Aesthetics & Values (A&V) student Galina Abdel Aziz captured the essence of A&V in her photos. The A&V 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. The heart of the course is the A&V Exhibition at the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami.
“Aesthetics & Values is a unique, immersive experience. There is no other class like this at FIU. A&V goes beyond the classroom and the university; it takes us to the heart of Miami’s art world.” – Selena Everitt
“A&V gave me a way to formulate my own opinions about art. I was able to see beyond just a painting or sculpture by learning to appreciate the struggles of an artist, whether I enjoyed their artwork or not. I feel proud to have been a part of the last year of A&V. Knowing how hard we had to work to make this the best year yet made us realize the importance of teamwork. We knew that this had to be a time to come together rather than crumble apart in order to ensure that we made a lasting impact on people. Although extremely stressful at times, I have learned more in this class than I have in any other Honors course I have taken at FIU.” – Katerina Cutie
“To me, A&V was more about learning about my community and the history surrounding me than anything else. It was amazing to see how many of the students in the class did not know we had such rich, cultural, historical places right in out backyards. Every visit to a different location immersed us in a different topic, a different style of art, a different time period. As soon as I realized it was the last year of A&V I know that a spark ignited in myself and my classmates, to try to make the event extra special. It was a bittersweet feeling throughout, but it helped all the students gain even more motivation to make the exhibit and the reception the absolute best we could. This past year I didn’t just learn about and look at art. I learned about my culture and it’s history, I learned more about my city’s history in one year than what I had learned in the past 20 years. I also learned how to plan an event for thousands, and how to curate an art gallery. Something I never thought I would have to do in my life! And being a facilitator for the Final Reception, I also felt that my leadership skills were put to the test, and I learned so much more about how to be a leader. Aesthetics & Values is about so much more than just art, it is about knowing your city, your surroundings, and about knowing yourself.” – Lily Fonte
“A&V means coming out of your comfort zone, out of your major and going into the vast world of art. A&V means becoming immersed in a foreign arena full of various ideas and putting them together. A&V means teamwork, family; a group of people from several backgrounds and majors becoming one united entity and pulling off a great contemporary art exhibition.” – Richard Suarez
“A&V was the most enriching learning experience I’ve had in this university so far. Our tasks ranged from learning about the history of art, to diving together in search of residues from hurricane Irma in the Deering State, and eventually curating our very own art exhibition. Being in the last year of the Aesthetics & Values exhibition made me want to honor its previous years even more by putting in extra effort to make sure everything worked out well during the event. I viewed this class as a wonderful opportunity to actually get to know people outside of my major, and I truly looked forward to spending my Friday afternoons discovering new and exciting places in Miami’s art scene. I highly recommend this course to anyone – regardless of your major or background knowledge on art history – you will definitely learn something new.” – Ligia Filgueiras