Public Affairs Officer
Zena Posever: Fifty Years of Art and Advocacy in Miami
– Special lecture and exhibition tour by Posever’s daughter, Verna P. Curtis, at MDPLS Main Library on July 23 –
(Miami, FL – July 19, 2016) Art, advocacy and a part of South Florida's history come together in “Zena Posever's Studio: A Passion for People,” a free exhibition currently on view at the Miami‑Dade Public Library System's Main Library, 101 W. Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33130, through August 28.
The exhibition is a tribute to the artist‑advocate's nearly 55‑year career in South Florida from 1945 to 1999. Zena Posever (1911‑2012) was known for her portraits of a wide variety of people including noteworthy persons she highly respected—national and world leaders Mahatma Gandhi, Linus Pauling, and Scott Nearing, as well as Miamians Mayor Chuck Hall and Dr. Rev. Edward T. Graham (shown in this exhibition)—and local workers she found visually fascinating. She also was recognized as an inspirational art teacher to people of all ages from children to retirees.
In celebration of the exhibition, Posever's daughter and exhibition curator Verna Posever Curtis, recently retired curator of photography from the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., will present a lecture, “Zena Posever: Fifty Years of Art and Advocacy in Miami,” followed by a special tour of the exhibition on Saturday, July 23, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The free event is open to the public.
The current exhibition showcases Posever's talent for depicting the individuality of her models. This selection of 45 works consists of her original portrait sculptures in clay, plaster, and bronze; paintings on paper and canvas; pastel and wash drawings; and dramatically lit photographs of some of her earliest work.
The installation also highlights Posever’s private studio in Miami Beach—an unusual place for working and teaching—including original plaster casts, furniture, brushes, sculpture tools, and life‑size photographs.
Curtis grew up in her mother’s studio and says she remembers her as “a people person deeply dedicated to pursuing her talent and equally steadfast in her commitment to making the world a better place for us all. My mother would have been pleased to have this survey of her portraiture made accessible to a wide community of residents and visitors in the Main Library.”
Editor's note: Verna P. Curtis is available for phone interviews before July 22 and in person in Miami until the end of the show.
About Art at the Library
The Miami‑Dade Public Library System's Art Services and Exhibitions Department maintains a permanent collection of over 2,200 works of art. This special collection includes works on paper, photographs, paintings, artists' books, multiples and small sculptures, with a focus on Miami artists. The Permanent Art Collection is a reference resource that reflects Miami's cultural composition and chronicles its artistic and social history. Learn more at www.mdpls.org/art/exhibitions.asp.
About the Miami-Dade Public Library System
The Miami‑Dade Public Library System (MDPLS), a recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, serves as a community center and learning place where the Miami‑Dade community meets to exchange ideas, learn, share, and create. The Library strives to ensure that all residents, regardless of socioeconomics, will be enriched through access to materials, technology, art and culture and programs so that they may develop the skills they need to create and produce innovations for the 21st century. Through its 50 locations, bookmobiles, special services, website (www.mdpls.org) and MDPLS iLibrary app, the library proudly serves more than 7 million annual visitors. In the more than 40 years of serving the community, the MDPLS continues to experience tremendous change and growth, evolving with the technological needs and requirements of its diverse community.