Faculty Spaces Feature New Collection of Artwork

The Faculty & Staff Art Show is a new tradition begun last year by the Visual Arts Department.  A gallery in each faculty lounge-–one located in Shafer Hall and the other in the Student Life building—features art by faculty and staff, which includes paintings, photography, and even jewelry.

"We are blessed with talented colleagues willing to share their beautiful artwork with the school community.  What a wonderful opportunity to show that it's not just the art teachers who make art!" said Sandi Wood, Visual Arts Department Chair.


Suzanne Calleja (Associate Head for Communications and Strategic Partnerships)
Greek Woman, 2008
Greek Man, 2008
Greek Church, 2008

In 2008, my husband and I traveled to Greece for a wedding.  We spent a few days in Santorini and it was one of the most exquisite places we have ever been to.  During our time there, we did a 7-mile walk from one town, Fira to another town, Oia, where we were staying.  Oia is a coastal town on the northwestern tip of Santorini, a Greek Aegean island. The town has whitewashed houses carved into the rugged clifftops and overlooks a vast caldera filled with water.  We followed a dirt path up onto a ridge, and in the 100-degree heat traveled by foot high above the sea.  Along the walk, we passed many locals. Their faces were interesting and beautiful.  I was working on my photography at this time and was trying to photograph the different local residents. 
At one location on the path, we found a man leaning up against the same wall which kept us from falling over the edge.  He was smoking a cigarette, and since I couldn’t speak Greek, I showed him my camera and smiled.  He straightened up and I took a photo of him.  Further down the path, we came across two older women speaking.  The one woman looked like a face that is made from a dried apple with a scarf over her head. 
I once again showed her my camera, and she held out her hand. I gathered she wanted me to pay her for the photo, so I took out some Euros and put them gently in her hand.  She nodded, and I took her photo.  The third photo is of the top of a church that we stopped at to rest.  I wasn’t sure how this photograph would come out, since I only took the top of the church, but I think it is a perfect example of the colors of Greece.
These memories will last with me forever.

Laura Gill (Faculty, English)
Look Down (pencil), 2019
Look Down (sequins), 2019
Look Down (strawberry), 2022
In my photographs, I am drawn to what's left behind. I think what we disregard, lose or ignore can be as telling as what we keep. Each of these photographs I took at Palmer Trinity, and each one speaks to our myriad lives here; the sequins remind me of a celebration and the broken pencil: the challenges of school. The bright strawberry, likely lost off of someone's plate who was rushing to their next activity, brings to mind the meals and busy lives we lead. 

Blanca Morales (Marketing & Communications Manager)
Untitled (Jewelry)
16K gold plating, labradorite, shell, gemstone

I have always believed that what we wear is an extension of who we are. As a form of self-expression, clothing and accessories express our uniqueness and individuality.   From a very early age (I can remember this as far back as age three!), I have been fascinated by apparel. As a child, I constantly drew designs, and researched fashion’s impact on society throughout the centuries. When I couldn’t find accessories that fully captured my personal style or imagination, I created my own. I have practiced different styles over the years—from friendship bracelets as a child to hair accessories, and now personal pieces that align with my current stage in life. The necklaces featured here combine my love of nature (through shells, labradorite and gemstone) with more polished details such as 16K gold plating. The style is simultaneously edgy and delicate, feminine but tough—just as some of these stones are multidimensional, they are a reminder that I am not defined by just one thing.

Ania Bade(Faculty, ESOL)
Tropical Paradise
My Starry Night
Acrylic on Canvas
I love art and admire people that can create great works of art.  I never thought I could paint or draw.  I took a sip and paint class and found I was not all that bad.  The first one was, "Tropical Paradise."  I picked what I thought would be an easy scene.  The second time I chose Starry Night for a bit of a challenge.  It is now my favorite.  So I call it, "My Starry Night."   A little different from the original.  

Julio Carassou (Faculty, World Languages Chair)
Mushrooms, 2019
Photography, iPhone 7 
I'm always fascinated with nature. It is so wide and varied that still are many places and creatures that scientists continue to search for and study. Since I moved to Miami, I've enjoyed the flora and the fauna of where we live. It is incredible how many species have adapted to survive among us. Although for many, mushrooms may symbolize decomposition and decay, this picture for me represents transformation, good health, and fertility.
Petricor (Petrichor), 2018
Photography, Lumix DMC-G10
Petrichor is the smell of rain, which reminds me of my home country, my city, and even May or September. I was visiting a close friend in Old Havana, Cuba and the aroma took me to the balcony. The combination of memories and yearning made me take the camera right away.
The rain, 2019
Photography, iPhone 7
I was on my way to MOMA in the diverse and iconic New York City. The light changes easily because of the many tall buildings. In the same shot, you can take a clear sunny side while the other is unlighted or gloomy at the same time. The light rain can be noticed on just one side of the picture as if only rained on one side of the street.

Brian Diaz (Faculty, Computer Science)
Cordillera, 2019
Digital Art
A few years ago, I challenged myself to turn my iPad from a consumption device to a device I could use to create. So, with my bottle of merlot close by, I set out to paint a mountain landscape. Don't ask me which one, I can't remember for obvious reasons. After a few hours, and many "undo" presses, I created this digital painting.
If Art is an expression of the soul then this work is an expression of a summit I am climbing -- personally and professionally.

Alex Porto (Faculty, Art)
Oil Painting on Canvas

This painting is the second in a series titled 'The Darkest Moments are Just Before Sunrise,' inspired by the explosive moments humanity is going through.
Taking inspiration from Van Gogh's 'Starry Night,' Theodore Gericault's 'The Raft of Medusa,' and Eugene Delacroix's 'Liberty Leading the People.'
Cuban Guernica
Oil Painting on Canvas

This painting is one in a series titled 'The Darkest Moments are Just Before Sunrise,' inspired by the explosive moments humanity is going through.
Portraying the world that I see by using parts of other artists' pieces created during different periods of time. The influencing artistic works include Willy Chirino's 'Ya Viene Llegando,' and Pablo Piccaso's 'Guernica.'
The artwork is meant to symbolize the struggle that people have to go through when they are forced to live in a decaying utopia; it is an evocation of Cuba's historical and current humanitarian crisis.

Barbara Rivera (Faculty, Art)
Brigida y Beatriz, 2018
Water-soluble Oil on Board

My paintings are meant to provide new possibilities of identification that can conceive the female subject, and its social relations with diverse alternatives. The paintings are small in scale to provide a contemporary version of the eighteenth century tradition of decorative, fancy pictures. This tradition continued into early Victorian times in the more adulterated version of the 'Keepsake' (small engraved illustrations of lovely young women).

Sandi Wood (Faculty, Visual Arts Chair)
Dom’s Cow, 2022
Acrylics on Canvas
Painted with a palette knife, juxtaposed with a washy background, this cow represents an imagined alternate life, away from the hurry and noise of Miami.
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