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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FIU Students and Alumni in New Broward County Exhibition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Karim Rashid to be Keynote speaker at 2015 Interior Design Emerging Symposium!

FIU and its Interior Architecture Department will host the 2015 Interior Design Emerging Symposium at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios in April 2015.

The Interior Design Emerging Symposium will gather various representatives of interior design and architecture to advocate for professional identity, support cultural diversity through design, encourage global connectivity, and foster interdisciplinary exchanges. The 2015 symposium theme, Blurred Lines, refers to those narrow and vacillating borders between the designs of interior spaces and the objects, forms, and technologies that interact in and out of those spaces. Blurred Lines will investigate the ever-evolving role of the Interior Architect / Interior Designer as an individual that creatively touches every part of the built landscape (Source: 2015 Interior Design Emerging Symposium). The keynote speaker for the symposium will be Interior Architect and Industrial Designer Karim Rashid.

Sarah Boehm, Assistant Professor in the FIU Interior Architecture Department, coordinates this amazing meeting of practitioners, scholars, and students. Next year will mark the second bi-annual symposium to be hosted by FIU at the Miami Beach Urban Studios under the direction of Professor Boehm.

Symposium guests will be exposed to an interdisciplinary approach to design when participants share and discuss ideas and research findings. From such an experience, they will learn “new possibilities and reinvented spaces and objects that blur the lines of convention and shape an unbounded future.”

The schedule for the 2015 Interior Design Emerging Symposium will be as follows:

 April 10th, 2015

9AM-9:45AM

Breakfast & Registration

10AM-11AM

Keynote Address: Karim Rashid

11AM-11:45AM

Individual Presentations

12PM-1PM

Lunch & Workshop Presentations

1PM-1:45PM

Poster Session

2PM-2:45PM

Individual Presentations

3PM-3:30PM

Coffee Break

3:30PM-4:30PM

Pecha Kucha Presentations

4:30PM

Closing Remarks

 The 2015 Interior Design Emerging Symposium will take place on April 10th, 2015 at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios: 420 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139.

 To register for the symposium, click here. To answer the call for proposals and submit your own work to the symposium, click here.

This article was written by Sarah Boehm, Assistant Professor in the FIU Interior Architecture Department.

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Natasha Diminich (MIA ’12) and Ileana Rodriguez (M.Arch ’11), EP Park(ing) Day Design Competition Winners

Natasha Diminich (FIU MIA ’12) and Ileana Rodriguez, Assoc. AIA (FIU M.Arch ’11) won third place for the PARK(ing) Day Design Competition. Emerging professionals in Florida/Caribbean region were invited to submit design proposals for a parklet to be constructed in their communities.

Their winning parklet, entitled “Food Desert,” brings awareness to social needs in their community. Diminich and Rodriguez said, “the Food Desert parklet brings awareness to the lack of accessible or affordable healthy food to various communities within our city. Our design proposes a modular system that can respond to the varying needs of these affected communities by providing a place to grow produce, sell produce, learn about healthy food preparation and nutrition, etc.”

During their education at FIU, Diminich and Rodriguez worked on numerous school projects located in various sites in Miami, including the Everglades, Lincoln Road, Surfside, Downtown Miami, and Coconut Grove. This, they said, “created a sense of belonging and appreciation for our community and our architecture.” Now, they want to give back to their community through their design work.

Diminich received her Master of Interior Architecture in 2012 from FIU. She presented her work, “Re-Use and Sustainable Tourism: Interior Architecture Fostering Social Development in Istria” at the 6th Annual Art & Design for Social Justice Symposium at Florida State University. She is currently an Independent Interior Designer.

Rodriguez received her Master of Architecture in 2011 from FIU. She was a speaker at TEDx FIU 2012 under the theme “What do you see?” She was also a consultant on the United States Olympic Committee from October 2010 to November 2012, and she participated in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. She is currently an Architectural Intern at HKS.

You are cordially invited on Friday, September 19th, 2014 to join Diminich and Rodriguez in the celebration of their parklet, Food Desert. Their installation will be located mid-block on NE 2nd Street between NE 2nd Ave and NE 3rd Ave.  It is an all-day event, and other PARK(ing) DAY participants will be showcasing their creations in the Downtown vicinity as well.

 

diminich_rodriguez_project

The featured images are provided courtesy of Natasha Diminich and Ileana Rodriguez.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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‘Strange Bedfellows’ at MBUS attracts local and academic interest

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

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

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

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

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

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

To read the full curatorial statement, click here.

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

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Coral Gables Museum student exhibit gathers large crowds!

All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City, an exhibit of projects by FIU Architecture students, saw many guests at its public opening on Friday, September 5th. The exhibition at Coral Gables Museum opened as part of the museum’s Gallery Night.

IMG_8240The work of All Buildings Great & Small affirms the value of small-scale development. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American cities began their urban growth with small urban buildings. Before the high-rise, a fabric of one- to five-story buildings defined city streets. These buildings created lively urban spaces and neighborhoods; they were mixed use and did not have parking, elevators or air conditioning. In the best examples, as these cities grew throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century, high-rises were added to this pre-existing urban fabric to create a complex urbanism that absorbed the demands of modern life, while maintaining the character of the older neighborhood.

Miami is a young city and did not inherit a small-scale, nineteenth and early twentieth century urban fabric. As a result, our high-rises coexist with surface parking lots, ill-defined streets and impoverished public spaces. The work of the architecture students in the Department of Architecture at Florida International University re-conceives small-scale urbanism as a missing component of Miami’s urbanism. This work understands the nature of the modern city as a complex collage of urban types, none of which can solve the concerns of a city on its own.

The focus of the student projects in this exhibition was the discrete infill project within a restricted urban site and its potential repeatability. As a repeatable unit, an urban townhouse becomes an urban proposition, a definer of the street, and the integral component of a neighborhood and city life. The site for this year’s design projects is Wynwood, a new arts district undergoing an urban renewal. In addition to design proposals, students documented existing small-scale buildings in downtown Coral Gables and Wynwood. (Source: CARTA News, September 2014)

All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City will run until Sunday, October 26th, 2014 in the Abraham Gallery of the Coral Gables Museum: 285 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134. For information on admission into the museum, click here.

IMG_8271

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catalog-sneakpeak1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Faculty Spotlight: Professor Emeritus Juan A. Martinez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chair Roberto Rovira’s Work Featured on Cover of the Journal of Landscape Architecture

Land Prints, a project by Roberto Rovira, Chair of FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design, is featured on the cover of the Journal of Landscape Architecture (JoLA) and as part of three double-page spreads in the Theme Issue 2-2014 on Landscape Specifics.

The prints are part of a research project that explores map-making and its relationship to the lands map represent. Metal plates, called “Landprints,” are embedded in the ground and are later removed, painted and sealed to arrest the weathering process.  The Landprints show a one-to-one scale image of the landscape whose two-dimensional impression reveals the various processes that transformed it over time.  Rovira states, “the Landprints are media that exist at the intersection of land, map, and art, and question the limits of where a map begins and where the land it describes ends.”

jola_roviraJoLA features the Land Prints project as part of its blind peer-reviewed ‘Thinking Eye’ section, which includes images of the prints with an accompanying essay by Rovira. Established in 2006, JoLA is the peer-reviewed academic Journal of the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS). The journal is published by Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, and is listed in the Web of Science, Thomson Reuters Arts and Humanities Citation Index, among others. JoLA has three issues a year, is published in full color, and also exists online. Cultivated through editorials and reviews, and possessing a unique approach to the graphic design of its content, the aims of JoLA are to provide a platform for outstanding landscape architectural scholarship and research innovation, linking theory to practice. (Source: JoLA)

While publishing articles following established research conventions and written modes of communication, JoLA also encourages and publishes unconventional and emerging forms of research inquiry including those employing practiced-based methodologies, those having their origins in visual and artistic practices and media, and those espousing new method and rigor for the developing field of landscape architectural criticism. JoLA thus gives space to the reflective practitioner and to design research. The journal has different sections in order to accommodate and cultivate this, among them the ‘Under the Sky’ and ‘Thinking Eye’ sections, explicitly underlining the importance of the creative imagination and promoting the thoughtful review of canonical projects and experimental representation as forms of thinking worthy of scientific endeavors. The rich and diverse cultural backgrounds of European Landscape Architecture require exposure to global contexts – JoLA has a European base, but is internationally oriented and seeks to offer global perspectives, both in terms of submissions and readership. In 2009, JoLA received the prestigious ASLA Award of Excellence in Communications. (Source: JoLA)

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

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

Below is a statement provided by the three professionals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To read the full curatorial statement, click here.

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

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‘All Buildings Great & Small:’ FIU Infill Housing Exhibit opens to the public

All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City, an exhibit of projects by FIU Architecture students, will have a public reception at the Coral Gables Museum on Friday, September 5th at 6:00 pm. The exhibition is running from August 29th to October 26th, 2014.

allbuildings_exhibit.001The following statement was written by Jason Chandler, Chair of the FIU Department of Architecture.

“The work of this exhibition affirms the value of small-scale development. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American cities began their urban growth with small urban buildings. Before the high-rise, a fabric of one- to five-story buildings defined city streets. These buildings created lively urban spaces and neighborhoods; they were mixed use and did not have parking, elevators or air conditioning. In the best examples, as these cities grew throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century, high-rises were added to this pre-existing urban fabric to create a complex urbanism that absorbed the demands of modern life, while maintaining the character of the older neighborhood.

Miami is a young city and did not inherit a small-scale, nineteenth and early twentieth century urban fabric. As a result, our high-rises coexist with surface parking lots, ill-defined streets and impoverished public spaces. The work of the architecture students in the Department of Architecture at Florida International University re-conceives small-scale urbanism as a missing component of Miami’s urbanism. This work understands the nature of the modern city as a complex collage of urban types, none of which can solve the concerns of a city on its own.

The focus of the student projects in this exhibition is the discrete infill project within a restricted urban site and its potential repeatability. As a repeatable unit, an urban townhouse becomes an urban proposition, a definer of the street, and the integral component of a neighborhood and city life. The site for this year’s design projects is Wynwood, a new arts district undergoing an urban renewal. In addition to design proposals, students documented existing small-scale buildings in downtown Coral Gables and Wynwood.”

The public opening reception for All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City will take place on Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 6PM in the Abraham Gallery of the Coral Gables Museum. For information on admission into the museum, click here.

The featured images are provided courtesy of the Coral Gables Museum.

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

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

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


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

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

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

By Nathalie Alfonso

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FIU student-led creative group, VA Collective, unveils new Wynwood mural

Four students from the FIU School of Architecture unveiled the Roberto Clemente mural in Wynwood on Wednesday, August 27th. The mural, located at NW 2nd Avenue and 34th Terrace, depicts an approximately 10ft x 18ft image of the late great humanitarian and sports figure of Puerto Rican heritage, Roberto Clemente.

VA Collective speaks to Univision 23. Photo courtesy of Vilmarie Vargas, Graduate student in FIU's Education Program.

VA Collective speaks to Univision 23. Photo courtesy of Vilmarie Vargas, Graduate student in FIU’s Education Program.

Kevin Arrieta (FIU LA+EUD), Nick Vasquez (FIU Architecture), Natalia Cordero (FIU LA+EUD), and Jorge Rodriguez (FIU Architecture) reached out to the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department. They came into contact with Jose Moran, Roberto Clemente Parks Manager, and Luis DeRosa, a member of the Roberto Clemente Parks Committee. The enterprising students call themselves the VA Collective, and they volunteered their time for this community project, which  constitutes one of several other projects they have completed to date.

The student-led creative group defines the VA Collective as “a creative agency made up of a number of young creators who have a common interest and passion for the arts . . . composed of four branches, which include Architecture, Art, Graphic Design, and Photography.”  They attribute their interest and passion for their work to being part of Miami’s Arts District and to its global fame for Art Basel, Art Walk, and many other artistic endeavors that “has helped [VA Collective] develop our own perspective on what art is.”

In terms of the group’s affinity for murals, they state, “We believe that murals are the perfect balance of street art and fine art, which can be appreciated by anyone of any social class and culture.”  Their admiration for Roberto Clemente is evident, and one of the baseball star’s famous quotes is prominently featured in the mural, which states, “any time you have an opportunity to change this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.” Says the VA Collective; “we have witnessed the power of [this] message by watching people pass by and read it. We were once inspired by the works that were happening around the Wynwood area and hope [that] we can continue that legacy to inspire others to chase their creative visions.”

The Roberto Clemente mural was made possible by the support of the Miami Office of the Mayor, Hon. Tomas Regelado, City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon, Dist. 5, the Borinquen Medical Centers of Miami-Dade, Wynwood Brewing, The New World Foundation, Dynamic CDC, the Miami Marlins, and the South Florida Puerto Rican Chamber.

The header image is provided courtesy of the VA Collective.

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‘ABYECTO – Sonic Environment’ on display at MBUS

ABYECTO – Sonic Environment is currently on display at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios.

The original 3D-printed installation and musical instruments of ABYECTO are created by Eric Goldemberg, Associate Professor of Architecture with MONAD Studio / Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg, and a design team made up of FIU Architecture students John Gioello, Stephanie Colon, Matt Barnard, Manuel Perez-Trujillo, and Jack Garcia. The installation brings together architecture and music through the collaboration of faculty and students in both disciplines. MONAD Studio created a three-dimensional mural that serves as a sonic environment for the performances of Jacob Sudol, Assistant Professor in the FIU School of Music and Scott F. Hall.

The reception and performance for ABYECTO – Sonic Environment will take place on Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 6:30PM at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios: 420 Lincoln Road, Suite 440, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Free and open to the public.

The following text is taken from a statement about ABYECTO, provided by MONAD Studio / Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg.

ABYECTO is an installation designed and fabricated at FIU and resulting from the collaboration between students and faculty members in architecture and music. An ironic play of words, the title refers to recent discussions about object-oriented ontology in contemporary design. The piece sets up a productive ambiguity between object and environment privileging multiple readings as the removable guitar is un-docked from its intense geometrical environment in order to generate sound, only to return to the interactive sonic environment as passive docked object. The geometry of the piece is generated by the multiplication and modification of the guitar’s profiles, extending the qualities of the object onto a larger rhythmic field of three-dimensional curves and subtle variations that resonates with the sonic ambiance of the music performance. The three-dimensional profiles of the extended instrument are magnified and disseminated throughout the space once the sonic qualities of the installation begin to reverberate, activating a multi-sensorial field of perception that ranges from the visual to the tactile and the aural. Ultimately, the room, the mural, the guitar, the performers, and the public will be involved in the shaping of a complex, collective sensorial object.

The surface of this complex topological environment is further activated and becomes interactive using computer-generated sounds created by composer/computer musician/professor, Jacob Sudol. These sounds are emitted directly through the 3-D printed sculpture by means of handheld transducers that activate the installation as if it were the cones of a speaker to fill the space with constantly changing fields of sonic activity.

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