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‘Manifest Destiny’ at Little Haiti Cultural Center Features Faculty and Alumni

The College of Architecture + the Arts’ Pip Brant (Associate Professor) and Edison Penafiel (FIU BFA ’14) are featured in a new exhibition at the Little Haiti Cultural Center called Manifest Destiny. The exhibition is presented by the Little Haiti Cultural Complex Gallery, Tradisyon Lakou Lakay, and Future Roots Collective, and is curated by Marie Vickles, Curator-In-Residence at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex Gallery.

This exhibition explores humanity’s desire to understand and define the “manifestation of destiny,” at both the individual level and as a part of the larger human collective. The concept of Manifest Destiny is explored as a recurring theme of will, power and in more contemporary times, as the channeling of esoteric energy and desire. This theme is further illustrated by the work in this exhibition as it relates to the pre-colonial and westward “settlement” of the Americas, in the late 19th century through present day 21st century. (Source: Curatorial Commentary, Little Haiti Cultural Center)

29 local artists are featured in Manifest Destiny:

Laetitia Adam  Barbara Bollini  Pip Brant  Carter Jackson Brown  James Brutus
Randy Burman  Jean Chiang  Elaine Defibaugh  Sokari Ekine  Ingrid Espinal  Marguerite Gil
Ani Gonzalez  Henry Grunberg  Jennifer Kay  Christian Mejia  Aurora Molina  Guilherme Moraes
Adriano Nicot  Edison Penafiel  Claudio Picasso  Myriame Pierre  Joel Rabadan  Eduardo Alexander Rabel
Jahaira Ríos-Gálvez  Asser Saint-Val  MA Sentient  Molly Cécile Surazhsky  Hattie Mae Williams  Alex Zastera

Manifest Destiny will run until November 21st, 2014 at the Little Haiti Cultural Center: 212-260 NE 59 Terrace, Miami, FL 33137. For more information, call (305) 960-2969.

About the Little Haiti Cultural Center/Complex: The Mission of the Little Haiti Cultural Center/Complex (LHCC) is to provide a space that brings together people and ideas to promote, showcase and support Afro-Caribbean culture in South Florida. www.littlehaiticulturalcenter.com

About Tradisyon Lakou Lakay: In existence since March 2001, TLL is founded on the belief that everyone has hidden talents which at times need to be activated and unveiled. TLL makes that possible by facilitating the opportunity for youth to discover their hidden talents through its programs and partnerships. We are all intelligent individuals and have something to offer to our communities and the world we live in. www.tllakayinc.com

About Future Roots Collective: Established in 2003, Future Roots Collective is an ever-evolving group of artists, designers, creatives and community motivators that work in loose, and sometimes tight, collaborative efforts to propel the arts in avenues of education, artist development and cultural initiatives. www.futurerootscollective.com

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Alumna Carmen Ferrer Pursues PhD at University of Genoa

College of Architecture + The Arts alumna Carmen Ferrer (MIA ’14) has recently been accepted into the Doctorate degree program at the Naval Architecture at the Università degli Studi di Genova (University of Genoa – UniGe), FIU’s partner university in the subjects of Architecture, Interior Architecture + Nautical Design, Urban Landscape Architecture, Humanities + Social Sciences, Sustainable Tourism, and Art + Art History.

During her time at FIU Interior Architecture, Ferrer chose to study Cruise Ship and Super Yacht design. She had the opportunity to study abroad with classmates and work alongside Italian students from the University of Genoa. While in Italy in March 2013, Ferrer discovered the PhdD program in Boating and Nautical Design and decided to pursue this prestigious degree after graduating with her Master of Interior Architecture degree.

With the encouragement of FIU Interior Architecture Chair Janine King and Massimo Musio-Sale, the Chair of Nautical Design at UniGe, Ferrer prepared an application to the PhD program. The process of earning this degree will enrich Ferrer’s expertise as she explories innovative solutions to problems and creates new knowledge regarding interior architecture and its role in making naval architecture support human occupation. “I get to learn from [experts] who are so famous for their design and craftsmanship skills,” said Ferrer, “I get to learn a third language, and I get to explore another country and its culture.

Ferrer said, “I have to thank the faculty of the FIU Interior Architecture Department for their support, advice, recommendation letters, and planning – especially Janine King for having faith in me, offering me a position with the Interior Architecture department and helping throughout the whole process.”

Ferrer, born in Cuba, received her Associates in Arts in Interior Design from Miami Dade College (2011) and her Masters of Interior Architecture and Cruise Ship and Super Yacht Design Program certificate from FIU (2014). She has interned as an Interior Designer Assistant at NCQ Design, and she has worked as a Junior Interior Designer at International Design Fusion/Creed Fusion Interiors. She is currently the helping coordinate the Cruise Ship and Super Yacht (CSSY) Design at FIU Interior Architecture. Ferrer said that her position at the FIU department “exposes [her] to the maritime industry, giving [her] opportunities to meet professionals, as well as visit shipyards, boat shows, and ships that can be valuable for [her] research.”

She is grateful to FIU for her present experience and place in the field. “Being enrolled in the School of Architecture for three years offered me opportunities that I never thought of having, like meeting professionals in the field and attending activities like the Festival of the Trees and Design Mix with them….[W]e [constantly got] internship offers…through which we [got] to work and experience real life projects.

“We get to create relationships with people that think differently from us, either because we are from different cultures or have different backgrounds, and learn how to work in the same team; we get to share our experience with lower-level students; we get to travel either for international exchange or to attend a conference in another state or city, or just to experience design works somewhere else. All of this adds up to our growth as individuals and professionals.”

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Interior Architecture Student Fatma Hasanain Wins Award from ASID

FIU Interior Architecture student Fatma Hasanain has won an award from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) for her interfaith center design, produced in Assistant Professor Sarah Boehm’s design studio course last semester.

Hasanain’s project incorporated the design of an interfaith center for eight different religions, creating “a space where people from various religions can all feel welcomed and co-exist, as well as learn about different cultures or religions.” Hasanain said that her design included areas for prayer, meditation, teaching, worship, cleansing, and gathering. For this project, Hasanain received ASID’s ST1B Conceptual Project Commercial award.

Hasanain provided the following design statement for her project:

Reconciling Divergent Beliefs:
Interfaith spaces are a response to a globalized world in which social life and religious practices are often detached from their locality. Within these spaces opportunities exist for divergent worldviews to be brought together with the potential of reconciliation between belief systems to occur. Water, the source of all life, reveals our human interconnectedness and provides the catalyst for reconciling these divergent beliefs.

In a consolidated statement, Hasanain said, “this project is designed as an interfaith space. The design combines multiple beliefs in one place and aims to encourage tolerance and acceptance.” (Source: ASID)

Hasanain is grateful for her role as a student at FIU, and how it played into her interfaith center project. “Being a student at FIU provided me with the opportunity and skills I needed to design this project.”

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Large Audience Gathers for Ed Bell of WLRN at FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS

Ed Bell, host, producer, and announcer at WLRN, lectured at the College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios, as part of the FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS.

At MBUS, Bell announced his retirement from WLRN after working in the public radio outlet for 37 years. He discussed his work as producer and host of South Florida Arts Beat, and he discussed influences on his taste for Jazz, Blues, and Rock N’Roll.

Helmut Schuster (owner of Gallery Schuster in Berlin, Miami, and Potsdam) helped to lead the talk with Bell. CARTA Dean Brian Schriner and many of Bell’s friends and colleagues were in attendance at MBUS for the event, and Russel Mofsky of The Gold Dust Lounge and Andrew Yeomanson of Spam Allstars performed a musical piece in honor of Bell’s career.

Bell has been involved in the local music scene since getting his start on the air at the University of Miami’s WVUM in 1971. In the years that followed, he co-produced jazz legend “Symphony Sid” Torin’s show on the all-jazz WBUS, Miami Beach. Bell hosted live broadcasts of Jazz concerts on WTMI from the Airliner Jazz Club and worked as a sound designer at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Since starting at WLRN 91.3 FM in 1977, Ed has spearheaded many initiatives in support of South Florida’s jazz and blues artists, especially in his work as a promoter and concert series producer. One of Ed’s most distinguished efforts as a jazz producer was his role as a principal co-founder of the Hollywood Jazz Festival. From 1983 to 1986, Ed turned the festival into a memorable weekend of television and live radio broadcasts of top locally, nationally and even internationally known jazz musicians. In his first twenty years at WRLN, Ed was instrumental in making WLRN South Florida’s premier jazz and blues station. Soon after coming to WLRN, he began his Lunchtime Miami program featuring a broad history of great American music, jazz, blues and R&B. Each Friday, he produced a half-hour segment called South Florida’s Own that highlighted the work of the best local jazz, blues and R&B musicians. Interspersing his music presentations with intelligent interviews featuring international, national and local musicians and cultural arts leaders, the show became a unique presentation on the South Florida radio dial. In June, 1995, local news magazine New Times deemed Ed the Best Local Jazz Advocate in its best of South Florida issue. (Source: WLRN)

Bell brought his broadcast production expertise in January 1999 to a new program called Topical Currents, broadening his radio presentations to include diverse cultural arts activities all over South Florida. That show is now called South Florida Arts Beat, broadcasting regionally to four counties in South Florida (from Jupiter to Key West) and worldwide on WLRN’s Internet site every Friday at 1:00 pm, EST. (Source: WLRN)

The four-part lecture series of the FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS 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, November 17th, 2014. Check the website for more details. http://arttalksmiami.com/.

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Roberto Rovira and LAEUD Students Involved in New APA Award-Winning Park

On October 11th, Chair Roberto Rovira and students from FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design (LAEUD) participated in the Phase 2 installation of Magnolia North Park in Opa Locka, FL, a project designed by the landscape architecture team of Anwar Morales (FIU MLA ’09), Rudolf Uhlemann (Cornell BSLA ’12), and Roberto Rovira. The effort was recently recognized with a 2014 American Planning Association (APA) Florida Award of Excellence in the Grassroots Initiative category with the entry “From Pop-Up to Permanency: Opa-Locka” submitted by the Opa Locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) and featured in the OLCDC’s 2013 Annual Report.

Willie Logan, President and CEO of OLCDC, said, “because of [Professor Rovira's] efforts and those of the studio and other cohorts, he made what would have been a field with play equipment for children into a luscious park to be enjoyed by adults and children alike. [Rovira, Morales and Uhlemann] created a master plan which has enabled us to have a blueprint on how to continue to make the public space truly remarkable.”

According to Chris Davis, Community Organizer of OLCDC, “the development of the Magnolia North Park is the first major collective action that local residents took to improve the community. Through collaborative local projects like this, the OLCDC hopes to continue engaging residents in the social and economic revitalization of the city of Opa-locka.” He is also thankful for the landscape architecture design team. Davis continued, “[their] involvement played a key role in the development of the park. They all understood the importance of this park project to Magnolia North community members.”

“As one of the landscape architects that collaborated on the project, I was very excited to learn about Chair Rovira joining the Magnolia North Park design team,” said Rudolf Uhlemann, Landscape Designer at Arquitectonica. “His involvement, as well as the ‘on the ground’ student contributions, expanded our resource pool, strengthening the project and its impact on the community. Having students involved in community projects like that of the Magnolia North Park has so many benefits . . . students are able to see tangible outcomes of their work.”

“It was a pleasure to work with such a talented design team in this transformative urban project. Anwar is a product of FIU’s Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design program, and Rudolf and I share a common bond in our alma mater, Cornell. Our collaboration helped tangibly transform a key part of the OLCDC ambitious and inspired transformation for Opa Locka,” stated Rovira.

The Phase 2 installation, completed in October 2014, included the planting of a butterfly garden, picnic tables, and additional shade landscaping for the park thanks to additional funding from the Alliance for Community Trees and a partnership with Boise ASPEN.  A large mural (approximately 50ft x 20ft) by VA Collective, an FIU student-led creative group comprised by FIU LAEUD and Architecture students, will be part of the west wall of the project site.

The American Planning Association (APA) Florida Chapter, which awarded Magnolia North Park the 2014 APA Florida Awards of Excellence, celebrated the outstanding planning projects across the state at its annual conference in September. The Project Awards program provides APA Florida members with the chance to see and learn about development, conservation, government, or environmental projects, where planning has had a positive impact on the outcome. Eligible planning projects are those completed within the last two years of the date of the conference.  The projects are scored by the Awards Jurors based on five criteria:

  • Innovation – Introduction of an original concept or a refinement of an existing technique or procedure.
  • Transferability – Potential applicability in other areas of the state or to other planning projects.
  • Quality – Excellence of analysis, writing, graphics and character of presentation.
  • Implementation – Effectiveness of the work – i.e. proposals have been carried out or show promise of being carried out in the near future.
  • Comprehensiveness – Planning principles have been observed, especially in considering a project’s effects on other public objectives and the surrounding environment.

As part of Phase 1, on January 24th, 2014, OLCDC, the City of Opa-locka, KaBOOM! and 300 volunteers from the Opa-locka community, the MetLife Foundation, the Cypress Financial Group, Public Allies Miami, the FIU American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Student Chapter, University of Miami’s Socially Engaged Art class, Roberto Rovira, Anwar Morales, Rudolf Uhlemann, and others joined forces to build the playground, install pathways and domino tables, design and build artful bike racks, and plant native landscaping.

Information in this article is provided courtesy of Studio Roberto Rovira.

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NOMAS FIU Chapter Represents University at 2014 NOMA Conference

From October 1st to 4th, students from FIU’s National Organization of Minority Architect Students (NOMAS) represented the university and the College of Architecture + The Arts at the 42nd annual conference of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).

The students who represented FIU’s chapter of NOMA in the conference’s 2014 student design competition are: Santasha Hart, Jorge Rodriguez,  Ebehi Ijewere, Allan Abrantes, Jasmin Jenkins, and Alfonso Aaliva.

nomas2Santasha Hart, president of NOMAS-FIU, said that the conference was a motivating experience. She also mentioned that individuals at the conference from NOMA and other institutions recognized FIU for its outstanding design work. Hart provided the following statement:

“Competing against 16 other schools, FIU’s NOMAS Chapter held their own by placing top five overall. After presenting their boards and awaiting the results, they were pleased to hear the judge’s accolades. It was truly an honor to receive such praise from both the judges and other competitors in the competition. Even Georgia Tech, the winning team, came up and demonstrated their admiration of our school’s boards. FIU’s NOMAS chapter definitely plans to go and compete again!”

The featured images are provided courtesy of NOMAS-FIU.

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FIU LAEUD welcomes TJ Martson, New Adjunct Faculty

TJ Marston is a new Adjunct Faculty member at the College of Architecture + The Arts | Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design (LAEUD). This fall semester, Marston is teaching Graduate Design 01 Studio in parallel with Marta Canavés, Associate in Design. This year, FIU LAEUD welcomed a record number of incoming graduate students and Marston and Canaves will together shape these students’ first year design studio experience.

TJ is a designer at Curtis + Rogers design studio, an award winning local practice that specializes in landscape architecture. She is currently the lead designer and project manager for several park projects in South Florida along with designing and managing C+R’s new website. Her most notable work is the new cultural park in Hialeah, Florida where she worked with a multidisciplinary team in conjunction with FPL to provide much-needed public space to a local community by utilizing an existing transmission right of way as a passive cultural park. Prior to being at C+R, Marston worked in Philadelphia with the nationally recognized design firm WRT where she worked on several ASLA award winning projects.

Marston received her MLA with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and her BS in Architecture from Bowling Green State University. At BGSU she was awarded the first prize by the AIA for her proposal for the new school of architecture for her senior thesis. During her studies at Penn she won the National ULI Student Urban Design Competition for her team’s proposal for the Dallas Cedar’s Neighborhood and was awarded the faculty-nominated WRT Fellowship. Her studio work at Penn was recognized for its graphic clarity and rigorous site analysis, which unfold into thoughtful design proposals that heal urban landscapes through mending cultural and economic disparities. Marston is inspired by the process of drawing and mapping as a tool for design inspiration and continues to explore that in her work and teaching.  Her multidisciplinary education and experience give her a great depth of understanding of Landscape Architecture and the design process. (Source: TJ Marston)

We are pleased to welcome TJ to the FIU LAEUD family!

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New exhibition at MAC Fine Art features alumni and faculty

MAC Fine Art will open a new exhibition called Sidetracked on Saturday, October 18th during Art Fallout 2014. The exhibition will feature several FIU students, alumni, and faculty.

Below is a statement by the gallery about Sidetracked:

Sidetracked is a group show curated by Rochi Llaneza in which the work of the artists is either the result of being sidetracked or sidetracking intentionally to accomplish an objective.

[We] came upon this statement from Sir Ken Robinson that sets the tone for this exhibition: “Divergent thinking…is an essential capacity for creativity. It’s the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question, lots of possible ways to interpret a question, to think laterally, to think not just in linear or convergent ways, to see multiple answers, not one.”

The exhibit includes works by

Aaron Arroyave (FIU Medical student)
Eddie Arroyo (FIU BFA ’01)
Lidia Cara
Margarita Castro
Gary Fonseca (FIU BFA ’07)
Julie Friel (FIU MFA ’99)
Bryan Hiveley (Past Instructor, FIU Art + Art History Department)
Galt Mikesell
Alex Nunez
Tina Salvesen
Gretchen Scharnagl (Full-Time Instructor of Art + Art History Department and the Honors College)
Yomarie Silva-O’Neal (FIU MFA ’05)
Daniel Elijah Novem (Daniel Fernandez, FIU BFA ’08)

Sidetracked will open on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 5PM at MAC Fine Art: 833 NE 4th Lane, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304. Free and open to the public.

There will also be a musical performance by Daniel Elijah Novem (Daniel Fernandez, FIU BFA ’08).

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Cruise Ship and Super Yacht Students Tour Allure of the Seas

On Sunday, September 6th, 2014 the students of the FIU Fall 2014 Cruise Ship and Super Yacht (CSSY) Graduate Design Studio – accompanied by coordinator Carmen Ferrer and their instructors Greg Walton, Vice President of RTKL Miami and Jorge Mesa, Senior Designer at RTKL Miami – embarked on a tour of Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Sea. The second and newest of the Oasis class in the Royal Caribbean fleet, Allure holds the current title of being the largest cruise ship in the world. The ship can accommodate about 5,400 guests and has a crew of approximately 2,300.

img_3124This semester, the CSSY students are tasked with the design of a Teppanyaki restaurant on the Allure’s sister ship Oasis of the Sea. The purpose of the visit was a guided tour of the ship, in which instructors explained the “ins and outs” of ship design with specific attention to the space that will house the Teppanyaki restaurant in the students’ assigned scope of work. The opportunity to interact within the restaurant space allowed the students to gain a better understanding of the existing structure and to pose project-specific questions to their instructors.

The students also gained an understanding of how design is implemented within the ship, how it differs from land-based projects, and how different materials are used and installed in the ship’s interior spaces.

This article was written by Katrina Best, Graduate Assistant in FIU Interior Architecture. All images are provided courtesy of Katrina Best.

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Alumni Sofia Bastidas and Guillermo Leon Gomez are 2015 Artists In Residence at Cannonball

College of Architecture + The Arts alumni Sofia Bastidas (FIU BA ’13) and Guillermo León Gómez (FIU BA ’12) have been announced as 2015 artists-in-residence at Cannonball.

Cannonball’s Residency program is “a hybrid, multi-disciplinary program….”

[The program] empowers Miami’s cultural producers and sustains the city’s position as a hotbed for contemporary art by infusing it with artists and arts professionals from around the globe. In an effort to create a new model of cultural exchange in a city popular for its beaches, night life, and art fairs the Residency Program offers artists the first formal live/work environment in Miami. The primary focus of the Residency Program is two-fold: 1) provide long-term, affordable live/work space for Miami artists and 2) offer international artists, scholars, curators, and other cultural producers year-round opportunities to research, create new work, and respond to issues at stake in South Florida.

Founded in October 2010 and generously supported by major grants from the John S. and James L. Knight FoundationThe Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Residency Program is comprised of six live/work spaces. Three of the studio spaces are dedicated to year-long residencies for Miami artists and cultural producers and three are for one-to-three month residencies by visiting national/international artists, curators, writers, scholars, and other cultural producers.

Hosting approximately 15 residents per year, Cannonball complements the Residency Program with a broad menu of educational and professional opportunities for residents. In Fall 2014, Cannonball will inaugurate its research.art.dialogue. (r.a.d) program, an alternative school that will host a faculty of international artists, theorists, and curators. Semester-long courses and intensive seminars will be offered throughout the year. Residents are welcome to participate in all R.A.D.-related programming. Through regular, structured programs such as workshops, presentations, and one-on-one consultations with attorneys, gallerists, and arts professionals, residents receive the tools and knowledge to advance their careers. In addition, residents receive technical and administrative support as needed from Cannonball staff. (Source: Cannonball)

Sofia Bastidas is the founder and director of Dwelling Projects, a traveling residency that supports the creation, presentation, and dissemination of contemporary art through its annual program. She also sells and advises about Latin American contemporary art.

Guillermo León Gómez has exhibited at the Little Haiti Cultural Center (CARTA News, November 2013) and has fulfilled residencies at Elsewhere Museum in North Carolina and at Inkub8 in Miami, where he held his Sound + Body Lab (CARTA News, August 2014).

The image of Sofia Bastidas is provided courtesy of Teodora Dakova Photography. The image of Guillermo León Gómez is from his work, Untitled (Masking) Video Still, 2012.

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Arist Melisa Caprio Exhibits Work at BBC Photography Gallery

At the FIU Photography Gallery at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus, Melisa Caprio is showing her work in Dolphin Human Therapy, starting Monday, October 27th.

To describe the theme behind this exhibition, Caprio presents the following statement:

I sit on the dock and patiently wait; wait for the right moment to click the shutter. I watch therapists and dolphins work with children whose disabilities range from mild to severe. These children come to receive therapy, love and healing. As I watch, I am in awe of the humility, empathy and wonder they possess. As I photograph, I see the children’s confidence grow. They are not judged and they learn what it means to trust themselves and others. I watch as they become more powerful in their own skin. These children represent everything that is intricately complicated and beautiful about humankind. Through photography, they allow me into this world, to behold the beauty of the subject matter as it evolves.

This project started in 2000 and ended for me in 2006. Every day I was blessed with the privilege of being a part of something that cannot be explained in words. The photographs tell a much better story. There is a sacred relationship between the highly intelligent animals and these children who have trouble communicating. When the children are exposed to the dolphins, their little bodies riddled with whatever syndrome or disease, become open and responsive; something magical happens. The animals that I have gotten to know very intimately can read these children and always know exactly what they need to motivate them.

There are thousands of photographs in my collection, which are all unique in their own way. I found something beautiful in the symbiotic relationship between the two. When I watch the dolphins work with those children, I am witnessing something extraordinary happen…and that is something to see.

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

An Artist’s Discussion with Melisa Caprio will take place on Monday, November 3rd, 2014 at 5PM at FIU Biscayne Bay Campus: 3000 N.E. 145 Street, Academic II – Room 105, North Miami, Florida 33181.

Dolphin Human Therapy will run from October 27th to November 24th, 2014 at the FIU Photography Gallery. Gallery Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 11AM – 3PM; Tuesday and Thursday, 4PM – 6PM.

Caprio is currently a fine art photographer, as well as the owner of Postcards to the Universe, a “global movement for manifestation” – and, soon, a book project – that calls individuals to write their wishes and desires on a postcard and send them out into the universe. Some of Caprio’s works are in the collection of the Ringling Museum of Art, she has exhibited at 1310 Gallery and Art Fallout, and she has published two works of literature online related to photography. Caprio also gives workshops on the art of photography and manifestation.

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New Graduate Lab Opens at Studio Room, Biscayne Bay Campus

On FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC), Master of Fine Arts students now have a place to study and focus on their coursework. The studio room at the Academic Two building in Room 150 was originally only for painting. Today, its features include sewing machines for surface design – two of which are computerized, Procion Reactive Dyes, Shobori, textile printing, surface embellishment, Macintosh computers and scanners for silk-screening, and a thermo imager. The room also has a 20-foot ceiling and 8-foot-tall north windows that let in natural light.

This is the first time space has been devoted as a Graduate Lab to Master of Fine Arts candidates that frequent BBC. The Lab is also available for Bachelor of Fine Arts students. Thus, peers from these two different programs can work side by side and learn in a calm environment that also allows for camaraderie.

“I have been working in the studio for the past month,” said Nathalie Alfonso, Bachelor of Fine Arts student, who has decided to make use of the resources at the Studio Room and its Grad Lab. “The space is full of natural light, is very clean and has many tables and other materials to work with. It is very quiet, and it’s comfortable to work there.”

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Film ‘Right to Wynwood’ by BFA Alumna to be Screened at The Light Box

A screening and Q&A session for Right to Wynwood, a film made by College of Architecture + The Arts alumna Camila Álvarez (BFA ’13) and Natalie Edgar, will take place at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse and will be hosted by III Points.

Right to Wynwood won Best Documentary Film at the Miami Short Film Festival. Álvarez and Edgar directed the film, Álvarez produced the film, and Edgar is the film’s director of photography. Right to Wynwood explores the issue of gentrification in the booming, cultural center of Miami, FL. The film interviews residents who have been affected by the changes made in Wynwood, and takes a look into the way some longtime residents of the area have left or been pushed out, as restaurants, galleries, and other venues flow in and become part of the cultural scene. The film had its first screening just before Art Basel | Miami Beach weekend 2013. (Source: CARTA News, March 2014)

This weekend’s screening and Q&A will be hosted by III Points, an “art+ music + technology summit in Wynwood,” during its “interactive festival incorporating local and national talent to perform, interact and discuss.” Among the musicians in the line-up for this weekend’s festival is popular indie singer Lykke Li. (Source: III Points on Facebook).

The screening and Q&A for Right to Wynwood will take place on Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse: 404 NW 26th St, Miami, Florida 33127. Free and open to the public.

The featured images is by III Points.

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Michael Namkung Presents Paper at the Southeastern College Art Conference

The College of Architecture + The Arts’ Michael Namkung, Assistant Professor of Drawing, has been selected to present his paper at the 2014 Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) in Sarasota this Friday, October 10th.

Additionally, Namkung’s work Baby Picture #36 (pictured above) will be included in a juried exhibition of the 2014 SECAC. The juror for the exhibition is Matthew McLendon, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Ringling Museum, Sarasota, FL. The juror will select one artist to receive a “Best-in-Show” award and may, at his discretion, bestow additional honorable mention awards. (Source: Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC))

The juried exhibition of the 2014 Southeastern College Art Conference will open on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 to the public, with a members’ reception on Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at the Sarasota Art Center: 707 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Namkung will present his paper, “Drawing Under Duress,” as part of the contemporary drawing panel of the conference. The name of the panel is “Porous Borders: The Changing Face of Contemporary Drawing,” and its purpose is described as the following:

“In the latter part of the 20th century, the perception of exactly what drawing is, or could be, underwent a seismic shift. An activity that had been historically perceived as an act of preparation evolved into a primary means of expression: a sunburned body or channel cut into the floor of the desert could lay claim to the discipline as readily as the traditional mark on a page. Through surface, 20 space, time, and technology, the intervening years have done little to diminish the malleability and elasticity of drawing. From the rigorously traditional to the experimental fringe, this session, the second in a series at SECAC, seeks perspectives on contemporary drawing and the historical precedents that have allowed it to flourish in recent years. A variety of proposals [we]re encouraged from practitioners, critics, and historians invested in the current state of drawing as a primary means of creative activity.” (Source: Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC))

Namkung’s “Drawing on Duress” discusses how drawing can offer a “return to the body.” Namkung explains that “as technological mediation of human experience expands, human beings have developed increasingly sedentary and solitary behaviors, becoming ever more disconnected from our bodies. Our body of knowledge on the human condition has become literally disembodied, overly abstract, and set adrift from lived experience. I practice drawing under physical strain to explore a state of consciousness, a condition of vulnerability, and a certainty of failure rooted in the body. I emphasize the activity of drawing as a physical relationship between body and environment, in which drawings define the site of sensory perception, where the self and the world physically touch. This relationship reveals itself in biomorphic drawings composed of marks that refer directly to spatial and temporal measures of the body; drawing as an index of human experience. This paper shares two ongoing drawing investigations. In Drawing Gym, I explore the intersection of drawing and athletics by combining strenuous exercise with traditional drawing tools, making drawings based on movements of my body and the bodies of others. In Baby Pictures, I designed a hybrid drawing-printmaking system to record my newborn son’s movements throughout his first year of life.

The Chair of the contemporary drawing panel of SECAC 2014 is Pete Schulte, University of Alabama and the Co-Chair is Travis Head, Virginia Tech.

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Thomas Spiegelhalter in Steering Committee and Marilys Nepomechie as Group Consultant for Research on Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems

The College of Architecture + The Arts’s Thomas Spiegelhalter (Associate Professor and Co-Director of the FIU Structural and Environmental Technologies Laboratory) is a member of the steering committee for RCN-SEES: Predictive Modeling Network for Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems (SHBE). The committee behind the Research Coordination Network (RCN) focusing on Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) recently met at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in California. The RCN-SEES is funded by a $652,846.00 grant from the National Science Foundation. Other steering committe members are Prof. Yong Tao (UNT), Prof. Yimin Zhu (LSU), Khee Poh Lam (CMU), Richard Feiock (FSU), Mirsad Hadzikadic (UNCC),  Chien-fei Chen (UTK), Wei Yan (TAMU), Carol C. Menassa (UMICH), and Derrick D’Souza (UNT).

In addition to serving as a steering committee member, Professor Spiegelhalter is a member in two working groups for RCN-SEES, Group I: Physical Systems – in which College of Architecture + The Arts Professor Marilys Nepomechie is a constultant – and Group V: Model integration and Validation. These two groups, along with the other four, are emphasizing separate themes as theoretical foci of Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems. The other working groups are covering Human Behaviors, Social/Policy Impacts, Life Cycle/Economics, and Sustainability Education.

Thus far, the RCN-SEES has hosted two workshops on two themes. A workshop on Physical Systems took place at the University of Texas in March 2014, and another on Human Behaviors took place at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in May 2014. The workshops consisted of presentations to stimulate discussion, breakout groups, and roundtable discussions to summarize action items. Some industrial and international entities that have participated in these workshops are InstitutoTecnológicode Saltillo (Mexico), TexEnergy, Schneider Electric, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and HKS, Inc.

A Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystem involves

  • differential needs and patterns of behavior for human occupants in various types of buildings with multiple, temporally, and environmentally demographic, cultural, and social preferences;
  • social-economic systems to sustain, or be adapted by, the human needs and patterns of behavior;
  • building envelopes to provide a shelter for people from weather;
  • active engineering systems and passive features providing thermal and lighting comfort;
  • quality air, fresh water, and their supply systems for human needs, and
  • micro-climate conditions such as urban centers, which may significantly vary from macro scale climate data and significantly correlate to the efficient energy consumption by human in buildings

The objective of this RCN-SEES, in which Professor Spiegelhalter is involved, is to develop a collaborative research platform centered on overcoming bottlenecks in engineering, software, and social-economic sciences that impede wider application of sustainable building technology. The network activities are focusing on defining an innovative, new interdisciplinary area, “Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystem (SHBE),” that integrates human behavioral science, social and economic sciences in tandem with sciences of building design, engineering, and metrology for data validation of building energy consumption and occupant comforts. The developed collaboration strategies and standardized data platform will lead to significant reductions of the uncertainty in predicting human adaptation to energy efficiency and sustainability of building ecosystems, which will also address fundamental questions such as: “What are the benefits of sustainable building investment to people at a personal, business, or urban planning level?” (Source: RCN-SEES : Predictive Modeling Network for Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems (SHBE))

The activities of the SHBE-RCN include: collectively developing a consensus-based mechanism for a cyber-enabled, data-networked research platform that allows sharing of the connectivity methods from different models of building ecosystem elements; creating the networking mechanism to recruit additional participants or update the working groups; developing the new research directions for identified subareas; evaluating the success of the SHBE network; and developing an innovative learning program for graduate students of diverse backgrounds. (Source: RCN-SEES : Predictive Modeling Network for Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems (SHBE))

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Alex Trimino’s (MFA ’12) Exhibit ‘Tales from a Sun-Drenched Elsewhere’ at Diana Lowenstein Gallery

A new exhibition by College of Architecture + The Arts alumna Alex Trimino (FIU MFA ’12) is on display at the Diana Lowenstein Gallery until November 1st, 2014. The exhibition, entitled Tales from a Sun-Drenched Elsewhere explores how tradition and new technology can come together to determine how we connect to present reality. The show is the inaugural exhibition for the Diana Lowenstein Gallery’s 2014-2015 season.

The following statement about Tales from a Sun-Drenched Elsewhere is provided by Trimino.

Illuminated totem poles covered in crochet, knitting, and found objects reveal the similarities between modern, hi-tech materials (micro-controlled neon lights) and colloquial, lo-tech crafts (crochet, knitting, and weaving) used, creating an equilibrium between traditions, technologies, and generations. Old ways and new technologies commingle together exploring how we connect to reality today. Tales from a Sun-Drenched Elsewhere explores the nostalgic desire to revisit time like space, refusing to surrender to the irreversibility of time.

Trimino, born in Colombia, lives and works in Miami, FL. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida International University. As a recipient of the the Joan Mitchell Foundation Scholarship for Visual Artists, she attended the Ox-Bow Artist Residency affiliated with the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition, she has been the recipient of several awards from institutions such as the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Elliot Museum, the Appleton Museum of Art, the Rawls Museum Arts, and the Cambridge Art Association and was selected to participate in an International Art Symposium in Sweden. Her work can be found in public and private collections. (Source: Diana Lowenstein Gallery)

Tales from a Sun-Drenched Elsewhere is on display until Saturday, November 1st, 2014 at the Diana Lowenstein Gallery: 2043 North Miami Avenue, Miami FL 33127. Free and open to the public.

In the header image, the image on the left is provided courtesy of the Diana Lowenstein Gallery, and the image on the right is provided courtesy of Alex Trimino.

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Gianna DiBartolomeo (BFA ’07) Opens Art Exhibit ‘BREATHE’ at Coral Gables Art Walk

On Friday, October 3rd, Gianna DiBartolomeo (FIU BFA ’07) will open BREATHE during the Coral Gables Art Walk.

The following statement about BREATHE is provided by DiBartolomeo.

Gianna DiBartolomeo is a local artist, born and raised in Miami. Ms. DiBartolomeo believes the things we go through in life are not singular but shared by many. Her work is about life’s journey – the places it takes us, the bumps in the road, and the remarkable discoveries along the way.

Breathing is vital to our existence as it supplies our organs with oxygen and is a means to remove toxins from the body. The exhibit BREATHE celebrates this process and serves to remind us to appreciate the good things in our lives and to and release the bad. (Source: Gianna DiBartolomeo)

At the opening reception for BREATHE, there will be tastings and live music.

The opening reception for BREATHE will take place on Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 8PM at Upstairs Yoga: 3119 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Second Floor, Coral Gables, FL 33146.

The exhibit is on display for the month of October by appointment only. For more information, call the (786) 493-9458.

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FIU Interior Architecture Welcomes Marcia Lopes de Mello, New Adjunct Faculty

Márcia Lopes de Mello (Architect, Associate Professor Senior of Architecture and Interior Design at Miami Dade College, and Doctorate of Architecture candidate at the Universidade de São Paulo) is a new Adjunct Faculty member at the College of Architecture + The Arts Department of Interior Architecture.

Lopes de Mello received her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie in São Paulo (1984) and her Master’s degree in Architecture: Computer in Design from the University of Miami (1997). She has also received Certificates of Specializations in Architecture and City Planning (1993) and Didactic in Higher Education (1992) from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, and has taken numerous Professional Development graduate courses at Augustana College, St. Thomas University, and Florida International University (2005 to 2013).

She has worked as a Project Architect at Roger Fry & Associates Architects, Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design Inc., Borges Architects, and Arquitectonica International Corporation. She has also worked as a designer at Eastshore International Corporation, and she was the Principal and Co-Founder of Área Útil Arquitetura S/C Ltda. in São Paulo from 1990-1994.

Some of Lopes de Mello’s research includes “Alfred Browning Parker: The Architecture of Humanism” (2009) and “Towards a Virtual Architecture: Computers in Peter Eisenman’s Design Process” (1997). She has attended and presented her work at conferences like the 2013 East-West Dialogues: Modern Architecture in Florida – Symposium, the 2013 X Docomomo Seminar Brazil – Modern and international Architecture: Brutalist Connections 1955-75, the 2013 Earth Ethics Institute Sustainability Fair & Symposium  and the 2006 Association of American Colleges and Universities – Conference.

She was  recognized as the “Hands on Miami Artist of the Year” in 2008 for her coordination of service learning projects with Miami Dade College students, developed for Miami Dade Public Schools and the 2014 Educator of Year by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) South Florida Chapter.

Lopes de Mello has been involved with professional organizations like the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Hospitality Industry Network (NEWH), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighbordhoods of the Modern Movement (docomomo_international).

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Interior Architecture Students Travel to Boston to Explore Adaptive Reuse

Today, Wednesday, October 1st, students from all studios of FIU Interior Architecture are leaving to Boston for a close examination of adaptive reuse in the city.

Adaptive reuse is “the renovation and reuse of pre-existing structures . . . for new purposes” (Source: www.merriam-webster.com). Examples of structures in Boston that have undergone this process are the Old City Hall (which now houses various tenants, including the Architectural Heritage Foundation and Houser & Allison, APC), the Coolidge School (which now houses an active adult, 55+ community), and the Atlas Lofts in the Box District (which was once an industrial warehouse).

During their trip to Boston, Interior Architecture students will visit other examples of adaptive reuse such as the Liberty Hotel, Trinity Church, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Loews Boston Hotel, and structures on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus. They will also take a tour of the firm ADD Inc. and visit the Museum of Fine Arts, Newbury Street, Quincy Market, and Salem, which lies only an hour away from Boston.

Students expect to take what they learn in Boston about adaptive reuse and incorporate it into their classroom curricula at FIU Interior Architecture.

The featured image of the Old City Hall in Boston was taken by Juan Brizuela, Media and Marketing Coordinator of the FIU School of Architecture.

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Carlos Rigau (BFA ’02) Is Finalist in 2014-2015 CINTAS Fellowship Competition in Visual Arts

The Miami Dade College Museum of Art + Design, in collaboration with the CINTAS Foundation, has announced College of Architecture + The Arts alumnus Carlos Rigau (FIU BFA ’02) as a finalist in the 2014-2015 CINTAS Fellowship Competition in Visual Arts. On Friday, October 10th, an opening reception will be held at MDC’s Freedom Tower, where Rigau will be exhibiting his work.

Carlos Rigau was born in 1978 and raised in Little Havana in Miami, Florida. He graduated in 2002 from FIU with a double major in Fine Art and Television Communications. In 2009, he completed the Master of Fine Arts program at Hunter College in New York. He has exhibited his work in Berlin, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Miami, in spaces such as Fabric Workshop, the de la Cruz Collection, Locust Projects, Emerson Dorsch, Tilton Gallery, Nice and Fit Gallery, and David Castillo Gallery. In addition to his work as an artist, Carlos co-directs an experimental, artist-run space named General Practice with Nick Klein, Ibett Yanez and Carlos Ascurra. Rigau is represented by LMAKprojects in New York City.

Rigau said that FIU prepared him for an opportunity such as being a finalist in the CINTAS Foundation competition. “FIU’s Visual Arts program and faculty laid a foundation [for] thinking critically,” said Rigau. “This training would later aid me in shifting through the complexities of the visual world. Working with Peggy Levison Nolan, Constantino Manuel Torres, William Burke, Mirta Gomez del Valle, and Eduardo del Valle sharpened a sense of awareness of how the different media/practices can be read and understood. The time spent in the FIU Art + Art History Department shaped my practice.”

The CINTAS Fellowship Program encourages creative development in architecture, literature, music composition and the visual arts. The Foundation was established with funds from the estate of Oscar B. CINTAS (1887-1957), the former Cuban ambassador to the United States and a prominent industrialist and patron of the arts. In June of 2011, the CINTAS Foundation entered into an extended loan to MDC’s Museum of Art + Design of the CINTAS Fellows Collection, comprised of nearly 300 pieces by artists of Cuban descent living outside Cuba who have received prestigious CINTAS Fellowships, awarded since 1963. (Source: www.cintasfoundation.org)

The opening reception of the 2014-2015 CINTAS Foundation Fellows Finalist Exhibition in Visual Art will be on Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 6PM, at the MDC Museum of Art + Design’s Freedom Tower: 600 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132. The exhibition will run until November 9th, 2014. Free and open to the public.

The featured image is provided courtesy of Carlos Rigau.

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