The Stories Cities Tell

Earlier today I was driving through what many would deem a crummy neighborhood—a ghetto. The streets were cracked and pocked with potholes. The buildings were littered in graffiti. A group of old men caught my eye as I was stopped at a stop sign. They were perched on the street corner in cheap plastic chairs playing a game of dominoes. I’m guessing one of them won big because he was in the process of laughing at the guy across from him, who was cursing in creole. I don’t know creole, but I know he was cursing. I think it was their laughing—their utter sense of ease that caused me to take another look at the neighborhood. It wasn’t such an ugly place at that moment. It was actually quite beautiful.

About a month back, our Aesthetics and Values class (the class responsible for putting together the exhibition in April) met up at the Perez Art Museum in downtown Miami. If you haven’t been to the Perez Art Museum you should go. The place is unbelievably relaxing, and they have plenty of beautiful and interesting art. At the museum, we met up with Adler Guerrier—a Port-au-Prince native who moved to Miami at a young age. If you attended the Aesthetics and Values Exhibit last year you might be familiar with his work. During our visit at the Perez, Guerrier had an exhibit featuring his work. The collection contained a wide array of art that employed urban elements to make a statement. There was photography, sculptures, printmaking, signs, and even mixtures of all those elements. His use of typography was especially interesting. Guerrier said that he likes print for the multiplicity of the medium. The idea behind print was that it was designed to communicate to the masses, while painting is a singular entity that is somewhat limited in viewership.

Alder at the Perez

Guerrier feels that cities have stories to tell, and it is his job to bring those stories out in different ways and from different viewpoints—for that is what cities do, in their signs, in the cracks the of their streets, and the words etched in paint across their walls.

I encourage all of you to take a closer look at the cities and towns you live in. The neighborhoods you’ve played in. What are the stories they tell?

Help Make the Exhibition Happen!

Hey all,

In just a few months, the Frost Art Museum at FIU will host the Aesthetics & Values Exhibition. Opening night will be on April 15th. We want this event to be absolutely amazing, and free to the community. We are currently raising money in order to make it happen, and you can help.

Last week, we had a book sale outside of the Green Library. Thanks to you guys, the sale was a success. We will be holding another sale in the same place tomorrow at 11am. There will be various novels (fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, romance, fantasy, etc.), and textbooks for sale.

If you can’t make it out to the book sale visit our “Go Fund Me” page and make a donation. Any type of donation, big or small, helps. Here’s the link:

We look forward in seeing you on opening night!

The Exhibition is almost here!

Hello FIU! I’m sure many of you are enjoying the current term—all that studying, and all them papers due within the first few weeks of the semester—you must be loving it. However, despite all that hard work, the semester is moving right along; it’s almost that half way point already. That also means that the 2015 Aesthetics and Values Art Exhibition is right around the corner! Pretty soon, the school will be littered with flyers for the event. Your colleges are going to be talking about it, and your teachers will be raving about it. And that’s nice, but what we really want is for you to think about it. From its very start, art has been used as a way of expressing one’s self. It has been used to reveal the beauty of the world, to communicate across time, to suppress whole nations and liberate others. Art has been used to expose certain truths, to expand one’s mind, and to speak up when no one else seems to hear.

What does art mean to you?

Join in on the discussion.   April 15 – May 10 @ the Frost Art Museum.

Wynwood: A Concrete Forest

If you’ve never been there, Wynwood is one of those places that you hear about all the time–and you hear good things–but you can never appreciate the things you hear unless you’ve been there. Wynwood is like your everyday run of the mill ghetto after a nuclear bomb of art and cognitive genius exploded in the middle of it. I have never been there before going there last week with my fellow A&V’ers, but, by the beard of Gandalf, it was awesome. I wasn’t prepared for all the creativity sprayed along the sides of the buildings. I had no idea that everywhere I stepped would be on one form of artistic expression or another. Instead of going on and on about what I saw, maybe showing you a few photos will help you picture the place with a bit more accuracy.

click to embiggen

click to embiggen

Or maybe this.


Who am I kidding. I’ve seen photos like this. Look, just go. Trust me.

During our visit, we visited a number of galleries. Now we happened to go on a 2nd Saturday (the 2nd Saturday of the month). I always heard that this was the best time to go because some galleries give out free drinks, and the crowd is bigger and crazier, but while we were there we learned the 2nd Saturday’s aren’t particularly a good thing for the galleries. They tend to attract the wrong crowd–people who may not be all that interested in art–and drives away collectors or serious buyers. It is a common thing in Wynwood for a particular gallery to open one day and close its doors a year later. Generating enough income from selling art and, at the same time, keep the gallery afloat is not easy. Because of this, some of the galleries actually close early. The fact that 2nd Saturday’s actually hurt a gallery’s business is kind of sad. Especially since we WERE there on a 2nd Saturday, and we were having all kinds of fun.

So, if you’re planning on going to Wynwood anytime soon. Try going when the crowds are light and the galleries are open. I, for one, recommend stopping by the Oxenberg Art gallery. The owners happened to be there when we visited and they showed us around the gallery, explaining the different pieces of art displayed there. They even let us see some of the art they had in their office, which was really nice. This was there:

By Heriberto Mora

By Heriberto Mora

I thought it was beautiful. Apparently he is sometimes inspired by poetry like this:


Pretty awesome right. You can checkout more pics of Wynwood in our gallery, but I recommend going and seeing it for yourself.

Art & Aesthetics 2014-2015

Another year of Art & Aesthetics is here! Yes, that means there will be another awesome art exhibition at the Frost Art Museum. Yes, it also means that you will get to see all kinds of pictures and hear all kinds of stories of our adventures to cool and interesting places. However, beyond all that lies a learning experience that is both valuable and rare. The students taking Art & Aesthetics this year will learn about art, its history, and how it is used as a social language. They will experience art first hand by visiting various art venues. Students will also meet with widely recognized local artists in order to show their work during the exhibition. And speaking of the exhibition, everything will be done by the students; fundraising, public relations, and even the installation of the artwork that will be shown during the exhibit.

We hope to see you at the exhibit next year; where we all can be inspired by the creative works assembled there, and marvel at the things they say.