November 2011, Volume 15, Number 5

Cultural Spotlight

Falling in Love With Art

MDC Art Galleries Offer Autumn Full of Fine Works

South Florida’s arts season is in full swing, and Miami Dade College’s Art Gallery System (AGS) is a major player in the region’s cultural offerings.

Freedom Reigns

Starting the season with a bang was Mona Lisa Unveiled, housed at MDC’s historic landmark Freedom Tower. The exhibition, made possible through a partnership with the Museo Ideale Leonardo Da Vinci in Florence, Italy, consisted of old and new works – ranging from pious to playful – inspired by Da Vinci’s painting of inimitable fame that resides in the Louvre, the Mona Lisa. (See Page 31 for photos from the opening.)

The Freedom Tower is also home to the Cintas Fellows Collection, the world’s largest collection outside of Cuba of works by artists of Cuban lineage. Selections from that collection and  the Freedom Tower’s permanent collection are on view through Dec. 4.
Artist Kadir Nelson brings to life the history of Negro League Baseball in We Are the Ship, open through Jan. 8 at the Freedom Tower. His paintings explore the early role of blacks in U.S. baseball and the social and political history of black America in the first half of the 20th century.

Behind the Scenes

Home of the Miami International Sculpture Park, North Campus boasts a rare glimpse at the art of making art with an exhibition of drawings and maquettes by renowned sculptor Ralph Provisero. Known for large-scale sculptures that appear impossibly balanced, Provisero reveals the immaculate, to-scale models he produces to lay their groundwork. A Dec. 2 artist lecture complements the show, which remains open through Dec. 15.

Photography kicked off the season at Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus with Pannaroma, featuring photos taken with Thomas Roma’s Pannaroma 1x3 camera. Developed by the Brooklyn-based photographer in the 1980s, the camera attained cult status among veteran photographers.

A Philosophical Approach

Art pieces by faculty of the Arts and Philosophy Department are highlighted in a group exhibition from Nov. 18 through Jan. 15 at Kendall Gallery. An interdisciplinary spirit reigns in various media by Jennifer Basile, Antonio Chirinos, Yomarie Silva and Alberto Meza. At Homestead Campus’ Art Space, faculty members Lucas Blanco and Peggy Nania took the spotlight earlier in the season.

The prime site of public art in Downtown Miami, Wolfson Campus highlighted the talents of its art faculty at Centre Gallery in an exhibition of works by Yovani Bauta, Helen Burgos, Melissa Díaz, Natasha Duwin, Shirley Henderson, Claudia Scalise, Tom Scicluna and Joseph Tamargo.

Poetry and art harmonize in Memento Mori, an exhibition of paintings and watercolors by Arturo Rodríguez with a collection of poems by Alejandro Anreus at Centre Gallery, open Nov. 16 through Dec. 16. The collaborative show is based on their book of the same title, inspired by the 17th century Spanish poet and satirist Francisco de Quevedo.

Exploring Boundaries

At MDC West, carnivalesque ink-on-paper drawings by Ramón Carulla are on view through Dec. 9 at West Art Gallery in Human Boundaries. Meanwhile the gallery at InterAmerican Campus recently saw a celebration of the life and artistic legacy of the legendary Frida Kahlo in an exhibition of paintings by Mariana Altamirano.

While offering a rich harvest of delights in the fall, AGS plans for a fruitful spring, when another exceptional array of exhibitions will burst forth at MDC’s  numerous galleries.

New Director at the Helm

MDC’s Art Gallery System recently welcomed Jeremy Mikolajczak as its new director. An experienced curator and multidisciplinary artist, Mikolajczak comes to MDC from the University of Central Missouri’s Gallery of Art & Design, where he was director and chief curator.

Although arriving from the Midwest, Mikolajczak has strong roots in Florida, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art from West Virginia University in Morgantown and a certificate of Visual Arts from the University of Georgia in Cortona, Italy.

— MR

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