Exhibitions at the Library Art Services & Exhibitions Department
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 email@example.com.
A Visual Narrative
Miami-Dade Public Library System's Permanent Art Collection and Exhibitions
To the Barbershop: Call and Response Series #2
From the Permanent Art Collection of the Miami-Dade Public Library System
August 2017 - March 2018
In 2006, the Miami‑Dade Public Library System invited Miami photojournalist and documentarian Noelle Théard to create a new body of work in response to a series of photographs in the Library’s permanent collection by Richard Davenport. Théard responded to the Davenport photographs, which depict black barbershops in Miami during the early 1980s, by revisiting some of the same barbershops in December of 2006. Both sets of photos are included in the exhibition.
Noelle Théard is a photographer and educator who holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA in African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University and an MFA in Photography from Parsons The New School for Design. She is a cofounder of FotoKonbit, a nonprofit that teaches photography in Haiti in order to provide Haitians with training and the opportunity to tell their own stories through photography.
Richard Davenport was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and was raised in New York City. He returned to North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro to study photography. Through his photography, he has been involved in a variety of teaching and work experiences. In the summer of 1980, he taught a six‑week workshop for children at the Miami‑Dade Public Library System’s Lemon City Branch.
ROOTS: La Cuba de mi bisabuelo
By Abigail Gomez
June 10 – December 30, 2017
West Dade Regional – 1st & 2nd Floor Galleries
Abigail Gomez is a mixed media visual artist, teaching artist and arts advocate from Virginia. Roots: La Cuba de mi bisabuelo is a collection of abstract expressionistic mixed media paintings inspired by her Cuban heritage. This collection of artwork provides a universally accessible opportunity for members of all communities to have an interactive experience with fine art.
The paintings in this collection have a dimensional tactile layer replicating intricate Spanish style ironwork evident on Cuban homes (rejas). The inclusion of this tactile element presents an opportunity for people who don't usually engage with visual art in the traditional sense, including people who are visually impaired or blind, to have an authentic visual art experience by being able to touch the paintings.
Gomez believes that accessibility to the arts is a vital part of creating engaged and vibrant communities. Through this project the public will be given an opportunity to learn about and experience art that is universally accessible. The Roots collection also provides a unique chance for the community to experience their own impressions of Cuba, whether through sight or touch.
Gomez earned a BFA from Virginia Tech and an MFA from the Academy of Art University (San Francisco). Gomez’s vibrant artwork is in a number of private collections around the United States. Her artwork has also been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, the Virginia Eye Institute in Richmond and the Cannery Gallery in San Francisco, as well as in other group and solo shows in Virginia, New York, California, Italy and Cuba.
She was awarded fellowships to NALAC’s 2016 Advocacy Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. and NALAC Leadership Institute in San Antonio, Texas. Most recently, Abigail was appointed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to serve as a Commissioner on the Virginia Commission for the Arts representing the 10th Congressional District.
The Visionary By artist SandyRose (Sandra Epps)
June 1 - December 30, 2017
Key Biscayne Branch
A Charlotte, North Carolina native living in Miami, Sandra Epps was born to parents of New Orleans French Creole, Choctaw, Mexican and Cuban roots. Epps creates canvas artworks, watercolor and mixed media. Using the process of meditation and visualization, she uses a technique of painting with her hands, pushing and moving the paint onto the canvas with her fingers and then uses India ink to further define the piece. Epps uses bright colors and metallic pigments to bring forth inner power and fiery passion into her artwork. Epps's works play on the imagination and visions of life events past, present and future, stepping into transformation and bringing forth the power of the authentic self. Embedded in the paintings are emotions of love, sensuality, and passion.
Various pieces from The Visionary series were created live, using the energy from poetic and music performances to become enlaced in the theme of the painting. Feeling the emotion of the performer, Epps embraces the ever flowing process of creating the painting, which may change two to three times before completion.
Incorporating words and poems with themes of personal power and love further allows the viewer to internalize and connect with the art on a personal level where reflection, peace and breakthrough can be manifested.
Epps’s work has been presented in various art galleries in Miami including GAB Studio, Artopia Studio and The Hangar Gallery, and at art events with RAW Glimpse at LMNT, Meet the Artist at Soyka, River of Art sponsored by Life is Art, and artist events at Mas Vino. She has a residency in Charlotte, NC at Blended Bartique in NoDa.
Epps has also participated in various live painting events with the Miami‑Dade Public Library System at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Miami Art Patterns at the Main Library in downtown Miami, Green Bar Kitchen Open Mic Night and private events.
Sandra Epps is a featured artist from the Miami‑Dade Public Library System’s Permanent Art Collection.
Upcycled Nature by Alissa Alfonso
April 21 - August 26, 2017
In order to demonstrate how art can be used to raise awareness of critical issues facing our community, Alissa Alfonso created an installation of various works of art using recycled and upcycled materials, including jellyfish made from 100% recycled materials, fused plastic collages, upcycled vintage lamps with handmade soft sculpture lamp shades and upcycled fabric collages. Alissa was inspired to create this installation after seeing the alarming number of plastics and other materials we use in everyday life that are not readily recyclable or reusable. Our reliance on plastics and other packaging is creating an enormous amount of trash that typically ends up in a landfill or as pollution contaminating our precious resources such as our beaches and waterways. The exhibit raises awareness of the importance of upcycling and recycling in innovative ways to help create a sustainable community that protects and preserves the environment.
The jellyfish were created using upcycled dry cleaning hangers to form the "skeleton," and fused plastics to create the "body" and "tail." The fused plastics used in the jellyfish were recycled from various types of plastics from everyday life such as dry cleaning bags, candy packaging and packaging from various other grocery items.
The fused plastic collages were also created by using fused recycled plastics arranged on canvas to form landscapes. Trapunto (quilting with an embossed design) and threading achieved birds in flight.
The upcycled vintage lamps were created by enhancing vintage lamps with handmade lamp shades which include hand‑stitched soft sculpture pieces along with fabric collage sewn onto the shade.
Alissa challenges assumptions by creating art which simultaneously inspires and saves our environment. She carefully considers how to use upcycled fabrics, sustainable media, fused plastic bags, hand‑dyed textiles and other innovative techniques to create unique pieces of art revealing the beauty of construction using repurposed materials.
“I spend hours thinking about how things are made. When I think about designing something, it’s an attempt to answer a lot of questions and challenge myself. What I always come back to is ‘revealing the beauty of construction’.”
By combining her background in collage and sewing, Alissa creates fabric collages, upcycled lamps with soft sculpture shades and large scale art installations which emphasize the splendor of the natural world and the importance of mitigating our impact on the environment to leave the world a better place for future generations.
See more at http://alissaalfonso.com/.
Tuscany By Susan Feliciano
April 20 - September 30, 2017
Main Library – Lobby
A New York native working in Miami, Susan Feliciano was born to Colombian and Puerto Rican parents. Feliciano creates artworks in a range of mediums working in painting, photography, installation, and poetry. Working in a variety of venues she explores psychological and physical spaces. Through metaphor and abstraction Feliciano uses color as the primary emotional force, and plays between the lines of surface and substance capturing unexpectedly the beauty of impermanence.
In the paintings Tuscany Series, her process begins with applying multiple layers of pigment. Like an archaeologist, she excavates the different stratum with metal tools. Unearthing is an act of courage causing upheaval as one gets past the superficial. In this work she collages retazos or remnants from other paintings. In the ever flux of change she gives new life to these fragments. These subtle paintings may suggest landscapes, in many ways they are imagined places marking a constructed past.
Feliciano’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions nationally, most recently at the Miami‑Dade Public Library System and the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House at Florida International University. She has participated in prestigious residencies including the Juried Artist Program at ArtCenter/South Florida. Feliciano’s paintings, photographs, and installations have appeared in venues throughout South Florida including Girls’ Club Fort Lauderdale, Sublime Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The artist’s works have been included in notable exhibitions such as 100+ degrees in the Shade, 30th Anniversary, and MADMiami. Her works are included in the collections of Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania Cruises and Ocean Bank. Feliciano has won awards including the Florida Art Education Association Friend of Art Education Award and Fulbright Memorial Fund—Japan.
Feliciano is an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University’s Art + Art History program and a committee member of the Dade Art Educators Association.
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 (www.knightarts.org). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emilio Sanchez: A Generous Life
February 11 - December 31, 2017
Vasari Project, Main Library – 1st Floor
Emilio Sanchez was an extremely prolific and talented painter. He started each morning with a still life painting and then progressed to his more well‑known architectural paintings. Sanchez's work is represented in many internationally renowned collections, and he has donated much of his work to collections particularly here in Miami. He is well represented in the Miami‑Dade Public Library System's Permanent Art Collection. Sanchez has also donated a significant amount of his personal papers and art related documents to the Vasari Project. This exhibition contains a representative selection of that material.
The items in this exhibition were selected by Emily Elkin, research assistant to Dr. Victor Deupi, curator for the exhibition “Emilio Sanchez in South Florida Collections” at the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) will include Sanchez’s works in its Inside|Out Collection installed in communities throughout Miami‑Dade County from February to August 2017. Two works by Sanchez will be added to the 2017 Inside|Out Collection, which is growing from 30 to 50 reproductions.
Emilio Sanchez in South Florida Collections brings together stellar examples of this important Cuban artist's oeuvre, and marks the first time that works from local collections have been united in a single exhibition. Emilio Sanchez in South Florida Collections will be on view at the Lowe Art Museum in Coral Gables from February 9 through May 21, 2017.
A collaborative partnership with Exchange for Change.
Main Library – Lobby
Writing is an agent of change. It begins with a sentence and leads to a connection, a kinship with a reader and the building of a community. It grows into a realization that each of us has a story to tell that emerges from the sum of our best—and worst—moments. This exhibit assembles writings from prison programs in South Florida facilitated by Exchange for Change, a nonprofit organization that believes in the power of written partnerships to promote dialogue and effect social change. Separated by razor wire, this writing exemplifies what unites us rather than what divides us.
“The Invisible Borders‑lines” by Pamela Vasquez
September 1 - December 30, 2017
My art exhibition is based on the “Out of Africa” theory, in which all human beings share a common DNA and that the phenomenon of contemporary migration patterns has defined diversity based on acceptance/non‑acceptance of perceived differences. The physical appearances of the models in the exhibition have been manipulated to reflect different racial prototypes. In doing so, I capture the beauty of each individual as well as their racial or ethnic grouping.
The exhibition exposes the contradiction inherent in the theory that, while it is supported by science, can lead to a dilution in the appreciation of the minority groups created as a result of mass migration. My project also provokes a reflection on the fact that although science has made our common origins undeniable, we still adhere to the conflict‑causing beliefs that we are so different.
Pamela Vasquez is a visual artist who creates multimedia installations based mainly on still photography of concepts that involve social issues and the human condition, and a provocative colorful iconography to suggest similarities and contradictions of the same idea.
“Creating art is my highest passion and I believe that art should provoke, elevate or at least have some meaning or reflection of whatever the subject is. It is the reason why I show concepts through imagery for people to make them understand what is impossible to say in words. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and for several years I have worked at fashion shows and weddings in my home country of Chile. Since 2007, I have worked on my artwork, teaching art/photography and commercial photography.”
— Pamela Vasquez
Party of One
A site‑specific dance choreographed and performed by Stephanie Fuentes.
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 3 p.m.
Main Library – 2nd Floor Gallery
Highlighting the contemporary influence of hashtags and their continual progression on social media platforms, FS Dance Project’s (FSDP) nouveau projet confronts a splintered society by uniting disparate though intricately related struggles in a creatively active encounter against discrimination, silence and oppression. In this non‑violence of creation resounds an echoing: that of a lament in affirmation, in opposition to societal derision and erosion, an affinity for inclusion and discussion.
#PartyofOne is an articulation of movement and gesture accentuating the diversity of the human endeavor. It is also a reminder that although differences exist within and between societies, there are universal factors that bring us together, the sympathy integral to humanity.
Focusing on the hashtags #blacklivesmatter, #lovewins, #weareseeds and #girlboss, FSDP’s emphasis on these contemporary issues reinstates a heightened contemplation of the here and now, encapsulating jetztzeit not only in the tangible via motions, but also in the abstract via concepts.
The primordial conflict of the One and the Other is again re‑examined as FSDP invites us to distort the boundaries dividing you from and I, finding sympathy within and without. Being–the All that is and is not.
Stephanie Fuentes was born and raised in Miami and graduated from the University of Florida/New World School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Fuentes trained at the Rosario Suarez Dance Academy under the direction of Rosario Suarez, Thomas Armour Youth Ballet under the direction of Ruth Weisen, University of Florida/New World School of the Arts under the direction of Daniel Lewis and Mary Lisa Burns, and at the Martha Graham School under the direction of Virginie Mecene, Denise Vale and Peggy Lyman.
Fuentes is a former dancer of Peter London Global Dance Company and Martha Graham 2, and is also a certified Graham teacher and choreographer. In addition to her prolific training, she has received outstanding recognition and reviews for her work. Fuentes has attended the American Ballet Theatre, the Bates Dance Festival, the North Carolina Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet and Contemporary under full scholarship, and the Martha Graham Summer Intensive Program under scholarship from Peter London.
This presentation will premiere during the opening reception for Flat Land: Four Architect‑Artists Project, The City of Miami by Jacob Brillhart, Rocco Ceo, Victor Deupi & Tom Spain.
Flat Land: Four Architect‑Artists Project
The City of Miami by Jacob Brillhart, Rocco Ceo, Victor Deupi & Tom Spain
September 9, 2017 - January 2, 2018
Main Library – 2nd Floor Gallery
Opening Reception & Artist Talk
Saturday, September 16, 3‑5 p.m.
Includes a special premiere presentation of Party of One, a site‑specific dance choreographed and performed by Stephanie Fuentes.
The theme of Flat Land references one of the most conspicuous aspects of South Florida—its lack of topography. Between the mountainous sky and increasingly omnipresent water is a city ever‑changing, both ambitiously vertical and sprawling, struggling to accommodate conflicting interests on a thin plane of usable land, lapped by two bodies of water: the Everglades and Biscayne National Park. Nature, unrelenting and leveling through seasonally violent storms, and even less predictable human acts, causes us to react, reflect and weigh these conflicting interests. The four architects/artists will draw, paint and project this place on the ‘other’ flat land of their canvas and paper. The theme of this effort is also a metaphor for an accessible and open dialog between artists and the public, made possible by the opportunity for a shared artists’ studio residency and exhibition at the Miami‑Dade Public Library—a natural place of collaboration, interaction and learning.
Renowned for their drawings and paintings of architecture, the four artists have traveled throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Europe—often accompanied by students—to depict inspiring cities, buildings, monuments and landscapes. The proposed residency and exhibition will focus on Miami, bringing to light the unknown spaces of the city through a series of newly produced drawings, watercolors and paintings. The exhibition will be accompanied by a video of the four architects and their students sketching and drawing in various locations around the globe. Sketchbooks, drawing materials and additional ephemera (photographs, postcards, promotional material from previous exhibitions) will also be included. In addition to the residency and exhibition, the four architects will give a series of public lectures and classes, demonstrating the value of in situ observational drawing and painting. The exhibition will take place in the 2nd Floor Gallery of the Miami‑Dade Public Library System’s Main Library in downtown Miami for approximately 4 months in the fall of 2017.
The works presented in this exhibition will be created during an artist‑in‑residence program at the Main Library.
UN ECO X TUTTI
A collective exhibition of bookmarks dedicated to the late Umberto Eco, from an idea conceived by Tony Stefanucci and Clorinda Irace.
September 16 - December 30, 2017
Miami Beach Regional Library – Auditorium Gallery
Art Basel Reception
Thursday, December 7, 5‑7 p.m.
The exhibition Un Eco Per Tutti stems from an idea from its curator Clorinda Irace and artist Tony Stefanucci (also creator of the logo), and is promoted by the cultural association TempoLibero with the patronage of the town of Naples and the Regione Campania.
The goal of the exhibition is to celebrate the life and work of the late Umberto Eco, the Italian writer and poet who died recently and was very influential in 21st century literature in Italy.
Fifty-two artists, poets and writers have been called for this project to realize a bookmark dedicated to the life and work of Eco—seen from their personal point of view and expressed through their art form—in order to commemorate the late writer and spread his work to new generations. From the intention to make the art known to all comes the name Un Eco per Tutti which literally means “an echo for all,” as Eco, name of the poet in Italian also means echo.
By Alice Raymond and Carol Jazzar
October 19, 2017 - February 18, 2018
Main Library – Lobby
Opening Reception & Artist Talk
Thursday, October 19, 5:30 ‑ 7:30 p.m.
We create narratives with words, images and symbols, and with these tools we tell or depict stories. Fixed on a sheet of paper, the narrative is now subject to interpretation. Each reader or viewer coming with his or her own personal history, knowledge and appreciation will often see the proposed narrative differently than the artist’s intent. Perception differs. Furthermore, a narrative is subject to time and context. What we understand or see at one moment can change one month or years later. In that regard, we can say that narratives are partial and multiple.
Interrupta narratio, featuring works by Alice Raymond and Carol Jazzar, offers viewers an infinite number of possible narratives. The exhibit, which includes drawings and collages, is a visual essay. Although using different techniques, both artists create compositions that stem from instinctive choices: automatic drawings for Raymond and cut‑outs from Artforum magazines for Jazzar. Works are poetic or absurd depending on one’s perception.
Raymond shows a series of drawings from her intimate production in which she develops ideas about social relations and domination. It displays characters and environments that interact with each other strangely: the elements seem to be drawn from a broader narrative that may be mentally constructed by the viewer or observed as fragments. When you meet people talking on the street, you might hear a part of a conversation that sounds absurd, funny or even scary if you try to recompose it out of context. Raymond plays with fairy tales and myths as well as facts. Her interest in the environment and the ownership of territories are reflected in her drawings. As in her work on maps, she considers reality as always partial. Her work is influenced by psychoanalysis, history and codification.
Jazzar’s collages offer a clear reading. Cut out images or symbols are sparsely placed on a white sheet of paper. Each component symbolizes a thought and keeps its integrity within the composition while contributing to a central idea. Most of them have been created spontaneously; some take planning and are approached as a way to work out inner tensions. Made almost entirely from Artforum magazines, the “bible of contemporary art” according to writer Sarah Thornton, these cut‑outs are for the most part pictures of works belonging to other artists which have been shown in galleries and institutions all over the world. Through the use of these images, Jazzar is appropriating other people’s works and ideas, “fishing” in the collective consciousness and reinterpreting them into a new context and perspective as a way to re‑write “her own bible.”
Pinelands and Plumb‑bobs; See the Trees for the Forest
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 www.gilmoreworks.com.