Treading Water
Royal Palm South Beach Miami, 1545 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Much of the subject and motivation for my work comes out of a desire to recover value and meaning from the banal, the overlooked, the disposable. Packaging material, empty storefronts, functional studio furnishings are the raw material culture I am drawn to.

For No Vacancy, I am exhibiting drawings that process the experience of living at the water’s edge. Tides, waves, surges, drains, retaining walls, dumpsters, garbage, overflow, evacuation and denial. The drawings are not without humor. They attempt to convey the faulty, un-sustainable human position of treading water, just keeping ordinary life afloat amidst news of fires, floods, gun violence, pandemics, homelesness, political crises and recession/inflation.

The drawings in Treading Water are made by slipping carbon paper between folded sheets of mulberry paper, and in so doing, imagery is transfered from one side of the page to the other in a kind of pseudo printing process. The used black transfer paper is a “negative” engraved by the layered residue of my drawing marks over time. When illuminated by lightboxes, their skeletal architectures are revealed. These works express the collision of forces from the natural world with the fragile built environment, especially the erosion and disintegration that occurs. Snippets of texts and flickering patterns are subjected to the same entropic forces as architecture. Banal slogans and notes to self are fragmented broadcasts, set free from normal context.

Each drawing, lightbox and installation at the Royal Palm Hotel lobby compresses the flotsam and jetsam of 21st century life into intimately scaled tableaux of fantasy and failure, re-use and restoration.

Michelle Weinberg is an artist who draws and paints in her studio, and who also creates art for architecture, interiors and public spaces. She describes her work in all mediums as vivid backdrops for human activity, in which pastel and hothouse hues, eccentric patterns and personal geometries converge. She crafts new spaces that are containers for stories, virtual theatricals composed out of images and words. Weinberg received a BFA from School of Visual Arts and an MFA from Tyler School of Art. She is the recipient of awards, fellowships and residencies from: Pollock-Krasner Foundation, SouthArts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NYFA Artist Relief, Joseph Robert Foundation, South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony, Studios at MASS MoCA,100West Corsicana in TX, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, homesession and Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain and Altos de Chavon in Dominican Republic. Her exhibitions and curatorial projects include Project: ARTspace in NYC, Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, ArtPort Kingston, Hewitt Gallery at Marymount Manhattan, Charles Moffett Gallery, ARENA, New York Public Library, Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Schmidt Center Gallery/Florida Atlantic University, Dot FiftyOne Gallery and Emerson Dorsch Gallery in Miami and La Plataforma, homesession and Cyan Gallery in Barcelona, Spain. She has created commissioned works in diverse materials over the years, including paint and print murals, handmade hydraulic cement tiles, mosaic fabricated by Miotto Mosaics, handmade ceramic produced by the artist and terrazzo floors. For ArtBridge in 2021, Weinberg designed vinyl wraps for 34 lampposts on lower Broadway in NYC. For Miami International Airport in 2019, she designed 32 inkjet printed acrylic panels installed along a moving walkway. In 2017, she installed “Electric PalmFlower”, an exterior mural for a high-rise residential building in Miami. In 2014, she installed “Intricate Pattern Overlay”, a large-scale disruptive pattern paint mural on the facade of The Wolfsonian Museum-FIU in Miami Beach in conjunction with an exhibition commemorating the centennial of World War I. Additional murals and other projects have been installed in Facebook offices, for Louis Vuitton Mens Store in Miami’s Design District, for Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places, for Related Group, the City of Tampa, Cultural Council of Jacksonville, FL, and more. Weinberg is Creative Director of Girls’ Club in Fort Lauderdale, exhibiting contemporary art by women, and she is a consultant to museums and non-profits, developing exhibitions, publications, education programming and more. Available Space is her platform for independent curatorial projects, presenting and facilitating artist initiatives, such as her ongoing invitational project “Artists Draw Their Studios.” Weinberg is adjunct faculty at Marymount Manhattan College and SUNY Purchase and she is a Mentor at the Ratcliffe Incubator for Art & Design Entrepreneurship at Florida International University. She divides her time between her studio at the Fountainhead in Miami, at Westbeth in NYC and in an 1850s church in Sharon Springs, NY.

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