Rebeka Josil: ASC Service Project 2019

From the left: Amanda Covach, Kevin, Rebeka Josil, Agatha Wright

After the reception of the new exhibition of Cecilia Vicuna and Alice Rahon that was on the 5th of December. I had the privilege of working alongside of some of the staff at MOCA in the education department for three consecutive days. I worked alongside Amanda Covach, the Curator of Education, Agatha Wright, the Education Programs Coordinator, Jonelle Martin, the Development Coordinator and Justin Martin, the Development Coordinator.

For the first two days I helped Agatha Wright with paperwork for the Teen Art Force, which happens weekly.  The Teen Art Force is a free art program which is funded by the City of North Miami for young people ages 13 to 17 from 4pm to 6pm. Each day consist of different activities. For example, Monday- fashion x textile design, Tuesday- drawing x portfolio development, Wednesday- Media x Mixed Sculpture, Thursday- Print Making and Friday- Art Journalism x Photography. Each young person first needs to sign up before attending each class and what I did was decode their contact information on a separate piece of paper and honestly, I could not have understood some of the students’ handwriting. However, I tried my best to make sure I get them right. Agatha Wright, who collects the sign-up form of the students stressed the importance of each student sign up and making sure the contact information is right. Not only is their information is needed to stay in contact but also proof of young people’s participation in the weekly classes.  

After the students signed up, they now have a sign in sheet for each class they attend. I helped with alphabetizing and organizing the students’ sign in sheet for each class they attend and kept record of how many classes one person attended. What I wish I knew sooner was this program that was happening, I would have volunteered weekly there helping the students and also gain skills from the classes. Agatha Wright is now preparing for the Winter Art Camp, which is from December 23 to January 3 and is mostly gerd for kids from 7 and older.  

Fortunately, I understood why it is important for communities especially young people to support their local museum and participate in events. In turn, they reap the benefits by finding their passion in art and staying out of trouble. MOCA is very important in the City of North Miami, as many schools do not have after school art program for young persons or maybe underfunded.  MOCA aims, as its mission states, “The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is dedicated to making contemporary art accessible to diverse audiences – especially underserved populations – through the collection, preservation and exhibition of the best of contemporary art and its art historical influences.” – This is extremely applaudable as they have many events for young people and the more students participated the more funds the museum receive.

On the third and final day, I worked with the media team, though I did not do any graphic design or anything with media; I did computer work from the exhibition reception that was on December 5th. Going through, checking off and organizing the list of persons who attended plus their guests was tiring, however it’s amazing the sheer number of people who are visited to new receptions. I got to learn how they plan events and sent invitations to guests for receptions for new exhibitions.

My overall experience at MOCA was positive and I got to see what goes on behind planning events and programs that make the community participate and visit the museum more.  The staff were really friends and I have made friends with everyone I worked with.  Though MOCA is not a big museum, it is very welcoming of everyone and aims to display contemporary art of diverse artists to a diverse community. What I like most about the staff is they really care about the students of the city and try to make sure that each young person attend programs even with financial issues.  I would say MOCA is my favorite museum I visited thus far, and I fell in love with the new exhibition I saw each day I was there.


Amanda Covach, Curator of Education


Rebeka Josil: ASC See Miami Project 2019

The Museum of Contemporary Art- MOCA

Picture taken by Stephanie Aristide

Student’s Biography

My name is Rebeka Josil and I am a junior majoring in Biology at Florida International University. I am new to the world of art, and so I decided to indulged myself into it, with the hopes of fulfilling my curiosity of it. I love the outdoors and my favorite hobbies are camping, swimming, and hiking. I view nature as art, and I want to be able to relate what I’ve learn in class in the real world. I also love learning about the human body, and it is completely fascinated as well. I love learning how different painting techniques and materials are used to create an abstract of the human body.


The Museum of Contemporary Art is in North Miami, on 770 NE 125th St. Surrounded by antique stores, cafes and near by the City of North Miami Library. The Crème Café a one-minute walk to the entrance of the museum and a thrift shop is right across the street.  The location of the museum is perfect as the mission of MOCA is to serve an ethnically diverse community. I live15-20 minutes away from the museum and FIU Biscayne is approximately 15 minutes away.


In 1981 the Museum of Contemporary Art was opened in a modest single gallery space and was originally built by the Centre. In 1996 Charles Gwarthmey from GSNY unveiled the Museum’s new building, which was built in collaboration with the Gelabert-Navia Miami company to construct the premises. The museum supplies a space for new artists to explore, ponder the work of modern experts and uncover the cultural heritage we exist on. The Museum of Contemporary Art is known for its provocative and innovative displays and the search for an innovative approach to contemporary art. The display program of the museum is effective and requires eight to ten presentations per year.  MOCA was donated $5 million by John S in 2008. And each year the James L. Knight Foundation holds three immersive exhibits that highlight works by new and innovative artists.


“The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is dedicated to making contemporary art accessible to diverse audiences – especially underserved populations – through the collection, preservation and exhibition of the best of contemporary art and its art historical influences.”

This statement is true, as MOCA is in a diverse community, where there is many different cultures and stories to be told. This is particularly important, because The contemporary Art Museum recognizes the need for enhancement and promotion of the cultural life of the city. MOCA conducts education programs targeted at the city and its diverse population to improve its appreciation of contemporary art.  In 2009 the museum introduced MOCA by Moonlight services for Wednesday night, which include seminars at the contemporary art boot camp, 5 minutes with popular designers and music for all, hands-on adult arts classes.


General Admission: $10.00

Students & Seniors: $3.00

MOCA Members

  • Children under 12
  • North Miami Residents
  • City Employees
  • Veterans
  • Bank of America cardholders on the first weekend of each month through the Museums on Us program.

MOCA is very affordable and accessible to the community. It tries to stay as reasonable as possible for the underserved community. There free admission every last Friday of each month. MOCA has a 50-dollar membership (30 dollars for students and teachers) with benefits, such as 10% Discount in the MOCA Shop, free admission to workshops and shows, free access to the museum at any time and many more. Along with a family membership of 75 dollars with the same benefits. Students pay a minimal of 3 dollars with their student ID. General admission is 10 dollars.


William Cordova

works in Miami / New York as an interdisciplined social professional. His job consist of a painting, a model, a video, a photograph, and sketches centered on the installation. Cordova reflects on design, environments, and culture to rebuild, revisit, and reconcile events of the past to show their relevance in the current social sense.

(Peru, 1969 -)
Let’s Spend the Night Together (Hampton 81), 2001
acrylic, ink, gouache, and graphite on paper
50 in. x 107 in.

Ursula von Rydingsvard

By using a chainsaw, untitled was created. The artist has hacked tree trunks and carved them into separate, block-like units for a rough texture. The blocks were felt layered, hard and soft alternating. Eventually, by grinding graphite into the wood, Von Rydingsvard aged it. The scent of the cedar and the gritty ground structure invoke a dream of a rugged environment as the viewers enter the project.

Untitled, 1988
cedar, graphite, and felt
22 x 53 1/2 x 21 1/4 in


November 26, 2019 – March 29, 2020

The North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) hosted the first major American solo exhibition by renowned Chilean-born artist Cecilia Vicuña. Born in Santiago de Chile, Vicuña is a poet, visual artist, and filmmaker who has published more than 20 poetry books and who shows and performs internationally. Her multidimensional work begins as an image that becomes a poem, a film, a song, a sculpture, or a collective performance. “Cecilia Vicuña: About Happen” consists of Vicuña’s multidisciplinary work in art, sculpture, painting, video, text, and site-specific installations, created over 40 years ago. The exhibition examines a process that shapes public memory and responsibility, reframing dematerialization as both a formal consequence of conceptualism in the 1960s and radical climate change. The practice of Vicuña stands for the conflicting dialogs between conceptual art, planetary culture, literature, and feminist art. The series will include drawing for the first time in this touring display, a tradition which Vicuña started in the 1970s and that she recently returned to – in some instances repainting childhood memory works.

I was completely mesmerized by her works and I knew about the Inca culture beforehand which made it even more special and interesting. The video above is a short clip of a 10 plus minute of her artwork of Quipu. The Incas may not have bequeathed any written records, but they did have colorful knotted cords. “Each of these devices was called a khipu (pronounced key-poo). But recent breakthroughs have begun to unpick this tangled mystery of the Andes, revealing the first signs of phonetic symbolism within the strands. Now two anthropologists are closing in on the Inca equivalent of the Rosetta stone. That could finally crack the code and transform our understanding of a civilization whose history has so far been told only through the eyes of the Europeans who sought to eviscerate it.”- Cossins. Cecilia use of the khipu, revive the indigenous culture that is slowly being lost. As stated by Cecilia Vicuna, the work is “ a prayer for us to change our destructive ways.”

November 26, 2019 – March 29, 2020
April’s Feast, 1945

A new exhibition featuring works by French Mexican surrealist painter Alice Rahon (1904–1987) was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA). The exhibition looks to contribute to the scholarship and acknowledgement of under-explored female artists, as well as intercultural influences on exiled European artists in the Americas, whose work has often been profoundly influenced by indigenous and ancient cultures. Born in France and later nationalized as a Mexican, Rahon entered the Surrealist circle in Paris as an artist, but once in Mexico, she turned her talent to drawing. “Poetic Invocations” is the first solo show devoted to Rahon’s art in the U.S. 55 years since her 1964 display at the Louisiana Gallery in Houston, Texas. The show discusses a vibrant art-historical moment that originated in 1940 as an international community of artists who escaped to Europe from the Second World War and settled in Mexico. The show would discuss five basic themes: painting as a symbolic echo, the influence of the immemorial memory, the restricting text, the volcano and the Mexican landscape and light: inside and outside dilution, and inside out metaphorical experience: fiestas and popular art in Mexico.

Special Programs

There are many programs MOCA execute, but a few are:

  • Jazz at MOCA: held every last Friday for each month at 8pm.
  • MOCA MINIMAKERS:  Kids tour MOCA exhibitions and learn about the elements of art by painting, drawing and sculpting in the style of renowned artists. Free admission.
  • Sunday Stories: Kids storytelling. Every first Sunday of every month.
  • Outreach:

Women on the Rise: This is a unique gender outreach program presented to adolescents from 12 to 18, serving the social justice organization such as the Urgent Inc. and Thelma Gibson Health Initiative, by contemporary artists such as Ana Mendieta and Carrie Mae Weems.

Art Corps: Art Corps is the MOCA’s new program of access to contemporary art for youth and young adult people and using self-expression as a tool to increase engagement and motivation.

Heart to Heart: Through collaborations with the Jewish Community Services (JCS) through North Miami and in the Miami-Dade County Exceptional Student Education (ESE), MOCA is actively working with children, young people and adults who experience mental and physical challenges.

Visitor’s Interview

Whats your name?

Visitor: Stephanie Aristide

Is this your first time here?

Visitor: No, I visit occasionally when there’s new exhibitions.

Do you live close to MOCA?

Visitor: Yes, Just 20 minutes away.

Why do you like MOCA?

Visitor: The diversity of each artist they show for each exhibition and the Haitian culture.

Employee Interview (Portrait)

Whats your name?

Amanda Covach

What’s your job?

Curator of Education

Do you like working at MOCA?

Yes, I do

Why do you think your job is so important?

Employee: I like working with kids and giving them the opportunity of experiencing contemporary art and seeing them smile makes me happy. So, making kids happy.

Which artist that have been displayed is your favorite?

Employee: I have so many I do not think I can say, but the new exhibition is really nice.


Visiting MOCA was really pleasurable and I am glad I waited until the opening of the new exhibition to witness unique contemporary art that I found so fascinating. I also found my new favorite artist, which is Cecilia Vicuna. What I really love about MOCA is its size and location, it is not overwhelming, and the exhibitions were very minimal but still interesting. The location of MOCA is very convenient for workers, school children and visitors out of the city as it is located right in the center of everything.  The environment is extremely welcoming and family friendly. I would spend a day with my family there and walk over to Crème Café which is a 2-minute walk from the museum. This works well for MOCA because more family would visit and participate in special events they have for kids and adults. What also works for MOCA are the programs and events they have for everyone in the community. When I had volunteered at MOCA I learnt of the Teen Art Force which takes place weekly. This keeps young people active in the museum and also bring in more funding.  I loved everything about MOCA, however one thing that does not work for it is the lack of parking around the area and available areas are a long walking distance. Hopefully, parking space can be made a priority for the future and after it would a well-established art museum.


Cossin, Daniel. 26 Sep 2018.

Google images.

Art Society Conflict: Rebeka Josil

My name is Rebeka Josil and I’m currently a Junior, majoring in Biology. I have hopes of attending Medical School in the future. I love learning about different cultures through art and whenever I get the chance, I visit museums. I also love travelling and spending time with family, but one of my favorite hobbies is going camping. I believe the world’s greatest art is nature and it’s better to experience going outdoors.

Art Society Conflict “Norton as Text” – Rebeka Josil

The visit to Norton Museum was a memorial one and was worth drive to West Palm Beach. I got to experience the changes of paintings throughout the centuries and step into the shoes of each painter’s life in each era. I learnt that painters were not respected back then, and they were not allowed to paint outside the rules of painting. However, as time progress, more printers broke that barrier and developed new and own type of paintings. I gained knowledge of each painter trails and achievements throughout that era. Which lead me to have deeper respect for those each painter in the time back then. Moreover, this lead to a new era of painting which includes contemporary painting, which is a whole topic on its own.

Wangechi Mutu’s painting was really interesting and caught my eyes immediately. The name of the painting is called, “Your Story, My Curse” and captured the world of abstract by ‘manipulating paint and collaging images of animals, vegetables, fashion’. -Norton Museum. What made this even more interesting to me is the painting is a depiction of females. One sentence from the description perfectly states -‘Our use of makeup, clothing, and communication through physical appearance boils down to a very primal urge to attract and/or scare those we want around or afar from us’- Norton Museum.  I felt in the painting, you could of barley depict it was humans, but when you know the story behind the painting that made whole more beautiful and unique.

Deering Estate as Text by Rebeka Josil

Deering Estate is very special to Miami, as it holds the foundation of what Miami was before it became a city. The vast different I saw exploring the estate was astounding and I couldn’t believe that this was Miami before. I learnt that there was a tribe that lived there, Tequesta, but little is known of them. However, our tour guide Vanessa told us as much as she could and showed us the remaining of the Tequesta. We hiked in two trails. The first hike was to the Paleo-Indian archaeological Cutler Fossil Site. The second hike was to the Pre-Spanish Tequesta Burial Mound.

The overview of The Paleo-Indian archeological Cutler Fossil Site

The Paleo-Indian archeological Cutler Fossil Site was an adventure itself, walking through the thick, dense forest covered with poison ivy were both a challenge and a workout, that added to my excitement of what lied ahead, deep into the forest. It’s like a mini Amazon Rainforest in the Miami Metropolitan shores, that had a variety of trees that can be poisonous or not.  Vanessa explained and showed some of the tools the Tequesta tribe used for their everyday lives. For example, a conch shell that only had its core to dig holes into the ground and pieces of shells to scrape of tree bark. It was very interesting to know that they diet mostly consisted of fish, as they lived closed to the shores.

The second hike was to the Pre-Spanish Tequesta Burial Mound. It was easier to walk through, as there was a pathway with less trees in the way, however there were spiders everywhere. I loved how the various plants and trees of the Tequesta time are still present and Vanessa explained what purposes the Tequesta used them for. Our finally stop at a burial mound of the Tequesta. Above their burial ground, a huge and healthy oak tree stands. After learning about the horrible deed that was done to them and they were swiped out completely; seeing this site made me at peace knowing that this scared place was not destroyed.

This excursion of the estate was really enjoyable for me as I learnt and saw what life would be without technology. Life was more peaceful back then; nature was flourishing tremendously, and the food contained no chemicals. I hope this estate is preserve for a very long time as it hold history.

Wynwood as Text by Rebeka Josil

Wynwood I believe, is the central point for many forms of art in Miami. Going to Margulies Collection and De la Cruz Museum lead to a whole other view of what is known as art. That is contemporary art; it was like entering the unknown and each room had a different mood. Contemporary art, I would say, is defying the rules and creating art out of anything and everything. After visiting each museum, I saw art differently and became more open-minded.

In the picture below, I did not know what it was about or who the artist was. However, I was fascinated by the realistic features of the men and the overall theme it set. What first came to my mind was five men waiting on something, but I didn’t know for what. Mr. Margulies, the founder of the Margulies Collection stated, “The art has to have a visual idea or it’s just a component. It is not what the art is; it is what it’s about.” Later doing more research on the sculptor, George Segal and his piece below. I came to find out that this piece is call, “The Depression Bread Line.” According to Grounds for Sculpture- “The five male figures lined up by the wall on the sculpture pad represent a scene from the Great Depression, a period of economic hardship during which many people were in need of government assistance to survive.” I was surprised as I interpreted it wrong, but I believe the beauty of contemporary art is you interpret what you think it may be, you later find what it really is, challenges your mind to think outside the box.


Vizcaya as Text by Rebeka Josil

Vizcaya is no doubt a replica of Europe- a mixture of Italian, Spanish, French and a sprinkle of Islamic influence; founded by James Deering, the brother of Charles Deering. James Deering had the money and wanted to hold value to his name. Since persons in America did not have a lineage of noble family members or households; for example, John de Mowbray, 1st Earl of Nottingham. James Deering built Vizcaya as a mean to show his nobility and therefore gain respect. He also built Vizcaya for a getaway from the cold up North.  Vizcaya was surreal to me as I did not need to step foot into Europe to experience the architecture or culture. I saw a little of France’s Versailles, Italian and Spanish Renaissance. Moreover, some of the art pieces were either a replica or brought from Europe and are worth thousands of dollars. What was quite funny to me was two portraits of unknown persons (both named Deering) hanged in the dining room of James Deering Estate, however they are in no way related. The building of Vizcaya had a sad beginning, unfortunately. Bahamian and black Americans were labored and paid little to nothing, later to be segregated to what is known as Coconut Grove’s today. However, like most historically buildings in America, I believe the black Americans should be recognized for what is known as America today. To end, I enjoyed my visit to Vizcaya as I got experience a day of what used to be James Deering’s life. I am still in awe by the richness of architecture of Europe seen in Vizcaya and I like to believe it is little Europe in Miami.

The Lns Gallery

The LnS Gallery was something new I experienced. It is not a museum but a gallery that sells artists’ paintings and sculptures. I learnt how and why it is better for artists to have a company like LnS Gallery to sell their paintings as it is worth much more than they thought. Some paintings are worth up 4.5 million dollars and as low as 100 dollars.  The owners were very friendly and answered all the questions about their business. Moreover, I like how they help underground artists to sell their valued paintings at reasonable prices. And, I like how they have paintings as low as 100 dollars for students to buy and invest. The visit to LnS Gallery was pleasant and I gained knowledge of the process of selling paintings to buyers.

Design as Text

The institute of Contemporary Art, also known as ICA, is a place where art has a deeper meaning. Though, I became remarkably familiar with contemporary art, I learnt something new looking at the different art pieces in the institute.  My favorite art exhibition was Guadalupe Maravilla: Portals. After hearing his life story; I had a deeper appreciation for his work. He is was born in El Salvador and fled to America at 8, away from the conflicts in his country. However, I learnt life was not easy in America. According to ICA website, ‘the artist’s geo-cultural displacement and personal mythology, referencing his own story as part of the first wave of undocumented children to arrive in the United States due to the Central American conflicts of the 1980s and also the political tensions between the Mexican-American borders involving DACA.’ Being an immigrant back then, even now is difficult and leads to a lot of uncertainty and in his exhibition, he portrayed his trails and overcoming perfectly. What I like about his sculptures is it portraits his identity; the sculptures were very Aztec like and the use of the headdress showed his pride for his indigenous heritage. However, the headdress has a deeper meaning; it symbolized the malice endurance he faced as an immigrant while he had cancer. However, the sculpture is surrounded by agave leaves and shells, which he added as a symbol of renewal and going forth on a new journey. I see this exhibition as a symbol of hope for every immigrant who leaves their country for another, either from conflict or a better life.


Miami Art as Text

I really enjoyed the day, as the class got to visit two amazing art fairs (UNTITLED and Art Miami) which are held each year. What I learnt about both is Untitled is a primary sale market and Art Miami is a secondary sale market. Which means artworks at Untitled are being sold for the first time and artworks at Art Miami are being sold for more than once but at a higher price. The first fair we went to was UNTITLED and I fell in love with the venue and the different contemporary art I saw. The whole atmosphere felt heavenly with bright lights illuminated the place that made the art works stood out more against the white walls. There was so much to see as there was over one hundred boots from all over the world.

A picture containing box

Description automatically generated

My favorite was from the country, Ghana, Gallery 1957. It was lovely seeing art from Africa, as I have a deep love for African art. However, it was sad that the artists themselves could not be there to present their arts due to visa problems. Nonetheless, it is still amazing that their art can be represented and sale on a worldwide art fair.  Godfried Donkor is the amazing artist for the boxer’s portrait. He is a British-Ghanaian with a passion in the socio-historical relationships of Africa and Europe.  Moreover, with these two-culture fusion, he creates artworks that presents Ghanaian history. The halos over the boxers’ head give the paintings a medieval feeling and it had a Christian concept added to it. What I’ve learn from Victoria Cooke, the representative of the booth is boxing was introduced to Ghana through slavery and Ghanaian men were put to fight, until there is one man standing.

The next fair we visited was Art Miami, and it was quite different from Untitled. The venue was not bright and there were no booths or representatives. It was exciting and overall a wonderful experience. It was filled with many valuable artworks and I was so surprised how close we could have been close to them. My favorite art piece was from Shawn Huckins called “Critical Drinking”, which reminded me of memes, and it made me thought how connected the internet is connected to the art world.

Pictures taken and edited by Rebeka Josil