Anabella Bergero Sews Color and Culture Together at Faena Arts

For months, Anabella Bergero would walk past the Faena Arts Project Room along Collins Avenue, dreaming of one day putting on her own show in the highly visible gallery. Unsurprisingly, the space was never empty for long between shows. So this past April, on the opening night of her exhibition, "Heart of Community," the artist and designer is beaming with pride.

Anabella Bergero Sews Color and Culture Together at Faena Arts
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"I knew what I wanted to do within the space, so finally seeing it come to fruition was very emotional for me," Bergero says.

"Heart of Community," on view through July 28, is a culmination of years of research by the artist. She first began photographing and exploring different parts of Mexico in 2019 as a project for her master's degree. Born in Argentina but raised in Mexico, Bergero says bright, happy colors have always been a part of her life and art.

"Part of the exhibition is that it is an expression of joy, and it's using art as a state of encounter," Bergero explains, adding how she enjoys how each visitor imbues something unique to the space. It's all about the vibrations left behind.

As the viewer enters the space, they're immediately confronted with an overwhelming explosion of color and fabric. From the large quinceañera-inspired dress hanging from the ceiling to the other large heart-shaped cushions floating around to the vibrant wallpaper and neon signs covering the walls, there is much to look at.

"I grew up surrounded by color," Bergero says, motioning to all the work around her. "And I feel that oftentimes modern, contemporary art loses a little bit of color, so I wanted to take the colors I grew up with and just put them everywhere."

Every photo featured in the exhibition was an image captured by Bergero. There are also prints of personal documents, like an old passport, that she's printed on fabric and sewn into beautiful creations. While the works are deeply personal for Bergero, they are also entirely relatable — especially to a Miami audience.

The exhibition aims to construct and reconstruct familiar narratives surrounding the Latin people.

"I wanted to challenge those stereotypes with a narrative in this space that transmits joy and celebrates our culture while also exploring the ideas of femininity and what it means to be a woman in Latin America," she adds.

"Heart of Community," like all the other exhibits featured in the Project Room, is made possible by Faena Arts. Executive director Nicole Comotti says the program's mission is to support local artists and give back to the community.

"What's so important for Faena Art is really being able to give a space to artists within the community," Comotti says. "To support them in a way that they can do cutting-edge programming. They can push their own boundaries, and we can be a platform to really expose them and give them opportunities. And also to help launch emerging artists."

Faena Arts does about three to four exhibitions in the Project Room a year, each with special programming that allows the community to be involved. As part of "Heart of Community," Bergero is recording a podcast from within the space and offering tie-dye sessions for children that are free and open to the public.

"Everything is really about throwing it back into the community," Comotti adds. "We make art accessible to all."