Aesthetics & Values 2017

Artist Elisabeth Condon and Student Curator Marc Lawrence install Aesthetics & Values 2017 at FIU’s Frost Art Museum (Photo by JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)

APRIL 22 – JUNE 25, 2017



By: CARINA ZATARAIN, A&V 2017 Student Curator

It is not every day that 44 students varying in range of disciplines and majors gather together to curate an art exhibition. Or it is, if you are a part of Florida International University’s Aesthetics & Values course. The annual exhibition is organized by students in the Honors College as a part of a yearlong course that culminates in a showcase of acclaimed Miami artists. From curatorial vision to installation design, students oversee all facets of the exhibition, becoming fully immersed in the art world while exploring connections between creativity and social dialogue.

Throughout the semester, students have been able to visit coveted art collections within Wynwood as a way to create a dialogue, gain an artistic repertoire of knowledge and uncover hidden gems within the progressive, cultural hub of the city. While familiarizing themselves with lectures and guided tours by their professor and artist, John William Bailly, the students have examined the vital role visual art plays in the social and cultural discourse surrounding controversial issues. Professor Bailly expresses, “The Aesthetics & Values seminar and exhibition project explores the central role art plays in community. Art simultaneously challenges us and bonds us; it forms our identity. It is difficult and beautiful. My role as professor is to immerse students in Miami’s contemporary art community, and the students’ responsibility into bring that community on to our campus in the Aesthetics & Values exhibition.” Their seminar has thus investigated how artists have challenged or enforced authority by creating new aesthetics and further explored how art initiates, accelerates, or combats social change.

Aesthetics & Values has established itself as a course that breaches beyond the norms. Current student, Emily Afre relates that, “A&V is unlike any other class I have taken. It has granted me the opportunity to learn more about the importance of the relationship between art and society. I would have never imagined myself collaborating with an established contemporary artist from Miami, much less performing an experimental sound piece with her and my classmates. As someone who feels as if I settled into a major I am not passionate about, A&V has reminded me that you can never distance yourself from what you really love and, for me, that’s the arts.” The exposure to art that these students receive has allowed them to open their mind to new opportunities. In an effort to perform duties that are never asked of them, it also causes students to reflect, embrace curiosity and awaken an inquisitive, creative perspective that is important in developing well-rounded individuality.

The unconventionality of exploring museums, meeting with actual artists in their studios and even receiving a personal tour from the renowned art collector himself, Martin Z. Margulies, has brought these students together to absorb rich experiences and connections that are almost impossible to achieve. But that’s what A&V is all about: breaching the impossible. Since the inaugural course in 2006, the exhibition’s opening reception has evolved into one of the most highly attended events at the Frost Art Museum, attracting over one thousand guests. Beyond the local community, national recognition includes presentations to the Clinton Global Initiative, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, and annual representation at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference.

What has established the A&V course to become like no other is the respected connections Professor Bailly and his students have forged within the art community as well as the backing of FIU’s esteemed Honors College. The mission of the Honors College is to essentially provide an intellectual community where outstanding students and dedicated teachers and scholars pursue intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and personal and professional enrichment within the large community of FIU. In a progressive and encouraging environment, students have been able to fortify their own resourcefulness and delve into the very real, raw world of collaboration, art and fundraising on a college student’s budget. After forming committees (Exhibition, Fundraising, and Public Relations) and assuming personal tasks (designing a website, soliciting funds, preparing a press release, etc) students took on responsibility for coordinating all aspects of the exhibition, including selecting artists, securing funding, negotiating gallery space, working with university administration, and managing local media. This year will be Aesthetics and Value’s 11th annual exhibition.

Having researched Miami’s contemporary art world and curated and organized the on-campus exhibit, the Aesthetics & Values Research and Exhibition Project’s opening reception is set for Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum. They will be featuring 9 unique and talented Miami artists: Felecia Chizuko Carlisle, Elisabeth Condon, Peter Hosfeld, Moira Holohan, Monica McGivern, Brandon Opalka, Christina Petersson, Carolina Sardi, and Kristen Thiele. The event is free to the public and includes complimentary food, beverages and in culmination of the evening, there will be a live music performance by Mo’Booty band at 7PM. Attend the show that will be featured in the Frost Art Museum until June 25, 2017. Be a part of their mission to show the world that art is not dying, students can do the impossible and they will continue to surprise you every year.

AESTHETICS & VALUES 2017 STUDENT CURATORS: Emily Afre, Maria Victoria Biancardi, Antonella Bocaranda, Paola Bustos, Nathanael Cameron, Sofia Castellon, Alex Castillo, Barbara Coppola, Oriana Daly, Maria Delgado, Jose De Vera, Edward Dowling, Daybe Eugene, Valentina Gamboa, Melissa Garcia, Mariana Gaviria, Addis Gonzalez, Roberto Gonzalez, Alexandra Gutierrez, Narmeen Hanif, Christopher Hung, Hayed Kure, Marc Lawrence, Ximena Lugo, Giselle Lopez, Lauren Lopez, Leslie Ovale Lopez, Alejandro Lugo, Gina Martins, Faraz Naseem, Jose Ortega, Melanie Ponce, Danielle Ruiz, Danielle Ruiz, Jessica Saumell, Alycia Shaheed, Kirby Suarez, Yanina Onyewenjo, Arina Polyanskaya, Joseph Vargas, Stephanie Villavicencio, Jonah Wichterich, Rachel Young, Carina Zatarain

Author: John William Bailly

Professor/Painter/Study Abroad Faculty Director FIU Honors College

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: