MOCA Announces Robust Public Activations

By: Press Release
MOCA Announces Robust Public Activations

MOCA Completed the Restoration of Artist Mark Handforth’s “Electric Tree” in 2021 with Major Support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the City of North Miami


The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami is pleased to announce a series of public activations, “Under the Electric Tree” at Griffing Park. Programming will include site-specific performances, live music, hands-on art activities, and more, in conjunction with the recently restored public artwork "Electric Tree" by international renowned artist, Mark Handforth.


“Electric Tree” was first installed just blocks away from MOCA at Griffing Park in 2011, in conjunction with the artist’s major exhibition “Rolling Stop” at the museum. The 2021 restoration of this significant public artwork was made possible with major support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the City of North Miami and is one of the most important public artworks that MOCA has commissioned in its 25-year history. Handforth’s sculpture traces the branches of a 100-foot-wide banyan tree with brilliantly colored fluorescent tubes that illuminate its understory. The restoration of “Electric Tree” offers arts and culture to a community park that is open year-round.


Handforth graduated from the Academy of Fine Art in Frankfurt and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. He is internationally acclaimed for his large-scale installations in public spaces including Central Park in New York, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the MCA in Chicago, as well as during the FIAC offsite event in Paris. Handforth has also received public commissions from the cities of Paris (Porte de Bagnolet) and Zurich (Tessinerplatz).


“The stunning ‘Electric Tree’ at Griffing Park in North Miami is one of the most important ​permanent public artworks that the museum has commissioned. We are proud to activate the park with consistent programming for all ages at the center of our community,” said Chana Sheldon, executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. “The initiative launched in April with a concert by Lang Cook Live and Brother Dan of Terrestrial Funk. MOCA welcomed guests as well as food trucks and local vendors. It was a great night! We are deeply grateful for support of the Knight Foundation and the City of North Miami for this initiative.”


“Mark Handforth's 'Electric Tree’ is an innovative and stunning work. I love that Mark has created a way for us to experience the banyan tree 24/7 through his light painting. The ability of artists to interpret the world around them in new ways is endlessly fascinating, and especially so when used to create art that is easily accessible to the public,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president of Knight Foundation’s arts program. “That MOCA's new programming will connect visual art to great live performances by local talent is a great way to showcase the power of the arts to connect us to each other and to place.”


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