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

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.

If I Am the Book, Then You Are the Words
An Exhibition of Young Miami Poets
Design by Noah Levy

April 7 - June 30, 2018
Main Library – Auditorium

If I Am the Book, Then You Are the Words is a series of posters created by O, Miami to be exhibited at Miami‑Dade Public Library System. Each poster features a short poetic excerpt written by a third or fourth grade student as part of O, Miami’s Sunroom Education Program. The program places professional poets‑in‑residence at four Miami‑Dade County Public Schools: Orchard Villa Elementary, Poinciana Park Elementary, Holmes Elementary and Emerson Elementary. The Sunroom teaches poetry as a means of self‑expression and uses public art projects to extend the reach of the students’ work.

About O, Miami

O, Miami celebrates Miami through the lens of its people and its poetry. With principal support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, O, Miami’s goal is for every single person in Greater Miami to encounter a poem. For more information and to see Sunroom students in action, visit omiami.org or follow O, Miami on Instagram and Twitter, using the handle @omiamifestival.

O,Miami Knight Foundation Logo
O, Miami Poster, The sun is made out of mango and I will drink the juice until it is done.

Faded Memories
By Yamel Molerio

April 2 - July 15, 2018
Hispanic Branch

Figurative with a strong sense of narration, the works of Yamel Molerio represent a lifetime of faded memories, like old photographs, sharing small pieces of something bigger. The pieces incorporate overlapping components of different size papers, canvas pieces, fabric and wood. The process is a reminder of old clothes and objects being patched up and used anew rather than be discarded. This is symbolic of how different events shape one’s life. “The stapling in some of the pieces represent stitches and scars of the past. The backgrounds of my paintings are filled with holes, peeling paint, cracks and different shades of gray and white—a reminder of the deplorable shape Cuba is in,” says Yamel Molerio. If walls could talk, they would also tell a story, and the distressed walls in Molerio’s works intend to express pain, abandonment and his distressed recollection of times and places passed.


Recuerdos Desvanecidos
Por Yamel Molerio

2 de abril - 15 de julio de 2018
Sucursal Hispanic

Figurativo con un fuerte sentido de la narración, las obras de Yamel Molerio representan una vida de recuerdos desvanecidos, como fotografías antiguas, compartiendo pedazos pequeños de algo más grande. Las piezas incorporan componentes superpuestos de papeles de diferentes tamaños, piezas de lona, tela y madera. El proceso es un recordatorio de ropa vieja y objetos que se remiendan y se usan de nuevo, en lugar de desecharse. Esto es simbólico de cómo diferentes eventos dan forma a la vida de uno. "Las grapas en algunas de las piezas representan puntadas y cicatrices del pasado. Los fondos de mis cuadros están llenos de agujeros, pintura descascarada, grietas y diferentes tonos de gris y blanco—un recordatorio de la forma deplorable en que se encuentra Cuba," dice Yamel Molerio. Si las paredes pudieran hablar, también contarían una historia, y las paredes angustiadas en las obras de Molerio pretenden expresar el dolor, el abandono y su recuerdo angustiado de los tiempos y lugares pasados.

Drawing of palm tree growing from a man's head Drawing of large fruit basket atop woman's head

Retratos del Criollismo
by Hugo Orezzoli

April 1 - July 29, 2018
Miami Beach Regional

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

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

Greetings from Miami
Postcard Series by DosJotas
Curated by Susan Caraballo

March 24 - July 14, 2018
Shenandoah Branch

Greetings from Miami consists of a set of postcards with the same format as tourist postcards from Miami. Artist DosJotas developed this work through a series of interviews with working immigrants living in the Greater Miami area during an artist residency at ArtCenter/South Florida and supported by Acción Cultural Española.

On the reverse side of the postcards, the worker’s life, experiences and memories illustrate the image on the front of the postcard. The idea of adopting the format of a tourist postcard reinforces the narrative capacity of power and how this product is stereotyped and designed for consumption by the immigrant of the north—the tourist. DosJotas’ version offers an insight into the “real” Miami composed largely of immigrants from all walks of life.

Photo of laundromat with red framing and Miami lower title

L00K at ME
by Thalya

March 5 - July 7, 2018
Pinecrest Branch

L00K at ME is the first solo show by Thalya who asks the audience to pay attention to the happy faces in her paintings. “All the figures have their eyes open and they are smiling at you,” says Thalya. She wants the audience to L00K up and discover all the mysteries that dance inside her head and onto her canvases. In this selection of paintings, Thalya was inspired by Goya’s Caprichos and has taken the same idea to create her often fantastical combinations by rendering different variations of her characters in one composition.

Artist Thalya Portrait

About the Artist
Thalya is 16 years old and was born in Miami, Florida. Her artistic endeavors are influenced by her vast array of traveling experiences. Thalya loves to express herself through any art form, including drawing, ceramics, movement and music. The arts and creative outlets serve as her biggest form of expression.

Abstract Painting of a Group of Happy People
Gathering, Thalya
Abstract Painting of a Couple
Couple, Thalya

Black Lounge Film Series
The Filmmaker Speakers Program

Fridays, March 16, April 20, May 11 & June 15
4 ‑ 5:30 p.m.

Culmer/Overtown Branch

MDPLS in partnership with the Black Lounge Film Series adds a new edition to its programming through a round of “talk back” sessions with four black filmmakers from around town and the world. Take a visual and oral journey of how they started and learn the secret to their success.

About Black Lounge Film Series (BLFS)

The Black Lounge Film Series is a monthly film program that brings award‑winning black films and their directors to Miami’s Historic Overtown neighborhood, creating a hub for the most talented filmmakers and legendary, thought‑provoking films about the African Diaspora experience.

Nefertite Nguvu on Film Set

Living Wood
Artesian Woodwork by Reginald Lachance

January 30 - May 31, 2018
West Dade Regional

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

Babble et al.
by Nick Gilmore

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

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

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