Artists, Scholars, & Curators: A Lecture Series Continues With Alumni Focus

Lecture Series Poster

The New World School of the Arts visual arts division continues its artists lectures with the 3rd installment of “Artists, Scholars, & Curators: A Lecture Series” this year highlighting the work of NWSA visual arts alumni from both the high school and college programs. The free and open to the public lectures are scheduled to be presented in person and will include a Q&A session, giving attendees the opportunity to engage with the presenters and delve into the subject matter.
“After two years of social distancing, I am excited to bring this series to an in-person format. This year I decided to focus on highlighting our very talented alumni while I get the opportunity to connect them to our current student body. Building these relationships is essential to the NWSA community,” said Dean of Visual Arts, O. Gustavo Plascencia.
September 8
GHOSTSJose Luis Garcia, 2014 NWSA college
Jose Luis Garcia is a photo-based artist living and working in Miami. He received his BFA in visual arts from New World School of the Arts in 2014 and his MFA in Studio Art from Florida International University. Jose Luis has exhibited locally in venues such as the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Coral Gables Museum, O Cinema Wynwood in partnership with ArtCenter/South Florida, Bakehouse Art Complex, Laundromat Art Space and Turn-Based Press.
October 13
Leo Castañeda is an artist and game designer living in Miami. Fusing gaming, painting, virtual reality, drawing, and sculpture, Castañeda’s work reimagines the economic, environmental, and posthuman anatomies that govern mythologies from video games and relational systems. For over ten years Castañeda has been developing the Levels & Bosses series using digital gaming structures to create transmedia worlds that dissolve the boundary between analog and digital. Today, Levels & Bosses culminates in an episodic video game and installation series that investigates interaction across gaming and virtual worlds. Castañeda received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2010 and MFA from Hunter College in 2014. Residencies include SOMA Mexico City attended through the Cisneros Foundation (2014); “Of Games III” at Khoj International Artists Association in New Delhi India (2015); Bronx Museum AIM Program (2017), and Oolite Arts Studio Residency (2018–2019). Castañeda’s work has been featured in Killscreen, Rhizome, El Nuevo Herald, El Pais, and Vice. Exhibitions and screenings span Hek Basel (2021), Museo la Tertulia (2020), Bronx Museum of the Arts (2017), Bass Museum (2020), Espacio Art Nexus (2017), Frost Art Museum (2012), Wolfsonian Museum (2019), Children’s Museum of Manhattan (2019), IndieGrits Festival (2017), and more. He is a recipient of South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual/Media Artists Fellowship, Locust Projects Wavemaker Grant, and the Oolite Arts Ellies Creator Award. Castañeda is currently a professor of 3-D animation at New World School of the Arts. A multimedia preview of the Levels & Bosses game made with newly founded game studio Otro Inventario is on view at Locust Projects in Miami from Sept. 10 to Nov. 14, 2022.
November 3
HERE GOES NOTHINGTianna Harvey, 2016 NWSA college
Tianna Harvey is an Art Director at GIPHY with a love for illustration, motion design, and storytelling. She has created and directed campaigns for brands including Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Pure Leaf. In 2022, she won a Webby for an original animated short “Blobs in Space.” Currently, she’s working on a VR game pitch.

January 12
Born and raised in South Florida, African American artist Rhea Leonard utilizes drawing, printmaking and sculpture within her art practice. She explores topics that highlight the Black body and how society affects Black life through her detailed, and poignant figurative works. She received her MFA from Florida International University and her BFA from New World School of the Arts. She is currently a resident artist of The Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami.
February 9
Witty is an art historian who specializes in late medieval and early Renaissance Italian art. Witty graduated from the high school program of NWSA in 2005. After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Washington University in St. Louis, John completed a PhD focused on Venetian fourteenth-century painting at Emory University. He has worked as an intern and curatorial fellow at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and the Frick Collection in New York City. Witty co-curated an exhibition on the fourteenth-century artist Paolo Veneziano that was on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in the summer of 2021. He has curated other exhibitions for NWSA’s Artseen gallery (2012) and the Bascom Art Center in Highlands, North Carolina (2018), as well as a booth at the Spring Break Art Fair in New York City (2021). He currently teaches Honors and AP Art History at Miami’s Design and Architecture Senior High School.
April 13
Autumn Casey draws on the ambiguity of personal memory and pop-cultural ephemera, to fantasize and elaborate on reflections of the world. Her practice moves from sculpture to collage, as well as video and performance. She enjoys redeploying existing materials or moments in unexpected, idiosyncratic ways. Autumn received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New World School of the Arts and a Master’s degree from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at The Pérez Art Museum Miami; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; and Practice Gallery, Philadelphia, among others. Her work is collected by the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; The Pérez Art Museum Miami, and in private collections in Miami and New York City.

Aspiring artists in the NWSA visual arts division can join other exceptionally talented students as they engage in the pursuit of their artistic career in the visual, graphic, or electronic arts. Trained by nationally renowned practicing artists, students at New World School of the Arts are encouraged to develop a personal, artistic, and aesthetic vision while mastering their technical skills in traditional and new media. Students are allowed to explore new paths while at the same time being exposed to the work of both classical and contemporary masters. Through disciplined training in traditional and new media, students develop new skills and refine others while gaining invaluable understanding of the roles of art and design in society. Areas of concentration include Art & Technology, Drawing, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, and Sculpture. Information about the NWSA visual arts program at 305-237-3620.

A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and University of Florida. NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative, and academic development through a curriculum that reflects our community and the rich multicultural state of Florida. Through our partners NWSA confers the high school diploma, Associate of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design. NWSA’s rigorous eight-year curriculum and conservatory-style teaching has empowered students in our community and our nation to become leaders in the arts for more three decades.

Information about New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3135 or