The mission of ArtCenter/South Florida (ArtCenter) is to advance the knowledge and practice of contemporary visual arts and culture in South Florida. Located in the heart of Miami Beach on Lincoln Road, ArtCenter provides affordable work-space for outstanding visual artists in all stages of career development. ArtCenter is an education center, offers access to resources and technical support, creates opportunities for artistic experimentation and encourages the exchange of ideas across cultures and artistic disciplines.
In the spring of 1984, ArtCenter celebrated its grand opening on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach as an organization addressing workspace and community needs of visual artists. With Community Development Block Grant funds from the City of Miami Beach, ArtCenter artists took up residence in 21 storefronts on a then nearly abandoned and severely dilapidated Lincoln Road. A Miami Herald article covering the opening reads, “Artists hope the three-block colony on the west end of the mall eventually will attract sidewalk cafes, nighttime entertainment – and people.” Today ArtCenter is commonly credited as being the catalyst for an astounding revitalization of Lincoln Road and the surrounding area.
In order to establish a permanent base, during the late ’80′s ArtCenter purchased three properties on Lincoln Road. From these buildings, ArtCenter established a juried artist-in-residence program that focuses on artistic excellence and providing affordable workspace for adjudicated artists. These facilities currently house forty-two artists’ studios open to the public, four exhibition spaces, cooperative work facilities, classrooms, and administrative offices. Building purchases have allowed ArtCenter to establish a permanent base and to continue in its commitment to the advancement of visual arts within a diverse international community at a site that is centrally located and heavily trafficked.
ArtCenter’s highly visible Lincoln Road location makes it the ideal access point for artists, curators, and visitors from all over South Florida and beyond. Approximately 100,000 people a year visit the Center with many, many more viewing window exhibitions in ArtCenter and Walgreen’s storefront windows and at ArtCenter-curated exhibitions offsite. This, in combination with innovative arts education and community outreach programming made possible through strong alliances with the business, academic and non-profit sectors, has contributed to ArtCenter earning recognition as a Major Cultural Institution by Miami-Dade County and as a Miami Beach Anchor Institution by the Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council.