The Department of Art + Art History, with the support of the Berkowitz Contemporary Foundation, opened a student-run art gallery in Miami Beach. This student-run visual arts gallery provides our visual art students the opportunity to create, exhibit, curate, and even sell their artwork. This will allow students the opportunity not only to hone their craft but to learn the business side of the art world.

Musings MFA Exhibition March 2022

The Department of Art + Art History is pleased to present Musings

Opening Reception March 10th, 5PM to 8:30PM

Gallery Hours:

Wednesday: 2:00pm-7:00pm  Thursday: 2:00pm-7:00pm  Friday: 2:00pm-7:00pm  Saturday: 11:00am-4:00pm

Julia Alekseeva

Artist Statement

In my work I investigate big themes: gender and body. My art practice is motivated by totalitarianism, patriarchy, and inequality in Russian culture. I am thinking about gender stereotypes, the woman’s role, the unpaid domestic labor, about how the woman should be looked and how she would like to look, about the transmission, from generation to generation of bias. My observations as a Russian woman on gender equity in Russia and compared to the US culture is an important area of ongoing investigation for my art.

Julia Alekseeva Private Property

Private property, digital photo, 13in x 19in

Julia Alekseeva Flexibility

Flexibility , digital photo, 13in x 19in

Max Eisenberg

Artist Statement

Claudia Newman

Artist Statement

My work consists of representational images in which I interpret my perception of light and color around me. Currently I am studying the figure and trying to capture its linear harmony and to create a personal and visually engaging interpretation of what I see. Realism is the style and approach that best fits my work and personality, therefore my work relies heavily on observation and drawing.

Claudia Newman Nude Studies 1

“Nude Studies 1” 18″ x 24″, oil on canvas

Claudia Newman Nude Studies 2

“Nude Studies 2” 18″ x 24″, oil on canvas

Emma Ortiz

Artist Statement

In the warmth of natural light, Emma treats each painting like a diary entry. Focusing around the relationship between intuition, creating shapes and mixing color. These steps in making work have become methods in which she depicts moods from within and from the world around her. Both self-portraits and narratives, the pieces tell stories of balance, finding peace and trusting yourself.

Emma Ortiz i
Emma Ortiz II

Melina Tsalikis

Artist Statement

Melina Tsalikis is a mixed media artist that uses elements of collage and installation to create vibrant, abstracted pieces. She draws inspiration from the texture of her materials like foam, plastic, and paper and aims to use these materials to imbue the audience with a somesthetic experience. The colors and subject matter of her work evokes notions of adolescence and coming of age, and she is visually informed by the aesthetics of pre- and post- Millennium culture from the late 90s and early 2000s. These perceptual pieces are made to develop a visual language that utilizes texture, bright colors, and patterns to transport individuals into a headspace that calls to mind another time, one that feels light-hearted and playful.

Melina Tsalikis

Brandi Long

Artist Statement

A flower blooms

As do I…

I wait, as waits the summer sky

Until the clouds go by

And a new day begins.

Implacable is my Love…

Thy foes may be seduced and teased

Teased like the kiss of dew on fresh spring leaves.

 know my soul is forever wild and free

Brandi Long 1

“Walk on The Wild Side”, 12 x 24″, Oil on canvas, 2021

Brandi Long 2

“Even Flowers Take Time to Bloom”, 24 x 20″, Oil on canvas, 2021

Brandi Long 3

“Where ever Light Plants you, Bloom with Grace”, 30 x 48″, oil on canvas, 2021

Brandi Long 4

“Daydreamer”, 30 x 40″, oil on canvas, 2021

John Colon

Artist Statement

‘Anonymous faces, public spaces’ mask project is a work spanning more than twenty years of images never before shown. Taken during the late 90’s while traveling from Manhattan to Staten Island on the ferry. During the passage, I happened upon men having anonymous sexual encounters with each other in the men’s rest room of the ferry.

I approached the men, asking for their consent but obscuring their identity. These images were taken during a period when HIV/AIDS was still a pandemic and sex between men in certain demographics still considered taboo and unspoken.

Today’s world seems so far distant from that time. Social media now allows everyone a platform to speak their mind, regardless of consequence. This work speaks of subjects never uttered.

John Colon 1

Erasure,2021, 90 x 44 inches, mixed media on paper

John Colon 2

Untitled (tapiz #1),2020, dimensions variable,silicone, gauze, spray paint, acrylic,

Heather Kostrna

Artist Statement

Heather Kostrna is an MFA candidate at Florida International University. She is currently in her 2nd year. Heather’s body of work focuses on mindfulness and environmental issues. Most of this work is done in ceramic in the form of wheel thrown and carved lanterns as a daily reminder to take a second to be mindful and focused on the moment. She also creates animal sculptures using recycled plastic straws to create sculptural work that brings awareness to the problem of pollution caused by single use plastics that end up in the ocean and damage the environment and harming the animals that reside there. These sculptures also promote reusing and recycling these existing plastics so that they do not negatively impact the environment. Creating these pieces are mindful, focused, and intentional practices in and of themselves. These landscape oil paintings are all from places she has been with family. These happy memories are meant to inspire others to travel from the beaten path and seek out hidden beauty. Our world has such wonderful natural enclaves that we should enjoy and strive to protect. These pieces are capturing this beauty and sharing it with the world, while encouraging us to do our part in protecting it. These paintings are an extension of my eco-focused projects.

Heather Kostrna French Chateau

French Chateau, 11 x 14, Oil on Canvas

Heather Kostrna Ekana River

Ekana River, 18 x 24, Oil on Canvas

Rebecca Lopera

Artist Statement

I find inspiration in people and in small things, I´m inspired by the sensitive, the things that change. I´m attracted to the poetic and the deeper feelings of the human experience. Through my artistic practices and the use of various materials, My hope/aim is to bring people closer. I see art as a conduit, therefore installation and performance become a mode of communication .

Rebeca Lopera

7 Days, Dimensions Variable

Wendy X. Ordóñez

Artist Statement

I’m interested in exploring color through the sensory experience of painting. My compositions are meant to tell a sensuous story through curves and creamy brushstrokes that reflect an innate femininity, and that aim to transmit to the viewer the feelings I felt during my creative process. In Baudelaire’s words, I aim to be a “painter of my own time.” I want to capture memories, people, and ephemeral moments of daily life through hard-earned painting skills.

Wendy Ordonez On the Kitchen Counter

“On the Kitchen Counter”, 24”x36”, Oil on canvas

Elizabeth Pino

Artist Statement

Symbols are a powerful thing, we are driven to read nonverbal clues as we grow up, roses mean love, balloons are a celebration, black cats bring bad luck, etc. In a world where icons, logos, and colors give us an extended knowledge of the commemoration, dangers, or pleasures we will encounter along our way. I find them alluring to question our fears. Their overwhelming reciprocation of romanticizing death and criminalizing life. Thus, I based this almost primal knowledge in my paintings, a collage of directional aims to guide to the senses of familiar images, butterflies, skulls, and apples narrating a circular timeline of life and death.

Elizabeth Pino La Dolce Morte

“La Dolce Morte”

Elizabeth Pino Acies Vitae

 “Acies Vitae”

Diego Waisman

Artist Statement

I use images to explore questions related to displacement, identity, and memory. They are a vehicle of exploration of the time and place we inhabit. I utilize autobiographical threads to inform larger universal fields of experience. I’m interested in the development of topographies through documentary photography to slow down both the rapid changes and contradictions of the urban landscape. The construction of narratives helps me contextualize what is intangible, such as the loss of memory.

Diego Waisman Topography 2

Topography 2