Exhibitions at the Library

Art Services & Exhibitions Department

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.

Art Programming & Happenings

Nestor Zurita: Electronic Jazz Project @ the Library Nestor Zurita: Electronic Jazz Project @ the Library
Nestor Zurita
Electronic Jazz Project @ the Library

Thursday, November 19, December 10 & December 17
4:30 - 6 p.m.

Main Library

In this Thursday Performance Series, the Main Library presents Nestor Zurita’s Electronic Jazz Project. “I find that libraries are ideal venues to cultivate the mind. When people attend lectures and concerts in that space I feel that they are more open to new ideas. During the performance people will experience music and sounds they have never heard before but at the same time because of the universal nature of this music they will relate to it easily.” Nestor Zurita

Nestor is an accomplished alto saxophonist, composer, educator and social activist with deep convictions. He has played thousands of concerts around the world–many of them for underprivileged audiences. Through his music he has always promoted the value of social justice and democracy. He has also played for President Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama.

“As a jazz artist I grew up listening to some of the most wonderful musicians in the world. In the beginning stages of my development I would put on a recording of some famous jazz musician and play along with it then as I was starting in Manhattan school of music I encountered backing tracks that were used to practice improvisation. As years went by I became more and more interested in creating my own backing tracks and sounds that would fit my vision of music.” Nestor Zurita


Current Exhibitions

Kiki Valdes

Untitled, work in progress, 2015

Kiki Valdes
Presented by MDPLS' Permanent Art Collection

November 21, 2015 ‑ January 20, 2016
Main Library, Lobby & 2nd Floor Exhibition Space

A succession of new paintings by Kiki Valdes created on site through the library's artist pop‑up studio program. The vitality of the large works on view will highlight the painter’s proficiency with materials and surface. Valdes uses a familiar cartoon sensibility in his mark making that is honest in its wistfulness with semi‑abstractions and metaphorical settings.

Kiki Valdes was born in Miami, FL in 1981. He attended The Maryland Institute College of Art where he majored in painting. He has his work in various collections around the country and abroad. Last year Valdes had a one man show at The National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, sharing the season exhibition catalog with such artists as Edvard Munch and Ilya & Emilia Kabakov.

Drawing workshop with Kiki Valdes
Saturday, December 12, 3 ‑ 5 p.m.
Main Library, Lobby & 2nd Floor Exhibition Space

A view from the ground:<br>
      A photographic journey through the Magic City
Untitled, 2011, Silver Gelatin Print, 8x10, Stephanie Farokhnia
A view from the ground:
A photographic journey through the Magic City
By Stephanie Farokhnia

November 6, 2015 - March 1, 2016
Hispanic Branch

“Downtown Miami has always seemed to me, a place made up of many other parts of the world. Throughout my life, it has served as a point of reference—a visual embodiment of places mentioned in my families’ nostalgic, yet foreign, stories of back home. Though this body of work stems from my re‑imagining downtown Miami as if it were the city in all of those stories, the city I’ve been picturing in my mind since girlhood, what has emerged is an ongoing documentation of a few city blocks and the array of individuals that abound it. These photographs are meant to reflect my own constant quest for cultural belonging; more so, they are meant to celebrate both the timelessness of this city and the beautiful mixture, which brings it to life.”

Stephanie Farokhnia
Stephanie Farokhnia is a Miami native who has been photographing downtown Miami since 2010. As a first‑generation American, she has always been interested in exploring assimilation and the concept of the ‘cultural home.’. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Florida International University.

Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College
A Nurturing Gaze: Margarita Cano at the Miami‑Dade Public Library System
Presented by the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College and the Miami‑Dade Public Library System

October 30, 2015 - January 15, 2016
Main Library, 2nd Floor

A companion piece to Margarita Cano: Explorations, this installation presents a selection of artifacts, documents and video news clips that document some of the projects undertaken by Margarita Cano during her tenure at the Miami‑Dade Public Library System.

Working with colleagues such as Barbara Young and Helen Kohen, Margarita Cano pursued a new vision of the public library’s role in the community and brought that vision to fruition through exhibitions, public events and acquisitions.

The video in this installation, selected from the collections of the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, consists of excerpts from historic television news stories, most of them unique.

The artifacts and documents exhibited here have been selected from collections maintained by the Miami‑Dade Main Public Library, the Helen Muir Florida Collection and the Vasari Archive.

Installation: Oscar Fuentes. Video curator: Kevin Wynn. Additional video research: Amy C. San Pedro. Curator for the Helen Muir Florida Collection: John Shipley. Curator for the Vasari Archive: Bill Iverson.

“A Nurturing Gaze: Margarita Cano at the Miami‑Dade Public Library System” is presented with the support of the Miami‑Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami‑Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Reinventing Poetry
Steelpan by Dionne Christopher, Airbrush on canvas.
Reinventing Poetry
By Franchot Peter Moore Sr.
With illustrations by artists: Tony Ryals, Darryl Carter, Nizam “jazz” Aziz, and Dionne Christopher

September 17, 2015 - February 29, 2016
North Dade Regional

These selected poems of inspiration and skillfully crafted airbrush illustrations, is the result of Mr. Moore’s vibrant collaboration with four Uber talented artists.

Franchot Peter Moore Sr. was born on the island of Trinidad, in the City of San‑Fernando on September 25, 1954. He lived his adolescent life in the villages of Penal, Siparia, La Brea, San‑Fernando and Diego Martin until the age of fourteen when he migrated to the United States to join his parents and sisters. Over the past forty‑six years Mr. Moore has used his poetry in his discussions and lectures as a motivational medium and as a contribution to improving the quality of all life.

Franchot is a disabled Vietnam‑era Veteran and feels especially inspired by his past work on behalf of Veterans at the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs in New York City and Florida. He is also a former member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Florida and Washington State Boxing Association in the capacity of a professional Boxing Inspector, Referee and Judge.

Margarita Cano: Explorations
Three Women Behind Bars. Cubanas Entre Rejas, 2004
Mixed Media on Canvas, Margarita Cano.
Margarita Cano: Explorations
An artist’s retrospective

Installed & Curated by Oscar Fuentes
July 14, 2015 - January 15, 2016
Main Library, Auditorium

Margarita Cano: Explorations
An artist’s retrospective, features Margarita Cano’s impressive artistic career. The exhibition consists of two dimensional paintings, artist’s books and video installations.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Margarita Cano migrated to the United States in 1962 at the age of 30. An active member of Miami’s artistic and literary community for decades, Cano taps her memories of the island in works of art that convey the feel of the homeland of her youth with an aesthetic that combines mysticism, romance and vital beauty.

Sharkabet: A Sea of Sharks from A to Z


Sharkabet! A Sea of Sharks from A to Z

May 22, 2015 - January 17, 2016
West Dade Regional, 1st & 2nd Floor Exhibition Spaces

Shark! Even the word shark gets our blood up! A fun way to explore sharks, Sharkabet! presents an alphabet of living and extinct sharks in a series of colorful, whimsical, yet scientifically accurate drawings by Ray Troll.

Miami Science Museum

Coming Soon

Pedestrians 1985 & 2015 – Street photography in downtown Miami

Liam Crotty, Freedom Tower, 2015, Chromogenic process, Type C print on Kodak Premier silver paper.

Pedestrians 1985 & 2015 – Street photography in downtown Miami

David Spitzer, Untitled, 1984 – jet images printed on Epson S041339 Ultra Premium Presentation paper.

Pedestrians 1985 & 2015 – Street photography in downtown Miami
Photography by Liam Crotty & David D. Spitzer
Curated by Liam Crotty & Oscar Fuentes

February 1 ‑ May 14, 2016
Main Library, 2nd Floor Exhibition Space

The inspiration for this street photography exhibit began 30 years ago when photographer David D. Spitzer created a unique body of work. Spitzer’s concept was to walk up and down Flagler Street – which is considered to be the commercial heart of old Miami – specifically between Biscayne Boulevard on the East and the County Court House on the West documenting people and street life along the way.

Fast forward thirty years.  Spitzer’s concept completely resonated with Miami street photographer Liam Crotty, who had the idea of recreating it – thus playing upon a theme Crotty had used in 2008, when he recreated some of Norman Rockwell’s work in his exhibit: “Finding Norman Rockwell’s Small Town America.”

With his current exhibit, Crotty’s goal is to portray Flagler Street by highlighting the differences that have occurred over 30 years: people, fashion, hair styles, automobiles, signage, businesses… some are the same but most have changed; Crotty uses his camera as a time machine, linking both past and future into timeless photography.

The Medium is the Message
The Medium is the Message
The tapestries of Raimundo Travieso

February 6 - June 4, 2016
West Dade Regional, 1st & 2nd Floor Exhibition Spaces

These tapestries are the realization of a long‑held dream. Raimundo Travieso considers himself a poet who writes in a universal language, the language of drawing. He has drawn most days of his life as a form of meditation and prayer. For many years, he has made prints from his drawings that have been exhibited widely. But it is only now, in his third age, that he has achieved what he has always considered the culmination of his art: woven tapestries of his drawings… for you to enjoy!

Raimundo Travieso was born in Havana, Cuba in 1946. He studied at the University of Puerto Rico and Harvard University. He lives in Miami, Florida since 1976. A teaching artist, for several years he has taught art to children and adolescents in various programs and schools.

Artist talk and slide show by Raimundo Travieso
Saturday, February 6, 3 ‑ 5 p.m.
West Dade Regional

"To Draw is to Love"
Drawing workshop for children of all ages by artist Raimundo Travieso
Saturday, April 2, 3 ‑ 5 p.m.
West Dade Regional

Reconstruction Reconstruction
Curated by Bayunga Kialeuka

February 13 - July 30, 2016
Main Library, Auditorium Gallery

RECONSTRUCTION is a mixed media exhibition about the construction of I‑95, and how the right of government to expropriate private property for public use, played a role in reshaping the route’s surrounding communities in Miami and beyond. The theme explores the justification of the project’s “vital contribution,” and its effects on security, housing, economy, safety, national security and the billboard industry. The exhibition features works of local artists C.W. Griffith, Gustavo Oviedo, Tavare Hill, Bayunga Kialeuka and works from Miami‑Dade County Library Permanent Collection.

RECONSTRUCTION is curated by Bayunga Nsimba Kialeuka, a Congolese‑born painter and sculptor based in Miami, FL. He is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts, and currently operates the Amadlozi Gallery at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, in Liberty City Miami.