Neighborhood Reclamation

a new project from Michael Vasquez

May 28 - July 12 2015

12:00 PM-5:00 PM

Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Museum of Art + Design (MOA+D) presents its latest swing/SPACE/miami project with an exhibition by Miami­based artist Michael Vasquez. Vasquez, an alumni of New World School of the Arts, presents a new installation and project titled Neighborhood Reclamation, a series of interspersed canvases that range in form and size. The figurative artist paints the typical trappings of an underserved community.

A Director’s Preview will be held on Thursday, May 28th 2015 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at MOA+D located within the College’s Historic Freedom Tower. The preview is FREE and open to the public.

The exhibition will be on view beginning Friday, May 29th through July 12th, 2015. The exhibition and supporting programs are FREE and open the public. In his portraiture work of neighborhood street gangs and culture, Vasquez is known for using scale and collage to assert his presence in the creative dialogue. Neighborhood Reclamation will present an alternate, deconstructed and optimistic environment for the protagonists that have traditionally been at the center of his practice. Homes, yards, clothing lines, garbage, and the rubble of broken walls and fences are depicted in the work – but without people. Walking through galleries, where freestanding works are arranged to create a winding path, viewers find themselves to be this community’s pedestrians, which in all its dilapidation, also shows intentional signs of renovation and progress. With all of the canvases facing one direction in the long and narrow gallery, the paintings seem to collage themselves together when looking at the exhibition from the “proper” orientation.

The directive of Vasquez’s new project is clear: there is an optimal perspective from which to decipher the plot that has been constructed for viewers, but only if they follow the rules. One misstep or wrong turn could completely erase the exhibit, leaving onlookers with the backs of exposed canvases, which have been purposefully left blank by the artist. Michael Vasquez received his BFA from New World School of the Arts in 2005. His work has also been included in numerous institutional and museum exhibitions including Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; The University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN; The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama; Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL; Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ among others.

Currently, Vasquez has seven works included in the exhibition Portraiture Now: Staging the Self, at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. Providing a platform to honor former alumni who have excelled in their respective artistic careers, the swing/SPACE/miami project and exhibition series continues to foster opportunities for further engagement with the next generations of young and emerging artists.

“Since its inception in September, 2013, MDC MOA+D has continued to present the work of outstanding MDC/NWSA visual arts alumni through its swing/SPACE/miami program and exhibition series. These two institutions have nurtured the talents of many accomplished alums who have graduated and who are currently producing work of the highest quality.” said Wanda Texon, Associate Curator, MDC MOA+D and swing/SPACE/miami Coordinator.

“The aim of swing/SPACE/miami is to offer these Miami­bred artists a venue – off or on­site at MOA+D to show their work and to present them with the opportunity to reconnect or foster stronger ties to their Miami roots.”

Neighborhood Reclamation, will be on view through July 12, 2015. Additional public programs will be announced later this month. Please see museum website for information. Museum hours are Wednesday – Sunday, noon ­ 5 p.m. Admission is free and private tours are available.

MDC Museum of Art + Design at Freedom Tower

600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL, 33132

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