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Art alumnus muralist selected to showcase at FIU’s Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House

Artist and FIU alumnus Nathan “Nate Dee” Delinois (’03, ‘08) has taken his artworks to new heights since he began painting murals throughout the Miami area. Recently, Delinois has brought his art back to FIU, when one of his pieces was selected for display at the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House. 

Delinois, a two-time graduate from the FIU Department of Art + Art History with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art education, wasn’t always fond of painting murals. In fact, he was far more comfortable with and accustomed to art completed within a studio setting.

“During an exhibition, the curator asked if I would like to do a mural outside of the building. I initially resisted, but after some pressure, I agreed to do it,” Delinois said. “What I found in painting the mural was that I fell in love with interacting with the community as I painted the artwork. People would stop and talk to me, ask about the work, and even give feedback, as well. This is a total 180° from the isolation of the studio experience.”

Since engaging more in the mural art scene within Miami, Delinois has been taking advantage of opportunities offered to him to create more public art and commissioned murals. His growing popularity has brought the world to show more interest in him and his studio-produced art pieces. Not only was he given the opportunity to produce artwork for organizations such as the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins and Adidas, Delinois was also invited to travel to Seoul, South Korea to participate in the Street Arts Awards Festival (SAAF) 2017, hosted by popular Korean brands Pollution/Shop1029. He was the only American artist invited to the event amongst many Asian artists.

“I could never have imagined that art would one day bring me to the other side of the globe,” Delinois conveyed.

Every Spring semester, Olga Vázquez – the director of the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House located on FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, works with the Department of Art + Art History chair, David Chang, to collaborate on an exhibition featuring the master in art education program. One of Delinois’ pieces, Creativity Nurtured, was selected to be part of the exhibit. The piece, pictured below, depicts a young woman holding three foxes with the foxes representing creativity and the woman signifying the nurturer. The exhibition is currently on display in the Reagan House Living Room.

“I selected this piece because of the rich application of color and the dynamic composition successfully incorporating both the representational and abstract elements,” said Chang. “Creativity Nurtured presents the viewers with a compelling sense of visual, cultural, and intellectual discourse.”

“I was completely honored by the request to have my work in the President’s house.” Delinois expressed.

Delinois credits his Caribbean upbringing as highly influential in his work. Like most of his art, Creativity Nurtured is especially notable in its use of bright colors typically found in Haitian art. Likewise, he credits the classes he took at FIU, specifically professors Pip Brant for his love of painting and David Chang for teaching him how to paint from a technical perspective.

Given the rise of public demonstrations across the country for the Black Lives Matter movement, Delinois has been contributing to the cause by collaborating with another local artist to create a mural to present a unique perspective on the struggle of black Americans. More on the process and the message behind this mural can be found through a new documentary filmed and produced by NBCLX.

Delinois also provided advice for students looking to pursue a career in the arts. “Always be obsessed with improving within your craft and approach it with the highest standard of professionalism and reliability. Spend time fostering relationships with people within the industry as well as peripheral industries, because that is how you will find opportunities to grow your career.”

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