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

Photographs of Jazz & Blues Musicians
by David Spitzer
From the MDPLS Permanent Art Collection

December 1, 2018 ‑ March 30, 2019
Main Library – Lobby

Music and photography come together in this installation featuring black and white photographs by David D. Spitzer from the Jazz and Blues Musicians series from the MDPLS Permanent Art Collection. For almost four decades Spitzer has combined his passion for music with photography, amassing an extensive photographic negative and print archive of jazz and blues musicians. The photographs on exhibit capture the intensity and emotion of some of the most legendary jazz and blues musicians taken during their live performances between the early 1970s through the early 1990s.

David Spitzer is a Miami based photographer whose work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, books, periodicals, album covers and compact discs.

See more of Spitzer’s photographs in our Digital Collections.

In Partnership with HistoryMiami Museum’s Miami Street Photography Festival

Close up portrait of B.B. King playing live
B.B. King by David Spitzer, black and white photograph
From the Miami‑Dade Public Library System's Permanent Art Collection

Dressed Up
By Lisyanet Rodriguez and Elaine Vilar Madruga
Curated by Andrés Isaac Santana

November 3, 2018 - February 3, 2019
Main Library – 2nd Floor Gallery

Lisyanet Rodríguez is a metaphor and rootstock maker. Her work, at ease, enjoys a double condition: on one hand, the centralization of the admitted beauty as a clear drive, and on the other hand, the ascension of strangeness turned into the space in which the fruition of the unsettling is generated. Her works reveal themselves as authentic allegoric tapestries that do not invoke fiction exactly as one might think, but instead they approach her own life as a visual biography of what her childhood once was. These works should not only be read—or at least not just—as aesthetic formalizations narrating a great technical virtuosity. They should be read as a symbolic revelation of her personal and family story, as the emphatic treaty that registers all clues and hints of a certain existence, the snapshot of a present seeking to cross paths with the past. To the same extent I worship words and invite them to be a substantial member of my world, Lisyanet—in her own way—turns the fiction of art into the essence of life. She builds a private mythology that dwells at its own will and whim. The characters that inhabit this world with her seem freed from an odd land, from an island perhaps. The silence of their spaces and blindness disclose them stripped from their competencies and powers. These characters appear to speak out against stereotyped worlds, announcing their happiness while singing their confusing bitterness. Their lives fluctuate between the trivial and the mournful, the verbal density and epiphany.

From there, perhaps, that particular magnetism crosses through her imagery turning it into an ally for remembrance. Lisyanet, who is part of a generation that shares a derivative accent bearing certain sense of constant quoting, has attained something vital for an art piece’s consolidation and prevalence: the creation of a personal style based on the postulation of a personal and unique voice. She has been able to generate poetics per se. And none of this stems from the grandiloquence of anthropological searches or trendy pseudo conceptualisms that, from time to time, result in noisy caricatures of triviality—and vanity. In Lisyanet, said finding is indeed produced through an inquiry of her life’s passages.

Andrés Isaac Santana
Exhibition Curator

Abstract composition of two disproportionate female figures with overflowing hair, one without a face and the other with a long neck head bent to one side Abstract composition of disproportionate female with long arms view from the back

Dressed Up
Por Lisyanet Rodriguez y Elaine Vilar Madruga
Comisariado por Andrés Isaac Santana

3 de noviembre de 2018 - 3 de febrero de 2019
Main Library – Galería del segundo piso

Lisyanet Rodríguez es una hacedora de metáforas y de rizomas. Su obra, a sus anchas, goza de una doble condición: la centralización de la belleza confesada en tanto que pulsión manifiesta, de una parte; de otra, el encumbramiento de la extrañeza convertida en el espacio en el que se produce la fruición de lo inquietante. Sus piezas se revelan como auténticos tejidos alegóricos que no remiten precisamente a la ficción, como pudiera pensarse, sino que, por el contrario, se acercan a su propia vida a modo de biografía visual de lo que fue su infancia. Estas obras no deberían ser leídas solo, o no únicamente, como formalizaciones estéticas relatoras de un gran virtuosismo técnico. Deberían ser leídas, por el contrario, como revelaciones simbólicas de su historia personal y familiar, como el tratado enfático en el que se registran las pistas e indicios de una particular existencia, la radiografía de un presente que procura el cruce con el pasado. En la misma medida en que yo idolatro las palabras y las invito a formar parte sustancial de mi mundo; Lisyanet, a su manera, convierte la ficción del arte en esencia de vida, se forja una mitología privada que habita a su voluntad y a su antojo. Los personajes que, junto a ella, pueblan ese mundo, parecen liberados de una tierra extraña, una isla tal vez. El silencio de sus espacios y su ceguera, les revelan desprovistos de sus atributos y de sus prerrogativas. Esos personajes, en apariencia, se manifiestan contra los mundos estereotipados, anuncian su felicidad al tiempo que cantan sus amarguras confusas, sus vidas oscilan entre lo fútil y lo fúnebre, entre la densidad verbal y la epifanía.

De ahí, tal vez, ese particular magnetismo que atraviesa su imaginario y le convierte en aliado de la recordación. Lisyanet, que pertenece a una generación de acento epigonal con cierta recurrencia citacionista, ha logrado algo que es esencial para la consolidación y permanencia de una obra: la fundación de un estilo propio basado en la postulación de una voz personal y única. Ella ha conseguido generar, per se, una poética. Y nada de ello viene dado por la grandilocuencia de las búsquedas antropológicas o los pseudo conceptualismos de moda que a ratos resultan estridentes caricaturas de la banalidad (y de la vanidad). Ese hallazgo, en ella, se produce, precisamente, por medio de una indagación en los pasajes de su propia vida.

Andrés Isaac Santana
Curador de la exhibición

Abstract composition of two disproportionate female figures with overflowing hair, one without a face and the other with a long neck head bent to one side Abstract composition of disproportionate female with long arms view from the back

Christo and Jeanne‑Claude in Miami
The Library and the Surrounded Islands Project

Made possible by the MDPLS Permanent Art Collection and The Vasari Project

October 13, 2018 - February 28, 2019
Main Library – The Vasari Project Area

This retrospective exhibition combines works from the Miami‑Dade Public Library System’s Permanent Art Collection and The Vasari Project to delineate the Library’s involvement with the monumental art installation Surrounded Islands, created by Christo and Jeanne‑Claude in 1983. The selection of objects and prints combined with other visual ephemera tells the chronological history of the project from conception through the subsequent legal battles leading up to the project’s set up, and, finally, the legacy of Surrounded Islands. The complexity and scope of the ambitious pink floating art installation left profound marks on the community. Surrounded Islands gave Miami the international visibility and credibility that it deserved for a long time coming. Christo and Jeanne‑Claude transformed our beloved Biscayne Bay into a work of art, our beautiful islands shining pink in all their glory, transforming Miami forever.

Exhibition Highlights

Forget What is Not Worth Remembering
Artist Books Exhibition by Margarita Cano
Curated by Amy Galpin, Chief Curator, Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum

October 1, 2018 - February 15, 2019
Main Library – 2nd Floor

Closing Reception

Saturday, February 9, 2:00 ‑ 5:00 p.m.

Join us as we celebrate a fantastic exhibition of books created by librarian, artist and community culture activist Margarita Cano. On display, you’ll see a collection of artist books or the creative rendition of an artist’s vision of what a book could be when stretched by the imagination. Somewhere between a sketch book, a journal and an artistic creation, artist books give you a peek into the style and philosophy of an artist. From traditional bound books to cigar boxes, tennis balls, and everything in between, this exhibition of both Cano’s artist books and the MDPLS/Vasari collection of artist books will turn the metaphorical pages of what art can be into a fairy tale with a happy ending!

Young girl releaseing dove from a balcony overlooking el Malecon
Margarita Cano, Libertad en el Malecon, 2005, Mixed Media on Paper
From the Permanent Art Collection of the Miami‑Dade Public Library System

Venus Wounded
By Maikel Domínguez and Eduardo Herrera Baullosa
Curated by Andrés Isaac Santana

September 7, 2018 - February 3, 2019
Main Library – Lobby Gallery

Venus Wounded is the result of a collaboration and exchange between visual artist Maikel Domínguez and poet and writer Eduardo Herrera Baullosa. This exhibition proposes an approach to the female figure and the femininity dimension, substantiated as the leading element—or entity—within the narrative context that builds up links between the visual art and the literary text. An approach formulated from a feeling of oddness arising anytime we face the ontological reality of a different being: indistinctly wonderful, different and alien. In this way, Maikel’s paintings and Eduardo’s poems, focus our attention on the sinuous and ambiguous silhouettes of female characters, whose density and compactness challenge all model subjection. Somehow, the pieces gathered for this exhibition refer to a type of feminine and masculine duality or overlap which act as a metaphor of the artist’s own condition. As it relates to Maikel, the series is a nod in complicity to what has been—and is—his family experience, marked as it is by the impression and value of two female characters: his mother and his grandmother. In Eduardo’s case, there are clear signs of the same level of commitment and belonging, only that in this case that proximity to the topic is marked by absence. In both cases, artist and poet, outline a map in which gender ambiguity and the thickness of the intermediate, determine the conceptual biases of their respective poetics.

Venus Wounded
Por Maikel Domínguez y Eduardo Herrera
Comisariado por Andrés Isaac Santana

7 de septiembre de 2018 - 3 de febrero de 2019
Main Library – Galería del Vestíbulo

La exposición Venus Wounded, que resulta de la colaboración e intercambio entre el artista visual Maikel Domínguez y el poeta y escritor Eduardo Herrera Baullosa, propone un acercamiento a la figura femenina y a la dimensión de lo femenino, sustantivado como el elemento (o entidad) protagónico dentro del contexto narrativo que se teje entre la obra plástica y el texto literario. Una aproximación que se articula desde el sentimiento de extrañeza que se manifiesta siempre cuando nos enfrentamos a la realidad ontológica de un ser distinto: maravilloso, diferente y ajeno indistintamente. De tal suerte, las pinturas de Maikel; al igual que los poemas de Eduardo, focalizan la mirada sobre los perfiles sinuosos y ambiguos de personajes femeninos cuya densidad y espesura desatiendan cualquier sujeción al canon. Las piezas reunidas en esta muestra se refieren, de alguna manera, a esa especie de dualidad o de solapamiento de lo femenino y lo masculino como metáfora de la propia condición del artista. Por parte de Maikel, la serie establece guiños cómplices en lo relativo a lo que ha sido (y es) su experiencia familiar, marcada, como lo está, por la impronta y el valor de dos figuras femeninas: su madre y su abuela. En el caso de Eduardo se advierte el mismo nivel de compromiso y de pertenencia, solo que en esta ocasión esa cercanía al tema está marcada por la ausencia. En ambos casos, artista y poeta, prefiguran un mapa en el que la ambigüedad de género y el grosor de lo intermedio, determinan las predisposiciones conceptuales de sus respectivas poéticas.

Upcoming Exhibitions & Programs