Pérez Art Museum Miami Announces Cuban Artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons as Recipient of 2021 Pérez Prize at Seventh Annual Art of the Party

PAMM Raised Over $500,000 for Arts Education Programs at Hybrid In-Person and Virtual Event

Franklin Sirmans, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Darlene Pérez, and Jorge Pérez at PAMM Art of the Party. Photo: WorldRedEye.com
Franklin Sirmans, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Darlene Pérez, and Jorge Pérez at PAMM Art of the Party. Photo: WorldRedEye.com

(MIAMI, FL — April 19, 2021) — On Saturday, April 17, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) hosted the seventh annual Art of the Party, where Cuban artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons was announced as the recipient of the 2021 Pérez Prize, an unrestricted award of $50,000 that honors artistic achievement, funded by a gift from local patrons of the arts and longtime PAMM supporters Jorge and Darlene Pérez. The annual event, which included an intimate, in-person dinner on PAMM’s waterfront terrace or the option to dine at home with a virtual presentation, raised over $500,000 for PAMM’s robust arts education programs that have served over 300,000 children since opening in December 2013. 

Event Images: Available for download here.
Event Caption: [Name] at PAMM Art of the Party
Photo Credit: WorldRedEye.com

“Despite the hardships of 2020, I’m grateful we can safely come together, both virtually and in-person, to support a Miami institution that is reflective of this city and this community. Art, in its many forms, has the unique power to bring us together, even this past year when we’ve been apart. From outreach programs and interactive school tours to art talks and performances, PAMM brings art to life for thousands of people of all ages in-person and online. Education is at the core of everything we do and Art of the Party helps fund these life-affirming programs,” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans

At the event, PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans announced María Magdalena Campos-Pons as the recipient of the third annual Pérez Prize for her monumental artistic achievement. The Cuban artist is known for a unique multimedia approach to her artistic practice, which includes photography, painting, sculpture, film, video and performance. As the descendant of Nigerians who had been brought to Cuba as slaves in the 19th century, her work is deeply autobiographical, addressing history, memory, gender, and religion and how these important issues relate to the formation of identity.

PAMM is proud to have several of Campos-Pons’s works in the museum’s permanent collection, as well as a series of polaroid prints called The Magician’s Tools in Allied with Power: African and African Diaspora Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection, an exhibition of over 40 works by international African and African Diaspora artists on view from the collection of Jorge Pérez through February 6, 2022.

Left: Aaron and Dorothy Podhurst at PAMM Art of the Party. Right: Alexa Wolman at PAMM Art of the Party. Photo: WorldRedEye.com
Left: Aaron and Dorothy Podhurst at PAMM Art of the Party. Right: Alexa Wolman at PAMM Art of the Party. Photo: WorldRedEye.com


From both PAMM’s waterfront terrace and from home, guests toasted Campos-Pons’s artistic achievements and celebrated Miami’s resilient arts community, which has overcome immense challenges over the last year. The Pérez Prize represents PAMM and the Pérez family’s shared commitment to uplifting dynamic artistic voices in contemporary art. Last year’s prize was awarded to Puerto Rican artist Daniel Lind-Ramos, whose work speaks to the legacy of African diasporic traditions and Latin American history through an Afro-Caribbean lens. The inaugural prize in 2019 was awarded to Christina Quarles whose paintings mine the line between abstraction and figuration while exploring sexuality, race and gender.

“The Pérez Prize honors creatives who use art to overcome the challenges that affect our society most," said Jorge M. Pérez. "As an acclaimed professor and artist—who's touched so many through her work exploring history, race and culture—there's no one more deserving of this prize than Maria Magdalena. I couldn’t be more honored to support her in furthering her craft.”

Art of the Party also raised over $500,000 for arts education, which PAMM has continued to prioritize throughout the pandemic, exploring new virtual programs and classes to support children and families of Miami-Dade County, including virtual exhibition tours, #PAMMDIY online art-making activities, and digital resources for teachers.

Nu Deco Ensemble. DJ Marissa Sardar.
Left: Nu Deco Ensemble. Right: DJ Marissa Sardar. Photo: WorldRedEye.com

Guests also enjoyed a performance by Nu Deco Ensemble and a curated dinner by Chef Hedy Goldsmith and Constellation Culinary Group.

Notable guests included Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, supporters of the arts Jorge and Darlene Pérez, Nicholas Pérez, and Christina Pérez; artist and 2021 Pérez Prize recipient Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons; PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans and Jessica Sirmans, artist Cristina Lei Rodriguez, gallerist Mindy Solomon and Warhol Museum curator Jose Carlos Diaz; and a broad group of Miami leaders in business, entertainment, medicine and philanthropy including CBS’ Entertainment and Lifestyle reporter Lisa Petrillo McCue, Dr. Hansel Tookes, Edgardo and Ana Cristina Defortuna, Alan and Isabel Ojeda, Adolfo and Liz Henriques, Eric McKissack, Asha Elias, Suzy Buckley Woodward, and PAMM Trustees Christian and Suzanne Armstrong, Maria Bechily and Scott Hodes, Karen H. Bechtel and William M. Osborne, Wayne and Arlene Chaplin, Diane and Werner Grob, Kimberly Marshall, Deryl McKissack, Stephen and Pilar Crespi Robert, Sandy and Tony Tamer, Dorothy Terrell, Sebastian Echavarria, Dorothy and Aaron Podhurst, Sylvia Pope, Board President Gregory Ferrero and Leslie Ferrero, Diane Moss, Patricia Papper; Padma and Raj Vattikuti, Walid and Susie Wahab, and  Alexa and Adam Wolman.

Art of the Party Planning Committee
María Bechily
Arlene Chaplin
Sebastian Echavarria
Laura Kaplan
Patricia Kleh
Kimberly Marshall
Patrick McDowell
Gail Meyers
Diane Moss
Nedra Oren
Patricia M. Papper
Alexa Wolman

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), led by Director Franklin Sirmans, promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. The 36-year-old South Florida institution, formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, on December 4, 2013 in Downtown Miami’s Maurice A. Ferré Park. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces.


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.