REVERENCE, site-specific performative installations of respect, admiration and appreciation joins the Art Basel tour at CasaLin

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Chad Cunha, Jessica Laino, Sebastian Duncan-PortuondoMIAMI--- Developed and produced by Wet Heat Project, REVERENCE is a site-specific performative installation at the renowned annual one-day gathering in The Yard@CasaLin, on the morning of Art Basel Beach opening day. The exhibition pairs New World School of the Arts (NWSA) graduating BFA seniors with HOTBED alumni and challenges them to produce an ephemeral artwork in a prominent art world location during the pinnacle week of the season.

Grela Orihuela, Executive Producer, Wet Heat Project explains, "Every year of HOTBED we reshape the challenge to the student artists. Last year all the works were original video pieces shown throughout the NADA art fair. CasaLin, the site of Lin Lougheed’s annual exhibition attended by an important and serious viewership on one day only, for just three hours, hosts this year’s HOTBED. That unique situation - such a concentrated event - demanded something highly focused and conceptual, very thematic, a distinctly different experience for these visitors. Something that respected the special nature of the CasaLin exhibition, the dedicated space and shared moment of the visitors - artworks that acknowledged their time and presence."
REVERENCE opens with a morning reception on Thursday, December 5 at 10:00 AM. Casalin is located at 55 NW 30 Street, Wynwood. The reception and show are free and open to the public.
This year's HOTBED challenges three NWSA-HOTBED alumni, each in the early years of an emerging career, to collaborate with three NWSA BFA seniors soon to launch their own practice.
“Two and a Third” –– Northwest canopy of The Yard
Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo (HOTBED alum) and Joel Rabadan (BFA 2014) will produce an adaptive, encircling space of filtered light and reflection, which continually welcomes with esteem any visitor for a concise, concerted relation of personal crossroads. This piece is a focused impartation of successive life-changingevents that have led the artists to a reverence for the core human capacity of decision. “Two and a Third” –– Northwest canopy of The Yard; translucent movable panels, mirror panels, singular tri-seat structure, dancers, relators, voluntary listeners, variable 90-second narratives.
“Between Light and Matter” – Center of The Yard
Jessica Laino (HOTBED alum) and Michelle Izquierdo (BFA 2014) will produce life-size yet intimate views respecting the contours of The Yard’s central tree, gathering light and shadows to reveal unseen distinctions and sounds. This piece is areverential observance, interpretation and reiteration of nature’s power to command our attention and provoke a response. “Between Light and Matter” – Center of The Yard; sculptural wood structure, kinetic concealed synthetic sculptural forms, lighting, variably transmissive synthetic sheet materials, amplified sound composition, operators.
“Boundless” – Main access & egress of The Yard
Chad Cunha (HOTBED alum) and Junli Kato (BFA 2014) will produce a dual-experience, immersive, sensory environment which all visitors will pass through twice; cloistered by an intuitive architectural sky, an evocative performative tableaux mixes an alternate reality of The Yard with an internal reality of the artist. This piece is a personal offering of emotional weight / weightlessness in manifest forms that represent authentic vulnerability and risk at this precise moment in the artists’ timeline. “Boundless” – Main access & egress of The Yard; large-scale flexible textiles, rigging, industrial fans, sculptural and imaged scenic treatments, olfactory elements, performance.
"We proposed a theme to New World's Dean of Visual Arts Maggy Cuesta and CasaLin's founder Lin Lougheed, REVERENCE,” said Bill Bilowit, Director, Wet Heat Project. The idea was to advance an alternative to the prevalence of cynicism and smug cleverness awaiting our visitors after they leave the oasis of CasaLin for the next four days of art encounters. So we asked our artists to evoke, or perhaps it's invoke, aspects of their character or practice that spring from feelings of genuinereverence. It's a very personal request but the artists were fearless, theyexplored and channeled deep aspects of themselves, things they revere without logic or explanation. That's what we wanted to see channeled into conceptual works with bold physical and human presence, deeply felt performative installations. A direct response to the CasaLin art space that's itself exceptionally personal and unambiguously welcoming."
Each year, the Yard@Casalin bustles with outstanding cutting-edge exhibitions carefully curated by NWSA and other collaborators. This unique exhibition site was founded in 2003 by Lin Lougheed to showcase the work of local artists, particularly during Art Basel week. The Yard, however, features permanent exhibitions that can be appreciated 24/7 from the sidewalk adjacent to the intriguing area. With innovative installations and trailblazing performanceworks, NWSA has been in the forefront of Casalin, consistently showcasing the work of its visual artists, graphic designers, and web designers. Lougheed, a sponsor of the arts and national philanthropist has been instrumental in getting NWSA visual artists highlighted and recognized during Art Basel. Todate, New World School of the Arts is the only school to be featured officially listed in the Art Basel International Show delegation package.
About Casalin: Set as anurban garden, The Yard at Casalin is one of the most frequented exhibition sites in the area and it has been recognized nationally by Art Basel enthusiasts who each year make it their first stop during the Wynwood showings. Just a few steps from other major galleries, Casalin boasts luscious yet tranquil and serene landscaping reminiscent of an oasis in the midst of a bustling city.
About NWSA: At New World School of the Arts, visual arts students are able to explore and develop their personal artistic and aesthetic vision while being guided by a dynamic and distinguished faculty who are all practicing artists. Through disciplined training in traditional and new media, students also develop new skills and refine others while gaining invaluable understanding of the roles of art and design in society. Areas of concentration in visual arts include Drawing, Electronic Media, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture. New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.
Further information regarding NWSA’s visual arts program is available by calling (305) 237-3649.
More information about New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3135 or at

Photos:  Chad Cunha, Jessica Laino, Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo.  Photo courtesy of Wet Heat Project.