For the past four years, professors and alumni associated with the University of Miami Art Department have created pieces for display in the Miami Art Museum’s Professors and Alumni Exhibit.
The exhibition, which features 55 artists and 64 works of art, debuted on August 24 and will run until December 11. The exhibition presents regularly every four years and brings together pieces created by current professors of the Art Department, emeritus professors and former students of the Art Department.
Jason Shaiman, curator of exhibitions in Miami, said the exhibit has no theme, so artists can submit any piece they’ve created in the past four years.
“Very often our exhibits have a specific theme,” Shaiman said. “This exhibition allows people to come in and see art more for the sake of art and not have to consider how works respond to a concept or theme.”
Because there is no theme, artists are encouraged to create pieces outside of their usual mediums. The exhibition presents different types of art, from paintings to sculptures to fashion.
“There is such a variety of abstract, as well as figurative, works and a wide range of media,” Shaiman said. “Everything from woodwork to ceramics, including photography, engraving, painting. Everyone has different interests in art and different styles, and I think this show really represents that. ”
The Professors and Alumni Exhibit is one of Shaiman’s favorites, as it is a chance for current Miami students to see the work of alumni as well as their teachers’ pieces.
“This is a unique opportunity for people to see the work of faculty and alumni because in most cases alumni, once they graduate, continue to do other things and don’t really have the opportunity. to present their work here, and most professors do not show up at their home institution, ”Shaiman said.
Olivia De Leon, a major junior in art studio in Miami, said she had seen the show twice since it opened. De Leon enjoyed the exhibit because she has personal connections with many teachers who have work exhibited.
“I had all of these teachers, so it was really interesting to see their work,” De Leon said. “It was really nice to see that they are practicing artists and not just teaching it.”
De Leon thinks that it is important for art students to visit the exhibition because it is a chance to see the techniques that his teachers explain in class.
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“A lot of what they teach in the classroom I have seen as an example through their work,” said De Leon. “My painting teacher, Dana Saulnier, has always talked a lot about color and mixing colors, and when I saw her piece, I was like, ‘Oh, that makes sense. “”
Dana Saulnier, art workshop teacher in painting, presents two pieces from different mediums in the exhibition.
His painting, “End of November”, was created in 2019 and depicts a landscape with themes of tragedy. His sculpture, “Untitled”, was created at the start of the pandemic. In dialogue with painting, the sculpture is based on the landscape and also raises tragic themes.
This is Saulnier’s fourth exhibition at the Faculty and Graduate Exhibition, and he plans to return at the next. Saulnier thinks the exhibit is a great way to showcase art created in Miami.
“I think often art is invisible in Miami, and I want viewers to see the vitality that is in alumni work and the work that is faculty,” Saulnier said. “I think it’s important that viewers can see the range of choices, the range of accomplishments and the high quality of work that is going on here.”
Jack Green, director of the art museum, said the work of the arts department, dance department and the Emerging Technology in Business and Design (ETBD) major has come through the exhibition, but Green encourages all students to visit the museum to see the accomplishments of the students, faculty and staff.
“I hope they get a feel for the creative output of the University of Miami,” Green said. “I hope they will find some joy and opportunity for reflection in the works.
Green hopes the exhibition will inspire current students to submit their work in the future and encourage faculty to present their work.
“We hope that through this exhibition, she will encourage support and future contribution,” said Green. “We hope to engage with many more artists and I hope more will come back or join us for this opportunity in the future.”