Lorena Cuenca: ASC See Miami Fall 2020

Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum

Lorena by a lake in Indiana, 2018. Image Taken by Ana Isabel (CC by 4.0)

STUDENT BIOGRAPHY

Hi! I am Lorena Cuenca, and I am a junior at the Florida International University Honors College where I am majoring in Business Administration. During high school, I began to take college classes at Miami Dade College and earned my associate’s degree in the summer of 2020. I am looking forward to completing my college journey at FIU. I plan on attending Columbia University and hope to join their dual degree program for Law and Business and become a corporate attorney. While academics are my priority, I like to dabble in performance arts. I really enjoy writing music, singing, choreographing, and dancing. I truly want nothing more than to see the world; while Miami is a beautiful city, I know that there is so much more than what is in my own backyard.

GEOGRAPHY

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum is located at 10975 SW 17th St, Miami, FL 33199 on the Florida International University Modesto Maidique Campus. In front of the museum is the University Credit Union which resides in one of the campuses parking garages. From an outside perspective, to the left of the building, across the street, is the Herbert & Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center as well as FIU School of Music. To the right of the museum, is the Earlene and Albert Dotson Pavilion and the Management and Advanced Research Center (MARC). Behind the building there is a lake. Because the museum is on a university it is surrounded by educational facilities. The first floor of the building has a small café. The building has its own Vicky Bakery where both students and staff members like to come and grab a coffee or a quick bite while they enjoy the view.

HISTORY

The Frost Art Museum was founded in 1977 as The Art Museum at Florida International University main campus, Modesto A. Maidique. It was first a small collection taking place in Florida International University’s Primera Casa building. Despite starting small, the museum gained attraction and was recognized by the American Alliance of Museums in 1999. Years prior to the official recognition, it was already a community favorite having earned the titles “Miami’s Best Museum” in 1993, 1994, and 1996. In 2009 In was titled “Miami’s Best Art Museum”. Once the collection started growing, it needed room to build upon itself.

The new building was designed by Yann Weymouth and measures a total of 46,000 square feet. The building officially opened in November 2008 and has been home to the museum ever since.

MISSION

“The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum’s mission is to provide transformative experiences through art; collect, exhibit, and interpret art across cultures; and advance FIU’s stature as a top tier research university.”

“One of the largest academic art museums in South Florida, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum provides the community with free access to world-class art that spans cultures and time periods. The museum started as a small space in FIU’s Primera Casa building in 1978. As the collection and programming grew, the university recognized the need for a dedicated museum space. The museum now resides in a beautiful 46,000 square foot building designed by Yann Weymouth and situated in the heart of FIU’s Avenue of the Arts. The museum opened its doors in 2008.”

In theory and practice, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, popularly known as “Frost”, strives to provide an educational, interactive, enlightening, and entertaining experience to all those who visit. As an academic institution with an education program, the museum houses internships and volunteer opportunities where students can participate to further their education and interest in art. The museum is also currently partnering with elementary schools in its area to further the knowledge of the future and bring art back into education. They offer professional development workshops for teachers that promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, learning.

ACCESS

Due to the current situation, because of the pandemic, the museum’s open times are limited. As stated on the official website:

Sunday: Closed

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: Open to FIU community only, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Thursday: Open to FIU community only, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Friday: Open to FIU community, open to members/public by appointment only, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Saturday: Open to FIU community, open to members/public by appointment only, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Admission to the museum is completely free.

The museum, however, does offer a total of eight members ships which can be joined (purchased) or given as gifts for those who want to show their support:

  1. FIU Faculty, Employees, and Alumni for $35.00
    • 100% tax deductible
    • allow discounted admission to ticketed events and education programs, exhibition previews and gallery talks with curators and artists, quarterly member programming, complimentary beverages, and bites during exhibition receptions, 10% discount on Frost merchandise, 10% discount at Vicky Cafe, and access to Members’ Lounge.
  2. Senior for $40.00
    • 100% tax deductible
    • allow discounted admission to ticketed events and education programs, exhibition previews and gallery talks with curators and artists, quarterly member programming, complimentary beverages, and bites during exhibition receptions, 10% discount on Frost merchandise, 10% discount at Vicky Cafe, and access to Members’ Lounge.
  3. Individual for $50.00
    • 100% tax deductible
    • allow discounted admission to ticketed events and education programs, exhibition previews and gallery talks with curators and artists, quarterly member programming, complimentary beverages, and bites during exhibition receptions, 10% discount on Frost merchandise, 10% discount at Vicky Cafe, and access to Members’ Lounge.
  4. Dual for $75.00
    • 100% tax deductible
    • allow discounted admission to ticketed events and education programs, exhibition previews and gallery talks with curators and artists, quarterly member programming, complimentary beverages, and bites during exhibition receptions, 10% discount on Frost merchandise, 10% discount at Vicky Cafe, and access to Members’ Lounge.
  5. Friend for $125.00
    • 100% tax deductible
    • includes Blue Level benefits plus, discounted admission to ticketed events and educational programs, plus one complimentary guest ticket, North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) membership benefits, 20% discount on Frost merchandise
  6. Supporter for $250.00
    • 100% tax deductible
    • includes Friend level benefits, priority seating to ticketed events and educational programs
  7. Contributor for $500.00
    • $404.00 tax deductible
    • includes Supporter level benefits, select passes for Miami Art Fair Week partners, access to private collections and gallery talks, 5% discount on museum facility rentals
  8. Benefactor for $1,000.00
    • $850.00 tax deductible
    • includes Contributor level benefits, premier passes for Miami Art Fair Week partners, invitation to annual Benefactor events, access to national and international art fairs, invitation to private receptions, name recognition on the lobby, guided museum tour for 10 with director, one gift of Individual membership

COLLECTION

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum currently has over 6,000 pieces in their collection representing American printmaking from the late 1900s, photography, pre-Columbian pieces dating from 200 to 500 AD, and a flourishing collection of works by contemporary artists mostly from Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The Frost Art Museum’s collection extends to more than just 20th and 21st century US and Latin American art. It also includes pieces from Asia and Africa that continue to grow in number as the years progress since the museum opened in 2008. These pieces were obtained from the Metropolitan Museum and Art Center of Coral Gables’ collection in 1989 and have been a part of the family ever since.

The museum is home to a great number of public works of art. These sculptures are mostly set on the outside area of the museum itself. Works from Julio Fernandez Larraz,  Pablo Atchugarry, Lydia Azout, and many other incredible artists adorn all angles of the building and make the experience that much more enjoyable.

The prints below are part of Frost’s collection of prints. They are by American painter John Baeder who mostly focuses on bringing a sense of nostalgia and warmth when thinking of America using his art. The three prints are of three distinct diners during the 1980s: The Blue Beacon diner, The Royal diner, and a Red Robin diner. The prints were gifts from Eugene I. Schuster along with six others alike.

EXHIBITIONS

Current:

The Inside World: (July 11, 2020 – January 10, 2021)

This exhibition is made from about 100 works by Contemporary Aboriginal artists. As the Frost Art Museum and most of Miami is recognized as once having been the homelands of the Tequesta, this exhibition draws relation through the artists. The poles were traditionally used as hollow log coffins but are now simply being used for art as the practice of their traditional use has been abandoned by the new generation.

Apsaalooke Feminist #4: Wendy Red Star and her daughter Beatrice sitting together posing in an “assertive yet natural” way.

House to House: (September 26, 2020 – February 7, 2021)

As time passes, women gain greater power both in their homes and in politics. This is shown in House to House: Women, Politics, and Place. This year, we silently celebrating 100 years of women having the right to vote, with the past presidential elections and the colliding events Frost is presenting an exhibition representing women transitioning from taking care of their homes to now being the representatives.

Tesoro: December 1, 2020 – Ongoing)

This exhibition is letter to Frost from the artist. The message is one of pure love and appreciation for what Frost represents and strives to do. Pepe Mar, the artist behind Tesoro, is sharing his story and passion with the museum and its visitors. His installation draws inspiration from Frost current collection, rich in history and beauty, using his own work and those of Rene Portocarrero, Thornton Dial, and Purvis Young to tell a story, his story.

Arrangement of works by Miguel Angel Gaueca, Errol McKenzie, Willem de Kooning, Pepe Mar, & many unknown artists

SPECIAL PROGRAMS & LEARNING

Community Programs:

  1. Family Days: Recommended for pre-K through middle school ages, the Family Days program takes place every spring and fall and provides a great number of different art activities that relate to the museum’s collections and exhibits. The program makes the experience that much more interactive and enjoyable for the kids. Family Days welcomes families to come in and have a great time at Frost.
  2. Drawing Salons: Recommended for ages 16 and older, this program is an incredible opportunity for young adults and those above to develop their untapped or underdeveloped artistic abilities. It is their chance to discover something within themselves and further fall in love with art. Materials are provided and sessions take place on Wednesdays. The program is completely free but requires advance registration.
  3. MakerSPACE Workshops: Recommended for all ages, this program exists for those looking for a greater experience. MarkerSPACE offers a hands-on experience to connect to art, art history, photography, science and health, technology, engineering, sculpture, and 2D and 3D design. The workshops are centered around the exhibitions of the season and chance to complement that system. These workshops are led by art professionals and take place throughout the year.
  4. Artful Playdates: Recommended for pre-K children, build playful yet teachable environments where kids can learn from Frost educators and each other through the day. These select Saturdays are filled with singing, storytelling, role playing, and art.

STEAMworks: The STEAMworks program offers workshops to schools and teachers to promote higher education with the integration of arts into schools. Since the creation of the program in 2015 with the first elementary school partnership, Sweetwater Elementary School, the education model has been altered and the experience has overall benefited the students increasing test scores in the school the following year.  

University: As being part of the university, the museum offers students and faculty members multiple ways to connect and engage with art. Students are also given the opportunity to create and display art of their own at Frost. There is an annual Master of Fine Arts exhibition, Master of Fine Arts Curatorial Practice, and Aesthetics and Values Honors College exhibition just for students to showcase their talent.

Lectures: Every year, the Frost Art Museum hosts a “Breakfast in the Park” lecture where they invite a respected sculptor and the people of Miami Beach to each a lovely day filled with intellectual conversation and breakfast.

Travel Programs: While the Frost Art Museum does offer travel programs, none are currently being offered or advertised.

VISITOR

Interview with Eric Forteza: Student at Harvard University, Miami Resident

How did you hear about the museum?

My best friend is a student here and she knows how much I love history and art so when she recommended, I visit the museum I felt like I had to. I really enjoy just walking around and taking at all in so it felt like it would be a right fit for me.

Why did you choose you come today?

I actually have been wanting to come for a while. My friend is a student here and because I realized campus would be a bit empty this time of day, I decided I would visit the museum and take a look around with her.

What was your favorite exhibit or individual piece today?

I really enjoyed the homage to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and some of the women that have and continue to stand for women of power in this country. RBG is an idol of mine, I think she is incredible, and I really appreciate her being mentioned and represented in the exhibition House to House.

Would you come back to the museum?

Definitely! I saw that they were installing new pieces on the first floor and I am really curious to see to what they incorporate into the collection.

What was the biggest take away from today?

I think it is amazing to have such beautiful, inspiring, and significant art so close to home. Traveling is great but it gives me such pride to be able to say there are works this cool right where I come from. I absolutely love that.

PORTRAIT

Interview with Emily Afre: Education Specialist

How long have you been working there? 

I have been working at the Frost Art Museum as Exhibition Specialist since 2017. I was a volunteer/intern for some time before that.

What interested you in Frost in the first place?

I was enrolled in Aesthetics & Values, a class where we organized an exhibition of local artists at the Frost. I gave tours of this exhibition at the opening reception. I have always been interested in the arts. As a musician, I enjoyed the performative aspect of giving tours and was interested in learning how to be more involved with the museum through that experience.

What has been your favorite exhibit and why?

Rafael Soriano: Artist as Mystic. His later work of the 80s/90s is dark and contemplative. There seems to be a parallel between his abstract, biomorphic forms and his own reflection on the Cuban Revolution. This was the first time I had heard of Soriano and I was eager to learn more about him and other related artists. The exhibition layout itself also amplified the viewing experience.

What would you say is the peak season for the museum, in terms of popularity during the year, and why? 

Pre-pandemic, I would say Fall semester might be the peak season as Miami Art Week/Art Basel are during this time. Usually, the higher profile shows are exhibited during this semester.

How many people visit on average? (Daily or Weekly)

Pre-pandemic: 20-35 on weekday/30-40 on weekend

During pandemic: 5-10 on weekday/5-20 on weekend

What makes Frost special? 

Aside from being a university-museum, the Frost displays art from different time periods, from all over the world. The Frost is cognizant of socio-political issues and how we can relate art to current events and the overall human experience. As museum educator, I can engage in these conversations with students and community members. Pragmatically speaking, the location is also great for folks who are unable to make the trek out to Wynwood or Downtown, where most other art museums and galleries can be found in Miami.

Do you have a most memorable visitor experience? Why them? 

I enjoy giving tours to children and university students. Our tours are very interactive, and it feels rewarding to know that our dialogue might have an impact on someone’s life.

Would you still be working in education & art if you were not working at Frost?

 Perhaps! As long as art and/or music is involved, that’s where you will find me!

SUMMARY

I have never been an art person. In the past I have really struggled with enjoying myself in museums. The silent admiration, the somehow collective understanding that I never understood just put in a weird mood every time I went to one. A lot of the time, I tend to “appreciate” things on a surface level. I walk around and only look at what I think is pretty, never stopping to read the descriptions or doing any research before hand or after about the art or artist.

Art is just one of those things that I was not born with getting. It was taken me exposing myself to different mediums and different forms to really appreciate what should be. For the first time, I was interested enough to read the cards and descriptions. The Frost Art Museum is beautiful place to visit, whether a student or faculty member at FIU or not it is never a bad thing to explore the museum and look around the new exhibits being put on display. The museum offers a variety of different programs and interactive activities for members of all ages to feel welcomed and enjoy.

What I enjoyed the most about the museum is its location. I think it is absolutely brilliant that it is part of a university. Students can visit throughout the year and enjoy different exhibitions as they get changed. This sets up a beautiful relationship between Frost and the community it inhabits. The museum is set in an environment filled with individuals that are creative and eager to learn, making events more exciting as time goes on.

CITATIONS

Florida International University – Digital Communications. “Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum.” Florida International University: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, frost.fiu.edu/.

“John Baeder Blue Beacon Diner 1980 Art Print Silkscreen Pencil Signed Original.” Bright Colors Art & Collectibles, 21 Dec. 2018, brightcolors.com/product/john-baeder-blue-beacon-diner-1980-art-print-silkscreen-pencil-signed-original/.

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