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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

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

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.

Make Beautiful!!!
…creating art across a spectrum of mediums

by Ryan Cacolici

August 23 - December 9
North Dade Regional

Mirrored print of a lion with a serpent in its mouth

This exhibition focuses on the fine art side of Ryan Cacolici’s unconventional and experimental approach to the visual realm. The Moksha Art Fair series is the product of a unique system developed by Cacolici, which consists of drawing or painting, then scanning or photographing and further manipulating the image with a computer to then print again and continue working over the top of the image in different mediums, including sometimes using just water to paint with the printed ink. This repetition of cycling from analog to digital back to analog and back to digital and compositing the layers gives the work an aesthetic that matches the themes and subjects therein: predominately apocalyptic visions where nature and technology merge on the same plane as primitive and ultramodern forms, blurring the lines of perception between the analog world and our increasingly digital environment, challenging the viewer to distinguish between the two.

“I am always asked about ‘what I do’ and find no simple explanation. People see my band and say, “Oh, you’re a musician?” No, but I do write and perform music. They see a painting and assume I’m a painter. Again, no, but I’ve been drawing and painting my entire life. After reading my book they say, “I didn’t know you were a writer…”

I am an artist. I don’t have the ability to confine my expression to just one medium. I have so many stories to tell and there are so many ways for me to tell them. We all face a horizon to this life and I’ve always thought it important to leave only beautiful artifacts in my wake. This effort to ‘Make Beautiful’; in this world is what inspired my book title, “Permanence is a Ghost We Chase.” I intend for my beauty to distract people from their own ghosts if only for a moment.”

– Ryan Cacolici

Valley of Tears
On the probability of disillusion and other disenchantments

by Oliver Sanchez

August 11 - December 29, 2018
Miami Beach Regional Library – Lobby Gallery

Someone once said coincidence is fate. This may be true as it does begin to explain how seemingly unrelated circumstances and events are interwoven in a grand quantum kabuki collision of cause and effect. We grapple to find meaning in a glut of information. Often, disillusion gives way to promise and new opportunity for accepting trust in nature and spirit. This exhibition features anecdotal chronicles, painting montages, photographs and a variety of ephemera that are physical depictions of the disenchantments that often lurk beyond our gaze.

Chaotic murder scene comprised of a painting mosaic Old desaturated image of NY subway trian covered in graffitti

The Barbers of Miami and Havana: Relations Not Cut
by Phil Eidenberg‑Noppe

August 11 - December 21, 2018
Hispanic Branch

Barbershops are places where community, culture and identity thrive. They are also places where there are connections between people on many levels. This exhibit takes you inside several Cuban American barbershops in the Miami area and several Cuban barbershops in Havana to allow you to see for yourself how much goes on besides people getting haircuts. Regardless of the ever‑shifting governmental politics and policies of the two countries, the connections between people are strong and relations are not cut!

About the Artist
Phil Eidenberg‑Noppe is a Seattle‑based photographer specializing in cultural documentary and abstract “impressionist” photography. He shoots with available light on‑site at locations ranging from urban barbershops to remote elk fields. Having been an environmental scientist for close to 30 years (a hydrologist focusing on rivers and streams), he thrives on in‑depth investigation and strives to convey the details and nuance of what is going on below the surface.

Phil believes that how people view life is grounded in their identities—the stories people tell themselves individually and collectively, which then affects how people live their lives. Identity in turn is a function of history, environment, time and place. All of this is expressed in the diversity of thought, expression and interaction of world cultures. Exploring and manifesting this belief is a primary motivation in Phil’s work.

Barberos de Miami y la Habana: Relaciones que no se cortan
Por Phil Eidenberg‑Noppe

11 de agosto - 21 de diciembre de 2018
Sucursal de bibliotecas hispana

Las barberías son lugares en los que florece la comunidad, la cultura y la identidad y son lugares también donde se establecen conexiones entre las personas a muchos niveles. Esta muestra nos lleva a varias barberías cubano‑americanas en el área de Miami y a varias barberías en la Habana para que pueda ver por sí mismo qué más sucede en ellas aparte del corte del cabello. A pesar de las constantes cambiantes políticas gubernamentales de ambos países, ¡las conexiones entre las personas son fuertes y las relaciones no se cortan!

Sobre el artista
Phil Eidenberg‑Noppe es un fotógrafo que reside en Seattle y se especializa en documentales culturales y fotografía abstracta “impresionista”. Eidenberg‑Noppe toma sus fotos con la luz disponible en los lugares, desde barberías urbanas hasta campos de alces. Luego de trabajar como cientíífico ambientalista cerca de 30 años (hidrólogo con especial interés en ríos y arroyos), lleva a cabo investigaciones profundas y se esfuerza por transmitir los detalles y matices de lo que sucede debajo dela superficie.

Phil considera que la percepción de la vida que tienen las personas se basa en su identidad, en las historias que las personas cuentan individual y colectivamente, que luego influyen en cómo las personas viven. A su vez, la entidad es un relato de historia, medioambiente, momento y lugar. Todo esto se expresa en la diversidad de pensamientos, expresiones e interacción de las culturas del mundo. Explorar y manifestar esto es la principal motivación de la obra de Phil.

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

Upcoming Exhibitions & Programs

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

December 1 ‑ 31, 2018
Main Library – Lobby

Lunchtime Live! Jazz and Blues Performances and Talks
Hosted by Carter Jackson‑Brown from WDNA 88.9 FM’s Jazz Show Brainville

Wednesdays, December 5, 12 and 19
Noon ‑ 2:00 p.m.

Main Library

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