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Robert F. Figueroa, Artist and Alumnus, Exhibits Work at BBC Photography Gallery

At the FIU Photography Gallery at the Biscayne Bay Campus, Robert F. Figueroa (BFA ’14) is showing his work in Tom, Dick and Harry: the everyman series, starting Wednesday September 17th.

To describe the theme behind this exhibition, Figueroa presents the following questions:

Can we feel we know someone based solely on their online profile photographs?
Is it possible for an inanimate toy to provoke the same feelings?
Which one would best document how you would like to represent yourself?
Which one would you start a conversation with?
With whom do you identify with? Which one would you date?

The FIU Photography Gallery – and this exhibition – is directed by Eduardo del Valle and Mirta Gómez, Professors of Photography.

An Artist’s Discussion with Roberto F. Figueroa will take place on Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 5PM, at the Photography Gallery, FIU Biscayne Bay Campus: 3000 N.E. 145 Street, Academic II – Room 105, North Miami, Florida 33181.

Tom, Dick and Harry: the everyman series will run from September 17th to October 15th, 2014 at the FIU Photography Gallery. Gallery Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 11AM – 3PM; Tuesday and Thursday, 4PM – 6PM.

Figueroa is currently a freelance photographer. He has previously been the webmaster for MiamiARTzine.com and a personal assistant for writer and entertainer David Leddick. His work has been featured in Jewels (Bruno Gmunder Publications, Germany 2010) and Ocean Drive Magazine. He has participated in exhibitions at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami-Dade College, the House of Art, and the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York. He received his Associate in Science Degree in Photographic Technology with honors from Miami-Dade College in 2011, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with summa cum laude recognition from FIU in 2014.

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Michael Rodriguez (BFA ’89) Opens New Exhibition at 6th Street Container

The latest exhibition of College of Architecture + The Arts alumnus Michael Rodriguez (BFA ’89), Recent Work, will open on September 19th at 6th Street Container with a reception from 7PM to 10 pm.

A native of Miami, FL, Rodriguez moved to New York City after graduating from FIU, where he received an MFA from Brooklyn College and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He is a recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant for painting, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for painting, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant.

According to the Wall Street International, Rodriguez’ work “is rooted in his interest in geometric and gestural abstraction as well as process. He is engaged in the process of making the work as in ‘process based art’ as well as a ‘pictured’ process. The work is an aggregate of simple[,] almost mechanical marks and gestures[,] each meant as both signifiers for multiple modes of abstraction and the pictorial simultaneously. To think of the work is to think about process twice.” (Source: Wall Street International).

Recent Work will run from September 19th to October 12th at 6th Street Container: 1155 (rear) SW 6th Street, Miami, FL, 33130. For more information, please contact 6th Street Miami at (786) 587-5279 or 6thstreetcontainer@gmail.com.

This article was written by Ashley Garcia, Coordinator, Advancement and Alumni Relations.

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FIU Students and Alumni in New Broward County Exhibition

On Tuesday, September 23rd, the Broward County Main Library will open Dwelling Projects: To Puerto Rico and Back! This exhibition is organized by a FIU alumna and includes alumni and students from the university.

Sofia Bastidas (FIU BA ’13) founded Dwelling Projects, a traveling residency that supports the creation, presentation, and dissemination of contemporary art through its annual program. The program’s core principle is its strategic partnership with organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean that provide residents with work space, technical and logistical assistance, exhibition spaces, and access to any other particular needs required to optimize the residency experience. By creating this program, participants are able to dig into the country’s current art scene by bridging the gap between theory and practice for artists, intellectually and practically enriching the production of their work. It is a mutually beneficial learning experience. (Source: Dwelling Projects)

Dwelling Projects hosted the residency “To Puerto Rico and Back!” in June and July 2014. Through funds raised from the program’s exhibition In Bituin (CARTA News, February 2014) and partnerships with Girls’ Club Collection, s t u d i o 2 5 9, Walter Otero Contemporary Art, Espacio 20/20, and The Institute of Culture of Puerto Rico (Amigos Del Corralón), Dwelling Projects was able to provide a residency program in San Juan for artists Greisy Lora (FIU BFA ’14) and Valeria Guillen.

In Gallery Six of the Broward County Main Library, Dwelling Projects: To Puerto Rico and Back! will be a visual summary of the discovery of new art scenes in Latin American and the Caribbean by South Florida emerging artists. The exhibition is on display as part of the Main Library’s celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th.

Dwelling Projects: To Puerto Rico and Back! will open on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 5:30PM in Gallery Six of the Broward County Main Library: 100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. For more information, call (954) 357-7444. For more information on the Main Library’s events for National Hispanic Heritage Month, click here.

The award-winning Broward County Libraries Division, founded in 1974, is the largest library system in Florida by square footage and one of the busiest, with more than 9 million walk-in customers visiting its 39 locations annually. The library has more than 3.4 million items and 2,000 computers for public use, and offers hundreds of events and programs to meet the needs of Broward County’s diverse community. Broward County Libraries Division continues its strong emphasis on literacy, after-school programs and electronic access. In addition to its comprehensive web site, Broward.org/Library, which provides information about library activities, links to online catalogs, reference information and databases, customers can visit BCL WoW – Broward County Library Without Walls for free eBooks, music, audiobooks, apps, movies, and more. Customers may also follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter. Libraries Division also administers the services, programs, collections and exhibits of the Broward County Historical Commission. (Source: Broward County Libraries Division)

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FIU UNTITLED Art Talks | “Art Fairs: It’s Not Just About the Money” on Sept. 15

The FIU College of Architecture + The Arts, along with Helmut Schuster (owner of Gallery Schuster in Berlin, Miami, and Potsdam) and Jeff Lawson of UNTITLED Art Fair, held the second event for FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS on Monday, September 15.

“Art Fairs: It’s Not Just About the Money” at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios will feature conversations with Jeff Lawson (Director of UNTITLED Art Fair), Alan Randolph (Director of UNTITLED Art Fair and Senior Vice President/Miami-Dade Market Manager for C1 Bank), Jacek Kolasinski (Chair of the FIU Art + Art History Department), and Helmut Schuster, art historian and gallerist. The open discussion featured a question and answer session with the audience and provided a unique perspective of how art fairs need to maintain integrity while making a profit.

The event also featured the film Scissors & Glue: The Miami Project (2010), which “explores art in real time in the vibrant city of Miami. This documentary film takes an intimate look at a young city with an old soul. It examines the way in which artistic expression and exhibition relates to and also influences community development. Scissors and Glue dares to ask, ‘Which is more powerful, culture’s influence on art or art’s influence on culture, and what is the responsibility of art in urban society?'” (Source: Scissors & Glue: The Miami Project Facebook page).

The four-part lecture series culminates in a curated CARTA exhibition at UNTITLED during Art Basel | Miami Beach. This public-private partnership between the FIU College of Architecture + The Arts and UNTITLED Art Fair and Helmut Schuster aligns with the strategic goals outlined in CARTA 2020. Dean Brian Schriner said, “It is an excellent opportunity to (re)introduce CARTA – our faculty, students, professional staff, and alumni – to the community, while being a vital part of Art Basel and the international arts community.”

Through this partnership, the FIU College of Architecture + The Arts aims to set itself apart as a national and global thought-leader in contemporary art and design, and as an institution involved in the local and international artistic and cultural communities through the work of its seven departments. The College also aims to position its Miami Beach Urban Studios, as Dean Schriner put it, “as a global solution-center that utilizes the power of architecture and the arts to create, innovate, and inspire solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems.”

The next event in the FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS series will occur on Monday, October 20th at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami.

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‘Stadtluft Macht Frei’ and ‘Still’ Draw Huge Gathering on Opening Night

The opening reception for Stadtluft Macht Frei (Urban Air Makes You Free) and Still drew a large crowd at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum on Wednesday, September 10th. In attendance were many FIU College of Architecture + The Arts faculty and friends, including CARTA Dean Brian Schriner and CARTA Senior Associate Dean Adam Drisin.

Stadtluft Macht Frei (Urban Air Makes You Free) is a new exhibition by Jacek Kolasinski (Chair, FIU Art + Art History), Roberto Rovira (Chair, FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design), and Orlando Garcia (Composer-in-Residence, The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios and former Director of the FIU School of Music). The exhibit focuses on Medieval socio-economic landscapes and New World ecological urban migration and identity.

Stadtluft macht frei (urban air makes you free) is a German Mediaeval dictum describing a principle of law that offered freedom and land to settlers who took up urban residence for more than “a year and a day.”  Broadly speaking, this principle allowed the rising burger class to seek self-governance and economic autonomy.  The proliferations of the city communes redefined the socio-economic landscape of Mediaeval Europe.

Migration to cities, whether catalyzed by political dictum or by the promise of socioeconomic betterment, powerfully informs the many transformations that have shaped contemporary cities, nations, and landscapes. Migration, as a human and ecological phenomenon, profoundly reshapes its context and is a conduit by which identity is routinely questioned.

This collaborative multimedia enquiry brings together voices of three discrete academic disciplines to offer a unique artistic interpretation of this complex historic process.  This project employs an array of techniques including 3-d fabrication, video, printmaking and digital sound composition. (Source: CARTA News, September 4th, 2014)

Still by Marisa Tellería (FIU BFA ’93) explores an interest in perception as well as introspective and sensorial experiences.

Still is a compilation of new works of various scales, from medium size room-installations to stand alone objects, in an attempt to create a contemplative, circular space that allows room for introspection and sensorial experience.

The gallery is intervened by three immersive temporary environments made up of countless small, layered gestures with various materials creating a space of much silence and interiority. In between these larger pieces, other smaller works, equally elaborate and layered, function as a pause of fleeting, “whispering” moments alluding to larger psychological spaces as an invitation to slow down and look deeper, even in seemingly empty or unaltered scenarios.

In these works as well as throughout my trajectory, my interest in perception persists; in understanding the way we see (and not) and how we respond to physical phenomena; the selection of materials play an important role as a personal vocabulary to engage viewers into intimate sensorial experiences, so they can relate to objects, environments and situations at a corporeal level and expand their own process of observation and conceptualization; so they can hopefully understand things by their intensity of existence unencumbered by preconceived notions of meaning, if only briefly.” (Source: CARTA News, September 8th, 2014)

Both Stadtluft Macht Frei (Urban Air Makes You Free) and Still will run until Sunday, October 19, 2014 at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum: 10975 SW 17th Street, Miami, FL 33199. Free and open to the public.

The featured header image was taken by Manuel Perez-Trujillo.

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BFA/MFA Exhibition Catalogs Go Digital at the Frost Art Museum

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, in collaboration with FIU’s Academic Imaging Services, has decided to digitize past Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts exhibition catalogs. The Frost Art Museum will soon provide digital access to these catalogs so that the public can view the rich history of our students’ work.IMG_6242

With the help of the high-quality scanner Quartz A0HD, Miguel Asencio, Digital Imaging Specialist and Rhia Jones, Digital Specialist at Academic Imaging Services have started on the project. The goal is to provide an online archive of these catalogs from student exhibitions. The age of the catalogs goes as far back as the late ’70s, when the University and the Department were in their infancy.

Asencio showed FIU Art + Art History how the Quartz A0HD works. The scanner can produce an archival /preservation quality high-resolution image of up to 1,000 by 1,000 dpi (dots per inch) optical of full size A0 (33″x46”) objects, and it works in less than a minute. An object is placed on a flatbed, which can handle objects up to 34.2 inches long by 49 inches wide. On a connected computer, the individual requests for the Quartz A0HD to scan the object. In no time, a high-quality / high-resolution image is available on the computer’s disk space.

Alexander Garcia, Digital Archivist at the Frost Art Museum, is leading the efforts to make the student catalogs available virtually. Garcia said that the scanning of the BFA and MFA catalogs is happening concurrently with the digitization of the Betty Laird Perry Student Art Collection at the Frost. According to him, the “project is part of a larger goal to have the museum’s permanent collection and archives digitized and accessible to the university community.”

To view some of the exhibition catalogs now available online, please click here.

The writer would like to thank Miguel Asencio, Rhia Jones, and Alexander Garcia for providing information on this special project.

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‘Strange Bedfellows’ at MBUS attracts local and academic interest

The opening reception for Strange Bedfellows attracted many visitors at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios. The exhibition attracted some guests from the local community as well as faculty from the FIU Art + Art History Department such as Jacek Kolasinski (Chair and Associate Professor), Mirta Gomez (Professor), Eduardo del Valle (Professor), Kathy Dambach (Professor), Michael Namkung (Assistant Professor), Carmen Tiffany (Visiting Instructor), and Dr. Alpesh Kantilal Patel (Assistant Professor and Director of the MFA Program in Visual Arts).

Strange Bedfellows, which is sponsored by the Queer Cultural Center, is currently touring. It was presented first at Root Division for the National Queer Arts Festival in June 2013, next at the Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, and then at the 2014 College Art Association Conference in Chicago for the Queer Caucus for the Arts.

Amy Cancelmo oversees twelve exhibitions and works with over 500 artists annually at Root Division, where she is the Exhibitions & Events Coordinator. As a curator, Cancelmo chooses work that raises dialogue on social issues. (Source: Root Division)

The College of Architecture + The Arts’s own Brittni Winkler, Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts: Curatorial Practice Major candidate, was the collaborative curator for Strange Bedfellows at Miami Beach Urban Studios. Winkler decided the placement of each piece and received Cancelmo’s approval.

Below is from a curatorial statement by Amy Cancelmo about Strange Bedfellows.

“My interest in the subject of queer collaboration began in a series of questions: Why are there so many collaborative artworks in contemporary queer art practice? Is queerness inherently collaborative, or is collaborative practice inherently queer? What is to be learned about both practices by considering them together? Definitions are sometimes helpful when beginning this kind of inquiry, but the interesting thing about queerness, and about collaboration, is that both of these concepts share the trait of being in a constant state of negotiation and evolution. Queerness and collaboration also share the grey area of being a matter of identification. Postmodern and Post-structuralist theory have provided a framework to understand that nothing exists in a vacuum, and that every action is a collaboration, yet not all artists define as collaborators, or acknowledge multiple authorship.”

To read the full curatorial statement, click here.

Strange Bedfellows will run until Friday, October 17th, 2014 at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios: 420 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Free and open to the public.

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Girls’ Club launches new catalog with TM Sisters and alumnus Augusto Mendoza

Girls’ Club in Fort Lauderdale has teamed up with the TM Sisters – Monica López De Victoria (FIU BFA ’02) and Natasha López De Victoria (New World School of the Arts BFA ’05) – to present a new, completely locally published catalog for the TM Sisters-curated exhibition for Girls’ Club, I think it’s in my head.

The catalog is designed by Augusto Mendoza (FIU BFA ’12), who runs his own publishing and graphic design organization called Books Are Nice. The 86-page catalog features an introduction from Girls’ Club Creative Director Michelle Weinberg, an essay on feminism and science fiction by Claire Evans, a work of fiction by Vanessa Garcia, and an interview with the TM Sisters. (Source: Girls’ Club on Facebook)

A launch event for the new catalog will be held on Friday, September 12th, 2014 at Girls’ Club: 117 NE 2nd St, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.

Girls’ Club will host a 1:1 Relay Conversation at 7PM with the curators the TM Sisters, designer Augusto Mendoza, Michelle Weinberg (Creative Director at Girls’ Club), and Sarah Michelle Rupert (Gallery Director at Girls’ Club).

For more information, click here. To order a catalog, click here.

I think it’s in my head opened on November 10th, 2013, focusing on the mystical and mysterious. Including works from the collection of Girls’ Club Founders Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz, I think it’s in my head involved a diverse group of media. The exhibition included video, sculpture, and prints, among other mediums. According to Girls’ Club, the works were selected by the TM Sisters “for their vivid metaphysics and esoteric allure.” “Mysticism plays a large role in the exhibition as well as [in] our planned public programming,” said Sarah Michelle Rupert, the Girls’ Club Gallery Director, in November 2013. “From year to year we really try to bring something different to Girls’ Club and really shake things up in our space, collaborating with guest curators and showcasing very different sides of the collection.”

I think it’s in my head involved students and alumni of the College of Architecture + The Arts. “Florida International University has a wealth of talent in its teaching staff,” said Gallery Director Sarah Michelle Rupert, “and we are always excited to see new work coming from its students.” (Source: CARTA News, November 2013)

The artists that were included in the Girls’ Club exhibition I think it’s in my head were:

Harumi Abe     TJ Ahearn     Tracey Baran     Uta Barth     Cecily Brown     Sophie Calle
Autumn Casey     Vija Celmins     Gregory Crewdson     E.V. Day     Marcel Dzama
Tracey Emin     Claire Evans     Ellen Gallagher    AdrienneRose Gionta     Jenny Holzer
Jiae Hwang     Courtney Johnson     Brenda Ann Keanneally     Barbara Kruger     Nikki S. Lee
Loretta Lux     Vivian Maier     Ana Mendieta     Deborah Mesa-Pelly     Wangechi Mutu
Catherine Opie     Tara Penick     Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez     Samantha Salzinger
Dana Schutz     Sandra Scolnick     Beverly Semmes     Lorna Simpson     Kiki Smith
Jen Stark     Amy Stein     Devin Troy Strother     Eugenia Vargas     Michelle Weinberg
Lisa Yuskavage

Catalog-sneakpeak1

The featured images are provided courtesy of Girls’ Club, Fort Lauderdale.

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Marisa Telleria, alumna, opens exhibit at the Frost on sensory and perception

At FrostArt Wednesday After Hours on September 10th, College of Architecture + The Arts alumna Marisa Tellería (BFA ’93) will open Still at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. The exhibit, which includes site-specific mixed media installations, explores an interest in perception as well as introspective and sensorial experiences.

Still, 2014, untitled installation detail,  mesh, tulle fabric, wire dimensions variable

Still, 2014, untitled installation detail,
mesh, tulle fabric, wire
dimensions variable

The following is a statement about Still written by the artist.

Still is a compilation of new works of various scales, from medium size room-installations to stand alone objects, in an attempt to create a contemplative, circular space that allows room for introspection and sensorial experience.

The gallery is intervened by three immersive temporary environments made up of countless small, layered gestures with various materials creating a space of much silence and interiority. In between these larger pieces, other smaller works equally elaborate and layered, function as a pause of fleeting, “whispering” moments alluding to larger psychological spaces as an invitation to slow down and look deeper, even in seemingly empty or unaltered scenarios.

In these works as well as throughout my trajectory, my interest in perception persists; in understanding the way we see (and not) and how we respond to physical phenomena; the selection of materials play an important role as a personal vocabulary to engage viewers into intimate sensorial experiences, so they can relate to objects, environments and situations at a corporeal level and expand their own process of observation and conceptualization; so they can hopefully understand things by their intensity of existence unencumbered by preconceived notions of meaning, if only briefly.”

Reflecting on her FIU education, Tellería considers it an excellent preparation for her career as an artist. “My years at FIU were instrumental in my artistic and conceptual development,” said Tellería, “particularly via the Art History courses taught by Juan Martinez and Manny Torres – [each] a huge inspiration and great support.”

Untitled, 2014,  untitled installation detail, metal and nylon wire dimensions variable

Untitled, 2014,
untitled installation detail,
metal and nylon wire
dimensions variable

The featured images are provided courtesy of Marisa Tellería and The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum.

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Faculty Spotlight: Professor Emeritus Juan A. Martinez

Dr. Juan A. Martínez, Professor Emeritus of Art History at the College of Architecture + The Arts, is an art historian who teaches courses on European and Cuban modern art. He has written literature about this subject, including Cuban Art & National Identity: The Vanguardia Painters 1927-1950 (University Press of Florida, 1994), María Brito (Los Angeles: UCLA, 2009), and various chapters and essays in exhibition catalogs.

Dr. Martínez’s written work has been featured in literature published by organizations such as the California International Arts Foundation, the Miami Art Museum, the Museum of Art | Ft. Lauderdale, the Lehigh University Art Galleries, and Christie’s.

He has also presented papers at major international conferences. Dr. Martínez has attended, among others, the Cuban Art Today Symposium, the Conference on Caribbean Visual Culture, the Southeastern College Art Conference, and the Centenario del Natalicio de Wifredo Lam (held during Lam’s centennial birthday). He has served as a Chair for several conferences, such as the 28th Annual Conference of the Association of British Art Historians in Liverpool. He has also lectured at institutions like the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey and the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montreal.

Dr. Martínez received his Associate degree in Liberal Arts from Miami-Dade Community College (1972), his B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Florida (1974), and his M.A. in Art History: Medieval Art and Ph.D. in Art History: Modern Art from Florida State University (1977 and 1991). He has taught Art History Survey, Modern Art, and Interdisciplinary Humanities courses as an Associate Professor at Miami-Dade College. He most recently was the Chair of the FIU Art + Art History Department from 2006 to 2011, after working as a Professor in the courses of Modern Art, Art and Politics, History of Cuban Art, Latin American Modern Art, Methodology, and Special Topics in 20th Century Art.

“Teaching at FIU confirmed my love for sharing with students my knowledge of art history,” said Dr. Martinez. “The challenge was to make it relevant to their lives for majors and non-majors alike. In general, teaching there gave me a lot of positive energy, satisfaction, and many good memories.”

The Professor Emeritus recently received a FIU 2013 Top Scholar Award from University President Mark B. Rosenberg. In the past, he has won First Place (Triple Crown) for the 12th Annual International Latino Book Award for María Brito, the MacArthur Foundation Grant, the Ford Foundation Travel Grant, and the Florida Endowment for the Humanities award.

Martínez is a member of the College Art Association of America and the Latin American Studies Association. Currently, he is writing a monograph on one of the pioneers of Cuban modern painting, Fidelio Ponce de León (1895-1949).

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CARTA’s Kolasinski, Rovira, and Garcia open Frost exhibit on Medieval socio-economic landscapes & NewWorld ecological/urban migration & identity

At FrostArt Wednesday After Hours on September 10th, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum will open Stadtluft Macht Frei (Urban Air Makes You Free), a new exhibition by Jacek Kolasinski (Chair, FIU Art + Art History), Roberto Rovira (Chair, FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design), and Orlando Garcia (Composer-in-Residence, The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios and former Director of the FIU School of Music).

Below is a statement provided by the three professionals.

Stadtluft macht frei (urban air makes you free) is a German Mediaeval dictum describing a principle of law that offered freedom and land to settlers who took up urban residence for more than “a year and a day.”  Broadly speaking, this principle allowed the rising burger class to seek self-governance and economic autonomy.  The proliferations of the city communes redefined the socio-economic landscape of Mediaeval Europe.

Migration to cities, whether catalyzed by political dictum or by the promise of socioeconomic betterment, powerfully informs the many transformations that have shaped contemporary cities, nations, and landscapes. Migration, as a human and ecological phenomenon, profoundly reshapes its context and is a conduit by which identity is routinely questioned.

This collaborative multimedia enquiry brings together voices of three discrete academic disciplines to offer a unique artistic interpretation of this complex historic process.  This project employs an array of techniques including 3-d fabrication, video, printmaking and digital sound composition.

The opening reception for Stadtluft Macht Frei (Urban Air Makes You Free) will take place at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, as part of the FrostArt Wednesday After Hours series, on September 10th, 2014 at 6PM: 10975 SW 17th Street, Miami, FL 33199. Free and open to the public.

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‘Strange Bedfellows,’ a show on queer collaboration opens Friday at MBUS

Strange Bedfellows, an exhibition about queer collaboration in art, opens this Friday, September 5th at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios. The exhibition, sponsored by the Queer Cultural Center, is currently touring. It was presented first at Root Division for the National Queer Arts Festival in June 2013, next at the Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, and then at the 2014 College Art Association Conference in Chicago for the Queer Caucus for the Arts.

Amy Cancelmo oversees twelve exhibitions and works with over 500 artists annually at Root Division, where she is the Exhibitions & Events Coordinator. As a curator, Cancelmo chooses work that raises dialogue on social issues. (Source: Root Division)

Below is from a curatorial statement by Amy Cancelmo about Strange Bedfellows.

“My interest in the subject of queer collaboration began in a series of questions: Why are there so many collaborative artworks in contemporary queer art practice? Is queerness inherently collaborative, or is collaborative practice inherently queer? What is to be learned about both practices by considering them together? Definitions are sometimes helpful when beginning this kind of inquiry, but the interesting thing about queerness, and about collaboration, is that both of these concepts share the trait of being in a constant state of negotiation and evolution. Queerness and collaboration also share the grey area of being a matter of identification. Postmodern and Post-structuralist theory have provided a framework to understand that nothing exists in a vacuum, and that every action is a collaboration, yet not all artists define as collaborators, or acknowledge multiple authorship.”

To read the full curatorial statement, click here.

The opening reception for Strange Bedfellows will take place on Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 7:30PM at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios: 420 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Free and open to the public.

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FIU News: “From Miami to China: the soul of an artist”

Led by Dr. Lidu Yi, Assistant Professor, students from the FIU Art + Art History Department traveled to China to learn traditional and contemporary Chinese art and meet some of the country’s most well-known artists. The study abroad trip instilled a drive to discover in each of the participating students, even before their departure. Bachelor of Fine Arts students Yemail Sanchez and Nathalie Alfonso, arrived in China before the rest of the study abroad students, out of a desire to “live a real student life like students [do] in China and concentrate on learning,” according to Sanchez. As a result of the trip, Dr. Yi’s student JeanCarlos Fernandez – who is also a Marketing & Communications Assistant at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum – decided to start learning the Chinese language this semester. A day after his first class, Fernandez sent Dr. Yi a greeting in Chinese.

The following article about studying abroad in China, written by Alfonso, was featured on FIU News, originally posted by Alexandra Pecharich, Managing Editor of FIU Magazine.


“Fine arts major Nathalie Alfonso, 26, has an ongoing interest in creating community among artists. She believes that sharing with one another will lead to better practices and richer creative work, and so last year she initiated a program that encourages young artists in Miami to meet for just those reasons.

This summer she wanted to expand her experience. While she has already worked with artists in Ecuador and has some knowledge from her native Colombia (and now Miami), Alfonso most recently decided to go to China. She enrolled in an FIU study abroad program organized by Art & Art History Professor Lidu Yi, during which she met some of the country’s best-known contemporary artists, many of whom are world famous. Perhaps more importantly, she wrote up a formal proposal for a side project that had her travel to Beijing 10 days before the rest of the group. Her plan: to get to know and understand her Chinese peers, artists who were either in their final year of school or recently graduated.

Alfonso stayed in the dorms of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and spent her days touring the school’s facilities and talking to students. The visit inspired her to consider returning to China next year to live and work for an extended period. She reflects here upon her stay.

By Nathalie Alfonso

I don’t think an artist can be fully successful by him- or herself. Young artists, in particular, can help one another by staying in contact and exchanging information as we transition from school to the professional world. Outside of classes, one way I have tried to take charge of my growth and build confidence has been connecting with other artists so that I can understand their processes, interests and concerns.

My curiosity led me to wonder how young people in China fare as they start out on their own. Initially, I was afraid that communication might be a problem—I am a native Spanish speaker who learned English just eight years ago when my family moved to Miami—but a professor from the academy who came to the airport for me and my two FIU companions introduced me to  English-speaking students to get me started.

One of them, Aisha, is currently finishing up her bachelor’s degree in printmaking. Often I saw her working day and night, well past 11 p.m., when I would pass the school studios to return to my room. I estimate that students there spent 60 hours outside of class per week working on their pieces.

I also observed students’ formal training in traditional fine arts, among them Chinese landscape painting and calligraphy. Whether majoring in printmaking, painting, drawing, ceramics or sculpture, a student must study the older forms. It is not unusual to meet young artists who can, for example, replicate Chinese or even Western masterpieces down to the last detail.

My own experience has not included a lot of emphasis on such foundational work. I see both positives and negatives in Chinese art education. For one, it requires strict discipline and lots of practice, both of which are good for artists. I myself have learned from the example of Chinese students, and now I practice my drawing skills every day.

On the other hand, the focus makes their transition to experimental forms more difficult. The Chinese are used to following hard rules, and such rigidity can make individual creativity more challenging.

Contrast this with what I experienced during the FIU study abroad program that followed my initial stay in China. Our group was fortunate to meet some of the country’s luminaries of contemporary art, among them Xu Bing and Wang Qingsong (both of whom will be presenting shows at FIU’s Frost Art Museum during this coming school year). They have international followings and command respect from their countrymen. That was not always the case, however. At first these artists were not accepted in China because their art broke with tradition and appeared “too Western.”  Today they are an important influence not only on Chinese artists but the rest of us too.

The people of China—the students, the professors and even the renowned artists I met—showed me great kindness, and their openness made me feel at home. In the end, I found that Chinese students worry about the same things as their American counterparts: how to make a living after graduation; the best way to keep creating art; and the merits of various graduate programs. We are not that different.”

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Xavier Cortada engages FIU students in FLOR500, participatory art and history project

Xavier Cortada, College of Architecture + The Arts Artist-in-Residence will celebrate FLOR500 on August 28th at the FIU Graham Center Art Gallery. FLOR500 is a participatory art, nature, and history project created by the Miami artist to commemorate Florida’s quincentennial in 2013. The project marks the important moment when the history of Florida changed forever, and it gives us a glimpse of what its landscape was like 500 years ago.

The FIU-based project was a massive multi-year, state-wide undertaking:  A team of scientists selected 500 native flowers – the same ones that grew in Florida when Juan Ponce de Leon landed in 1513 and named it “La Florida” (from “flor,” the Spanish word for flower).  500 artists were then invited to portray those flowers. FIU alumni and faculty were among the Floridians who depicted the Florida native wildflowers in any medium they chose.

FLOR500 invited individuals, schools and libraries from across the state’s 67 counties to participate. Each was instructed to plant a wildflower garden and dedicate the garden to one of 500 important Floridians selected by a team of historians.

Cortada commits himself to eco-art projects that engage community and expose human impact on the environment. By involving FIU students and faculty in FLOR500, he has shared with them knowledge and awareness of Florida’s rich, ecological history.  Importantly, this particular project helped students and other participants develop skills in art, history, and nature. (Source: www.flor500.com)  

FLOR497 by Gretchen Scharnagl, Full-Time Instructor of The College of Architecture + the Arts (Art + Art History Department) and the Honors College

FLOR497 by Gretchen Scharnagl, Full-Time Instructor of The College of Architecture + the Arts (Art + Art History Department) and the Honors College

Several hundred students in the FIU Department of Communication Arts and the Department of Art + Art History joined others in planting wildflower gardens. Cortada presented FLOR500 to the students of Dr. Steve Schoen, Assistant Professor in FIU Communication Arts, and Art + Art History students during Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.  These FIU students eagerly took up the task of supporting Florida’s biodiversity.

“After planting their garden,” said Cortada, “participants uploaded the following to FLOR500.com: a 250-word essay, a portrait of the person they have been assigned, pictures documenting the planting of the garden, [and] a picture of the art object or a sign describing the dedication.”

These works are on display at FIU Graham Center Art Gallery: 11200 SW 8 Street, GC 215, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Miami, FL 33199.  The exhibition will run until Thursday, September 11th, 2014.

For more information, please contact Gabrielle Wood, Xavier Cortada Participatory Art Projects Coordinator, at flor500@fiu.edu.

This article was written with the help of Gabrielle Wood, Xavier Cortada Participatory Art Projects Coordinator and Xavier Cortada.

All images are provided courtesy of Xavier Cortada and Gabrielle Wood.

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Guillermo León Gómez (BA ’12), August Artist-In-Residence at Inkub8

College of Architecture + The Arts alumnus Guillermo León Gómez (BA ’12) is the August Artist-In-Residence at Inkub8, an alternative space in Wynwood specializing in hybrid experimental, movement, physical theatre, and sound. For the month of August, Gómez has been provided by Inkub8 with a space to create work. The 2014 Inkub8 (open-studio) Residency Program is a four-week residency in Miami’s Wynwood arts district that offers time, space, and a modest stipend to artists, who teach classes and exhibit works in exchange. (Source: Inkub8)

The following is an artist’s statement provided by Gómez:

Guillermo León Gómez is interested in replication, consumerism, and artificiality. His belief is that identity, as well as objects, can be commodified. Working in video, photography, and performance, his process begins with research. His work is then reactionary and improvisational depending on the nature of the subject. His performances are generally interactions with objects–which, many times, carry strong associations of gender normative roles. He attempts to disrupt this social conditioning, while offering a new understanding on symbology, politics, and economy. Gómez was born in Miami, FL. He received a B.A. in Art at Florida International University. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Miami Beach Urban Studios and Little Haiti Cultural Center. He lives and works in Miami.

Gomez_Inkub8_Workshop Flyer_8This Saturday, Gómez will host a Sound + Body Lab. Gómez describes it as “a workshop where [he] teach[es] the basics of sound perception followed by a group exercise to build architectural structures to muffle and block sound.” On Saturday, August 30th, a final exhibition of his work as an Inkub8 Artist-In-Residence, along with HIGH TEA, a closing reception, will occur at the space. The bar at the closing tea party will transform into a digital projection, exposing the physical effects of consumption, emptiness, and the passing of time. The evening will end with a balancing act of overindulgence, a live performance of high tea leading to an eventual low.

The Inkub8 Residency Program is funded through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s KnightArts Challenge. The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.KnightFoundation.org. (Source: Inkub8)

Guillermo León Gómez’s Sound + Body Lab will take place on Saturday, August 23rd at 12PM at Inkub8: 2021 NW 1st Place, Miami, FL 33127.

The final exhibition and reception of Guillermo León Gómez’s work will take place on Saturday, August 30th at 8PM at Inkub8: 2021 NW 1st Place, Miami, FL 33127. A $15 donation towards Inkub8 will be asked for at the door.

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‘Indescribable thread(s),’ featuring two alumni, closes at Space Mountain

On August 15th, Indescribable Thread(s) will close at art space Space Mountain. The exhibition includes two FIU College of Architecture + The Arts alumni: Danny Gonzalez (BFA ’07) and Barbara Lamothe (BFA ’14).

The following statement about the exhibition is provided by the art space.

“~what~ links us together – or sets one apart – spontaneous instances that capture truth through vision – this show brings together 6 photographers from different stages in their careers. Seeming to approach their everyday with a sense of magic realism, underground scenes imbued with poetic weirdness, mystery, and sex.” (Source: Space Mountain)

Indescribable Thread(s) will close on Friday, August 15th, 2014 at Space Mountain: 8363 NE 2 Avenue, Miami, Florida. The space is open by appointment. For more information, call (786) 512-4706.

All images in this article are provided courtesy of Ivan Santiago.

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Nick Gilmore’s ‘Frame Out’ opens at 6th Street Container

Nick Gilmore, Master of Fine Arts candidate at The College of Architecture + The Arts, will open Frame Out on August 15th at 6th Street Container.

This solo exhibition by Gilmore is described in the following statement by the artist.

“The exhibition title refers to the construction industry term for building the skeleton of a structure (“to frame out”), and aims to call attention to the frames of the works on display, which are constructed of Dade County Pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa). Named for its exclusivity to this region, this old growth native species was the construction material of choice in South Florida until the end of the 1940s, when it was harvested to the brink of extinction. To this day it is unmatched in strength of resistance both to rotting and termites. This project utilizes Dade County Pine I salvaged while renovating my 1926 house, located only a few blocks from this exhibition. Presented both in its originally constructed form and retooled into new objects, this Dade County Pine asks us to remember the history of our built environment; it also suggests the entanglement of consumption and necessity.”

Frame Out will open on Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 7PM at 6th Street Container: 1155 (rear) SW 6 Street, Miami, FL 33130.

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Kim Moore, MFA Candidate recognized with FIU students by Florida Chapter ASLA

Masters of Fine Arts candidate Kim Moore will be awarded by the Florida Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects (FLASLA), for a statewide, blind-juried competition hosted by the society. She was a member of two FIU student projects, one of which will be awarded an Award of Honor and the other, an Award of Merit. On Friday, July 25th, Moore and the other FIU students will be given their awards by FLASLA at its 2014 Awards Gala, which will be held at the Key Largo Ocean Reef Club.

FLASLA Award of Honor
Project Title: Interweaving Wet /Land
Students:
Gregory Gonzalez, Diego Justiniano, Daniela Menendez, Santiago Olarte, Andrew Pereda (FIU LA + EUD) Monica Ospina (FIU Environmental Studies)
Paola Davalos, Natalia Duque (FIU Civil Engineering)
Kim Moore (FIU Art + Art History)
Faculty Advisor: Ebru Özer, Assistant Professor (FIU LA + EUD)

FLASLA Award of Merit
Project Title
: Reciprocating Landscapes: Wet, Dry, and In Between
Students:
Gregory Gonzalez, Diego Justiniano, Daniela Menendez, Santiago Olarte, Andrew Pereda (FIU LA + EUD) Monica Ospina (FIU Environmental Studies)
Paola Davalos, Natalia Duque (FIU Civil Engineering)
Kim Moore (FIU Art + Art History)
Faculty Advisor: Ebru Özer, Assistant Professor (FIU LA + EUD)

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CARTA, UNTITLED, and Vagabond launch new lecture series, FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS

The FIU College of Architecture + The Arts has partnered with Helmut Schuster (owner of Gallery Schuster in Berlin, Miami, and Potsdam), Jeff Lawson of UNTITLED Art Fair, and Avra Jain of The Vagabond Hotel to provide a four-part, community-based lecture series called FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS. The lecture series – which will occur on the third Mondays of the months from August to November – will culminate in a CARTA exhibition, curated by Helmut Schuster, at UNTITLED during December’s Art Basel-Miami Beach week.

Terry Riley – architect, former Director of the Miami Art Museum, and former Philip Johnson Chief Curator of The Museum of Modern Art – will be the first keynote speaker of the FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS on Monday, August 18th at the grand re-opening of The Vagabond Hotel. CARTA will provide innovative, “pop-up” cultural activities throughout the hotel that showcase the talents of the College’s faculty, students, staff, and alumni. This will include – but will not be limited to – live music, video and multimedia installations, interactive art, design exhibitions, dance, and staged readings.

The FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS: Terry Riley lecture will occur on Monday, August 18th at the Vagabond Hotel: 7301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33138.

FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS are co-sponsored by UNTITLED, produced by Schuster Galleries, and hosted at the Vagabond Hotel.

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‘Omnibus,’ Alumni Show on Comic Book/Graphic Storytelling at GC Gallery

Omnibus, an exhibition on comic book and graphic communication, is on display at the FIU Graham Center Art Gallery. The show features a group of FIU Bachelor of Arts alumni, and it invites current FIU students to add their own work to the exhibition.

Gretchen Scharnagl, Full-Time Instructor of The College of Architecture + the Arts (Art + Art History Department) and the Honors College reached out to the FIU comic book community to propose an exhibit of this genre of work.  She discussed it with past students and alumni from her own comic book classes and students from other drawing classes. Scharnagl was approached with the opportunity to launch an exhibition at the FIU Graham Center Art Gallery. Alumnus Eric Gonzalez (BFA ’11) decided to take up the responsibility of organizing the exhibition.

Omnibus features a collection of short narratives bound together in a large tome,” said Eric Gonzalez (BFA ’11), who is organizing the show. “Each piece tells a small story and while not necessarily directly linked to one another, they branch off and take the viewer/reader into new and different territories.”

The artists featured in Omnibus are:

Alex Rocky Ferrer (BFA ’10)
Carlos Folgar (BFA ’10)
Eric Gonzalez (BFA ’11)
Wen-Ju Chien (BFA ’11)
Oliver Perez (BFA ’11)
Jorge Palomino (BFA ’12)
Oliver Guido (BFA ’12)
Stephanie Cuffel

Current students are welcomed to participate in the working days at the exhibition, and hang their own artwork in the show. The exhibition is open to new works on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1PM to 7PM.

Omnibus will have its closing reception on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 at the FIU Graham Center Art Gallery: 11200 SW 8 Street, GC 215, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Miami, FL 33199.

The header image is an artwork by Alex Rocky Ferrer (BFA ’10). The images in this article are provided courtesy of Eric Gonzalez.

OMNIBUS FLYER

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