Just because Chet works at Florida International University doesn’t mean we can’t play there too! Universities and colleges are a great resource for finding fun (and usually affordable) experiences and activities. On a recent rainy afternoon we headed to campus to check out the Frost Art Museum. There was no entrance fee and the staff at the desk explained what exhibits were up and where they were located within the museum. We set off down the hallway and were greeted by this installation by Pawel Nowak featuring Polish passport photos.
Upstairs were the main exhibits. The rooms were gorgeously kept, with shiny wooden floors and the occasional skylight letting in peaks of natural light, and the art expertly displayed. Here’s what we saw —
Cartographies of Water by Rufina Santana
Santana’s art was deeply inspired by her homeland–The Canary Islands. The rugged volcanic rock shaping the islands, the exotic plant life, and of course the ocean are all expertly depicted in her work. It’s the endlessness of the sea, she says, which captivates her imagination. Just like a wide stretch of dark ocean waters, the paintings felt bold and expansive while also fearless.
There Are No Other Everglades in the World by Jim Couper
Couper’s paintings highlight the characteristics unique to the Everglades, a distinct and fragile environment located no where else in the world. He utilizes a bright palette of colors to play with the various ways the sub-tropical light changes and transforms the magnificent waters. His brushstrokes reminded me of an Impressionist painter’s, like Claude Monet. I found myself wanting to jump into the canvas and live in one of these serene waterscapes.
Green Machine by Carlos Luna
Luna is one of the foremost contemporary Cuban artists. He represents a generation of Cubans who embrace their heritage but also reinvent and adapt themselves to new trends and techniques. The exhibit featured a multitude of artistic media styles, including; painted canvas, mixed media work on paper, ceramics, and fine art tapestries. Luna is clearly a multi-talented artist. Working in Puebla, Mexico for 13 years after leaving Cuba, Luna now resides in Miami, and it was interesting to see the strong influences of those three places coalescing in his various pieces.
Behind the museum is a lovely little lake watched over by this guy. Oh, Florida!
We topped off our afternoon with iced coffees and a stroll through campus. The student union was buzzing with weekend activity. The space between buildings is full of great outdoor seating, including some contraptions which I feel are called gondolas but I really have no idea if they have a name. They’re essentially a picnic table…with a canopy for shade…and the whole thing swings back and forth. I. Want. One. Anywho, I can’t wait to go back to the museum as the exhibits change over the coming months! And I’m excited to discover what else FIU has to offer us. Perhaps a dance performance or a concert!?
Do you scope out activities at your local college campus? Would you? Do you have a favorite art museum? Let me know in the comments below!