Antonia Wright & Ruben Millares Win $25,000 Juror’s Choice Award for Largest-Ever No Vacancy, Miami Beach; Maritza Caneca Wins $10,000 GMCVB’s People’s Choice Award

(Miami Beach, FL) Dec 8, 2022 -

The City of Miami Beach, in collaboration with the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 edition of No Vacancy, the largest to date. The Juror’s Choice Award has been presented to Antonia Wright & Ruben Millares, who presented Patria y Vida at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. The duo have been awarded a prize of $25,000. The $10,000 People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has been awarded to Maritza Caneca, for her video installation entitled Submersion in Blue at the Riviera Suites South Beach. Both works debuted for Miami Beach Art Week on November 17 and will conclude on December 8.


Jurors Nate Freeman (Art Columnist, Vanity Fair) and Anjuli Nanda-Diamond (Artistic Director, The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation) awarded the Juror’s Choice Award to Miami-based duo Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares. Their work, Patria y Vida (“homeland and life”) is a large-scale sculpture installed on the beach outside the Faena Hotel Miami Beach that celebrates people’s right to peacefully protest by using the barricade as a symbol of global resistance. For No Vacancy, the artists recreated the activist gesture from the Pro-Democracy Protests in Hong Kong, where protestors subverted the use of barricades, set out by police, and repurposed them to create an insurgent structure for their own protection. For this new sculpture, 25 crowd-control barricades with LED lights were bound together in a disorderly composition to memorialize global acts of nonviolent resistance.

The People’s Choice Award is determined by the public, who selected Submersion in Blue by the Brazilian-born, Miami based artist and director Maritza Caneca. Installed on the facade of the Riviera Suites South Beach, the video offers an underwater view of an Olympic sized swimming pool on a vertical flat panel screen that faces the street. Crashing through the calm of the empty water, a figure jumping into the pool slides down the screen, changing the topography of the water with thousands of bubbles. As the figure disappears into the depths below the screen, the bubbles continue to rise and distort the placid blue of the water.


No Vacancy is a juried art competition that celebrates artists, provokes critical discourse, and invites the public to experience Miami Beach’s famed hotels as destination art spaces. Artists were drawn from a call for submissions and selected by representatives from the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places Committee, Cultural Arts Council (CAC) and MBVCA. For the second edition of No Vacancy, $35,000 in prizes were awarded, including the $10,000 Public Prize by the GMCVB and the $25,000 Juror Prize awarded by a panel of art experts.


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Funding for this project is provided by the City of Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. For additional information, please visit


About Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares

Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares are Cuban-American artists born in Miami, FL. Over the past ten years, the duo has developed an extensive and experimental body of work. Through a multidisciplinary practice of video, performance, sculpture, sound, and light, Wright Millares’ work physically embodies the mechanics of power dynamics to challenge the absurdity of the hegemonic world order. Their projects are uniquely informed by Wright’s background in poetry and Millares’ foundation in music.

About Maritza Caneca

Maritza Caneca is a Miami-based Brazilian born visual artist whose work spans photography, film, and multimedia installations. After spending three decades as a cinematographer, her work continues to capture detailed narratives found in the angles of simple symmetries and geometries. Caneca’s images evoke the silence of being underwater and the sense of human presence visible through the water’s movement. By characterizing this movement, Caneca hints to the fact that images are in constant flux when seen in a reflection––infinite configurations exist and forms never repeat.

About the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places Program
Art in Public Places is a city board responsible for the commission and purchase of artwork by contemporary artists in all media. The program allocates funds totaling 2% of hard costs for city projects and joint private/public projects. Funds from construction projects may be aggregated into the Art in Public Places Fund and allocated for artwork at public sites and for collection maintenance. The fund is administered by a City Commission-appointed citizen’s board of seven members, the Art in Public Places Committee.


About the Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council
The Cultural Arts Council (CAC) is an eleven-member council created in 1997 for the purpose of developing, coordinating and promoting the performing and visual arts in the City of Miami Beach. The CAC serves as arts advocates before governmental bodies, coordinates collective marketing initiatives for the local arts community and funds not-for-profit arts organizations. Since the program’s inception, the CAC has awarded approximately $18 million in cultural arts grants, supporting thousands of performances, exhibits, and other cultural activities in Miami Beach.

About the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority

The MBVCA is a seven-member authority, appointed by the City of Miami Beach Commission, with the goal of encouraging, developing and promoting the image of Miami Beach locally, nationally and internationally as an outstanding tourist destination.  To this end, the MBVCA strategically focuses its funding investments in a balanced manner, fostering outstanding existing programs, stimulating new activities, and encouraging partnerships.  The MBVCA is committed to a careful, long-term plan for allocation of resources to help Miami Beach thrive as a destination with something for everyone.


Media Contact

For additional information, images and interview requests please contact:


Ben Demars

Blue Medium


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