Bringing It Back

Carl Walden's legacy is preserved in Miami

It seems like so many people only learn about history when they’re on vacation. Tours and travel books encourage you to learn all about a city that you don’t live in, which is part of the fun of traveling. Ultimately though, as a adult, how often do you learn new things about the city in which you actually live?

This Saturday, from 7-10 p.m., is the opening of The Walden Project, an exhibition that serves to preserve the work of mid-century, Miami photographer Carl Walden by reinventing his works. Many of his photos depict famous performers from the 40s to the 70s, like Gipsy Rose Lee, and former hotspots, like the Flamingo Hotel and all of them serve to document a particular time in this town’s past.

Those fortunate enough to transform Walden’s pieces into their own are four artists-in-residence at the ArtCenter/South Florida, known as the One-Three Collective. The collective includes Natasha Duwin, Jules Lusson, Venessa Monokian and Hugo Moro. In 2003, Lusson was bequeathed the vast archives upon the death of the artist’s wife and that is where this journey began. After six years, the culmination of hours of hard work and thought has produced a verifiably fantastic exhibition.

This present collection was created in 2007 by the collective during a six-month residency to revive the artistic spirit of the late Walden. Photographer Peggy Levison Nolan joined them in choosing large-format negatives that best demonstrated Walden’s talent and also which best demonstrated this city’s past.

The hope of this project is finding a local artistic institution that will preserve The Carl Walden Archives in perpetuity. The show will be on view from July 24 to August 30 at the ArtCenter/South Florida on Lincoln Road. 

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