Few people may realize that Miami-Dade College’s Art Gallery System has more than 1,600 artworks in its permanent collection. But they’ve sometimes been hard to find and see. That could be about to change as the college transitions into the freshly named new MDCGalleries of Art + Design and the MDC Museum of Art + Design, which will be permanently housed in the previously underused historic Freedom Tower in Downtown. To inaugurate the museum, which they want to vault into a major art destination for Miami, with international exhibits interspersed with displays of the collection, the tower will host two solo shows from national artists. (It will open on Sept. 6, coinciding with another inaugural event, the DWNTWN Art Days extravaganza, but more on that in another post).
Kansas City-based photographer Jaime Warren’s “The WHOAS of Female Tragedy” is a pop-referenced collaged series of self-portraits of the artist, whose works have been shown all over the globe and been published in numerous publications. She’s also a performance artist, which comes through in many of the works, which include the use of theatrical makeup, props and masks. She also is the “director” of a faux public access TV show, “Whoop De Do.”
The second solo outing comes from New York-based painter Elena Sisto, “Between Silver Light and Orange Shadow.” Like Warren, this is a grouping of works created over the last decade that are somewhat autobiographical in feel. Sisto, currently an instructor of painting and drawing at the School of Visual Arts in New York, will give a lecture to kick off the show at 1 p.m. on Sept. 6.
MDC is now also home the Cintas Foundation Fellows Collection. Every year, the Cintas awards the not inconsiderable sum of $10,000 to a visual artist of Cuban heritage, and the collection of works have piled up. Parts of it are on view until Oct. 5 in “Shutter: Selected Photography and Film from the Cintas Foundation Fellows Collection,” which features 40 works in this genre from the likes of Luis Gispert and Gladys Triana. The famous Freedom Tower is filling up.
“The WHOAS of Female Tragedy” runs through Oct. 27 and “Between Silver Light and Orange Shadow” runs through Nov. 2 at the MDC Museum of Art + Design at the Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd.., Miami; 305-237-7700; www.mdc.edu.