Andy Sweet - "The Miami Beach Project"
Born in Miami Beach in 1953, Sweet documented the life in Miami Beach and on Ocean Drive in the 70's and 80's. Sweet was witness to a unique time in the history of his hometown, when it was energized by a group of older Jewish immigrants, many of them Holocaust survivors. Andy’s pioneering color photography captured the lives of these residents with stunning impact. Though his works were "lost" for almost 25 years, test prints were rediscovered in a family storage unit and have brought new focus to his work.
The Miami Beach Project reintroduces viewers to this special community, living the last portion of their lives on Ocean drive and in Lummus Park. The bright colors of the time and the character of this special generation of survivors seems to jump out of the photographs. It is thrilling to us that they have been transported out of the 70’s and into the lobby of The Betsy. The photography is exhibited together with a poem inspired by Andy Sweet’s life and work by Obama inaugural poet Richard Blanco.
Sweet’s photography is now in the permanent collections of the National Gallery in Washington, The Bass Museum, and The Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. The recent Dennis Scholl film "The Last Resort" documented his bright life and untimely death at the age of 29.