Site R16 Transect 1
Royal Palm South Beach, 1545 Collins Ave

Lauren Shapiro merges ceramics, technology and science to build a physical incarnation of a lost coral reef in her most recent site-specific work, Site R16 Transect 1, a monument showcasing the organic textures and colors of an ecologically diverse marine landscape. Once hidden beneath the waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the French Frigate Shoals, Rapture Reef was flattened in 2018 by a hurricane strengthened by the effects of climate change. Molded and cast from a prototype of 3D photogrammetry scans by marine ecologists, Site R16 Transect 1 reflects this now-extinct coral population, making it visible again to land dwellers in the form of dimensional clay tiles stacked inside of a gold-framed monolith. 

Shapiro’s monolith combines natural and synthetic materials, which responds to Miami’s Art Deco influence and recalls the natural beauty of the local landscape which has been lost to development. With this work, she aims to encourage environmental stewardship by memorializing an ecosystem similar to South Florida’s own coral populations, cultivating an awareness of these fragile environments. 

Born and raised in South Florida, Shapiro is drawn to the precarious fate of her local environment. She explores the systems, patterns and tipping points in nature, rendering her findings in ceramic sculptures and clay installations. Shapiro’s work exists at the intersection of observation and preservation; she studies data from diverse ecological systems and uses casting processes to interpret and archive environmental textures made in clay from plaster and silicone molds.

Please join the Royal Palm South Beach and artist Lauren Shapiro for the below special events:

Friday, Nov. 19, 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. VIP Preview, meet and greet the artist. Light bites and
a specialty cocktail provided. RSVP here.

Friday, Nov. 26, 5 P.M. to 8 P.M. Free public screening of two short films by Lightpalace
Productions, projected next to the hotel pool bar. Sponsored by Encore. Light bites and a
specialty cocktail provided. RSVP here.

Friday, Dec. 3, 5 P.M. to 8 P.M. Art Basel Happy Hour on the front lawn of the hotel next
to the artwork with DJ. Light bites and a specialty cocktail provided. RSVP here.

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