MFA LAB Opens at Miami Beach Urban Studios


The Art + Art History Department’s Master of Fine Arts LAB will open at the College of Architecture + the Arts’ Miami Beach Urban Studios on Friday, November 1st. The exhibit will showcase the work of first-year MFA students, under the direction of Department Chair Jacek Kolasinski. The format of this exhibition will be different from others that have shown at the space. On November 1st, viewers will see the works of the MFAs exhibits, alongside depictions of the creative processes behind these works and the influences that have affected these processes, such as books, cultures, other artworks, etc.

MFA student Kim Moore explores the subject of identity in her work for the exhibit. She uses text messaging as a platform for examining this topic, and even includes an interactive piece that allows viewers to write their own messages on an enlarged cell phone that hangs on the gallery wall. Moore explained the process behind the MFA LAB: “Each of us did a mind map, and we started out with the main ideas that we work with and branched out with different ideas that [they lead] to.” Moore also explained, “We’ve put up some of the influences…that have [impacted] us.” Another MFA student, Jonatas DaSilva, names artists like Gustav Klimt and Francisco de Goya as his own influences. He thinks of them as he creates his work, which explores symbolism and what symbols mean to different people. However, DaSilva, like Moore and the rest of the MFAs in the show, makes his own creations unique. “I try to keep true to the old masters of techniques, but [without using my influences] as a crutch….I have my own discourse.”

Brittni Winkler, a student working towards a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts: Curatorial Practice Major, is the curator of this year’s MFA LAB. She said, “What goes where is definitely a big part of [curating the show], but it’s also the connections that [matter]….” Winkler has brought a unique approach to the show’s organization. She has assigned numbers to each MFA student and created a map indicating a certain path to follow throughout the gallery. Viewers will be handed this map to use as they view the works by the first-year MFAs.


The reception for the FIU Art + Art History MFA LAB will be on Friday, November 1st at 6:30PM, at Miami Beach Urban Studios: 420 Lincoln Rd. Suite 440, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Free and open to the public.

The featured image is by Brittni Winkler.

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