Skip to main content
Current Exhibitions Upcoming Exhibitions

About

The Library System has a long history of cultural and educational exhibitions, and makes a special call to artists on a rolling basis for temporary exhibitions that correspond to selected annual themes and/or that highlight the library’s special collections and services.

Additionally, the Vasari Project is an archive that documents the development of the visual arts in Miami‑Dade County since 1945.

For more information about the art collection, exhibition programs or the Vasari archive, call 305‑375‑5599 or e‑mail art@mdpls.org.

A Visual Narrative
Miami-Dade Public Library System's Permanent Art Collection and Exhibitions

Library Artist-in-Residence Program
Interview with Jacob Brillhart, Rocco Ceo, Victor Deupi

Pablo Cano's Library Exhibition
Pablo Cano To The Eye Behind The Keyhole — 1979‑2016

Library Exhibitions

Pedestrian 1985 & 2015
Street Photography In Downtown with Liam Crotty and David Spitzer

Art Exhibitions & Programming

Living Wood
Artesian Woodwork by Reginald Lachance

January 30 - May 31, 2018
West Dade Regional

Opening Reception

Saturday, February 3, 3‑5 p.m.

An exhibition of prolific self taught woodcarver and sculpture artist, Reginald Lachance. Living Wood is a display of relief sculptures, busts, plaques and figurines from the beginning of Lachance’s career to his most recent works. Inspired by family, community and his own life, Lachance has put more than 5,000 hours into his carvings, bringing his loved ones to life in new form. With no formal training, Lachance demonstrates the endless possibilities that can arise if we cultivate our motivations. The work represents true vision and transformation of ideas to reality… taking raw lumber and creating Living Wood.

Reginald Lachance Carving a Portrait

The Wartime Escape: Margret and H.A. Rey’s Journey from France

January 28 - March 17, 2018
Miami Beach Regional

The story of the incredible journey of the creators of the Curious George character and their escape from the Nazi invasion of Paris.

The Wartime Escape
Opening Reception

Sunday, January 28, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Crafts will be available for children. All ages welcome.


Documentary Screening

Tuesday, January 30, 6 p.m.
Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious Georges’ Creators


Programming

Wednesday, January 31, 6 p.m.
The Lob Family
The story of their Holocaust Experience in France.

Thursday, February 1, 6 p.m.
My Family’s Nine Month Journey of Escape from Europe
A presentation by Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff on her family’s journey from Eastern Europe to Spain, Portugal and finally on one of the last ships to the United States before the U.S. entered the war.

Holocaust Memorial Miami BeachFlorida Department of EducationCulture Builds Florida: Division of Cultural AffairsCity of Miami Beach

Cuba in Images
Photography Exhibition by Alandy Martínez

January 13 - March 25, 2018
Hispanic Branch

Cuba in Images is a photography project by Alandy Martínez (Havana, Cuba, 1981) that offers a visual tour of the deep and unknown Cuba. It captures the daily life of those who live in the heart of the Caribbean island. Multiple geopolitical, historical, economic, social and cultural factors have kept Cuba isolated from international reality for almost 60 years. Cuba in the 21st century remains elusive to the outsider, mysterious in both its culture and its people.

Through social photography, journalism and photo storytelling, Martínez has attempted to objectively capture the challenges that Cuba faces as a manipulated and censored nation: the streets and old buildings whose balconies overlook the people of Havana, the times that are mixed, the history stopped while outside doors life passes by, the daily survival, the pop culture, the idiosyncrasy of the common Cuban, the crossbreeding, the religiosity, the art and the landscape.

Cuba in Images is a social commentary without political activism. It is a realistic approach to the express the visual aspects of Cuba and its social connotations. This exhibition attempts to give a clearer idea of what happens in the daily life of the Caribbean island. It is a song of peace, a message of understanding, a homage to the people and a reminder to the collective memory of a nation whose history is inextricably linked to the history of Florida.

In these images some will discover an unknown Cuba; others a memory from the past. For some they may provide motivation to know more; for others, a topic of debate and hopefully, for many, inspiration.

Circunvolare

Babble et al.
by Nick Gilmore

January 12, 2018 – May 26, 2018
Main Library – 2nd Floor Gallery

Opening Reception and Exhibition Tour

Saturday, March 10, 2-5 p.m.

A culmination of several ongoing series of wood sculptures and paper‑based works, as well as an ambitious installation conceived specifically for the library, this exhibition explores ideas regarding the interaction of Miami’s built and natural environments. Much of the artwork features Dade County Pine (pinus elliottii var. densa), lumber salvaged from the artist’s own house as well as many other historic, in some cases demolished, local structures. This legendary natural resource was a key component in Miami’s industrial boom of the early 20th century until it was depleted to near extinction. In juxtaposition to this repurposed infrastructure, other artworks on display are the result of working directly within the existing pinelands of Everglades National Park. Emphasis on the history and interconnection of these seemingly opposed environments offers an alternate take on the human role in navigating our past, present and future decisions especially in relation to conservation and development. Also on display are historical photos and documents selected from the library’s special collections and the Everglades National Park archives. The centerpiece of the exhibition is the monumental sculpture entitled Babble. This towering structure is constructed from salvaged Dade County Pine lumber and obsolete library materials, and is inspired by many ideas including the pursuit of knowledge, the dialectic of nature and religion, civilization, industrialization, divisive ideology, facthood, language comprehension, paradox and transcendence.

In addition to his art practice, Nick Gilmore teaches printmaking at Florida International University and operates a custom woodworking business. Firmly grounded in Miami, Nick mines from local culture and history to fuel his projects, which in turn use these local themes to reference larger aspects of the general human condition. These include references to the relationship of built and natural environments, obsolete technology as a metaphor for civilization itself, and an urge to illuminate the transcendental potential of the everyday world. Selected to be the AIRIE (Artist In Residence In the Everglades) fellow for July 2017, Nick has also exhibited throughout South Florida. He received his MFA in Visual Arts (2014) from Florida International University, Miami, FL, and his BA in Studio Art (1999) from Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL. Additional work can be seen at www.gilmoreworks.com.

Pinelands and Plumb-bobs

Stories from the Florida Vault
A transitory space for rare Florida books, publications, multiples and entertainment.

November 2017 - April 2018

Did you know that the library once had an actual bank vault that housed its rare books?
Join us for Stories from the Florida Vault, a monthly two‑hour lunchtime entertainment session filled with fun Florida facts and historical swamp tales.

Every month, we’ll unveil a rare book from the Florida Vault and learn why these books are so important to the Library’s special collection. We’ll chat with local historians, Florida folk experts and listen to tunes ranging from Florida folk music to rockabilly to Florida hyper rockabilly.

Got a true Florida swamp folktale to share? Come prepared to share your Florida story during our ten minute folktale tales.

About Our Guest Speaker

Michael Stock Portrait

Michael Stock started his musical journey back in 1994 at Miami Beach High School when a teacher played Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan. Researching Bob Dylan led Michael to Woody Guthrie, which led to The Weavers and The Carter Family, which led to the whole history of American folk, country and popular music. Today, Michael is in his 35th year of hosting Folk & Acoustic Music airing Sundays from 2‑5 p.m. on WLRN 91.3 FM. The show features contemporary and traditional folk music, as well as live musical performances and local storytelling.

To the Barbershop: Call and Response Series #2
From the Permanent Art Collection of the Miami-Dade Public Library System

August 2017 - March 2018
Shenandoah Branch

In 2006, the Miami‑Dade Public Library System invited Miami photojournalist and documentarian Noelle Théard to create a new body of work in response to a series of photographs in the Library’s permanent collection by Richard Davenport. Théard responded to the Davenport photographs, which depict black barbershops in Miami during the early 1980s, by revisiting some of the same barbershops in December of 2006. Both sets of photos are included in the exhibition.

Noelle Théard is a photographer and educator who holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA in African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University and an MFA in Photography from Parsons The New School for Design. She is a cofounder of FotoKonbit, a nonprofit that teaches photography in Haiti in order to provide Haitians with training and the opportunity to tell their own stories through photography.

Richard Davenport was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and was raised in New York City. He returned to North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro to study photography. Through his photography, he has been involved in a variety of teaching and work experiences. In the summer of 1980, he taught a six‑week workshop for children at the Miami‑Dade Public Library System’s Lemon City Branch.

Noelle Théard, Germikyl

Noelle Théard
“Germikyl” (2006)
Digital C print courtesy of the artist.

South Beach Century: How South Beach and the Arts Built Modern Miami

April 5, 2017 - September 30, 2018
First Wednesday of every month, 6 ‑ 7:30 p.m.

North Shore Branch

In 2015, Tom Austin, author of The Surf Club, published by Assouline, and long‑time chronicler of Miami for such publications as the New York Times, Miami Herald and Columbia Journalism Review, was given a South Florida Knight Arts Challenge grant for South Beach Century: How South Beach and the Arts Built Modern Miami (www.knightarts.org). South Beach Century celebrates the creative spirit of South Beach and Miami itself, incorporating design, music, dance, fashion, film, television, literature, culinary history, nightlife and visual art.

On the first Wednesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mr. Austin will be in residence at the North Shore Branch Library conducting oral history recording sessions with anyone who wishes to be interviewed about South Beach cultural life. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of photographs, ephemera and memorabilia of South Beach from nightclub flyers and restaurant menus to art gallery invitations.

Some of the South Beach archival material, as well as transcripts of the oral histories, will be featured in the South Beach Century: How South Beach and the Arts Built Modern Miami book. In 2018, the South Beach Century book will be launched at the North Shore Branch Library along with a pop‑up exhibition of photographs contributed by participants. Work by South Beach artists such as Fernando Garcia, Tomata du Plenty and Andy Sweet, drawn from the Miami‑Dade Public Library System’s Art Services and Exhibitions Department, will also be part of the pop‑up exhibition. Cultural outreach events including screenings of South Beach‑related films will be conducted at City of Miami Beach public parks.

South Beach Century will use oral histories—taken from artists, designers, musicians and residents from all walks of life—to create a multi‑layered examination of South Beach’s unique cultural contributions. This will be crowd‑sourced history, a chronicle of a singular city told through its singular people.

To participate in the South Beach Century Oral History Project, contact Tom Austin at austint@att.net.

Knight Foundation logo

Portrait of late artist Carlos Alfonzo in his South Beach studio

The late artist Carlos Alfonzo in his South Beach studio, circa 1990.
Photo by Steven Paul Hlavac / www.photoasylum.com

Portrait of Edie Beale, star of Grey Gardens, at News Cafe on Ocean Drive

Edie Beale, star of Grey Gardens, at News Cafe on Ocean Drive.
Photo by Steven Paul Hlavac / www.photoasylum.com

Upcoming Exhibitions & Programs

Portable Memories in Rising Seas
By FIFTY-FIFTY artist collective

April 21 - July 22, 2018
Main Library – Lobby

Opening Reception on Earth Day

Saturday, April 21, 3-5 p.m.

Using interdisciplinary art methods, Fifty‑Fifty will engage with residents of South Florida to create an archive of local experiences, providing an opportunity for the implications of climate change data to manifest on individual and collective levels.

Free screenings of films that address sea level rise, memory, and place‑based identity will inspire drawings and discussions during events held at Miami‑Dade Public Library System locations. Seeing other communities adapting to rising waters, as in the films, reduces our differences. Remembering together through dialogue and participatory drawing activates our sense of interconnectedness with each other and our environment. The collected drawings will also be shared with local sea life in an attempt to transmit our memories to species who will inherit at least part of our city.

An exhibition in the lobby gallery of the Main Library will include participants’ scratchboard responses as well as a published book that includes images and texts derived from screening events and provides local context for the project as a whole.

Through participation at the screenings and viewing of the exhibition, Fifty‑Fifty seeks to create a heightened sense of interdependence that can lead to action and empathy for near and distant neighbors.

Stories for Fishes Installation

FIFTY‑FIFTY is an artist collective founded by Lisa Bulawsky and Laurencia Strauss, working at the intersection of individual experience and the public sphere, negotiating cultural tensions through socially engaged participatory art practices. Their work includes Stories for Fishes (2016) at O Cinema Wynwood, Ferguson (2015), as part of Signs in the Public Sphere in Knoxville, TN, and Let Me Impress You Authentically (2013), a participatory sidewalk encounter in New York. Future projects include Portable Memories in Rising Seas with Key West and other communities facing sea level rise.

Lisa Bulawsky is an artist/printmaker known for her mixed media works on paper, installations and temporary public projects. Her work explores the reciprocal influence of culture on the individual, especially as it is shaped by history and memory.

Laurencia Strauss is an artist/landscape architect investigating vulnerabilities and ingenuities of people and the places they inhabit. Through socially engaged actions, installations and projects in public spaces, she gives agency to local knowledge and creates experiences that explore relational dynamics of sites and situations.

Free Film Screenings

Thursday, January 4, 3-5 p.m.
Main Library

Tuesday, January 9, 3-5 p.m.
Miami Beach Regional

La Maison en Petits Cubes

La Maison en Petits Cubes, 2008

Japanese animated short subject film created by Kunio Katō, with music by Kenji Kondo and produced by Robot Communications.

As his town is flooded by water, an aged widower is forced to add additional levels onto his home in order to stay dry. But when he accidentally drops his favorite smoking pipe into the lower submerged levels of his home, his search for the pipe eventually makes him relive scenes from his eventful life, including his time before the flooding began.

ThuleTuvalu

ThuleTuvalu, 2014

Documentary directed by Matthias von Gunten.

Thule lies in the extreme north of Greenland, while Tuvalu is a small island state in the Pacific Ocean. Although in completely distant corners of the world, the people of these two places are intimately related. As the ice melts in Thule, Tuvalu drowns in the ocean as sea levels continue to rise.