When the international contemporary art world descends on Miami in December for the annual Art Basel Miami Beach extravaganza, a different kind of art fair will be showcasing its own gems in a place far removed from the glitzy Miami Beach spotlight.
The Moksha Visionary Art Fair, from Dec. 5- 8 at the Moksha Gallery, is coming back for its fourth year. Since 2008, the fair has provided artists with an outlet to showcase their work during one of the most important art gatherings in the world while offering a unique 3-day multi-sensory experience to an audience hungry for art that speaks to higher levels of consciousness.
The Moksha Family Arts Collective, which operates out of the 7th Circuit Studios in Little Haiti, has consistently brought together local and internationally renowned painters, musicians, DJs, VJs, performance artists, sculptors, photographers, technicians, video and audio engineers and filmmakers and this year is no different.
With a stellar line-up of speakers, artists and musicians, this years Moksha Art Fair promises to keep up with the international fare it is known for.
One of the beautiful things about our community here is the diversity and that truly is an international community, said Ray Orraca, the man behind 7th Circuit Productions and the Moksha Art Fair. We have always wanted to showcase a different type of art, one that focuses on art as an expression of ones spirituality.
Orraca teamed up with fellow producer and musician Jose Elias, a prodigious local guitarist who runs the Community Arts and Culture nonprofit, to put on the fair in 2008. Since then the result has been a consistent showcase of art not typically recognized by the international art elite in a hub located in one of Miamis most culturally diverse neighborhoods. The result: a cultural hub that feels like a safe refuge for mind expansion through art and music.
From established visionary artists such as Alex Grey and the late Robert Venosa to budding masters of the genre such as Alex Sastoque and Reinier Gamboa, the fair has always emphasized art as a way to communicate transcendental experiences.
To keep with the 2012 transformational theme, the fairs title this year is Eagle meets Condor, and brings to light ancient prophesies that unites the native visionary art of the American continent.
This year were putting a lot of emphasis on tribal and shamanic artwork, Elias said. The vibe is going to be focusing more on The Americas. What we seek to do is bring those philosophies of the North and South together through art.
Orraca said the prophesy tells of a time of transition that will bring the eagle, or the north, and the condor, which represents the south, to fly together in harmony.
Shining the spotlight on the original visionary art of tribal ancestors meant Elias and Orraca had to reach out to shamans, speakers, thinkers, and traditional visionary artists that remain true to their ancestral ways. Cilau Valadez and his father Marino, who are both Huitchol yarn painters, answered the call.
The Huitchol tribe hails from Central Mexico and their yarn and embroidery work has remained the same for centuries and is heavily influenced by the deities they worship: corn, blue deer, peyote and the eagle.
The fair will also feature work by Lakota artist Leonard Alden Crowdog Jr., known as Junebug. Leonard is a member of the Sicangu Lakota tribe from the Rosebud Indian Reservation in south central South Dakota.
Leonards work depicts the dreams, visions and experiences attained through the Native American way of life and spiritual practices, some of which include ceremonies rooted in ancient medicine and rituals.
To further bridge the gap between North and South, renowed Colombian artists Alex Sastoque will painting the iconic Moksha Art Fair symbol, which is entrusted to different artists every year. In the past, visionary artists such as Chris Dyer and Amanda Sage have left their mark on the Moksha Family symbol wall.
Sage along with close to two dozen other visual artists will be exhibiting their work during an art opening reception Wednesday, and will be attending and speaking in an artists panel Thursday.
The Moksha Art Fair is surely a treat to every human sense. In addition to the art, there will be a panel of speakers that includes Daniel Pinchbeck, author of books such as Breaking Open The Head and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl; and Manolo Torres, an archaeologist and ethnobotanist specializing in the ethnobotany of pre-Columbian South America and the Caribbean.
On Saturday, the last day of the fair, live painting will commune with musical performances to create a night-long soiree that features the auditory genius of producers such as Andreilien (formerly Heyoka), Govinda and Satchi Om; and live bands such as Toubab Krewe and 7th World ft. Robert Thomas, Jr. (Weather Report, Santana) with brothers Felix and Julius Pastorius.
To add to a stellar line-up of music, visual art, and fire performances, fair organizers recently announced that artists Android and Phaedra Jones will be showcasing their own brand of live movement and live digital art in a magical display that pushes the boundaries of art and technology.
The visionary art fair is not only a treat to the senses, but also to the spirit. The relationship between artistsic expression and spirituality is one that dates back to the beginning of timea time when our ancestors learned to communicate their reality through art.
Having a venue in South Florida that celebrates this union is a sign that people are clamoring for a sacred space that can provide a sense of community and the tools to reach a new dawn of collective awareness and consciousness.
For more information about the Moksha Art Fair, visit www.mokshaartfair2012.com