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Current Exhibitions Upcoming Exhibitions


The Library System has a long history of cultural and educational exhibitions, and makes a special call to artists on a rolling basis for temporary exhibitions that correspond to selected annual themes and/or that highlight the library’s special collections and services.

Additionally, the Vasari Project is an archive that documents the development of the visual arts in Miami‑Dade County since 1945.

For more information about the art collection, exhibition programs or the Vasari archive, call 305‑375‑5599 or e‑mail

A Visual Narrative
Miami-Dade Public Library System's Permanent Art Collection and Exhibitions

Library Artist-in-Residence Program
Interview with Jacob Brillhart, Rocco Ceo, Victor Deupi

Pablo Cano's Library Exhibition
Pablo Cano To The Eye Behind The Keyhole — 1979‑2016

Library Exhibitions

Pedestrian 1985 & 2015
Street Photography In Downtown with Liam Crotty and David Spitzer

Art Exhibitions & Programming

Black Lounge Film Series
The Filmmaker Speakers Program

Fridays, March 16, April 20, May 11 & June 15
4 ‑ 5:30 p.m.

Culmer/Overtown Branch

Join us Friday, March 16 as we welcome filmmaker Nefertite Nguvu.

MDPLS in partnership with the Black Lounge Film Series adds a new edition to its programming through a round of “talk back” sessions with four black filmmakers from around town and the world. Take a visual and oral journey of how they started and learn the secret to their success.

About Black Lounge Film Series (BLFS)

The Black Lounge Film Series is a monthly film program that brings award‑winning black films and their directors to Miami’s Historic Overtown neighborhood, creating a hub for the most talented filmmakers and legendary, thought‑provoking films about the African Diaspora experience.

Nefertite Nguvu on Film Set

Living Wood
Artesian Woodwork by Reginald Lachance

January 30 - May 31, 2018
West Dade Regional

Opening Reception

Saturday, February 3, 3‑5 p.m.

An exhibition of prolific self taught woodcarver and sculpture artist, Reginald Lachance. Living Wood is a display of relief sculptures, busts, plaques and figurines from the beginning of Lachance’s career to his most recent works. Inspired by family, community and his own life, Lachance has put more than 5,000 hours into his carvings, bringing his loved ones to life in new form. With no formal training, Lachance demonstrates the endless possibilities that can arise if we cultivate our motivations. The work represents true vision and transformation of ideas to reality… taking raw lumber and creating Living Wood.

Reginald Lachance Carving a Portrait

Cuba in Images
Photography Exhibition by Alandy Martínez

January 13 - March 25, 2018
Hispanic Branch

Cuba in Images is a photography project by Alandy Martínez (Havana, Cuba, 1981) that offers a visual tour of the deep and unknown Cuba. It captures the daily life of those who live in the heart of the Caribbean island. Multiple geopolitical, historical, economic, social and cultural factors have kept Cuba isolated from international reality for almost 60 years. Cuba in the 21st century remains elusive to the outsider, mysterious in both its culture and its people.

Through social photography, journalism and photo storytelling, Martínez has attempted to objectively capture the challenges that Cuba faces as a manipulated and censored nation: the streets and old buildings whose balconies overlook the people of Havana, the times that are mixed, the history stopped while outside doors life passes by, the daily survival, the pop culture, the idiosyncrasy of the common Cuban, the crossbreeding, the religiosity, the art and the landscape.

Cuba in Images is a social commentary without political activism. It is a realistic approach to the express the visual aspects of Cuba and its social connotations. This exhibition attempts to give a clearer idea of what happens in the daily life of the Caribbean island. It is a song of peace, a message of understanding, a homage to the people and a reminder to the collective memory of a nation whose history is inextricably linked to the history of Florida.

In these images some will discover an unknown Cuba; others a memory from the past. For some they may provide motivation to know more; for others, a topic of debate and hopefully, for many, inspiration.


Babble et al.
by Nick Gilmore

January 12, 2018 – May 26, 2018
Main Library – 2nd Floor Gallery

A culmination of several ongoing series of wood sculptures and paper‑based works, as well as an ambitious installation conceived specifically for the library, this exhibition explores ideas regarding the interaction of Miami’s built and natural environments. Much of the artwork features Dade County Pine (pinus elliottii var. densa), lumber salvaged from the artist’s own house as well as many other historic, in some cases demolished, local structures. This legendary natural resource was a key component in Miami’s industrial boom of the early 20th century until it was depleted to near extinction. In juxtaposition to this repurposed infrastructure, other artworks on display are the result of working directly within the existing pinelands of Everglades National Park. Emphasis on the history and interconnection of these seemingly opposed environments offers an alternate take on the human role in navigating our past, present and future decisions especially in relation to conservation and development. Also on display are historical photos and documents selected from the library’s special collections and the Everglades National Park archives. The centerpiece of the exhibition is the monumental sculpture entitled Babble. This towering structure is constructed from salvaged Dade County Pine lumber and obsolete library materials, and is inspired by many ideas including the pursuit of knowledge, the dialectic of nature and religion, civilization, industrialization, divisive ideology, facthood, language comprehension, paradox and transcendence.

In addition to his art practice, Nick Gilmore teaches printmaking at Florida International University and operates a custom woodworking business. Firmly grounded in Miami, Nick mines from local culture and history to fuel his projects, which in turn use these local themes to reference larger aspects of the general human condition. These include references to the relationship of built and natural environments, obsolete technology as a metaphor for civilization itself, and an urge to illuminate the transcendental potential of the everyday world. Selected to be the AIRIE (Artist In Residence In the Everglades) fellow for July 2017, Nick has also exhibited throughout South Florida. He received his MFA in Visual Arts (2014) from Florida International University, Miami, FL, and his BA in Studio Art (1999) from Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL. Additional work can be seen at

Pinelands and Plumb-bobs

Stories from the Florida Vault
A transitory space for rare Florida books, publications, multiples and entertainment.

November 2017 - April 2018

Did you know that the library once had an actual bank vault that housed its rare books?
Join us for Stories from the Florida Vault, a monthly two‑hour lunchtime entertainment session filled with fun Florida facts and historical swamp tales.

Every month, we’ll unveil a rare book from the Florida Vault and learn why these books are so important to the Library’s special collection. We’ll chat with local historians, Florida folk experts and listen to tunes ranging from Florida folk music to rockabilly to Florida hyper rockabilly.

Got a true Florida swamp folktale to share? Come prepared to share your Florida story during our ten minute folktale tales.

About Our Guest Speaker

Michael Stock Portrait

Michael Stock started his musical journey back in 1994 at Miami Beach High School when a teacher played Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan. Researching Bob Dylan led Michael to Woody Guthrie, which led to The Weavers and The Carter Family, which led to the whole history of American folk, country and popular music. Today, Michael is in his 35th year of hosting Folk & Acoustic Music airing Sundays from 2‑5 p.m. on WLRN 91.3 FM. The show features contemporary and traditional folk music, as well as live musical performances and local storytelling.

South Beach Century: How South Beach and the Arts Built Modern Miami

April 5, 2017 - September 30, 2018
First Wednesday of every month, 6 ‑ 7:30 p.m.

North Shore Branch

In 2015, Tom Austin, author of The Surf Club, published by Assouline, and long‑time chronicler of Miami for such publications as the New York Times, Miami Herald and Columbia Journalism Review, was given a South Florida Knight Arts Challenge grant for South Beach Century: How South Beach and the Arts Built Modern Miami ( South Beach Century celebrates the creative spirit of South Beach and Miami itself, incorporating design, music, dance, fashion, film, television, literature, culinary history, nightlife and visual art.

On the first Wednesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mr. Austin will be in residence at the North Shore Branch Library conducting oral history recording sessions with anyone who wishes to be interviewed about South Beach cultural life. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of photographs, ephemera and memorabilia of South Beach from nightclub flyers and restaurant menus to art gallery invitations.

Some of the South Beach archival material, as well as transcripts of the oral histories, will be featured in the South Beach Century: How South Beach and the Arts Built Modern Miami book. In 2018, the South Beach Century book will be launched at the North Shore Branch Library along with a pop‑up exhibition of photographs contributed by participants. Work by South Beach artists such as Fernando Garcia, Tomata du Plenty and Andy Sweet, drawn from the Miami‑Dade Public Library System’s Art Services and Exhibitions Department, will also be part of the pop‑up exhibition. Cultural outreach events including screenings of South Beach‑related films will be conducted at City of Miami Beach public parks.

South Beach Century will use oral histories—taken from artists, designers, musicians and residents from all walks of life—to create a multi‑layered examination of South Beach’s unique cultural contributions. This will be crowd‑sourced history, a chronicle of a singular city told through its singular people.

To participate in the South Beach Century Oral History Project, contact Tom Austin at

Knight Foundation logo

Portrait of late artist Carlos Alfonzo in his South Beach studio
The late artist Carlos Alfonzo in his South Beach studio, circa 1990.
Photo by Steven Paul Hlavac /
Portrait of Edie Beale, star of Grey Gardens, at News Cafe on Ocean Drive
Edie Beale, star of Grey Gardens, at News Cafe on Ocean Drive.
Photo by Steven Paul Hlavac /

Upcoming Exhibitions & Programs

Greetings from Miami
Postcard Series by DosJotas
Curated by Susan Caraballo

March 24 - July 14, 2018
Shenandoah Branch

Opening Reception

Saturday, March 24, 3 -5 p.m.

Greetings from Miami consists of a set of postcards with the same format as tourist postcards from Miami. Artist DosJotas developed this work through a series of interviews with working immigrants living in the Greater Miami area during an artist residency at ArtCenter/South Florida and supported by Acción Cultural Española.

On the reverse side of the postcards, the worker’s life, experiences and memories illustrate the image on the front of the postcard. The idea of adopting the format of a tourist postcard reinforces the narrative capacity of power and how this product is stereotyped and designed for consumption by the immigrant of the north—the tourist. DosJotas’ version offers an insight into the “real” Miami composed largely of immigrants from all walks of life.

Photo of laundromat with red framing and Miami lower title

Faded Memories
By Yamel Molerio

April 2 - July 15, 2018
Hispanic Branch

Figurative with a strong sense of narration, the works of Yamel Molerio represent a lifetime of faded memories, like old photographs, sharing small pieces of something bigger. The pieces incorporate overlapping components of different size papers, canvas pieces, fabric and wood. The process is a reminder of old clothes and objects being patched up and used anew rather than be discarded. This is symbolic of how different events shape one’s life. “The stapling in some of the pieces represent stitches and scars of the past. The backgrounds of my paintings are filled with holes, peeling paint, cracks and different shades of gray and white—a reminder of the deplorable shape Cuba is in,” says Yamel Molerio. If walls could talk, they would also tell a story, and the distressed walls in Molerio’s works intend to express pain, abandonment and his distressed recollection of times and places passed.

Recuerdos Desvanecidos
Por Yamel Molerio

2 de abril - 15 de julio de 2018
Sucursal Hispanic

Figurativo con un fuerte sentido de la narración, las obras de Yamel Molerio representan una vida de recuerdos desvanecidos, como fotografías antiguas, compartiendo pedazos pequeños de algo más grande. Las piezas incorporan componentes superpuestos de papeles de diferentes tamaños, piezas de lona, tela y madera. El proceso es un recordatorio de ropa vieja y objetos que se remiendan y se usan de nuevo, en lugar de desecharse. Esto es simbólico de cómo diferentes eventos dan forma a la vida de uno. "Las grapas en algunas de las piezas representan puntadas y cicatrices del pasado. Los fondos de mis cuadros están llenos de agujeros, pintura descascarada, grietas y diferentes tonos de gris y blanco—un recordatorio de la forma deplorable en que se encuentra Cuba," dice Yamel Molerio. Si las paredes pudieran hablar, también contarían una historia, y las paredes angustiadas en las obras de Molerio pretenden expresar el dolor, el abandono y su recuerdo angustiado de los tiempos y lugares pasados.

Drawing of palm tree growing from a man's head Drawing of large fruit basket atop woman's head

Portable Memories in Rising Seas
By FIFTY-FIFTY artist collective

April 21 - July 22, 2018
Main Library – Lobby

Opening Reception on Earth Day

Saturday, April 21, 3-5 p.m.

Using interdisciplinary art methods, Fifty‑Fifty will engage with residents of South Florida to create an archive of local experiences, providing an opportunity for the implications of climate change data to manifest on individual and collective levels.

Free screenings of films that address sea level rise, memory, and place‑based identity will inspire drawings and discussions during events held at Miami‑Dade Public Library System locations. Seeing other communities adapting to rising waters, as in the films, reduces our differences. Remembering together through dialogue and participatory drawing activates our sense of interconnectedness with each other and our environment. The collected drawings will also be shared with local sea life in an attempt to transmit our memories to species who will inherit at least part of our city.

An exhibition in the lobby gallery of the Main Library will include participants’ scratchboard responses as well as a published book that includes images and texts derived from screening events and provides local context for the project as a whole.

Through participation at the screenings and viewing of the exhibition, Fifty‑Fifty seeks to create a heightened sense of interdependence that can lead to action and empathy for near and distant neighbors.

Stories for Fishes Installation

FIFTY‑FIFTY is an artist collective founded by Lisa Bulawsky and Laurencia Strauss, working at the intersection of individual experience and the public sphere, negotiating cultural tensions through socially engaged participatory art practices. Their work includes Stories for Fishes (2016) at O Cinema Wynwood, Ferguson (2015), as part of Signs in the Public Sphere in Knoxville, TN, and Let Me Impress You Authentically (2013), a participatory sidewalk encounter in New York. Future projects include Portable Memories in Rising Seas with Key West and other communities facing sea level rise.

Lisa Bulawsky is an artist/printmaker known for her mixed media works on paper, installations and temporary public projects. Her work explores the reciprocal influence of culture on the individual, especially as it is shaped by history and memory.

Laurencia Strauss is an artist/landscape architect investigating vulnerabilities and ingenuities of people and the places they inhabit. Through socially engaged actions, installations and projects in public spaces, she gives agency to local knowledge and creates experiences that explore relational dynamics of sites and situations.

Free Film Screenings

Thursday, January 4, 3-5 p.m.
Main Library

Tuesday, January 9, 3-5 p.m.
Miami Beach Regional

La Maison en Petits Cubes

La Maison en Petits Cubes, 2008

Japanese animated short subject film created by Kunio Katō, with music by Kenji Kondo and produced by Robot Communications.

As his town is flooded by water, an aged widower is forced to add additional levels onto his home in order to stay dry. But when he accidentally drops his favorite smoking pipe into the lower submerged levels of his home, his search for the pipe eventually makes him relive scenes from his eventful life, including his time before the flooding began.


ThuleTuvalu, 2014

Documentary directed by Matthias von Gunten.

Thule lies in the extreme north of Greenland, while Tuvalu is a small island state in the Pacific Ocean. Although in completely distant corners of the world, the people of these two places are intimately related. As the ice melts in Thule, Tuvalu drowns in the ocean as sea levels continue to rise.