FIU Art + Art History Department celebrates Olympics with fiber art installation



Waves of green, blue, black, pink and yellow decorate the roof of Miami International Airport’s North Terminal thanks to a group of nine talented FIU Art + Art History students and alumni.

The installation, entitled Olympic Waves celebrates the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The opening, which took place on August 4 at Gate D, included Miami-Dade Commissioner José “Pepe” Diaz, airport executives, FIU Art + Art History Chair Jacek Kolasinski and special guests from the University and community. The installation will be displayed until after the end of the Olympic Games.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for FIU to show off the colors of Brazil for this year’s Rio Olympic Games,” said FIU alumna, Yolanda Sanchez, ’91 and MIA Division Director for Fine Arts and Cultural Affairs.

This site-specific installation was designed and constructed by a Special Projects fiber class using piles of discarded cloth that were spun to create a gigantic weave pattern. The material was finger-knitted to create large interrelated curves, referencing the rings of the Olympic logo. The intensely bright colors reflect the light spectrum, as they transition from one to another.

“We wanted to create a dynamic way of hanging the piece so that it creates a wave-like shape,” said alumna Leandra Arvazzetti, ’15 and adjunct faculty for the Fiber Arts course. “This is an amazing opportunity to have our students be able to display work in a public place, especially the airport where it’s going to have so much visibility.”

Kolasinski said students and alumni who worked on this project are Olympians.

“With this work of art, our Fiber team has woven different voices of our diverse student population who echo the international spirit of the Olympics,” said Kolasinski.

Arvazzetti said the art piece surpassed her expectations and that she had a great group of ambitious and talented students.

“I felt so proud. The students worked really hard, and I was so thankful for the opportunity Jacek gave me as the instructor for this project. After so many weeks of hard work and stress to finish the project on time, it was amazing to finally see it altogether. I am excited to see more future projects with the MIA art program.”

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