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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

Green Alien Invasion
By Edwin Villasmil

June 15 - December 27
West Dade Regional

This artistic educational environmental program is dedicated to the family where art is used as an educational tool. Eco‑Art or Ecological Art is a contemporary form of environmental art that is used as a tool to sensitize people to environmental concerns. Eco‑Art exhibitions and workshops are a path to communicate, stimulate dialogue, educate and contribute to social transformation. Eco‑Art informs and interprets nature and its processes and educates us about problems and solutions. For this exhibition we use extraterrestrials, a common theme in science fiction stories, comic books, video games and films that take place on other planets in the future, and that make use of scientific devices and other things that are real or imagined. Most of the time aliens invade Earth either to exterminate and supplant human life, steal the planet’s resources or destroy the planet altogether. But there are also friendly aliens coming in peace and green aliens saving the earth and the galaxy from pollution.

Artist Bio
Edwin Villasmil is a Venezuelan‑American artist, educator and activist. He began his artistic career in theater and drawing. After undertaking a trip for observation and study through Europe and North Africa, he developed a series of environmental projects. Villasmil has investigated the relationship among art, society, and nature. He has been honored with important awards, honors, and grants. His artworks are in museums, foundations, private and public collections, and he has had several publications and renowned critics review his works. Since 2004, he has been living in Miami, where he has been developing environmental‑art exhibitions and workshops.

Invasión de Extraterrestres Verde
Por Edwin Villasmil

15 de junio - 27 de diciembre
Biblioteca West Dade Regional

Este es un programa artístico, educativo, ambiental (Eco‑Arte) dedicado a la familia y donde el arte es utilizado como herramienta. Eco‑Arte o Arte Ecológico es una contemporánea forma de arte ambientalista el cual es utilizado como herramienta para sensibilizar a las personas acerca de situaciones ambientales. La exhibición y talleres de Eco‑Arte son una vía para comunicar, estimular el diálogo, educar y contribuir con la transformación social. Eco‑Arte informa e interpreta la naturaleza y sus procesos, y nos educa acerca de sus problemas y soluciones. Los extraterrestres son un tema común en cuentos de ciencia ficción, suplementos, video juegos y películas los cuales tienen lugar en otros planetas y en el futuro, y que utilizan dispositivos científicos y otras cosas reales o imaginarias. La mayoría de las veces los extraterrestres invaden la Tierra bien sea para exterminar y suplantar la vida humana, robar los recursos del planeta o destruirlo totalmente. Pero también existen amigables extraterrestres que vienen en paz y extraterrestres ambientalistas que llegan para salvar la Tierra y la galaxia de la contaminación humana.

Artist Bio
Edwin Villasmil es un artista, educador y activista venezolano‑americano, comenzó su carrera artística dibujando y en el teatro. Luego de un viaje de observación y estudio por Europa y el norte de África, desarrolla una serie de proyectos ambientalistas. Villasmil ha investigado sobre la relación entre arte, sociedad y naturaleza. Ha sido honrado con importantes honores, premios, becas y bolsas de trabajo, sus obras de arte están en museos, fundaciones y en colecciones públicas y privadas, figura en varias publicaciones y renombrados críticos han reseñado su obra. Desde 2004 ha estado viviendo en Miami donde ha estado desarrollando exhibiciones y talleres de arte ambientalistas.

Illustration of Biomechanical Creature
Illustration of Biomechanical Creature
Illustration of Biomechanical Creature
Illustration of Biomechanical Creature

Shared Visions
By 7 Plus One Art Project

June 9 - October 9, 2018
Main Library – 2nd Floor Gallery

Shared Visions brings together the recent work of 14 local and international abstract artists. Though each has different artistic motivations, consistent elements exist that tie the works together as a succinct collection. The 7 Plus One Art Project unites individuals of various cultures, ethnicities, experiences, generations, genders and religions. Some of the artists have been formally trained in art history and visual arts, while others come from different professional fields, such as architecture, medicine and education. The project has been such a success that it has continued to add artists to its repertoire with each exhibition.

The artwork included in the exhibit is multidisciplinary in nature, and encourages the viewer to note similarities between abstract artists and identify the many paths that may develop from a similar starting language – from one shared vison.

Mixed Media Artwork, Happy is Always Good
MaiYap Happy is Always Good, Mixed Media on Paper
Shared Visions, 7 Plus One Art Project

Portable Memories in Rising Seas
By FIFTY-FIFTY artist collective

April 21 - July 22, 2018
Main Library – Lobby

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, July 19, Noon - 2 p.m.
Main Library, Lobby Gallery

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.

Retratos del Criollismo
By Hugo Orezzoli

April 1 - July 29, 2018
Miami Beach Regional

Closing Reception

Thursday, July 26, 5:30‑7:30 p.m.

Artist Hugo Orezzoli’s mission is to document—with the help of memories, imagination, and use of color—the characters and traditions that are slowly fading from the culture where he was raised in Lima, Peru. The intention is to present images that characterize criollismo (customs and traditions specific to certain Latin American cultures) and to tell a story through each of the paintings. What started as a hobby has become a commitment to tell the stories of the people and places from his native culture. Orezzoli’s works invite you to stay, to see the character and know as much as possible about him or her.

Retratos del Criollismo
Por Hugo Orezzoli

1 de abril - 29 de julio de 2018
Miami Beach Regional

Recepción de cierre

jueves, 26 de julio, 5:30‑7:30 p.m.

La misión del artista Hugo Orezzoli es documentar—con la ayuda de los recuerdos, la imaginación y el uso del color—los personajes y las tradiciones que se desvanecen lentamente de la cultura en la que creció en Lima, Perú. La intención es presentar imágenes que caractericen el criollismo y contar una historia a través de cada una de las pinturas. Lo que comenzó como un pasatiempo se ha convertido en un compromiso para contar las historias de las personas y lugares de su cultura nativa. Las obras de Orezzoli te invitan a quedarte, a ver al personaje y saber tanto como sea posible sobre él o ella.

Painting Depicting Musicians of Latin Culture
Los Criollos, Hugo Orezzoli
Painting of An Ice Cream Vendor from Latin Culture
El Heladero, Hugo Orezzoli

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