Peter Williams, Birdland, 2020. Oil and graphite on canvas.


Spirit in the Land, Pérez Art Museum Miami’s newest exhibition demonstrates to us the deep connection between our identity and the land we inhabit. We might think we “just” live in a place, but it actually shapes us and makes us who we are. It lives in us. It’s a relationship we rarely are conscious of or acknowledge. We are the land we inhabit.


Tamika Galanis, Still from Catching Shadow, 2021. Video (color, sound), Courtesy of the artist.

Through 63 works from 30 artists, PAMM shows how rooted to the earth our cultural traditions are, “how our relationship to land and water shapes us as individuals and communities.” 

The works also show the healing powers of our connection to nature through painting, video, photography, drawing, textile, sculpture.

Allison Janae Hamilton, Floridawater II, 2019.

Mosquito Hall, by Hew Locke who grew up in Georgetown, Guyana, illustrates the risks of rising sea levels to residential areas. A glowing woman and her child are floating above the water in acid green and yellow paint. As the physical land erodes, so do his pleasant childhood memories.

Hew Locke, Mosquito Hall, 2013. Acrylic on chromogenic print

Monique Verdin’s black and white photos document the devastation imposed on indigenous people living in coastal Louisiana, brought on by climate change.

Monique Verdin, Burial Grounds, 2000.

“Spirit in the Land showcases artworks that not only celebrate the beauty of our world but also mourn its loss, emphasizing the importance of biodiversity and cultural diversity for our survival,” explains PAMM Associate Curator Jennifer Inacio. “It's a collective effort to act as environmental stewards, reclaiming and revitalizing our understanding of nature as a repository of cultural memory and a source of healing.” 

Jean-Sébastien Stehli

Renée Stout, Botanical illustration #3 (the Herbmaster, James Luna), 2020.

Spirit in the Land, Pérez Art Museum Miami. Through September 8, 2024.

Hung Liu, Dandelion with Red Dragonfly (silver), 2020

April 10, 2024 — Jean Sebastien Stehli