Vanessa Lopez: PAMM 2019


Vanessa Lopez is a sophomore majoring in English Education at Florida International University. Having a passion for literature and academia, she hopes to be an English professor one day. She is currently a Desk Assistant for FIU Housing. As a part of Art Society Conflict, she is looking forward to being exposed to unfamiliar areas of history and art.


Photos of the front of PAMM, a sculpture in the Museum Park, and the Frost Science Museum.

Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is located on Biscayne Boulevard. In front of PAMM is Maurice A. Ferréz Park, a 30-acre public park. Right across from the art museum is the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum, a museum dedicated to science and innovation. About ten minutes away on foot, there are a multitude of notable locations within Downtown Miami: American Airlines Arena, The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College, and the Bayside Marketplace. In general, PAMM is one of the main art institutions in this area.


The Pérez Art Museum Miami was originally the Center for the Fine Arts (CFA), which opened in 1984 on Flagler Street. The CFA eventually became known as the Miami Art Museum in 1996. However, in 2013, it was relocated to Downtown Miami, and was renamed to Pérez Art Museum Miami. Construction began in 2010, and architects Herxog and de Meuron were hired to design the new building. 


According to their website, PAMM describes itself as a “modern and contemporary art museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international art of the 20th and 21st centuries.” Here, they also describe their mission: “to be a leader in the presentation, study, interpretation, and care of international modern and contemporary art, while representing Miami-Dade and cherishing the unique viewpoints of its people.” 

Essentially, PAMM aims to display mostly modern and contemporary art. In doing this, they also aim to represent artists and cultures from all over the globe. They hope to bring more conversation and interaction between these seemingly different cultures. This can be especially seen in their temporary exhibitions, “Zhao Gang: History Painting,” and “The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art.” 


Transportation and Parking

The museum can be accessed in a variety of ways. In terms of public transit, it is located by the Museum Park station with the Metromover. Furthermore, it can be accessed through the Metrorail via the Metromover transfer at the Government Center station. PAMM can also be accessed through either the Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm Beach Brightline stations as well. Within Miami, it can be accessed through the MiamiCentral Brightline station.

There is a museum garage adjacent to the museum that is available to visitors. The rates are $8 for the first hour and $4 for each additional hour. Visitors would have to pay at the stations before leaving the garage. However, there is side-street parking and parking lots available within the area.


Monday-Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Wednesday: Closed

Thursday: 10:00 AM- 9:00 PM

Friday-Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM


According to their website, there are no discounts available to Miami residents. However, I was able to pay for my ticket for only $5 by paying for my ticket through the Culture Shock Miami website. The conditions include showing ID at the ticket booth, and being a Miami resident between the ages of 13 and 22. The admission costs are as follows:

Members: Free

Children (6 and under): Free

Active U.S. Military (with ID): Free

Adults: $16

Seniors (62+ with ID): $12

Students (with ID): $12

Youth (ages 7-18): $12

In addition, there are certain days and exceptions where admission is free. The PAMM Student Pass gives free admission to the museum for all students (pre-K to 12th grade) attending Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Admission is free every second Saturday of the month, as well as every first Thursday, from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. 

General Membership

PAMM also offers a paid membership that provides free admission to the museum and various other benefits. There are multiple tiers within the membership. For example, an individual membership is $65 for one year for one adult, and includes: free museum admission, invitations to members-only events, weekly e-newsletter, 10% discount at the gift shop and cafe, discounted parking, personalized membership card, and eligibility to join volunteer docents.


Notes for a Poem on the Third World (chapter one), 2018. – Glenn Ligon

This piece is the first of a series in which Ligon creates five figurative neons. He creates the outline of the artist’s hands, serving as a self-portrait and a representation of an identity. Another work in the series is on display at the de La Cruz Collection in the Design District.

Penetrable BBL Blue 2/8. – Jesús Rafael Soto

A photo of one of Soto’s “Penetrables” outside of PAMM. Photo taken and edited by Vanessa Lopez.

One of PAMM’s iconic pieces. It is a part of Soto’s series of “Penetrables,” which explores movement, space, and matter. Visitors are free to walk through and be surrounded by these vibrant, blue PVC tubes.

Untitled (parade), 2016. – Kevin Beasley

Photo of Beasley’s sculpture. Photo taken and edited by Vanessa Lopez.

Beasley combines a variety of scrap materials, such as clothing and synthetic mixtures to create this sculpture. The result is a group of floating, ghost-like figures.


Zhao Gang: History Painting

Photos of Zhou Gang’s pieces. Photos taken and edited by Vanessa Lopez.

This exhibition runs from May 24, 2019 to January 5, 2020. “Zhao Gang: History Painting” consists of 14 paintings by Zhao Gang, a key figure in Chinese contemporary art. These paintings represent different aspects of Gang’s art and identity.

The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art

Various photos of “The Other Side of Now” exhibition. Photos taken and edited by Vanessa Lopez.

This exhibition runs from July 18, 2019 to June 7, 2020. According to PAMM’s website, the exhibition is a “thematic group exhibition,” and it revolves around the question: “what might a Caribbean future look like?” This exhibition features 14 artists, and the type of pieces include videos, paintings, sculptures, and installations.

Teresita Fernández: Elemental

Photos of the “Elemental” exhibition. Photos taken and edited by Vanessa Lopez.

This exhibition runs from October 18, 2019 to February 9, 2020. Currently, this is the biggest exhibition at PAMM. Essentially, this exhibition displays Cuban-American artist Teresita Fernández’s career, with pieces ranging from mid-90’s to the present. The materials used ranged from charcoal to glass, and the pieces challenged the viewer to be aware of their role within this space.

Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca: Estás vendo coisas

This exhibition runs from April 26, 2019 to March 29, 2020. Brazilian artists Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca created this 2016 video Estás vendo coisas (You Are Seeing Things). The film explores self-image within the “subculture of Brega music,” which is a combination of American Hip Hop and reggaeton. 

George Segal: Abraham’s  Farewell to Ishmael

Photo of museum visitor John Haberkorn observing Segal’s sculpture. Photos taken and edited by Vanessa Lopez.

This exhibition runs from November 22, 2019 to July 6, 2020. Artist George Segal is known for making plaster casts from live models. This sculpture explores Old Testament’s Abraham. 

What Carries Us Over: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey

Photos taken in “What Carried Us Over” exhibition. Photos taken and edited by Vanessa Lopez.

This exhibition runs from September 12, 2019 to April 19, 2020. It includes a variety of gifts made by Gordon W. Bailey, a collector from Los Angeles. Most of these pieces were made by uneducated artists, and most lived during the Jim Crow era. 

Special Programs

Daily Tours

PAMM provides daily tours led by museum guides, and are free with museum admission. The tours are also available in Spanish. These tours are first-come, first-serve, and typically last 45 minutes. 

Curate Your Own Exhibition

PAMM currently has an event in which visitors can create their own art exhibitions. In front of the amphitheater is a table with a variety of crafts and tools that any visitor can use. 

PAMM Studio Programs

There are studio programs available to people of all ages. Participants of the program explore the museum and art-making. These programs range from artist-led workshops, story readings, and arts and crafts.


During my visit at PAMM, I interviewed John Haberkorn, a second-year student majoring in Computer Science at Florida International University.

Photo of museum visitor John Haberkorn. Photo taken and edited by Vanessa Lopez.

Q: What was the reason for your visit to Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)?

A: “A friend invited me to meet one of their friends and I felt like hanging out. I also happened to like museums in general. I have been to [PAMM] twice this year and I got to see new exhibits.”

Q: Which exhibitions or pieces did you like the most?

A: “A concept video about the oversexualized and tacky Caribbean music. It was very nostalgic and somber. I also liked this sculpture framed like a canvas. It was a bunch of wooden pieces that felt like an entire log cabin was about to crash on top of me.”

Q: How was your visit to PAMM as a whole?

A: “[PAMM] usually makes me think about my own experience as an artist. Somehow I always feel empowered and trapped by its modern art.”

Q: Why does PAMM make you feel that way?

A: “I’m frustrated because I don’t completely understand it, and I feel like I should because it’s art. And I don’t like the way the industry is streamlining towards recreating the idea of art. It’s just so esoteric and uninviting even compared to other pretentious stuff I like.”


Photo taken in PAMM’s gift shop. Photo taken and edited by Vanessa Lopez.

In general, I believe the Perez Art Museum Miami is a special place in Miami. It was one of the first art institutions that I have visited, and it was my first exposure to the Downtown Miami community. 

For one, I think PAMM shines best in their temporary exhibitions. Seeing all these pieces in one room scream a cohesive message. I can tell that they have placed thought into where each piece is placed. These temporary exhibitions typically address a variety of issues within our society too. When I am standing in these rooms, I am constantly digesting information and feeling its impact on me.

In addition, PAMM is more innovative compared to other museums I have visited this semester. You can find QR codes here and there throughout the museum, and with the camera app on your phone, you are given links and other information quickly. Outside the museum, there are QR codes that utilize AR technology as well. PAMM also does not shy away from non-traditional art pieces. There are rooms that resemble mini movie theaters, where you can privately view films or looping videos. 

PAMM also has an emphasis on interaction and community. There was a table where you could create your own “art exhibitions” with cardboard, construction paper, and magazine cut-outs. I was pleasantly surprised to see this, as I never thought a museum would have such a thing. In addition, PAMM hosts various events throughout the week, such as workshops, book readings, arts and crafts, and more. 

One of PAMM’s downsides is their cost. I personally found that the parking ticket was expensive. Most of the things in their gift shop were also priced on the higher end. And if it weren’t for Culture Shock Miami, I would have paid $12 for one ticket. In addition, I was not impressed by their permanent collections, and I gravitate more towards their temporary exhibitions.

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to the museum, and I am looking forward to seeing their upcoming exhibitions. I think PAMM remains as one of the art institutions in Miami that deserves a visit.


Author: Vanessa Lopez

I am currently a sophomore at FIU, where I am majoring in English Education and pursuing a certificate in Japanese Studies. I was born in Miami to Cuban and Nicaraguan parents, and grew up with a passion for English literature. Beyond reading and writing, my hobbies consist of learning how to graphic design and studying kanji.

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