Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce Antonia Wright & Ruben Millares have been awarded the Juror's Choice Award for the 2022 edition of No Vacancy. The duo have been awarded a prize of $25,000 for their presentation of Patria y Cida at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. No Vacancy is a juried art competition that celebrates artists, provokes critical discourse, and invites the public to experience Miami Beach’s famed hotels as destination art spaces. Artists were drawn from a call for submissions and selected by representatives from the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places Committee, Cultural Arts Council (CAC) and MBVCA. For the second edition of No Vacancy, $35,000 in prizes were awarded, including the $10,000 Public Prize by the GMCVB and the $25,000 Juror Prize awarded by a panel of art experts.
Jurors Nate Freeman (Art Columnist, Vanity Fair) and Anjuli Nanda-Diamond (Artistic Director, The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation) awarded the Juror’s Choice Award to Miami-based duo Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares. Their work, Patria y Vida (“homeland and life”) is a large-scale sculpture installed on the beach outside the Faena Hotel Miami Beach that celebrates people’s right to peacefully protest by using the barricade as a symbol of global resistance. For No Vacancy, the artists recreated the activist gesture from the Pro-Democracy Protests in Hong Kong, where protestors subverted the use of barricades, set out by police, and repurposed them to create an insurgent structure for their own protection. For this new sculpture, 25 crowd-control barricades with LED lights were bound together in a disorderly composition to memorialize global acts of nonviolent resistance.
Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares are Cuban-American artists born in Miami, FL. Over the past ten years, the duo has developed an extensive and experimental body of work. Through a multidisciplinary practice of video, performance, sculpture, sound, and light, Wright Millares’ work physically embodies the mechanics of power dynamics to challenge the absurdity of the hegemonic world order. Their projects are uniquely informed by Wright’s background in poetry and Millares’ foundation in music.