Catch swampy critters at MDC’s Freedom Tower for Art Basel

Arts / Article

By Sue Arrowsmith, Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design has big plans for this Art Basel. As part of FOREVERGLADES, an environmentally-minded public installation by William Sweetlove and other members of Cracking Art Group, large-scale recyclable plastic alligators, sea turtles, frogs, and bunnies will be installed up and down and around the historic Freedom Tower at MDC, 600 Biscayne Blvd. The entire community is invited to the exhibition’s public opening reception at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, in collaboration with Galleria Ca’ D’Oro and generously underwritten by famed Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregau. Free and open to the public.

This unique exhibition features bright-colored plastic figures modeled after native South Florida animal species, such as alligators, sea turtles, frogs, and marsh rabbits, peppered throughout the interior and exterior of the Freedom Tower. The animals were selected because of the important role each plays in the development and history of the local landscape. The exhibition aims to establish a locally conscious perspective focusing on environmental protection, sustainability and advocacy of South Florida’s National Parks and Preserves.

MDC’s Museum of Art + Design brings the Crackling Art Groups’ recyclable plastic figures to the Freedom Tower to draw awareness on environmental issues.

The Museum will also host FOREVERGLADES: here today, hopeful for tomorrow, an educational symposium, on Friday, Nov. 30, at the Freedom Tower, in partnership with the MDC Earth Ethics Institute, National Parks Conservation Association, Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Big Cypress National Preserve. The complete schedule will be announced in mid-November.

The Cracking Art Group’s underlying mission is to change art history through both a strong social and environmental commitment and the revolutionary and innovative use of different plastic materials that evoke a strict relationship between natural life and artificial reality. The plastic results from the catalytic Cracking (the name of the group comes from this term), which transforms petroleum into plastic, has its roots in a millenary civilization which is the history of man and his world.

FOREVERGLADES runs through Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. For more information about this event, please call 305-237-7700, or visit