Poetry & Art at FIU Honors

Professor John W Bailly teaches two upper division courses for the FIU Honors College-Poetry Art Community and Aesthetics & Values.

POETRY ART COMMUNITY: Poet Richard Blanco and artist John W Bailly will collaborate again in 2019. Poetry Art Community (PAC) is a seminar that explores the living dialogue between community and the literary and visual arts, and the civic role they can (ought to) play in the public realm with respect to matters that affect us collectively: gender, sexuality, class, diversity, and race.

FIU students participate in Ofri Cnaani’s performance at Vizcaya. (Photo by JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)

AESTHETICS & VALUES: The FIU Honors College Aesthetics & Values seminar examines the vital role visual art plays in the social and cultural dialogue surrounding controversial issues. It investigates how artists have challenged or enforced authority by creating new aesthetics. It further explores how art is used to initiate, accelerate, or combat social change.

A&V 2017 Reception (Photo by Björn Kai Roland. All rights reserved)

CONTEMPORARY MIAMI: A&V and PAC both incorporate an immersion into Miami’s contemporary arts scene. Students visit the Margulies Collection, Rubell Collection, PAMM, Vizcaya, Deering Estate, Obsolete Media Miami, Miami Art Week, and Locust Projects. Students meet artists, writers, collectors, directors, and curators.

A&V 2018 at PAMM (Photo by Ligia Filgueiras CC BY 4.0)

MIAMI AS TEXT: Students make text and image responses to the locations visited. The classes incorporate social media to disseminate these reflections.

A&V 2017 Reception (Photo by Björn Kai Roland. All rights reserved)

CONTROVERSIAL ART AND IDEAS: A&V and PAC are not for the overly-sensitive. We engage important social subjects directly. Works studied can include sexuality and/or graphic images of violence.

A&V 2018 at Rubell Family Collection (Photo by JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)

SPECIAL PROJECTS: A&V and PAC involve students participating in unique and, honestly, unorthodox projects. Students have painted a parking garage rooftop, set off fire extinguishers on South Beach, built a wall of garbage, distorted faces during Art Basel, and canoed in Biscayne Bay. If you are interested in once-in-a-liftetime experiences this is the class for you.


GARBAGE WALL: Students from the Aesthetics & Values class of the FIU Honors College assisted The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark to construct Garbage Wall for the 2017 Untitled Miami Beach art fair. Students collected marine debris from the Deering Estate to be utilized in the construction of the sculpture.

Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Garbage Wall” at UNTITLED Miami Beach (Photo © Galina Abdel Aziz)

OFRI CNAANI AT VIZCAYA: Bringing her expertise all the way down from New York City, Ofri Cnanni led FIU Honors College students and fellow guests from the general public in two interactive workshops intertwining art, modern technology, and the physical space of Vizcaya.


RICHARD BLANCO AND JOHN W BAILLY: Blanco and Bailly have been friends for over 20 years. Blanco was the Inaugural Poet at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration. Bailly is a painter with an MFA from Yale University. Both are graduates of FIU. Watch Blanco recite “One Today” below.

Stephanie SepúlvedaJohn William Bailly 05 March 2018


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