The Contemporary Arts Project, launched in November, 2006 at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, gives artists the possibility to develop their works in a close interaction with the museum. The process is commissioned by the prestigious institution, and the final product is revealed to the public through performances, demonstrations and studio labs. “The Contemporary Arts Project has been very successful. Since we started providing visitors with cutting-edge art works, the number of people coming to the Museum has increased,” says Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, executive director at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. From early November to February, 2008, artworks by Miami-based sculptor Cristina Lei Rodriguez and filmmaker Catherine Sullivan from Chicago will be on exhibit at the historic site.
“Struggling for Grandeur” is the piece created by Cristina Lei Rodriguez in response to the topiaries found in the gardens. It reaches the seven feet tall and occupies the center of the tea room. Rodriguez uses a diverse media, including epoxy, resin and plastic flowers, to design her vigorous pieces. She graduated from the California College of Arts and Craft in San Francisco and obtained her BA from Middlebury College in Vermont. Her work has been exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York, and the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Poland.
Catherine Sullivan presents “The Patroness”, a chapter from the epic trilogy “Triangle of Need,” multi-channel video installation made by the artist with composer Sean Griffin from Los Angeles.
The script incorporates the atmosphere of Vizcaya and it is based on a series of emails that disseminate a popular fraud. It’s important to say that the artist calls people’s attention to the inevitable situation in which primitivism may be veiled by notions of progress. On December 8th, both Sullivan and Rodriguez will be honored at the Art Basel event celebrated at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The artists will join the audience to exchange ideas and impressions about their work. The admission to the museum and gardens is $12.00, and there is not charge for this event.
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was built by James Deering in 1916. It features the main building, ten acres of gardens and a historic village, which will be restored soon to provide additional venues for innovative programs in the community.