Chryssa Vardea-Mavromichali, Large Metal B, ca. 1958, aluminum. Collection of the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Aron B. Katz, 82.0227.

Soothe your craving and link to the fine arts

By Kelly Montoya

Soothe your craving and link to the fine arts

By Kelly Montoya
Live music, performances, concerts, and exhibitions are canceled, but the University of Miami continues to bring its collective creativity and real-time connection to the world.

Without a doubt, the arts at the University of Miami are best experienced live, at venues, and with one another. Even though programming and art related events on campus are temporarily paused, the University is fostering new bonds between artists and audiences by connecting digitally in the most creative ways.  

From heartwarming social media mini concerts to digital collections that uncover bigger topics within art, culture, and history, there’s something to satisfy a range of moods as the world continues to navigate through the coronavirus.

Here are some ways you can seek arts at the U remotely from your home.

Keep up with #FrostiesPerformforU

The Frost School of Music put out a call for all students, faculty, and alumni to share their musical gifts on social media platforms using the hashtag #FrostiesPerformforU until the curtains rise again. 

Frost’s talented artists are taking up the challenge by uploading live recordings of themselves singing and playing a variety of instruments to give people at home a little brightness during this time.

“Our students know as well as anyone that music is the ‘mortar of humanity.’ In times of isolation they are posting their own music videos to create connection, uplift, and heal those who tune in," said Shelton G. Berg, dean of the Frost School of Music.

“It is amazing to hear the breadth of the posts, from classical flute duets to singer/songwriters.  I’m proud that our students are using their talents to bring some sunshine into the world,” he added.

The Frost School of Music also has a YouTube channel where virtual audiences can readily access previous performances.

View exhibitions that go beyond museum walls

To ensure everyone is still getting a daily dose of culture and education, the Lowe Art Museum team launched #LoweOnTheGo, a new digital resource that delivers a single work of art, like the one pictured below, from the permanent collection directly to their newsletter subscribers’ inbox. The curated selection can also be found on their social media platforms.

Lowe on the GoA pioneer in her field, Chryssa Vardea-Mavromichali is notable for being one of the first artists to incorporate neon into her art. She is also well-known for her long-standing fascination with semiotics and language. Born in Athens into a prominent Greek family, Chryssa completed studies in Paris and San Francisco before relocating to New York in 1954. There she fell under the spell of bedazzling commercial signs in Times Square and Chinatown; influences that manifested almost immediately in her work. Beyond the luminous glow of neon, the young artist was equally drawn to letters, whether serialized (like the alphabet) or individual (as is the case here). Large Metal B, whose matter-of-fact name belies its complexity, presents the second letter.

The Lowe Art Museum is also connecting with audiences by inviting them to explore the Lowe’s remarkable permanent collection, which spans 5,000 years of human creativity on every inhabited continent.

Browse, read, and download Lowe publications, and learn about the museum’s digital engagement resources, such as virtual tours and 3D printed objects from the collection.

Watch the Cosford Cinema’s curated movie selection

Breathe movie poster Foreign Correspondent movie poster Girlhood movie poster

With so many streaming options, choosing a movie to watch can suddenly feel overwhelming. Trae DeLellis, director of the Cosford Cinema, has curated a list of films available to watch on Kanopy, a streaming site available free through the University of Miami Libraries with a Cane ID.

“Kanopy is a great place to discover contemporary independent cinema, foreign films, and classics works,” he said. “Take a look at all they have to offer along with these selected films.”

DeLellis suggests: 

Breathe

Melanie Laurent may be better known as an actress from “Inglourious Basterds’’ and “Beginners,” but here she works behind the camera as director. A story of female friendship, “Breathe” is unpredictable and astonishing. One of the year’s best and most surprising films when it came out, but not widely viewed. Now is the perfect time to catch up. Also, take note of a spectacular performance by Lou de Laâge, who has become a captivating star in French cinema. 

Foreign Correspondent

I’m currently reading Professor Christina Lane’s biography on Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, “Phantom Lady,” and have been so intrigued by the woman’s life as one of a very few female producers working in film at the time. In 1940, Harrison was nominated for two screenwriting Oscars for two Hitchcock films, “Rebecca” and “Foreign Correspondent.” The latter is less discussed in the director’s work, but it ranks as one of his most thrilling and is full of international intrigue. It’s perfect to go along with reading about the fascinating life and work of Harrison.

Girlhood

Celine Sciamma’s latest film, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” made it to theaters last month before they had to close. It was the last film I watched in a theater. She’s a great filmmaker having made three previous feature films, including “Girlhood.” It’s a great study of coming of age, discovering oneself, and friendship. If that’s not enough, the film has an amazing musical set piece using Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”

More film recommendations are available on the Bill Cosford Cinema’s Instagram story.

Keep learning through digital archives and showcases

The University of Miami Libraries website has more than 40,000 digital scholarly resources unique to the University of Miami.

Check out the digital collections of photographs, correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, books, audio and video recordings, and other materials selected and digitized from special collections held in the Otto G. Richter Library, Calder Medical Library, and University Archives.