MIAMI - From the outside, it looked like a mad dash to get the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) ready for Wednesday's historic opening.
On Monday, workers poured an asphalt driveway while others laid down bricks, smoothing out freshly poured concrete on outdoor terraces and finalizing the landscaping.
But curators and staff looked ready to go inside the new waterfront art museum. The installations were in place, artwork on display and the museum's new restaurant, Stephen Starr's "Verde," was fired up for its soft opening, cranking out delicious dishes of beef Carpaccio, hamachi, guava margaritas, and inventive pizzas.
Deputy Director Leann Standish gave Local 10 an exclusive sneak peak as they prepared for the public opening. Wednesday will start with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m., and free admission for Miami-Dade County residents begins at 10 a.m.
"You know, it's kinda like when you have house guests and you are sweeping and everything just as they arrive at the door and you close the closet door," said Standish. "We are there, at that last moment."
Curator Rene Morales described their excitement, saying the museum was years in the making.
"A once in a lifetime thing for all of us who work here and for the city," he said.
Technology on display
Standish showed off some of her favorite galleries, including a room featuring photography hung on smooth, steel-grey concrete walls juxtaposed with hardwood floors. Since the gallery walls are made of concrete, the holes drilled to hang artwork will be permanent, creating a living history over time of the various exhibits on display there.
"A very radical idea for curators," Standish said with a smile.
Placards displaying information about the artwork aren't found on concrete walls, instead on iPads tucked away in the room's sleek, white bench.
"They look longer at the label than the art," said Standish. "There are so many pieces and nuances to this museum I know other museums wish they had the opportunity to do. They don't get to do these things when they don't build from the ground up."
Say goodbye to the $5 audio tour headset
PAMM will also feature a free mobile app with tours about exhibits, artists, terminology and the building's architecture so visitors can take an audio tour via their smart phone.
PAMM gets social
Above the admission desk is a large, digital screen that will incorporate real-time social media posts from visitors who include #PAMM in their posts.
There is 200,000 square feet of programmable space and expansive interior galleries unencumbered by columns that was a feat of engineering, said Standish.
Another unique feature to the gallery space is its natural light. The third floor's classroom space is wrapped in floor to ceiling windows with stunning views of Biscayne Bay.
Standish said the architects' were inspired by the simple beauty of Stiltsville when designing the building.
Upcoming events at PAMM
A lecture on "The Distracted Exhibition. On Enchantment and Composting Archival Shreds" will be held at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Click here to RSVP as seating is limited.
The museum will also kick off its Free Second Saturdays on December 14.
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