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Tuesday April 1, 2008

FIU MFA show

An MFA in art is serious business. Not only does it mean you’re serious about this stuff and you intend to spend your life making art (75% of fine art BFAs make no attempt to have a career as an artist*), but you should have your act together, and be making serious work that can be judged at the highest levels. Right? So. Here’s the latest crop out of FIU, one of Miami’s better art programs.

fiu mfa show 2008

Harumi Abe is a friend of mine, but I don’t think I’m being unfair to say that she stole the show. Her paintings popped off the wall, and they’re both hyper-real and completely mundane. You know that line Franklin used to kick around his footer, the one about the painting of a carrot starting a revolution? We’re getting close here.

fiu mfa show 2008

So, I’m given to understand that there’s some technical difference in Fred Karrensberg’s work that makes it incorrect to say that he’s the obvious protege of Bill Burke, but you could do worse then to be just that. These pieces are mysterious and rich, and one even managed to combine cast glass and video without being laughable. (But I wouldn’t recommend trying that again.)

fiu mfa show 2008

Dan Mintz has been working on this body of work, photos of his son, for years, and it’s come together spectacularly. Cheers, Dan (although might I suggest a middle initial or something, because there may be a google problem lurking). Photography always suffers in hastily-re-photographed reproduction, but I’ve managed to mangle this piece more then usual. Apologies; I assure you the original was crisp and masterfully printed.

fiu mfa show 2008

Angelica Clyman. Here’s where we start to get into trouble. I understand about the carrot and everything, and Clyman obviously has the light thing figured out, but her attempts to convey spirituality and deepness through images of a couple hanging out outdoors

fiu mfa show 2008

I also wasn’t completely convinced by the work of Chaitra Garrick. Based on stories told to her by her grandmother, they’re charmingly crude mixed-media drawings of people and animals in peculiar situations. The best of them exude a sort of iconic charm, and maybe Garrick will find a way to harness more of that in future work.

A video by Maria Lino was also in the show. The exhibition is up through April 12th, and I’d recommend making the trip to check it out. The university also published a very nice catalog.

I made this number up. But I’d batcha it’s close.


Wednesday June 27, 2007

FIU and UM have a new program in place that allows students of either school to attend classes at both. But wait: it only applies to Doctoral-level students. What’s up with that?


Tuesday June 19, 2007

Marty Margulies is taking back his sculpture collection, which has been on loan to FIU since 1994. Why? One possibility is that it’s fallout from the MAM building flap (Margulies opposes the building, and a prominent FIU trustee is also a trustee at the museum). But my inside sources (!) have a different story: FIU has been taking crappy care of the outdoor sculptures. They have often been rusty, and on one occasion, a construction bulldozer supposedly backed into one of them. BTW, I still have yet to hear an explanation of why Margulies opposes the new MAM building that makes sense to me. Anyone??


Tuesday December 26, 2006


The caption to this picture reads “Many people talk on their cell phones an awful lot. The threat of cancer does not intimidate this young lady. Note the tight pants and chancletas.” Here’s what chellybelly has to say about “chancletas:”

A word for flip flops or other type of slip on, inexpensive sandal. Only SoFla people ever know what I mean when I say it. The word is Spanish Slang Cuban and Carribean [sic] influenced. Miami girls wear them everywhere in the 00’s. Also called Chanks, or Chanx.

The image is from the photostream of humhooter, who has another great picture here.


Friday November 10, 2006

“More importantly, we discussed the university’s apparent ability to receive as much as $100 million for the naming rights… We therefore request that my name be removed from the FIU College of Medicine and suggest that it be renamed for the donor that makes the $100 million donation to the collegue. It would be selfish for us not to extend this financial opportunity to the university.” (link to letters, via SotP/a)


Monday June 26, 2006

FIU changes its mind about a Metrorail stop after a week of negative publicity and public opinion.


Monday June 19, 2006

FIU refuses Metrorail stop

Larry reports that there’s a problem with the planning of a Metrorail East/West line. Seems that FIU is refusing to allow the last stop to be built on its campus. This is completely insane on a number of levels, and the fact that the FIU administration is sticking to it does not bode well for the U’s future. What’s more, they’re refusing to even comment about their reasoning.

Well, I say they’re taxpayer funded, and mostly attended by locals, and they have to do what we say. Maybe a phone call or two (305-348-2111) to FIU’s (soon to be grossly overpaid) president would help.

Meanwhile, I’m glad to see that something like what I want is in the works for Metrorail. I still say connect it up with Miami Beach, though. There again, residents have to speak up and not let backwards-looking forces kill the deal.

Bonus chuckle: check out the multiple redundant headings on the page with Larry’s column: “Larry Lebowitz / Streetwise / STREETWISE BY LARRY LEBOWITZ / Metrorail project stopped in its tracks / By Larry Lebowitz /” And in case you forget, his name is repeated again at the end, this time with a different e-mail address. LOLz Herald!


Wednesday June 14, 2006

FIU president’s salary to jump to $542,600. This is an embarrassment; my friends just graduated from the BFA program there, and the freaking Fine Arts department couldn’t even scrape together a thousand dollars to print them a little catalog of their work. Folks who’ve had experiences with other departments talk about the poor management that goes on at all levels. I mean, they waited years to build a couple of parking garages, meanwhile rabidly ticketing students who tried to eke out a parking space here or there.


Thursday April 27, 2006

FIU BFA Spring Exhibition 2006

Ross Harris,  pumpkins, oil on canvas, 5x8 in., 2005 (from ongoing series)

This Friday is the reception for FIU’s latest batch of art majors. You might think that the school would publish a little brochure, maybe with an image of each of their work, or at least do up a little web site, but you’d be wrong.

Well, my pals Ross Harris, GisMo, and Silvia Llopis are in the show, as are Lisa Ashinoff, Kathleen Bulger, Reneé Cagnina, Gary Fonseca, Javier Gonzalez, Andrew C. Horton, Efren Izquierdo, Kelly Kuylen, Luisa Maria Mesa, Adam Pedrone, Laura Ploude, Danielle Rottler, Nicole Soden, Donna Lee Steffens, and David Tamargo.

FIU runs a decent art program, and the show will be worth checking out (even if it sounds like a lot of work to cram into the Frost’s space). By the way, please let me know if there is an applicable web link for any of these artists that I missed.