META 2016


This exhibition was created in honor of Women's History Month to celebrate the sacred feminine, as well as to stimulate a dialogue about intrinsic female spirituality regarding the ontology of being and the role women played in the development of human consciousness.

Featured artists included Tracy Guiteau, Jean Chiang, Sheena Rose, Juana Valdes, Kandy Lopez, Jerome Soimaud, Victoria Selback, Judy Safie, and Alexis Caputo.

~About META...


This exhibition presents an introduction to some of the leading artists of the contemporary AfroCool esthetics (the art of black) in the African Diaspora community in South Florida. The multi-media show features work from Gene Tinnie, Moal, Dudley Alexis, Duwane Coates, Saddi Khali, Rodrigo Richardson, Mokhai, Charles Humes, Jackson Shuri, Onajide, and Chris Carter.

Read more about AfroCool and the featured artists.

Read the Exhibit Treal exhibit review.


To kick off the 2016 META series, the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), in conjunction with curator Ludlow Bailey and CADA Conversations, presents Collecting Black: an exhibition featuring works from the collections of prominent South Florida collectors focusing on contemporary African Diaspora art.

META 2015

See highlights from the 2015 META Series below.

The June 28, 2015, edition of META served as the opening reception for a new exhibition in honor of Caribbean Heritage Month. "Islas: Contemporary Caribbean Visions" is a photographic exhibition that features the work of eight artists of Caribbean descent: Albert Chong (Jamaica), Boriquah Afrikanah (Puerto Rico and St. Croix), Carl Juste (Haiti), Emekan Afamefuna (Jamaica), Hakim Mutlaq (Trinidad), Jorge Sanchez (Cuba), Kerry Coppin (Barbados and the British Virgin Islands), Stuart Brown (Jamaica) and Tom Lopez (Cuba). The opening also premiered a special art performance production by Bahamian American artist Alexis Caputo.

In honor of Haitian Heritage Month, the May 31, 2015, edition of META served as the opening reception for "Endurance," a film and visual narrative celebrating Haiti's remarkable contribution to humanity, with South Florida artists Guy Syllien, Asser Saint-Val, James Brutus and Nzingah Oniwosan and film makers Dudley Alexis and Jason Fitzroy Jeffers.

Read the Miami New Times preview, "Opa-locka to celebrate Haitian art at Meta 4."

The April 26, 2015, edition of META served as the opening reception for "The Third Eye" exhibit, which showcases works by South Florida artists Asser Saint-Val, Loni Johnson, Juana Valdes, T. Eliott Mansa, and Robert McKnight. In honor of Poetry History Month, the reception featured a performance by spoken word collective Chaos Theory. The event also included a panel discussion moderated by META curator Ludlow Bailey.

Derek Davis, Chief Curator and Director, Old Dillard Museum
Robert McKnight, Visual Artist
Nzingah Oniwosan, Visual Artist
Denise Credle, Director, Shaman Lounge

The March 29, 2015, edition of META commemorated Women's History Month and doubled as the opening of the multimedia art exhibition"Forces of Nature: Bounce and Flow," featuring artists Elaine Defibaugh, Sheila Elias, Judy Sayfie, and Hattie Mae Williams. The event also included a panel discussion on the transformational value of art, co-moderated by META curator Ludlow Bailey of CADA Conversations and Mikhaile Solomon, Director of Public Art for OLCDC and Founder/Director of PRIZM Art Fair.

Dr. Carol Damian, Professor of Art History, Florida International University
Sheila Elias, Artist
Eveline Pierre, Director, Haitian Cultural Museum
Marie Vickles, Education Manager, Perez Art Museum Miami/Curator-in-Residence, Little Haiti Cultural Complex

Read Miami Herald event coverage.

The February 22, 2015, META kickoff event featured the South Florida screening of "The Walking Drawings" video by celebrated black British artist Everton Wright, which premiered at the Royal Academy in London. The screening was followed by a short talk/Q&A with Wright and panel discussion on the state of the Black art landscape in Miami-Dade moderated by Meta curator Ludlow Bailey.

Veteran artist Gene Tinnie, President, Kuumba Artist Association
Graylyn Swilley, Vice President, Multicultural Tourism, GMVCB
Gary L. Moore, Opa-locka Artist-in-Residence
Melissa Hunter Davis, Publisher, Sugar Cane Magazine

About META

META presents cultural programming that explores transformative art of the African diaspora, featuring local and international artists of various disciplines including dance, visual arts, music, video and film.

META is a monthly series at OLCDC's newly opened facility, The ARC, in which artists who transform and reimagine their respective fields through innovative techniques and practices will engage the Opa-locka and South Florida communities, highlighting the role of the arts in community development.

META will culminate with OLCDC's eagerly anticipated annual Art of Transformation during November and early December, overlapping with Art Basel Miami Beach/Miami Art Week.

META Curator Ludlow Bailey

Ludlow BaileyLudlow Bailey is the Managing Director of CADA, a multi-media platform designed to present and promote the visual art culture of the African Diaspora; the curator of Global African Diaspora Culture; and Managing Director of G&A International Consultants, Inc. Mr. Bailey is a globalist whose passion is world art and culture. He believes that Contemporary Africana Culture (music, dance, art and film) represents some of the world's most spirited, esthetic and inspiring popular culture. Mr. Bailey has attended many of the world's leading art fairs and museums and is very informed about the art markets in London, New York, Paris, Johannesburg, Chicago, Berlin and Miami.

Ludlow has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Brown University, where he was awarded a Watson Fellowship which allowed him to study Contemporary African Philosophy at the University of Ghana, the University of Dakar and the American University in Cairo. As a Brown undergraduate, Mr. Bailey spent his junior year at the American Classical School in Rome, studying Etruscan Art, High Renaissance Italian Art and Architecture. He earned his Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Past Events @ the ARC

Rhythm and Arts Poetry Festival, April 2016

Shameka ThomasThe April 9, 2016, Opa-locka Rhythm and Arts Poetry Festival, co-sponsored by the OLCDC and O'Miami, coincided with O'Miami's annual celebration of poetry also known as the Annual Poetry Festival, which is when O'Miami attempts to deliver a poem to every single person in Miami-Dade County.

In pursuit of this goal, OLCDC lead a poetry project facilitated by Artist in Residence and Opa-locka native Shameka "Poetry" Thomas who returned to her alma mater, North Dade Middle School, to work with Expressive Art students. Shameka integrated different forms of poetry, such as rap and spoken word, into the Program's curriculum, ultimately introducing students to the benefits of poetry as a new and engaging art form. Shameka's work with students culminated with a showcase during the April 9th Rhythm and Arts Poetry Festival @ The ARC.

~ See Miami Herald and Miami Times coverage of the event.

"Beautiful Decay," September - October 18, 2015

"Beautiful Decay" is an architectural exploration into the viability of current methods of habitation. Both real and speculative, the selected projects explore sceneries and scenarios that tackle the issues facing our ever-changing landscape. Featuring 10 architects and designers from around the country, the exhibition is curated by Germane Barnes, OLCDC Designer-in-Residence and Lecturer at the University of Miami School of Architecture.

Curator's Note:

Beautiful Decay was inspired by the disillusionment one often experiences with architecture. Whether professionally or in academia, one often reaches a critical juncture when they attempt to find their place in the field. Architecture is routinely thought of as limitless and impactful and iconic and autonomous. A lucky few are able to realize those thoughts, the vast majority are not. Miami, a relatively young city, is currently facing that moment. While contemporary projects are beginning to appear across the city, Miami's rich history is collateral damage.

The goal of this exhibition is to bring attention to issues surrounding but not limited to South Florida. Sea level rise and flooding are no longer speculative topics, but real phenomenon that one physically and visually experiences during the summer months. Architecture in the tropical world is filled with endless, speculative possibilities that need to be explored.

While Beautiful Decay is an attempt to give a Voice to the voiceless, to express the work of locations that are often forgotten or ignored, it is not limited to Miami. Proposals will display instances of global decadence and work that provoke insightful discussion on the world that we inhabit, both positively and negatively.

--Germane Barnes
"Islas: Contemporary Caribbean Visions," June 28 - July 22, 2015

"Islas: Contemporary Caribbean Visions" is a photographic exhibition in honor of Caribbean Heritage Month, featuring the work of eight artists of Caribbean descent: Albert Chong (Jamaica), Boriquah Afrikanah (Puerto Rico and St. Croix), Carl Juste (Haiti), Emekan Afamefuna (Jamaica), Hakim Mutlaq (Trinidad), Jorge Sanchez (Cuba), Kerry Coppin (Barbados and the British Virgin Islands), Stuart Brown (Jamaica) and Tom Lopez (Cuba).

Museum Community Meeting, June 29, 2015

Miami North Arts & Humanities Foundation, Inc., The Museum Working Group, and Opa-locka Community Development Corporation held a community meeting to share information about plans to build The Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora in our community. Attendees' questions and comments were thoughtful and reflected a thirst for art and art educational programming in the Northwest Miami-Dade community. A number of elected officials attended, including State Representative Sharon Pridgett; former Miami-Dade Commissioner Betty T. Ferguson; Opa-locka Commissioner Terence Pinder; former Miami Gardens Councilman Melvin Bratton; Miami Gardens Councilman Erhabor Ighodaro, and a representative from the office of Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime.

Presenters included Dr. Willie Logan, President & CEO, Opa-locka Community Development Corporation; Malou Harrison, President, Miami-Dade College North Campus; Michelle Johnson, Program Coordinator, Concerned African Women; Hans Ottinot, Esq. (first City Attorney of Miami Gardens), Sheldon Anderson, Northern Trust Bank; Robert Portnoff, The Paratus Group; and Marilyn Holifield, Esq., Holland & Knight LLP.


Life Is Art, Soul Of Miami, Buskerfest and OLCDC presented the River Of Art + Taste of Opa-locka, featuring ten amazing local artists, a showcase of hot local bands and performers, and tastings by several Opa-locka restaurants. The event exposed new artists, introduced new people to art appreciation, provided an inspiring space to make new connections, and showcased local businesses, while providing a fun break during the work week.

"Endurance," May 31 - June 22, 2015

"Endurance" is a film and visual narrative celebrating Haiti's remarkable contribution to humanity, with South Florida artists Guy Syllien, Asser Saint-Val, James Brutus and Nzingah Oniwosan and film makers Dudley Alexis and Jason Fitzroy Jeffers.

Sud Swap, June 6, 2015

Sud Swap is a monthly craft beer and art event presented by the Miami Beer Tour. The June 6 Swap @ the ARC featured breweries, food trucks, arts and craft vendors, and DJs!

"The Third Eye," April 26 - May 22, 2015

"The Third Eye" is a selection of art by five artists of African descent: Asser Saint-Val, T. Eliott Mansa, Loni Johnson, Juana Valdes and Robert McKnight. The most important goal of this exhibition was to stimulate new ideas/dreams that may transform individuals, communities and the status quo.

The third eye is considered "the seat of the soul." Many believe the third eye is the pineal gland which exists in the center of the brain. Ancient Egyptians (a.k.a, the people of Kemet) based the foundation of their spirituality upon the belief in the pursuit of awakening the third eye.

Most of the artists in this show have had a long-term interest in the pineal gland as it relates to Kemetic Spirituality and melanin. The exhibition exposed multi-dimensional themes of melanin, melatonin and the pineal gland.

The exhibition also focused on themes of transcendence: the awakening of the third eye; the pursuit of self knowledge; and the visualization of trans-dimensional experiences. Scientists know that all such transcendent experiences are caused by specific colors (art) and sounds (music) which stimulate the pineal gland that triggers the secretion of melatonin (the hormone that enables us to dream at night).

Community Paint Day, April 18, 2015

The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) hosted Opa-locka's first Community Paint Day to transform Ali Baba Avenue into a large-scale, temporary public artwork. OLCDC commissioned noted artist/architect Walter Hood to reimagine the 2.1-long mile main thoroughfare as an artistic corridor and partnered with Miami Rise (a team from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Miami Program) to organize the first paint day with 200 volunteers. This project has created a visual marker and increased civic engagement to signal that change is happening in Opa-locka, while highlighting opportunities for long term infrastructure improvements to enhance pedestrian and cycling access.

Read the Miami Herald's "Paint gives hope to Opa-locka's Ali Baba Avenue."
Read the Miami New Time's "Public Art Paints a New Face on Opa-locka's Buildings."

"Forces of Nature: Bounce and Flow," March 29 - April 15, 2015

This multimedia art exhibit, featuring artists Elaine Defibaugh, Sheila Elias, Judy Sayfie, and Hattie Mae Williams, presented a visual feast full of color, fantasy, creative power and energy.

Read Miami Herald exhibit coverage.

Elaine Defibaugh, "Fussy Wussy Is!" Courtesy the artist
Sheila Elias, "Strength." Courtesy the artist
Judy Sayfie, "Sun Energy." Courtesy the artist

Hattie Mae Williams Choreography Reel
3rd World Film Festival / FILM NOIR VS. NEO-NOIR, March 28, 2015

This one-day film festival, presented by Florida International University Honors College Third World Cinema class and OLCDC, explored cinema's stylish film noir and neo-noir genres in the developing world. Film noir from the 1930s-1950s is characterized by stark, angular shadows; conflicted anti-heroes; chiaroscuro lighting; determined, beautiful, scheming women; obscured scenes; and isolation in modern cities. Neo-noir addresses philosophical questions about the essence of human nature, guilt, redemption, and problems of knowledge, memory and identity, while blurring the lines between right and wrong, good and evil. Two films per genre were screened to introduce and expose the art of stylized filmmaking and foreign films in Opa-locka.