"3rd Annual Middle School Art Festival” Provides a Professional Artist Experience for Young Artists

The “3rd Annual Middle School Art Festival” at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame 6 to 12 Prep gives young artists the chance to experience life as professional artists.  More than 30 pieces of work from Miami-Dade Catholic middle school students will be exhibited from January 31 through February 18, 2012. ACND Gallery of Art at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame 6 to 12 Prep, 4949 NE 2nd Avenue. The Festival is an opportunity to showcase the value of art in education while giving participants an opportunity to learn what artists typically have to do to get their art displayed.  The students first go through the selection process with art teachers selecting work to represent each school and, then, the art work is reviewed by area art professionals.  The event, however, is not a competition.  Students receive a copy of their reviews and an award for their participation.  Then, all artwork and young artists are celebrated at an opening reception for their friends and family.  The participants will also receive items donated by I.D. Art Supply, Downtown Miami and Around Town Magazine, Aventura.


“The school has embraced and been embraced by the art community of the neighboring Design District and the larger Miami area,” comments ACND Principal, Patrick Sean Moffett, CFC Ph.D. “Each year professional artists delight in the opportunity of the ACND Catholic School Art Festival to encourage a new generation of artists.”

Representing this year’s professional art jury is:

Gerry Stecca – Stecca has been nationally recognized for his sculptural works made from wooden clothespins.  His installations have been twice featured on HGTV’s Color Splash, Bloomingdales stores in Aventura and Boca Raton; Design Fairchild at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden; the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK; and the University of Maine Museum.  Stecca has, most recently, collaborated with other artists in the creation of two murals measuring 55′ high and over 100′ wide on the outside walls of the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale and is currently working on another mural project with Zoo Miami.


Inez Suen – Suen is an Art Consultant and Curator.  Her consulting business, based in New York and Miami, specializes in the marketing and promotion of several prominent artists, galleries, and non-profit organizations.  She is also founder of the International Chinese Fine Arts Council (ICFAC) – an organization that strives to create understanding of Diaspora Chinese culture through arts and music and promote the Chinese arts on an international platform.

Sandra Garcia – Garcia is a sculptor and welder whose art has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and is part of private collections in the U.S., Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Argentina.  She also offers, from her studio in Wynwood, art welding classes and workshops titled, “Wild Welding Women.”  One of her most recent series of sculptures named, “The Bags of Vanities,” is an invitation to think about the fetishes surrounding designer purses and other expensive, luxury articles.

Stefano Campanini – Campanini is owner of  Etra Fine Art and Wine By The Bay (a fine wine and art boutique). Alongside gallery and international art fair experience, he has first-hand wisdom in advancing teaching and learning through the arts as board member for Arts for Learning (A4L.)  Campanini is founder of “La Casa de la Mujer de las Americas” – a non-profit organization that creates community centers for families headed by women who are fleeing civil war or domestic violence in Colombia.


Dr. Mercedes A. Quiroga – Dr. Quiroga (and ACND alumna) is Campus President of the A. Hugh Adams Central Campus, Broward College. Prior to this position, she served for more than 20 years in a variety of positions at Miami-Dade College, including Chairperson, department of arts and philosophy; Provost and CEO, New World School of the Arts; and most recently as President MDC, Wolfson Campus. Dr. Quiroga was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Florida Humanities Council for a three-year term ending September of 2014.

Fr. David G. Russell – Fr. Russell is a renowned homilist and artist.  Fr. Russell founded the parish of St. Maurice and was pastor of St. Louis and St. John Neumann Churches.  He has been a member of the Archdiocesan Commission on Art and Architecture.  His paintings have been exhibited at galleries throughout the United States, Italy, and Mexico.  Fr. Russell exhibited a collection of his works at the ACND Gallery of Art in 2010.

Participating schools include:  St. Mary, Miami; St. Patrick, Miami Beach; Our Lady of the Lakes, Miami Lakes; St. Agnes, Key Biscayne; Br. Rice Honors Academy at ACND, Miami; St. Rose of Lima, Miami Shores; St. Lawrence, Miami; St. Hugh’s, Coconut Grove;  Sts. Peter and Paul, South Miami; and St. John the Apostle, Hialeah.

The ACND Gallery of Art (established in 2007) is offered as an expression of solidarity with its neighbors in the historic Buena Vista, Brentwood and Little Haiti sections of the upper east side of Miami including the recently developed areas surrounding the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and the Design District.  Each exhibit is designed to provide an opportunity for educational enrichment through the promotion of thought and discussion.  For more information, visit www.acnd.net.

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