February 2014, Volume 18, Number 1

Cultural Spotlight

A Heart for Art

Love is in the air at the MDC Museum and Galleries of Art + Design this year as they kick off the spring season with a celebratory fundraiser and new exhibitions featuring an impressive roster of artists.

Established in 2012 within MDC’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower, the Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) has already made its mark as a stalwart cultural institution. The only admission-free arts institution in Downtown Miami, MOAD shows its love for the community year-round, presenting everything from cutting-edge contemporary art and renowned established artists to historic exhibitions of great cultural value to South Florida and beyond. This month, the community is reciprocating that love with PaperHearts, MOAD’s first annual fundraiser.

A New Tradition

Taking place on the eve of Valentine’s Day, PaperHearts will feature a 50 Works on Paper silent auction curated by Bernice Steinbaum with works by renowned artists including John Adkins, Anne Austin Pearce, Jennifer Basile, Lucas Blanco, Carola Bravo, Carol Brown, Manuel Carbonell, Lynne Golob Gelfman, Victor John Gómez, Enrique Gómez de Molina, Natalya Laskis, Ralph Provisero, Loren Santiesteban, Claudia Scalise, Carrie Sieh, Elena Sisto, Sara Stites, Robert Thiele, Marcos Valella and Jaimie Warren.

But that is just a fraction of the fun. Guests look forward to live artist performances, romantic grooves by DJ Hottpants and a feature set by Afrobeta, all accompanied by a steady stream of saucy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

“It is with great anticipation that the Museum of Art + Design is establishing an annual fundraiser to help support its fantastic roster of exhibitions and programs presented throughout the year,” said MOAD Executive Director and Chief Curator Jeremy Mikolajczak. “As the Museum looks ahead, specifically with regard to the establishment of the Cuban Exile Experience and exhibition space dedicated to the history of the Freedom Tower, we must lean on the community for support and continue to grant unrestricted access as the only admission-free cultural museum in Downtown Miami.”

Gallery Offerings

Meanwhile, MDC’s Galleries of Art + Design are starting the New Year with a plethora of intriguing exhibitions.

Jonathan Beer’s vivid paintings grace Kendall Gallery through March 21 in American Epic. Representing the overlap of memory, landscape and architecture, Beer’s work is partly inspired by the urban fabric that he sees as the product of the perpetual rebuilding and decay of civilization.

Through March 15, North Gallery is showcasing portraits of U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan by physician and painter Wilma Bulkin Siegel. Accompanying Siegel’s paintings are taped interviews she conducted with her numerous subjects after they returned to the U.S. to resume their civilian lives.

“I knew that I liked people and wanted to express the knowledge I had acquired about people as a physician,” said Siegel. “I came upon portraiture as a means of expressing the psychology of the person I was painting.”

At West Gallery, patrons are taking in a formal view of geometric abstraction in BASIC, an exhibition of new works by Cuban-American artist Emilio Héctor Rodríguez. A computer programmer by profession, his affinity for math and linear thinking is apparent in the series of paintings presented in this show.

— MR

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