West Campus

Art lovers view paintings at West Campus's West Gallery

A Showcase for Art and Culture

The West Campus Gallery opens the fall 2018 term with our inaugural faculty and staff show, featuring recent artwork by current faculty and staff from all divisions of MDC West. Highlighting the artistry and inspiration found among colleagues, this exhibition features the work and exploration of over 16 individuals across mediums including painting, printmaking, photography, fabrics, visual and audio communications. The exhibition opens Oct. 17 with a public reception from noon  – 1 p.m.  Works will be on view through Dec. 21, 2018.

All exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Dr. Teresa Mitchell

Faculty – Music

Assistant Professor of Music at MDC West, is an accomplished flutist and a consum- mate musician and educator. In 2011, she was awarded the honor of becom- ing a Fulbright Senior Specialist, going to Curitiba, Brazil to teach about American classical and jazz music. Her CD, Ponteios, is available on Amazon and CD Baby and contains music by Brazilian and American composers. She was principal flut- ist with the Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra for over ten years. She has lectured on musicians' health, the subject of her doctoral research, at the University of Miami and at the Florida Flute Fair as well as in Brazil. She taught the Frost Flute Choir and private lessons at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music for many years and designed a seminar on Musician's Health that took place at the University of Miami. Her article "Healthy Performance" was published in "Flute Talk" mag- azine. She has played with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe and has performed solos with the Alhambra Orchestra and the University of Miami Symphony Orchestra.

Wesly Alvarez

Faculty – Art


My thoughts manifest themselves through clas- sical imagery to bring the universe inside of me out into the world. Whether in oils or digital paintings the process for creating my art always manifests in the same way. It all starts with a conversation-a literal one.   The odd comment over coffee, the introduction at a party, the argument with a family member- all of these become a catalyst for an image. This material leads to the first of many automatic drawings. These automatic drawings eventually lead to visual research that is collected and incorporated into a final work. This visual research may take the form of photography, life drawings or studies to prepare for the artifact that will communicate my aims to my audience.

These images are born out of a secret place in all of us. They document my minds reaction to interaction. That human moment when your mind has a sym- bolic impulse to make sense of some exterior stimulus. I use classical representa- tion to bring a sense of understanding to the world my audience is experiencing within the images. The symbolic imagery shown takes advantage of that which is modern and mythological. These make the images allegories to the commonality of human experience and is a narrative tool to evoke empathy.

Adolfo L. Mendez

Faculty – Physical Sciences

Photo of Havana Cuba

Havana is the city where I was born. My photos take a critical view of Havana but far away from tourists. Each of my pho- tos speaks about the real-life scenes of Havana. I am  not an artist, I am just a walker printing what I see armed with a non-professional camera that works as my eyes: I am a street photographer and my photos look the way they were taken; not artwork before printing the Zimage. The result is the crude reality of Havana as it is, a surviving city.

These pictures are part of a project resumed in three series. This exhibition shows photos of two of these series. From Once Upon a time Havana series "No vacancy" and "Through windows"; from The great saloon series "The great saloon".

Carmen Gabriela Velasquez

Staff – Academic Affairs

Black and white drawing of a dog

The work on display is my current concen- tration. In the language of art, a line can have many qualities depending on how it is drawn. Printmaking has the ability to convey a message, using all its techniques, a taste for great linear quality and to mass produce work for family and friends. Printmaking has facilitated this with its multifaceted process- es of rendering multiple images from linocuts or plexi-drypoint matrices. I am thankful I immerse myself into creating unique mono- types, enabling me to incorporate my love for collage and arrangement of things; es- pecially foliage. In art, we generally try to have one main image to focus on, but with collage, we're actually illustrating a simulta- neous images or items that are opening the viewers mind to multiple interpretations. My monotypes, in my opinion, oozed a "green" view of multiple vegetation. By doing this, we increase the direct impact the image may have on our viewers. I am creating my own path, redefining how art could be made and what it could be. I want to create artworks that elevated my everyday life. My knowledge and interest has ranged from painting, photography, printmak- ing, and writing short stories.

Dashiel Ruiz

Staff – Media Services

Dash "Maverick" Ruiz is a Cuban- American graphic designer and artist from Union City, New Jersey. Inspired by the works of street artists like Shepard Fairey and Banksy, his primary medium is stencil and spray paint, although he is also a gifted digital artist. Dash's eye for design gives his pieces a simple but elegant look. His work has been displayed at Pasion del Cielo in Coral Gables; he has also collaborated with Miami's Registered Artist, for RA's exhibition at Wyn317 in Wynwood. He has been a contributing artist in Miami's Free Art Friday (MFAF) scene since 2013, and has done live painting demonstra- tion for MDC's West Campus at all of their Paint the Campus Pink events.

In addition to his paintings and designs, Dash is also an accomplished improvisational actor, public speaker, and a decorated professional wrestler.

Rafael Vadía

Staff – Academic Advisor

Abstract dramatic work by Rafael Vadia

Francis Marquez

Faculty – Art

Abstract drawing by Francis Marquez

Miami  Based   Multidisciplinary Artist, Francis Marquez earned her BFA from Ringling College of Art + De- sign in 2008 and an MFA from the Uni- versity of South Florida in 2011. She is currently a faculty member at Miami Dade College for the School of Arts and Philosophies, where she teaches foundation art courses. Marquez's photographs from the "Chonga Se- ries" were featured in the 2010 exhib- it Necessary Fictions at the Golden Belt in Durham, N.C. Marquez's work is rooted in the awkwardness and confusion of not having a reference point or set social model. Her interest lies in the exploration and navigation of the space of being "in-between." Vadía's work has been shown at galleries and museums such as the Society of the  Four  Arts in Palm Beach, the Art Museum at Florida Inter- national University and the Lowe Art Museum. His pieces were also included in Expresiones Hispanas, the Coors National Art Exhibition and Tour, and Latin American Artists  of the United States at the Organization of American States.   He is the winner of the Norton Museum's Verna Lammi Memorial award, and his work is in the per- manent collection of the Miami-Dade Public Library. Vadía studied at Miami-Dade College, the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris and Florida International University (Cintas for art, 1991-92).

Sonali Saha

Faculty – Biological Sciences

The mixed media image was photographed in 2004 while I was studying physiology of bamboo plants in Iguazu National Park, Argentina. The park has enchanting forests and awe-inspiring waterfalls, which turns en- chanted on full moon nights! As a student of nature and its landscapes I try to express it the way it appears to me!

Lakisha Lee

Staff – Facilities Planner

Water color art with scientific notation

Javier Cuarezma

Faculty – Art

Artist Javier Cuarezma prepares green lights for art project

Live in  a world  where you create your own happiness. Spontaneity and Structure. Creativity is what fuels me and awakens every aspect of my life. In this piece, my daughter was my inspira- tion and my purpose. Her love for science, engineer- ing and creating something from nothing meshed with happiness, excitement, high fives and hugs. Oxytocin, that which is released in the brain during true moments of love, empathy and trust. My work is highly influenced by the spontaneity of street photography. Photographers like Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, and Elliot Erwitt along with mentors like Bill Maguire and Peggy Nolan have all helped shaped my eye early on in my artistic career. Looking at the work of these artists got me interested in the idea of using the world around me as a medium within itself; composing the world via 35mm film the way I saw fit so that it may encapsulate what I see most through the lens: Family, sarcasm, and story. My work aims to reformulate the moments in my life and shape a new way for the viewer to look at a situation they might have already experienced before and introduce a paradigm shift for which they can view their own world.

Maria Jose Urbano

Staff – Media Services

Wild crocodile on the grass

Photography is powerful and essential to our world. Many of us, every day we share dif- ferent aspects of our lives on social media to document or connect with the world. We are promoting our business- es or documenting history. Images are frozen memo- ries with  a  universal  langue and no barriers. My love for photography started as an undergrad. I was always in search of a perfect photo for my graphic design projects. Since then, I began to pursue photography. Now both works complement one another. My choice of subject comes from the respect I try to have for nature. I capture its wonders, calling attention to their day to day.

Joshua T. Fernandez

Staff – Learning Resources

Josh is into composing, recording, and music technology. His main instrument is gui- tar which he has played for 16 years. A childhood friend, El Gavilan, is his main band- mate. They have played with several groups of musicians for the last 10 years. To- gether they make lots of guitar driven music, mostly unshared; for themselves. Songs are influenced by shared and individual experiences.

Katharina Lang

Faculty – Speech

This art quilt was inspired by Sylvia Plath's semi-autobiographical novel "The Bell Jar" about a woman's descent into mental illness. It is a fabric account of how depression is often hidden, messy, characterized by negative self- talk and the feeling of "falling apart", while try- ing to     portray normalcy to the outside world.

Yahaira Reyes

Staff – Science Lab Manager

What is art? What defines its beauty or acceptance by society to label it as art? Is it to draw within the lines or paint colors dancing in a canvas with no direction. I don't know the answer…. What I do know is that I enjoy the simple moments of life in its raw form, unedited. During a period of my life I was blessed to be exposed to film photography. I enjoyed its chemical process and the beauty of capturing light, symmetry, or a person at any given moment. These images displayed here, were some of those moments. Moments of anger and anguish, peace, happiness, and acceptance with the absence of color. Do you see the beauty? Is it art?

The very least, I hope these images bring you a sense of appreciation that life even without color, is surrounded with beauty and wonder.