures and a multitude of new classrooms. The purpose of this renovation is to make the center beneficial both to artists and to the community at large.
“Miami’s visual arts community has grown exponentially over the past decade, and Oolite Arts has transformed its programming to help Miami-based artists grow,” Dennis Scholl, the president and CEO of Oolite Arts, said in a statement. “Our new home will enable us to better meet the needs of both visual artists and the community.” Oolite Arts used to have a Miami Beach building, and the sale of that building in 2014 greatly enabled the organization to increase its outreach efforts with the resulting funds. Now, Oolite Arts has provided direct financial support to artists over the past couple of years, and the organization has also introduced studio visits with curators such as Helen Molesworth, Paul Schimmel and Trevor Schoonmaker.
Plus, Barozzi Veiga has a proven track record when it comes to dreaming up incredible designs. Recently selected to redesign the Art Institute of Chicago, thus far, the firm has gained recognition for their execution of the Szczecin Philharmonic Hall in Poland and the Fine Arts Museum MCBA in Lausanne, Switzerland, so it’ll be very interesting to see how they tackle the particular needs of Miami-Dade County.