Four groups of students from the NWSA visual art division are creating site-specific projects in the gardens and throughout the architecture of Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center, for a one-night event. Each group of students is led by a New World School of the Arts professor as an extension of the classroom relationship, unfolding from academic study and collaborative practice during this public evening exhibition of light, sound, and movement.
The title of the show, YOU ARE (ON) AN ISLAND, is a departure point for the student artwork that reiterates a neon sculpture by artist Alicia Eggert. Concurrently on view at the New World Gallery, 25 NE 2nd St, Miami, FL 33132, in downtown, a live feed of Eggert’s artwork will be projected at the Koubek Center exhibition. In the neon sculpture, the word “ON” flashes at regular intervals to transform the meaning of this seemingly obvious statement into a reflective and philosophical inquiry.
We have been living on social islands as the tides of the pandemic ebb and flow. In Miami, the words “you are (on) an island” echo immigrant stories as our diasporic communities have reformed as a cultural archipelago united by the waters and environment that surrounds us. This place is marked by the romanticizing imagery of tropical island tourism, with all the notions of exotification, aspiration, and alienation that accompany the fantasy of a playground in the sun. During the Coronavirus pandemic, ideas of isolation and connection resonate throughout our collective experience.
YOU ARE (ON) AN ISLAND showcases NWSA’s interdisciplinary approach to art making, bringing student artwork beyond the classroom, past white cube gallery walls, and directly into Miami’s historic neighborhoods and communities. NWSA proudly balances academic training in traditional visual art disciplines with experimental approaches that explore the transformative processes at work through contemporary practices. The collaborative artworks on view at the Koubek Center encompass a direct expression of Miami’s home-grown talent for an exhibition that lifts emerging voices during Miami Art Week.
In addition, under the guidance of NWSA professor Aramis O’Reilly, another group of visual arts students will collaborate with muralist Luis Valle to create a mural at the Koubek Center in time for the Miami Mural Festival, during the second week of December 2021.
YOU ARE (ON) AN ISLAND – NWSA Miami Art Week Exhibition
Friday, December 3, 2021, 5 PM – 10 PM
Koubek Center, 2705 SW 3rd St, Miami, FL 33135
Free and open to the public