The Miami Dade College Museum of Art + Design, in collaboration with the CINTAS Foundation, will announce College of Architecture + The Arts’ Adjunct Professor of Photography Lissette Schaeffler as a finalist in its 50th CINTAS Foundation Fellows Finalist Exhibition in Visual Art. On October 10th, an opening reception will be held at MDC’s Freedom Tower, where Schaeffler will be exhibiting her work. The CINTAS Foundation especially supports the work of artists – from architects to writers – of Cuban heritage. In her photographic work, Schaeffler, who was born in Cuba, concentrates much on her cultural background. “…I have based my photography around what I know,” she said. “…[T]hough not always obvious, there are always some tell-tale signs of my heritage.”
Schaeffler’s submission for the CINTAS contest is called By the Hour. It is a photographic study of Miami’s various pay-by-the-hour motels, of which, according to Schaeffler, there are more than 200 in the city. Schaeffler, with her camera in hand, documented the motel rooms she visited, depicting them as visual stories, as “identifiers” of the people who have used the rooms. The subject of identity is important to Schaeffler, who moved homes often as a child; she has lived in Cuba, then West Germany, and Miami. “For me, identity is what is familiar and personal….I always photographed my family and friends…because there is a certain connection, and self-reflection with the people. By the Hour is the first project that I venture away from th[is] idea, yet I am photographing in the town I grew up in.” The photographer views her work with the motels as a way to let the visuals tell the stories. “…[T]hese rooms are ultimately a reflection of human condition.”
The Opening Reception of the 50th CINTAS Foundation Fellows Finalist Exhibition in Visual Art will be on Thursday, October 10 at 6PM, on the second floor of the MDC Museum of Art + Design’s Freedom Tower: 600 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, call (305) 237-7700. Free and open to the public.