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April 21, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Michele Oka Doner in conversation with Michael Spring


April 21, 2018
7:00 pm


Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134


Michele Oka Doner is one of today’s foremost artists. Her prodigious career spans five decades and numerous artistic media, including sculpture, works on paper, furniture, video, jewelry, and sets and costumes. In addition, she has created over forty iconic public and private permanent art installations. They are the focus of EVERYTHING IS ALIVE.


The common thread running through Oka Doner’s oeuvre is her lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world, from which she derives her formal vocabulary.

In EVERYTHING IS ALIVE this vocabulary hones in on magic, enchantment, and transformation as we are led through the artistic processes informing Oka Doner’s prominent art installations. From Micco, the monumental concrete sculptural pavilion suffused with native greenery of the nearby Everglades to Oka Doner’s haunting ceramic SoulCatchers and figurative sculptures born of clay at the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactury in Munich, to Miami International Airport, where Oka Doner’s Sargassum soars overhead and her A Walk on the Beach lies at the feet of over 25 million travelers who traverse its 9,000 oceanic bronze forms each year.

Four distinguished essayists, Judith Thurman, Joseph Giovannini, Cynthia Nadelman, and Gregory Volk, serve as guides through Oka Doner’s evolution as an artist as seen in these installations, which are brought to life on 240 pages of stunning photographs, original process sketches, and sources of inspiration.

EVERYTHING IS ALIVE offers a glimpse into the full breadth of Oka Doner’s work. Above all, it shines a light on the continuing importance of art and the worldview that there is beauty to be found in all living things.


In conversation with Michael Spring

About the Author:

Michele Oka Doner is an internationally renowned artist whose career spans five decades. Born in Miami Beach, Florida, her work is fueled by a lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world. The breadth of her artistic production encompasses sculpture, furniture, jewelry, public art, functional objects, video, artist books, and costume and set design. She is the author of five books, including Into the Mysterium (Regan Arts). She is well known for creating numerous public art installations throughout the UnitedStates, including Flight at Regan International Airport, Washington, DC; Radiant Site at the Herald Square MTA station, New York; and the mile and quarter long A Walk on the Beach, a bronze and terrazzo concourse at Miami International Airport. Represented by Marlborough Gallery, Oka Doner’s work is found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Musée des Arts Décoratifs (the Louvre), the Victoria & Albert, Yale University Art Gallery, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and The Detroit Institute of Arts, among others. She has received numerous awards, including those given by United Nations Society of Writers and Artists, Pratt Institute, New York State Council of the Arts, and the Knight Foundation. In 2016, she received an honorary doctorate from The University of Michigan, where she earned her undergraduate and MFA degrees. She has served on the boards of Pratt Institute, The Wolfsonian Museum, and BOMB Magazine. She lives and works in Soho, New York City.


As director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring is responsible for supervision of a public arts agency with an annual budget of more than $30 million. In 2014, Mayor Carlos Gimenez expanded his responsibilities by appointing him to serve as a Senior Advisor for the County’s Cultural Affairs and Recreation portfolio, including the arts, parks and libraries. He represents the County and the Department on numerous cultural and civic organizations including service as Secretary of the board of directors of Americans for the Arts (the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America), a founding board member and officer of Americans for the Arts Action Fund, member and past President of the United States Urban Arts Federation, chairman of the board of the Florida Cultural Alliance, chairman of the 5-county regional arts alliance, the South Florida Cultural Consortium, director of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and member of the board of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.