The Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., is the newest landmark to rise on the shores of Biscayne Bay, transforming the city’s downtown skyline. Formerly the Miami Art Museum, the $131 million facility opened last month during Art Basel and Art Week Miami and promises to elevate Miami’s arts scene year-round, with more than 200,000 square feet of programmable indoor and outdoor exhibition space. In addition to galleries, the museum houses a library, auditorium, classrooms, art and digital media workshops, a restaurant and museum shop. Admission is free on the first Thursday and second Saturday of each month. Among the current exhibitions are: Ai Weiwei: According to What? (through March 16), Amelia Peláez: The Craft of Modernity (through Feb. 23) and Americana (through May 1). One of the museum’s most striking exhibition is the installation of historic sailing vessels created by Hew Locke and hanging from the ceiling of the entry. For more information, go to PAMM.org.
Last December, the Spanish Cultural Center hosted a fascinating “exhibition” about tapas, the country’s signature small plated dishes. Now, the Jewish Museum of Florida, 301 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach, is offering Growers, Grocers & Gefilte Fish: A Gastronomic Look at Florida Jews and Food (through Oct. 5). The exhibit traces nearly 200 years of Jewish influence in the Sunshine State from early migrants to celebrated chef Michelle Bernstein and Lee Schrager of the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. There’s even a section about Burger King founder Ben Stein. For information, go to JewishMuseum.com.
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, 1 Las Olas Blvd., will present The Movement: Bob Adelman and Civil Rights Era Photography (Jan. 19 – May 17), an exhibition featuring the imagery of renowned photographer Bob Adelman. A photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and other civil rights organizations, Adelman’s unique vantage point at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement led him to produce some of that era’s most iconic images. Featuring 100 black-and-white and color photographs, the exhibition will provide a context in which viewers can revisit these years of struggle and consider how and why certain images have become emblematic of the era. For information, go to MOAFL.org.
West Palm Beach’s Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., offers The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation (through March 23). This survey brings together groundbreaking Polaroid pictures by 40 artists spanning the period from the initial release of the SX-70 camera in 1972 to the present. The exhibition centers on experimentation and examines how the invention of instant photography—in particular Polaroid, a brand known for its innovation and responsiveness to artistic endeavors—has influenced and inspired both amateurs and professionals. Artists represented include such pioneers of instant photography as Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol, as well as a new generation of artists including Anne Collier, Bryan Graf, and Grant Worth. For more information, go to Norton.org.
ArtsUnited hosts ArtExplosion 2014 (Jan. 27 – Feb. 14), the LGBT organization’s 14th annual juried exhibit at Art Serve, 1359 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. This popular exhibition features a wide range of mediums from photography and painting to mixed media and sculpture from a diverse group of local artists. ArtsUnited also sponsors member exhibits at the Room 206 Gallery, 2040 N. Dixie Hwy in Wilton Manors. Catch Brush Strokes (through Jan. 31), an exhibition of paintings, and Mixed Bag (Feb./March), a collection of mixed media works. For more information, go to ArtsUnitedFlorida.com.