Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Being born and raised in Miami, one would think I’d have seen everything there is to see in our wonderful city. However, there’s always something new to discover no matter where you are. From visiting AmericanAirlines Arena for a concert to outdoor shopping at Bayside Marketplace, I never noticed what treasure was hiding in between the two. On a typical sunny Saturday morning, I had the pleasure of visiting the Perez Art Museum of Miami for the first time. When I first walked into the museum, I was overwhelmed by how many different paintings, sculptures, and media pieces were scattered all over the building. Seeing so many vast works of art with their own unique story waiting to be told made me want to find out what they were and what message it is that they wanted to convey.
The first artwork that caught my attention at the museum was a painting titled Alba created by Carmen Herrera, a Cuban-American abstract minimalist, in 2014. Placed in the Nedra and Mark Oren gallery, her work illustrated simplicity and a sense of calmness in its structure because of the precision in her composition. It was a green rectangle with the center piece of it separated towards the left side, as if it were missing or being pushed away, resembling a puzzle piece. The more I looked at it, the more it made me think about how society pushes people away for certain reasons when at the end of the day we’re all human. In a way, I related to that piece because I, myself, have been pushed away by a group of friends just because my personality was different, yet I still looked the same as everyone else.
Next up, a very colorful piece drew my attention right away. It consisted of many vibrant shades of blue, green, pink, and red with objects such as weave tapestry, shoes, hats and costume jewelry of the same colors; all strategically scattered across a blank canvas. I kept trying to decipher the symbolism in the painting, attempting to figure out why everything was in its place and what it meant. It looked like a transformation of gender norms when it comes to fashion and apparel enhancing a person’s physical appearance. The artwork is titled …found among the reeds-Dead treez… by Ebony G. Patterson, who is a Jamaican visual artist.
A work of art that I disliked was a sculpture that resembled a wall or bridge made out of logs, sticks, or anything made out of wood. The way it was arranged, alternating between light and dark-colored pieces of wood, almost charcoal-like pieces in the center with black rectangles and squares protruding outward like an assembly of firearms, made it appear as if it were a bridge being constructed, representing division in society all while promoting the use of firearms for destruction. Its title was Number 163, composed by Leonardo Drew in 2012.
Throughout all the different twists and turns a person takes in an art museum, taking many paths of direction to explore every single piece of work on display, I stumbled upon a section that had many similar, if not the same, paintings. I come to find out they were all made by the same artist, and I realized I stumbled upon an exhibit titled Grids, showcasing works that were filled with linear and geometric forms crafted by Lynne Golob Gelfman, a NY-born, Miami-based artist. Most of her artwork represents something of a fence, with the adjacent squares split into diagonal triangular shapes. One piece stood out above all others because it was just a canvas painted with black acrylic paint with white streaks pouring down vertically instead of the usual shapes she uses in most of her pieces.
Towards the end of my visit, I noticed a sculpture that appeared to be a pair of human ears made out of some kind of brass instrument as if it were a French horn, trumpet, trombone or tuba. I interpreted it as the sound of music, seeing as how music is one of the most common forms of expressing thoughts and emotions when they’re not able to be put into words. The sculpture’s titled Behearer, created by Terry Adkins in 2004. Seeing as how I spend most of my time listening to music, this piece resonated with me and I would definitely want to take that piece of work home as memorabilia from a wonderful experience.