NWSA Presents “You Are (On) An Island” During Art BaselNew World School of the Arts presents YOU ARE (ON) AN ISLAND, a group exhibition of collaborative artworks by NWSA students for Miami Art Week.

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 five visual arts students will collaborate with Nicaraguan-born muralist Luis Valle to create a mural at the Koubek Center in time for the Miami Mural Festival. Valle’s artistic style is influenced by indigenous cultures, psychology, shamanism, religion, spirituality, frequency, vibration, and energy.

“It’s going to be a nature in harmony with humans theme,” said Valle, who grew up in Miami and has worked locally with organizations such as Arts For Learning Miami, Miami Children’s Museum, and Miami-Dade Library Systems, among others. “I’m making it in my style, but with their input, so, I gave them all a little homework: think of an animal or spirit animal that represents them, they’re going to come back to me with some imagery, and we’ll work that into the sketch.” An unveiling, open to the public, will take place Saturday, December 11 at 12 noon.

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 nwsa.mdc.edu.

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