1970s Miami Beach Community Celebrated in a New Exhibition at Krasl Art Center Just in Time for Our Own Beach Season

Photograph by Andy Sweet, 1977 – 1980. Courtesy of Andy Sweet Photo Legacy.
Photograph by Andy Sweet, 1977 – 1980. Courtesy of Andy Sweet Photo Legacy.

Andy Sweet’s South Beach shows joyful photographs of an elderly Jewish population in 1970’s Miami.

Krasl Art Center’s next exhibition presents a joyful glimpse into the rapidly changing beach community of Miami. Andy Sweet’s South Beach will be on view April 15 – June 4, 2023, with multiple opportunities to engage with the photographs and stories contained within the frames.

 In the late 1970s, Miami native Andy Sweet began photographing the elderly Jewish population of South Beach. Sweet was in his early 20s and was drawn to this group that was familiar to him from his youth. These celebratory images capture the eccentricity, fun, glamor, and kitsch of this brief moment in history. Couples in matching bathing suits or friends dancing in crowded rooms and taking sidewalk strolls “show not only a thriving world, but one whose live-and-let-live ethos served as a beacon for the rest of Miami.”

 Andy Sweet (1953 –1982) was an American documentary photographer known best for his street photography. Sweet’s negatives were lost amidst his death, leaving his original prints as the only record of his work. In 2006, small color “work prints” were discovered, and since then an effort has been made to restore his work and legacy.

 Krasl Art Center will host a Preview Reception with archivist Edward Christin on Friday, April 14. Explore the artwork then, or during these other programs throughout Berrien County:

 Exhibition Preview: Andy Sweet’s South Beach

Friday, April 14, 6 – 8 pm

Free & open to the public, Krasl Art Center

Sport your favorite 1970s leisure wear and be among the first to see this fabulous new exhibit! Introduction by archivist Edward Christin at 6 pm. Live music by Steve Butters of Pan Chicago, with small bites from the Bistro on the Boulevard and a cash bar.

 Coffee with the Curator

Thursday, April 20, 12 pm

Free & open to the public, Krasl Art Center

Learn about the 10-year photographic journey undertaken by young photographer Andy Sweet from Chief Curator Tami Fauver. 

 Film Screening at Vickers Theatre: The Last Resort

Sunday, May 7, 1 pm (70 mins)

Free pre-registered event. Vickers Theatre, Three Oaks, MI. 

Discover the bygone era of 1970s Miami beach, a sunny and eccentric haven for Jewish retirees, documented by photographers Andy Sweet and Gary Monroe.

 To learn more about the exhibition and its related programs, visit krasl.org/andy-sweets-south-beach

 KAC thanks their 2023 exhibition sponsors for bringing free exhibitions like this to Southwest Michigan: 98.3 The Coast, The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, Honor Credit Union, Pella Windows & Doors of Northern Indiana, RMB Capital, Starks Family Funeral Homes, Silver Beach Pizza, Storage of America, Tyler Automotive, The John DeVries Insurance Agency, Kruggel Lawton CPAs, Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant. Additional support provided by admission from the Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff. Additional thanks to Vickers Theatre for hosting a special screening of The Last Resort.

About Krasl Art Center:

Krasl Art Center is a nonprofit art museum and learning center that enriches the lives of people living in or visiting Southwest Michigan by delivering enlightening art experiences through diverse education opportunities, meaningful events, and high-quality exhibits and collections. KAC’s mission is to Inspire Meaningful Change and Strengthen Community through the visual arts. To learn more, visit krasl.org.