June 2015, Volume 19, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight


Hitting Close to Home

Miami is a hotbed of artistic talent, more and more of it nurtured in the visual art studios of Miami Dade College. This summer, the MDC Museum of Art + Design (MOA+D) is shining a bright light on that talent in exhibitions and events that focus on local themes as elaborated by local artists.

Cuban and Cuban-American attitudes came on strong at MDC’s Freedom Tower in Rum & Coke, an uproariously comical one-woman play by homegrown playwright Carmen Peláez. Paintings by her great-aunt, the revered Cuban painter Amelia Peláez, feature prominently throughout the play, making her autobiographical storyline particularly relevant for an art-loving crowd.

Through July 12 in the museum’s Alumni Gallery, Neighborhood Reclamation by Michael Vásquez hones in on the trappings of an underserved community that, in all of its dilapidation, shows signs of renovation and progress. An alumnus of New World School of the Arts (NWSA) at MDC, Vásquez had his work most recently exhibited in Portraiture Now: Staging the Self at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

In Downtown Miami: The Ground Beneath Our Feet, on view through Aug. 16 in the Freedom Tower’s second floor Word and Image Lab (WAIL) space, artist/writer teams examine important architectural sites of Downtown Miami in 12 unique page spreads of an art book. This MOA+D and WAIL collaboration features a hit parade of local artists and writers, among them several MDC and NWSA faculty members.

Opposing forces will take over the Museum’s Main and Skylight galleries in spectacular fashion this summer in Journeys: A Dialogue With Time. Highlighting new works by Cuban-born artist Florencio Gelabert, who is known for employing unconventional forms and materials, the exhibition presents large-scale sculptures, installations, drawings and sketches that explore dichotomies such as beauty and destruction, violence and serenity, and more.

For more information on MOA+D exhibitions, visit mdcmoad.org.

— MR

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