The Deering Estate
The first service project I partook in was at the Deering Estate in Miami, Florida. The Deering Estate was built by Charles Deering and contains two houses on the 444 acres of land. There are also two Tequesta Indian burial mounds and a burial site belonging to Paleo-Indians. There is about 10 thousand years of continuous human inhabitation on the Deering Estate’s land that not nearly enough people are familiar with. Charles Deering himself was a Chicago industrialist who purchased the Deering Estate land in 1913. The Deering family gained their fortune through the Deering Harvester Company which manufactured agricultural machinery.
The event in which I participated in was during Mercury’s transit across the sun. During the event the job I was given was to act as a security guard in the Stone House. This was the second home that Charles Deering built in order to house his vast collection of tapestries, paintings, books, and antique furnishings. The task of security involved simply asking visitors not to touch any artwork or furniture within the house. This act of service was extremely important to me because I had never actually had such a close encounter with such a pivotal part of Miami’s history. It was a precious experience to be a guard to such vital pieces of South Florida’s history, as well as volunteering for an institution so central in the education of many people who live in Florida as well as tourists.
The Deering Estate offers education on art, why it is important, and on conservation of the environment. I am very conscious about how I affect the environment and volunteering for an institution that cares about the earth as much as I do felt like I was truly making a difference. Furthermore, not only does the Deering Estate inform the public on Mercury’s transit, but they also provide a safe means of witnessing the event without causing any damage to the eyes by using the correct equipment. Mercury’s transit across the sun is a phenomenon that is rarely seen and the fact that the Deering Estate facilitates this experience is great because it can be an inspiration to many to pursue careers in the arts or sciences.
Vanessa Trujillo, PhD
Conservation & Research Specialist
305-235-1668 ext. 241
Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces
The Rubell Museum
The second service project I partook in was at the new Rubell Museum location in Miami, Florida. The Rubell Family Collection is a private contemporary art collection founded in 1964 by Mera and Don Rubell in New York City. The collection holds artwork belonging to a variety of renowned artists including, but not limited to, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, and Cindy Sherman. The Rubell Family Collection also established an internship program that encompasses an artwork loan program that facilitates exhibitions in museums around the world. The Rubell Family Collection is also engaged in a partnership with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system. This program allows thousands of students to enrich themselves each year by visiting and engaging with the Rubell Museum, it’s many exhibitions, and vast public research library.
The Rubell Museum is working on setting up its brand-new location in the Allapattah neighborhood of Miami. The new location is eagerly awaited and will be opening on December 3, 2019. The task I was given involved helping set up the new research library at the Rubell Museum’s new location prior to the grand opening on December 3rd. The importance of this library is that it allows anyone who visits to do research on any artist or piece of artwork within the museum. This is essentially a location in which those interested in learning may immerse themselves in their subject matter.
This service project was important to me because it allowed me to be a part of education, something I place a lot of value in being a student myself. The fact that I was setting up a library, a place that anyone and everyone can learn in, was truly close to my heart. I myself learned a lot while I worked at carefully organizing and placing the variety of books onto the shelves. I have always felt comforted and safe in libraries so the fact that I was helping construct one felt like I was truly making a difference in other students’ lives. I was also ecstatic to see the Rubell Museum’s new location prior to its grand opening. The small preview I was given of the new location was enough to exemplify the magnificence of the Rubell Museum. I feel as if I have truly benefitted from volunteering at the Rubell Museum and I highly recommend that, given the chance, everyone should pay the foundation a visit.
Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation
95 NW 29th Street
Miami, FL 33127
*A total of 10 service hours were completed between the two institutions discussed above, The Deering Estate and The Rubell Museum. For further inquiry contact information is provided for each institution.