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Collages at Miami International Airport Depict the Black Experience in Miami

by Kimberly Inlander

Apr 12, 2023

© Brett Critchley | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Charles Humes, Jr., a Miami-based portraitist, muralist and printmaker, recently brought his “mosaic collages” to Miami International Airport. Known as MOTIC, the collection of work combines collages, drawings and paintings that explore the Black experience in Miami and honor lost lives and historical figures.


“I am concerned with telling a visual story of the plight and condition of people of color,” said Humes. “As an artist, I intend to open a visual window to view the dramatic genre of a people depicting intensive images that create an impactful dialogue to my audience.”


MOTIC stands for Matters of the Inner City, highlighting issues of old age; extreme poverty; racial inequity; homelessness; and the displacement and loss of culture due to gentrification in Liberty City, a historically Black Miami neighborhood. The majority of the large-scale, mixed-media works use discarded materials from Humes’ neighborhood, including large commercial vinyl banners.


The exhibition can be viewed through September at MIA’s Gate D31 Gallery. Humes is currently an artist-in-residence at MASS MoCa through May, part of a partnership between Massachusetts’ MASS MoCa and Oolite Arts Miami. For more than 50 years, Humes’ work has told the story of the life, struggles, triumphs and more of Blacks, African Americans and people of color.


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