ricardo-lima_art_web.jpgMIAMI — Residents of Miami-Dade County have always appreciated art in all its form and splendor; from the nights out at the symphony to the exhibits at the museum. It is no surprise, then, that when the residents became the artists, the outcome was extraordinary.

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is hosting a series of public exhibitions of new visual art, featuring pieces by the county’s youngest and oldest residents.

The exhibit series kicked off May 31 with an opening reception at the Peacock Foundation, Inc. Studio in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House.

The reception highlighted the inaugural Creative Golden Visions Exhibit with featured works by artists ages 55 years and older from Miami-Dade Park & Recreation’s Seniors Program, along with other senior centers throughout the county. The theme, “Celebrating Life,’’ includes a collection of paintings, drawings and photographs from all participating seniors.

The fifth annual Creative Visions Student Exhibition will be open to the public until  Thursday, June 12th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall Lobby. The showcase gives elementary, middle and high school student artists the opportunity to put their work on display for public viewing.

Aside from getting the exposure from the exhibit, four students will be rewarded with summer art scholarships and 25 students will receive trophies and certificates of appreciation.

Thirteen-year-old eighth-grader Malkia Saint-Albin of Hammocks Middle School had her artwork, titled “MalkiaMorphing,” selected from over 440 submissions. She was proud to have her piece as the headliner image for the exhibit invitation.

“Art is my favorite subject. I love it because it allows me to express myself any way I want to; I can do whatever I want on my own pieces,’’ Malkia said.

Fifty-five-year-old University of Miami Senior Center resident Jacqueline Wolf saw her masterpiece selected as the main portrait for the senior exhibit. The project truly defined the leaps her talent has taken as an artist.

“This is the second painting I’ve ever done. I never thought that I could do it. I never thought it would be chosen as a headliner and for such a culturally based event,” Wolf told The South Florida Times.

Miami business leader and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, whose $30 million gift in January earned her the naming rights to the performing arts center, said she was so overwhelmed with the visual artwork at this exhibit that she purchased the piece by Ricardo Lima titled, “Sinfonia.”

“This piece truly defined the theme, ‘celebrating life;’’ Arsht said. “It really resonated to me …what family is and what my family means to me.”
Miami-Dade County District 11 Commissioner Joe Martinez said he looks forward to this event every year, and is thrilled by how much it has grown in the past five years.

“It’s such a huge concept for me personally because it’s an opportunity for the residents in my district and all over the county to express themselves. It shows that seniors have a lot to offer. When you get to a certain age, you still can enjoy life,” Martinez said.   


Photo by Armando Raul Rodriguez/Miami-Dade County. “Sinfonia” by painter Ricardo Lima


WHAT:  5th Annual Creative Visions Student Exhibition.

WHERE: John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall Lobby 400 SE Second Ave. Miami.

WHEN: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. through Thursday, June 12.

COST: Free; open to the public.

CONTACT:  The district office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez at 305-552-1155.