Presented by Jack Daniel’s and Cult Creative, Art, Beats, & Lyrics returns to Miami for its 17th annual showcase. It’s set to take place on Saturday, December 4 at LoanDepot Park – a change of scenery from its usual Wynwood location, but also a spacious backdrop to kick off the 2021 art tour after a brief hiatus last year.
A fusion of black art and hip-hop, the event has become a staple for local black artists since visiting Miami during Art Week 2012.
Art, Beats & Lyrics founder Jabari Graham said he launched the pop-up in 2004 in Atlanta after noticing that the art scene did not respond to urban culture.
âI was fired from one of my jobs,â Graham says. âI was working at UniverSoul Circus so from there I wanted to do something in art and music. I pretty much took what I learned from the circus to incorporate something for myself. ”
With the show’s curator, Dubelyoo Wright, Graham established Art, Beats, & Lyrics as a platform for emerging and seasoned visual artists and performers. A year later, they joined forces with Jack Daniel’s and finally hit the road to present the concept to different markets.
âUrban themed art was not considered mainstream art at the time,â says Wright. “We provided a platform for these visual artists to show their work because the galleries wouldn’t accept it.”
Graham and Wright blazed a trail for alternative artists who rarely had a space to exhibit their work. Their events never “got them a pat on the back of the galleries,” Wright says, but they did invite attendees to interact with a wide range of cultural installations from artists like Charly Palmer, an Atlanta-based artist whose work adorned the covers of John Legend’s Grammy-winning album greatest love and Time of the July 2020 America Must Change magazine, and Shepard Fairey, the street artist and graphic designer whose Barack Obama’s “Hope” poster was ubiquitous during the 2008 presidential campaign.
âOver the years, we have collaborated with hundreds of [artists]. We try to mix it with established artists and rising ones. It’s part of our recipe for the visual arts and its curation, “Wright said.” It gives this young artist a chance to shine and let the public see that these people are the ones to watch in years to come. to come. . “
Wright and Graham used this same formula to organize their annual Miami Art Week event. In the past, they have featured Miami artists Melissa Mitchell and Kaz “Kazilla” Williams; their 2021 exhibition will feature pieces by Mwanel Pierre-Louis, a local Haitian artist who combines abstraction with elements of realism, and Nate Dee, a South Florida native whose work is influenced by his Haitian culture, the Greek mythology and the art nouveau movement.
As attendees admire and interact with the art, a surprise roster of DJs and musicians is brought in to liven up the experience. Pairing new talent with vets, previous Art Week shows have included performances by Masego, Sango, D Smoke, and Little Brother.
The performances are meant to be an accompaniment rather than a focal point, so you won’t be notified in advance of who’s performing – attendees have to wait and see who takes the stage at the Miami show.
âWe don’t want the show to be overshadowed by talent, which is why we tend not to say, ‘Well, we’re going to have XYZ here,’â Graham said.
While Graham and Wright are low key about the music, they shared that they would add and rebuild past facilities as well as reveal new elements to their show.
âThis show is almost like removing rust,â says Wright. âDoing Art Basel is the Super Bowl of artistic events. [But] in a way, we’re looking at it like it’s preseason because we have more cities to go. ”
Miami will mark the first stop for Art, Beats & Lyrics on its eight-city tour, which includes five new cities and showcases Los Angeles and Cleveland for the Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Game.
As the event continues to grow, partners say they are constantly finding inspiration in travel, technology and culture for new ideas.
âWe love to go to conventions and we love to see what’s new,â says Wright. “If it’s cool, we think, How can we include this in the show? And what is good is having this partnership with Jack Daniel’s [is that] they listen to our ideas so that we can make them come true. It’s about being creative and getting there, and we always will. ”
Art, rhythms and words. 7 p.m. Saturday, December 4 at LoanDepot Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami; artbeatsandlyrics.com. Entry is free with RSVP via jackdaniels.com.