|Miami Beach, FL (November 3, 2023) —The City Miami of Miami Beach is pleased to present “Adora Vanessa Athena Fantasia,” a newly commissioned art installation by Brazilian collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus (AVAF). The work is the third installment of Elevate Española, a public art program launched by the city in 2022.
With “Adora Vanessa Athene Fantasia,” AVAF draws inspiration from the Miami Beach drag scene, drawing details from local drag personas and honoring the existence and work of these artists. Above Española Way, “Adora Vanessa Athene Fantasia” will feature five suspended large-scale aluminum portraits, printed on both sides in AVAF’s distinctively vibrant style paying tribute to Miami Beach area drag icons.
Some of the drag artists who inspired the project include Adora, Athena Dion, Carla Croqueta, Fantasia Royale, Juice Love Dion, Lady Paraiso, Persephone Von Lips, Power Infiniti, The Regina Black, Tiffany Fantasia and TP Lords. Elevate Española is located along Española Way between Washington and Collins avenues.
“Drag artists, often explosive, full of energy, colorful and inclusive in their performances are very inspirational to us and our practices have many similarities,” shared AVAG. “Our aim in AVAF projects and installations has always been to provide joy and a sense of freedom, liberation, and self-expression to the viewer — and we can see the same manifestation in drag events. Energizing the viewer always seems to be the intention of drag performances and that is also an important feature in our work.”
“Adora Vanessa Athene Fantasia” is the third installment of Elevate Española as a dedicated art installation site, and the fourth to be presented over Española Way. In 2021, the art collective FriendsWithYou presented a hanging installation over Española Way titled Little Cloud Sky, which consisted of eight inflatable cloud sculptures. In November 2022, Edouard Duval-Carrié debuted the inaugural installation of Elevate Española titled Trapeze Contortionists. In Spring 2023, artist Jillian Meyer presented Very Moving, which explored the impact of technology on our lives. Commissions at the site will continue biannually, with the next installment planned for Spring 2024.
About the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places Program
Art in Public Places is a city board responsible for the commission and purchase of artwork by contemporary artists in all media. The program allocates funds totaling 2% of hard costs for city projects and joint private/public projects. Funds from construction projects may be aggregated into the Art in Public Places Fund and allocated for artwork at public sites and for collection maintenance. The fund is administered by a City Commission-appointed citizen’s board of seven members, the Art in Public Places Committee.
About the Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council
The Cultural Arts Council (CAC) is an 11-member council created in 1997 for the purpose of developing, coordinating and promoting the performing and visual arts in the City of Miami Beach. The CAC serves as arts advocates before governmental bodies, coordinates collective marketing initiatives for the local arts community and funds not-for-profit arts organizations. Since the program’s inception, the CAC has awarded approximately $18 million in cultural arts grants, supporting thousands of performances, exhibits and other cultural activities in Miami Beach.