The Green Library isn’t just a place where books and journals are kept – it also serves as a gallery for some of the area’s most talented artists. “Nine” Artists on the Green is a collective art exhibition that will run through October at the library.
Featuring artists from the Bird Road Art District, pieces will be displayed throughout the library, including the second, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth floors to offer all students and visitors a chance to experience art firsthand. Showcasing each artist’s skills, the exhibition includes traditional mediums such as painting, sculpture, poetry and photography, as well as handmade books and encaustic works (pigmented beeswax mixed with resin).
The nine artists showing in the exhibition are Juan Abuela, Armando Perez Aleman, Vicente Dopico, Justo Gimeranez, Patricia De Leon, Lucy De La Vega, Maria Patino, Ismael Gomez Peralta, and Ana Maria Sarlat.
Sarlat is particularly excited to show her work at the library, as her love of FIU runs deep. She took courses with Carol Damian, former director of the FIU Frost Museum, whom she describes as a “very dedicated, gifted professor and a unique mentor” whose Women in Art course changed her life and strengthened her work, and her daughter Amy Winters Donaldson currently works in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
De Leon studied art for a year at FIU, learning the fundamentals of drawing and photography, before finishing her degree at Western Washington University. Her time studying art instilled in her a sense of discipline and a passion for learning, skills essential to her practice. It was during her art history courses that she came “to terms with the idea of history as an inheritance that enriches the human condition,” and Damian’s expertise in Latin American art inspired a lifelong interest in the subject; her book The Virgin of the Andes is a frequent reference source in de Leon’s studio.
De Leon’s connection with the FIU Libraries goes beyond her time as a student here. Her mother worked at FIU, so as a child de Leon would spend her afternoons after school exploring the stacks. She eventually settled on the vast collection of art books and films, discovering “everything from medieval illustrations to Art Deco to contemporary Cuban art. For me it was truly formative to know and enjoy the library as the source of the introduction to my passion for art.”