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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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Faculty and Students Awarded for Work at 1310 Gallery

Associate Professor Pip Brant and MFA candidates Gardner Cole Miller and Yasmin Khalaf are three of six artists awarded for their work in The Triumph of Detritus at 1310 Gallery. Prominent guest judges from local arts establishments visited the exhibition and voted for the top artists. Chosen among the 30 artists in the exhibition, Brant and Miller tied for first place and Khalaf was awarded second place. Each of them received a trophy and a cash prize.

The Triumph of Detritus is curated by Lisa Rockford, tenured Assistant Professor at Broward College, a resident artist at Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, and a founding member of 1310 Gallery. She described the exhibition with the following statement:  “[The Triumph of Detritus is] a group exhibition of artists that morph raw, found, and unexpected debris into works of splendor. Visceral materials are combined with exquisite embellishment, transforming castoffs into captivating works of beauty.” (Source: Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts)

The Triumph of Detritus also included the work of Master of Fine Arts candidate Joe Locke and alumna Kerry Phillips (BFA ’00).

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Pip Brant and Mary Larsen in new exhibition at Juan Ruiz Gallery

The College of Architecture + The Arts’s Pip Brant, Associate Professor and alumna Mary Larsen (BFA ’12) will be featured in Short Story, which opens at the Juan Ruiz Gallery on Thursday, July 24th.

Short Story includes eleven Miami-based artists curated by aritst Rubén Torres Llorca. The name of the exhibition comes from the small format of all pieces in the show. Each piece has its own short story told by its respective artist.

The following artists are featured in Short Story:

Esteban Blanco
Pip Brant
Carol K. Brown
Randy Burman
Liliam Dominguez
Kathleen Hudspeth
Mary Larsen
Rogelio Lopez Marin
Rafael Lopez Ramos
Ruben Torres-Llorca
Lucy de la Vega

Short Story will open on Thursday, July 24th, 2014 at the Juan Ruiz Gallery: 301 NW 28 Street, Miami, FL 33127. Free and open to the public.

As a part of Short Story, a concert will be hosted by the Juan Ruiz Gallery on Saturday, August 9th. The following description of the concert is from the gallery’s press release.

Juan Ruiz Gallery is pleased to present as part of ‘our Short Stories’ exhibition a collaborative interdisciplinary piece by Artists Ruben Torres Llorca, Rogelio Lopez Marin (Gory) and musical group The Similar Prisoners.

The piece titled ‘My World Keeps Falling’ is a limited edition of 5 one of a kind art boxes, containing inside them 10 original illustrations each corresponding to each of the songs on the “My World Keeps Falling” album by The Similar Prisoners. Each one of the boxes will have a unique cover art on see thru acrylic.

The boxes also contain a 24kt gold cd copy of the aforementioned album in mini LP format. What makes this piece truly unique is that it will be the first collaboration between these two artists that were part of the now mythical 1981 Cuban exhibition Volumen Uno, as there’ll be an original Gory photo (c–print) included in each box. To top it off on Saturday July 12th the gallery will have The Similar Prisoners performing live, the ultimate companion piece for these gorgeous one of a kind art boxes.

The images in this article are provided courtesy of the Juan Ruiz Gallery.

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Short Story Invite - Juan Ruiz Gallery

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Peggy Levison Nolan featured in ‘The Photographer’s Playbook’ and in Crystal Bridges exhibit

Peggy Levison Nolan, Adjunct Professor at The College of Architecture + The Arts has a poem featured in The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern and published by the Aperture Foundation.

The following synopsis of The Photography’s Playbook is provided by the publisher.

The Photographer’s Playbook features photography assignments, as well as ideas, stories, and anecdotes from many of the world’s most talented photographers and photography professionals. Whether you’re looking for exercises to improve your craft—alone or in a group—or you’re interested in learning more about the medium, this playful collection will inspire fresh ways of engaging with photographic process. Inside you will find advice for better shooting and editing, creative ways to start new projects, games and activities, and insight into the practices of those responsible for our most iconic photographs—John Baldessari, Tina Barney, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Jim Goldberg, Miranda July, Susan Meiselas, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Tim Walker, and many more. The book also features a Polaroid alphabet by Mike Slack, which divides each chapter, and a handy subject guide. Edited by acclaimed photographers Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern, the assignments and project ideas in this book are indispensable for teachers and students, and great fun for everyone fascinated by taking pictures. – See more at: http://aperture.org/shop/the-photographer-s-playbook-books#sthash.EbV3PAkw.dpuf

In addition to being included in this work of literature, Nolan will also be featured in a September exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art entitled State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now. State of the Art is the result of a year-long road trip taken by the Museum’s curatorial team to discover the current art scene in America. The team traveled more than 100,000 miles and visited almost 1,000 artists. The resulting exhibition will include more than 100 artists, including Peggy Levison Nolan.

The featured image is from Artbook.com.

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Jorge Sánchez (BFA ’13) examines city of Opa Locka in new exhibition

On Thursday, June 12th, College of Architecture + The Arts alumnus Jorge Sánchez (BFA ’13) opened his solo exhibition The Opa-Locka Effect at ArtMedia Gallery.

“One of the major themes behind this exhibition is my personal fascination with the simplicity of the architecture of Miami’s manufacturing districts,” said Sánchez. For more than ten years, Sánchez has worked in the city of Opa Locka as an engineering drafter, and it is parts of this city’s aesthetics that has captured his interest. “During all of these years, my daily commute through these sectors has roused my interest in describing, through my photographs, the faded colors and the fascinating textures that can be found in such unexciting structures.” In his photographs, which were taken between 2011 and 2014, Sánchez emphasizes the deterioration of these sectors and of the quality of life for those who work and reside in them. Taking the photographs during his 6.9-mile commute from home to work, Sánchez considers the photographs a tribute to the workers and residents of Opa Locka.

For a solo exhibition such as The Opa-Locka Effect, Sánchez considers his education at The College of Architecture + The Arts good preparation. “Firstly,” he said, “the high standards of FIU Art + Art History professors provided me with all of the appropriate tools to develop my personal skills, to such a level that has allowed my work to stand up in contemporary Miami’s art sphere.” Sánchez also values the opportunity for FIU students to exhibit their work in the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, allowing for exposure of new artists in the Miami community.

Lastly, Sánchez values the personal interaction he had with professors. “I believe that the continuous personal interaction with the professors, and the time they dedicated to analyzing and critiquing their students’ work during class, were essential ingredients to the successful execution of the ideas in which my work was based.”

The Opa-Locka Effect by Jorge Sánchez will run until September 7th, 2014 at ArtMedia Gallery in The Wynwood Buildling: 2750 NW 3rd Avenue No. 12, Miami, FL 33127. Free and open to the public.

All images in this article are provided courtesy of Jorge Sánchez.

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‘RE’ at MAC Fine Art features Alumni and Faculty

RE will open at MAC Fine Art on Saturday, June 28th, during the Flagler Village Art Walk. The exhibition is curated by College of Architecture + The Arts alumna Rochi Llaneza (BFA ’04) and includes FIU faculty and alumni. In the exhibition is featured Associate Professor Pip Brant, College of Architecture + The Arts Artist-In-Residence Xavier Cortada, Venessa Monokian (MFA ’07), Julie Friel (MFA ’99), Kerry Phillips (BFA ’00), Martin Casuso (BFA ’01), and Magdalena Ortiz (BFA ’02).

Curator Rochi Llaneza provided the following statement about RE.

R3 (Reduce, reuse, recycle) is sometimes called the waste hierarchy, the three components of environmentally responsible consumer behavior. In the spirit of alchemy, I would like to add to the many more visual RE concepts to exemplify a broader perception of how artists interpret this idea.

After reading Robert Sapolsky’s statement on the wisdom of the crowd, I was inspired to gather a group of artists whose algorithms consist of reusing, recycling, reforming, etc., materials, ideas, imagery, to create something new or to point us in a new direction.

To post some examples, Nestor Arenas REthinks the traditional landscape, Julie Friel – an ordinary sketchbook; Jamey Morrill and Pilar Batlle and Lucinda Linderman REuse materials creating sculptural pieces with an ecological message; Jerry Bleem, Jonathan Rockford, Detourbutterfly, Ryan Farrell, Duane Brant REpurpose other people’s ‘garbage’; Ali Miranda REforms a photograph of Obama; Judy Polstra REwinds time with REclaimed watches; Venessa Monokian and Pip Brant REwork books to create new concepts; MILCHO REarranges an action verb to make you REthink its meaning while Karelle Levy and Martin Casuso do the same with their knitted materials. In another realm, Troy Simmons makes us REflect on the impact we are having on our planet; Randy Burman, Sandra Ramos and Xavier Cortada REview profound concepts of our contemporary society with traditional REused materials. Ruben Ubiera, Magda Ortiz and Kerry Phillips REclaim ordinary supplies with loaded connotation to REgain their worth. These artists, like ants, are working together to sway the general public to REdefine R3.

The opening reception of RE will take place on Saturday, June 28th, 2014 at MAC Fine Art: 833 NE 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304. Free and open to the public.

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Alumna and Faculty Perform at Third Annual Miami Performance International Festival ’14

A College of Architecture + The Arts alumna and faculty member are performing at the Third Annual Miami Performance International Festival ’14.

Photo provided by Marilyn Loddi (BFA '14).

Photo provided by Marilyn Loddi (BFA ’14).

Marilyn Loddi (BFA ’14) and Associate Professor Pip Brant are representing Miami/United States at the festival, which features artists from across the globe. On Saturday, June 21st, Marilyn Loddi (BFA ’14) led an Eggplantian Guided Meditation at Edge Zones Project, which was met with wide participation and positive feedback from attendees. On Sunday, June 29th, Associate Professor Pip Brant will perform with Duane Brant at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden (2000 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139).

“Miami Performance International Festival ‘14 is a much-needed networking platform for the art community and brings together the most important artists from Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe in the field of performance art. M/P ’14 aims toprovide a public platform for remarkable, unusual and engaged performances. Performance art is primarily geared to the creation of an ephemeral art.  The Festival offers the public an opportunity to discover a realm at the edge of artistic disciplines. Unlike theater and dance, all MP ‘14 performances have no designated areas nor are they presented on a stage, but rather on the floor, dissolving the boundary between the artists and viewers.” The Third Annual Miami Performance International Festival ’14 is curated by Charo Oquet, with artists from the Argentina, Colombia, Japan, UK, Poland, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Austria and USA. (Source: Third Annual Miami Performance International Festival ’14)

The featured image is a screenshot from the Third Annual Miami Performance International Festival ’14 website.

The images below of Marilyn Loddi’s (BFA ’14) ‘Eggplantian Guided Meditation’ are provided by Charo Oquet.

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‘Triumph of Detritus’ at 1310 Gallery features FIU students and faculty

On Saturday, June 21st, College of Architecture + The Arts students and faculty will be featured in the opening of The Triumph of Detritus at 1310 Gallery. The show will include work by Master of Fine Arts candidates Gardner Cole Miller, Joe Locke, and Yasmin Khalaf and Associate Professor Pip Brant.

The Triumph of Detritus is curated by Lisa Rockford, tenured Assistant Professor at Broward College, a resident artist at Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, and a founding member of 1310 Gallery. She describes the exhibition with the following statement:  “[The Triumph of Detritus is] a group exhibition of artists that morph raw, found, and unexpected debris into works of splendor. Visceral materials are combined with exquisite embellishment, transforming castoffs into captivating works of beauty.” (Source: Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts)

Prominent guest judges from local arts establishments will visit the exhibition and vote for the top artists. Up to 10 artists will be selected for a total of at least $500 in cash prizes. The exhibit will be included in the Flagler Village Artwalk on June 28. The Artwalk is a collaboration between FAT Village Arts District, Girls Club Art Collection, 1310 Gallery, 3rd & 4th Avenue Art districts, The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, and other local venues. (Source: Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts)

The Triumph of Detritus will open on Saturday, June 21st, 2014 at 7PM at 1310 Gallery: 1310 SW 2nd Court, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. The exhibition will run from June 21st to July 11th, 2014.

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Greisy Lora (BFA ’14) travels to Puerto Rico for residency and has first solo show

College of Architecture + The Arts alumna Greisy Lora (BFA ’14) opened her first solo show I mean… oh yes…a thing at Studio 259 on Tuesday, June 3rd. The show was hosted by Dwelling Projects, a traveling residency run by alumna Sofia Bastidas (FIU BA ’13).

Lora’s work, as described by Bastidas, “is groundbreaking, it comes directly from her imagination, and is a mix of sincerity and weird direct expression.”

Lora sews polychromatic thread onto canvas material, creating dreamlike creatures and characters and seemingly chaotic situations. She dishevels the edges of the canvas, so as to complement the chaos within its borders. “Some things that might be noticed in the various pieces,” said Lora,” are disheveled…unstrung edges and corners….I feel the disheveled borders then might add more character to the canvas, while at the same time – hopefully – not distracting the viewer too much from what is going on on the canvas.”

Lora said that she associates the polychromatic thread to a theme of madness, and feels that it has more emphasis of her this theme than a medium such as pencil and paper. Lora told, also, how she gets lost in the almost meditative activity of sewing. “Using the machine with the loud monotone whirring of the mechanisms at work places my mind in a sort of trance that helps me get more lost in these characters and what they are doing.”

In addition to celebrating her first solo show, Lora will be traveling to Puerto Rico for a residency program hosted by Dwelling Projects. She will be featured in a collective exhibition at 20/20 in San Juan on June 27th.

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MFA Candidate Andrew Horton Selected for Locust Projects LAB MFA exhibition

Andrew Horton, second-year Master of Fine Arts candidate

Andrew Horton, second-year Master of Fine Arts candidate

In the past year, second-year Master of Fine Arts Candidate Andrew Horton has been featured in exhibitions at the Young At Art Museum, 6th Street Container, Dimensions Variable (Downtown Art House), and The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, and has installed work by artist Zhu Jinshi with classmates at the Rubell Family Collection (CARTA News article). In addition, he has written for artisabout.com. This summer, Horton will represent The FIU College of Architecture + The Arts as the selected artist for the Locust Projects’s Locust Arts Builders (LAB) MFA program.

Horton’s proposal submitted to the LAB MFA program is entitled the “Meta-Gallery.” In Locust Projects’s project room, Horton will construct a free-standing, irregularly-shaped and transforming gallery space. It will feature an excessive number of exhibitions, which will change at a seemingly “unreasonable rate,” as Horton put it, within the span of a month.

“The project room of Locust Projects will be turned into an independently functioning, hyper-paced version of an art space,” said Horton. “Programming will be balanced between several scheduled programs and many more planned on the fly. A call for proposals will be sent out and ideas will be accepted to occur within the project space with very little notice.”

The Meta-Gallery will examine the roles of the gallery, curator, and viewer. It will question the normal functions of these three elements. “My proposal to Locust Projects addresses the role of the gallery as a production site and cultural hub and the role of the curator as the manipulator of the medium of the gallery,” said Horton. “Because of the flexibility and temporary nature of the space, it will constantly be shifting how each artist works within the space. The building becomes a participant, as a home and an antagonist to everything happening inside.”

google results copyThe Meta-Gallery will have its own social media presence (Facebook) and website, and will even have its own false address, based on the location of the parking lot behind Locust Projects (20 NW 39 Street, Miami, FL). The Meta-Gallery will be an independent space, but will be real yet false, fixed yet moveable, and irregular yet functional.

“I’m honored to be participating in LAB MFA,” said Horton. “The Locust Art Builders program is an amazing opportunity not just for the MFA student lucky enough to get a show often given to a mid-career artist, but also for the high school students in the counterpart program who are given access to the cultural institutions of Miami, its artists, and the space of a gallery. It’s a really interesting program for Locust Projects, and it [endorses] the idea that a gallery can be a place to nurture art production, rather than being simply the place where art is shown after it is made.”

In Summer 2013, MFA Candidate Nick Gilmore was also a LAB MFA artist, presenting his project Quick Millennia and receiving acclaim for his work (CARTA News: MFA Student Nick Gilmore Performs ‘Quick Millenia’ at Locust Projects). Horton assisted his classmate with Quick Millennia, and the FIU Art + Art History Department is proud to see Horton entering the LAB MFA program as a featured artist himself. “[I]t feels a bit like coming home,” he said. “I’ve had a few notable projects this year, but this really feels like the biggest opportunity I’ve had to push my boundaries the furthest.”

Amanda Sanfilippo, Development Associate of Locust Projects explained why Horton was chosen as this Summer’s LAB MFA artist. “LAB MFA extends the mission of Locust Projects of creating a platform for Masters in Fine Arts students in Florida to experiment, push their practice and explore new methods and ideas. MFA candidates are at a critical stage of their practice, so it is important to give them this kind of opportunity at a public venue and let them test the limits of their ideas. Andrew was chosen because his idea was innovative, relevant, and a bit out there. There is room for failure and growth in the project, and there [is] conceptual integrity there.”

For more information on Locust Project’s Locust Arts Builders program, visit their website.

The images in this article are provided courtesy of Andrew Horton.

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Michael Namkung featured in Art History book ‘Espaces du dessin / espaces dessinés’

The work of College of Architecture + The Arts’ Michael Namkung, Assistant Professor of Drawing has been featured in Espaces du dessin / espaces dessinés, an art history book by Alexandre Holin, Nathalie Poisson-Cogez, and Nathalie Delbard. The book examines the relationship between drawing and the element of space, and how this relationship can bridge seemingly contrasting disciplines.

In the chapter entitled «A portée de main, de pied ou de roue » L’espace atteignable dans les pratiques graphiques performatives contemporaines,» author Katrin Gattinger discusses Namkung’s oeuvre alongside the work of Tom Marioni, Yukinori Yanagi, Alan Storey, and Francis Alÿs, addressing how these artists negotiate space through performance and drawing, and how their drawings reveal limitations of the body and the drawing space. Gattinger examines the tension between the body and its environment, drawing connections between the extreme limits under which these artists work, and experiences of imprisonment or torture. She specifically addresses two of Namkung’s works, Wall Sit Relocation and Pendulum, in which the artist’s body is physically restrained (suspended upside down from the ceiling in Pendulum, for example) as he struggles to delineate the limits of the drawing space in relationship to his body. Gattinger concludes that these artists show the limits of space, and when crossing these limits, either physically or symbolically, open a new space in which aesthetic, political and physical categories can be reimagined by the drawing of a single line.

Michael Namkung received a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from San Francisco State University. He has exhibited at SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Headlands Center for the Arts. He has been awarded the 2010 James Rosenquist Artist in Residency in Fargo, North Dakota, the Investing in Artists Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, and a Tanne Foundation Award. Namkung is known for his emphasis on the human body and movement. The Drawing Gym projects encourage people to become aware of their bodies and to explore their physical limits during the activity of drawing,” said Namkung. “I’m interested in testing discomfort, giving permission to experience pain, and the meaning of failure. I am preoccupied with the expression and representation of the vulnerability that is exposed under these conditions, and the ability of the drawn line to index this experience.”

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CARTA Grad Maria Elena Gonzalez Named as Tenture-Track Sculpture Professor at SFAI

CARTA grad Maria Elena González ’08 was just announced as the newest tenure-track faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), following a highly competitive international search. She will be the school’s newest Assistant Professor in Sculpture.

Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rachel Schreiber said that “González brings to SFAI a wealth of experience as a sculptor, public artist, and arts administrator. The list of fellowships she’s received and prizes she’s been awarded is of the highest caliber. She studied in the Bay Area and there are many people here who’ve expressed their excitement at having her return to our community.”

González herself said that the “excitement [she] experienced during my interview at SFAI was quite palpable. The students, the faculty, the administrative team, and the plans for the near future are invigorating.” Founded in 1871, SFAI is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in the practice and study of contemporary art. We wish Maria Elena the best of luck, and look forward to hearing more great things about this Golden Panther!

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

The featured image is of Maria Elena Gonzalez (FIU BFA ’80) with John Stuart, Miami Beach Urban Studios Associate Dean of Cultural and Community Engagement and Executive Director.

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Student and alumni in ‘Untitled (Exhibition), 2014′ at Young At Art Museum

A College of Architecture + The Arts student and alumni are featured in Untitled (Exhibition), 2014, a new show at Young At Art Museum in Davie, FL. The exhibition is curated by Jacqueline Falcone, Director of the Jacqueline Falcone Bed & Breakfast and artist Misael Soto.

Soto provides a description of the new Young At Art Museum exhibition on his website:

Whimsically and at times rather critically reflecting upon itself and the idea of the white-walled museum exhibition, Untitled (Exhibition), 2014 is an exhibition organized in constant dialogue with itself; including everyone involved from the institution to the artists and its curators. Included artists were chosen because of their mutual interests in ephemerality, intervention, subversiveness, and site-specificity.

Works are displayed in non-traditional ways. One of the curators is in an artist’s video while the other pressed his face into the clay work of another. The museum director has the task of touching up the walls in the gallery, appropriate staff members are to rotate out paintings and drawings, and all museum staff is to push and pull a trick moveable wall when patrons are inside the gallery; all of this during open hours.

The seemingly ever-changing exhibition is the result of a domino-effect of interventions and subversions initiated by the curators which were then reacted upon by the artists and the museum’s staff. Under the guise of a traditional exhibition and using many familiar tropes, this process, which ends when the exhibition closes, has resulted more so in a collaborative installation than a traditional exhibition. (Source: http://misaelsoto.com/Untitled-Exhibition-2014)

Untitled (Exhibition), 2014 features the following artists.

Richard Vergez
Sophie Thun
Magnus Sigurdarson
Tom Scicluna
Kenton Parker
Hugo Montoya
Catalina Jaramillo (BFA ’05)
Andrew Horton (MFA candidate)
Patricia Margarita Hernandez
Alan Gutierrez
Romulo Del Castillo
Bhakti Baxter
Jenna Balfe

Images in this article are provided courtesy of both artisabout.com, unless otherwise indicated.

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Digital Oculus introduced by Biennial Award recipient Maria Elena González (’80)

On Thursday, May 15th, Maria Elena González (FIU BFA ’80) introduced Digital Oculus to a crowded room of visitors at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios.

An internationally acclaimed artist, González’s work is included in public and private collections throughout the world, and has been exhibited in major museums and galleries in the United States, Switzerland, and her native Cuba. Most recently, her “Tree Talk Series” was included in the 30th Annual Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts at the MGLC-International Centre for Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia, where it was awarded the Grand Prize in September 2013.

González has received numerous awards, including the Prix de Rome from the American Academy in Rome and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. She previously taught at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, where she is a board member, the Cooper Union School of Art, F+F School of Art and Media Design, Zürich, Switzerland and Visiting Critic at Yale School of Art. She is the sculptor member of the Public Design Commission of the City of New York.

She earned a BFA from Florida International University in 1980 and an MA in sculpture from San Francisco State University. While at FIU, she was inspired by Ralph Buckley, who taught by example and brought an incredible dedication and sense of discipline to making art that she still abides by today.

At the reception for Digital Oculus, González spoke about the digital realm, and their influence on artists and their creative processes. Additionally, visitors at the Miami Beach Urban Studios were invited to converse with González. One guest engaged in deep discussion with González about technology’s place in the art world, and how the historical significance of an artwork is affected by the passage of time.

After the reception for Digital Oculus, alumna Marilyn Loddi (BFA ’14) performed her piece “Eggplantian Spring Meditation” at the Washington Avenue entrance of the 420 building.

Information about Maria Elena González was written by Ashley Garcia, CARTA Advancement and Alumni Relations and Maria Claverie, Assistant Director of CARTA Advancement and Alumni Relations. Their original article can be found by clicking here.

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