FIU students participate in Miami River Mural Project


Gretchen Scharnagl, Visiting Artist Lecturer of The College of Architecture + the Arts (Art + Art History Department) and the Honors College has created a semester long project within the Honors College’s 2nd year seminar, Inhabiting Other Lives, (co-taught by Ruben Garrote). During this seminar, the students researched and explored the Miami River and its surrounding area including it’s history, and then translated the information into art using mapping techniques.

The student groups have created informed map-like artwork that will be displayed in the Graham Center Gallery next week on Thursday, April 10th. There will be a selection process that will choose one group’s work to be made into three 30-foot high by 20-foot wide banners. The banners will be displayed on a new building that is about to be built along the Miami River by developer Alex Mantecon, an alumnus of FIU’s Honors College and a member of their board. The jury panel will be comprised of artists like Gretchen Scharnagl and Xavier Cortada (Artist-In-Residence at CARTA Miami Beach Urban Studios), the developers, City Officials, among other important individuals. The jury panel will include:

Alex Mantecon – Honors College Board/ Building Owner
Brett Bibeau – Director of the Miami River Commission
Keon Hardemon – Commissioner of the District
Gretchen Scharnagl – Artist
Xavier Cortada – Artist
John Bailly – Artist
(Guillermo Vadell – Alex Mantecon’s Partner – Tie-Breaker)

In preparation of this collaborative effort, one guest from the Honors College, Mary Lou Pfieffer, spoke to the students about the Miami Circle, and Xavier Cortada came to speak of the artistic processes involved in taking information from research to visualization to manufacture, using signage.  The developer, Alex Mantecon, chartered a river cruise in which the class from Honors College was joined by a class from the Art + Art History Department that was also taught by Scharnagl, called Collage and Assemblage, in hopes of creating dialogue between the students.

The Art + Art History Department, with the help of Ricardo Lugo, Digital Laboratory Supervisor, has also agreed to generously provide six days of studio access to the Honors College students to accomplish this project. If successful, FIU student artwork borne of a bridge between the community, Honors College, and Art + Art History will be showcased prominently.

The winner of the East Coast Building – Miami River Mural Project will be announced the evening of the project’s opening reception at the Graham Center Art Gallery.

The Honors College “The East Coast Building – Miami River Mural” Project
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 10th at 5:30PM
Graham Center Gallery: 11200 SW 8th Street, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Miami, FL 33199.

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