A University of Miami guide to Art Basel

Mariana Cordoba, a junior fine arts major, was chosen to be featured in the “Pinta Miami” art showcase during Art Basel. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami

By Amanda M. Perez

Mariana Cordoba, a junior fine arts major, was chosen to be featured in the “Pinta Miami” art showcase during Art Basel. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami

A University of Miami guide to Art Basel

By Amanda M. Perez
Several UM art students are getting real-world exposure during a highly anticipated – and attended – week of art.

It is that time of year when talented artists from around the world converge in South Florida for Art Basel. This year, several University of Miami students are getting the opportunity to showcase their work to thousands of people who attend the world-renowned art event.

Mariana Cordoba, a junior pursuing an undergraduate degree in fine arts, was chosen to be featured in the “Pinta Miami” art showcase. Pinta Miami is a five-day event where international curators showcase their work, offering a unique platform for Latin American artists.

“This is such a dream, I can’t believe it. I’m extremely blessed and fortunate to be a part of this,” said Cordoba. “Ever since I was little I’ve always dreamed of being featured in a large scale event. I’ve always been creative, and now that I’m making it a reality, it really means the world to me.”

The gallery in Wynwood will feature an array of her abstract acrylic and oil paintings, including a piece called “Rapture.”

“It reflects how I feel towards dating. Sometimes I feel like you could be comfortable with someone, but not comfortable enough to share your emotions with them,” said Cordoba.

Cordoba landed the opportunity by reaching out to a local Peruvian artist who was looking to represent an emerging artist in South Florida. Cordoba, who is Colombian, said this unique opportunity is a chance for Latin American artists, like herself, to be represented in the industry.

“When you see a work, you’re not seeing a piece, you’re seeing an artist in motion. I think getting your work out is so important because it is a part of you that is open for people to see and appreciate,” Cordoba said.

She credits the University of Miami for her success.

“All the professors at UM have been mentors to me. They’ve really helped guide me to reach my goal. Without UM I don’t think I would have become the person and artist that I am today,” said Cordoba.

University of Miami Wynwood Gallery

In honor of Art Basel, the Department of Art and Art Historywill showcase an exhibit named “Intermedial Bodies” at the UM Wynwood Art Gallery featuring artwork of selected students from the masters in fine arts program.

The works are inspired by their own life stories.

Christine Di Staola, a third year graduate student, is one of nine graduate students whose work is on display. She says her three oil paintings were influenced by her past experiences living and painting in Italy.

“The best way to describe my artwork is colorful. The works are also figurative and focus on the human figure,” said Di Staola. “I lived for such a long time in a country that communicates freely through hand and body language, and I miss that kind of dialogue, so I’ve in a way recreated it in my work.”

Photography from Juan Sebastian features a photo he shot while visiting New Mexico.

“Las Doce [at noon] is part of an autobiographical series where I explored the concept of heroes in Latin America, which is a place where I grew up,” said Sebastian.

Gallery director, Milly Cardoso, is excited for the students who have worked hard throughout the semester for this special moment.

“There are so many artists that would kill for the opportunity to be in a gallery that is in the art district,” said Cardoso. “The students are also grateful to be able to show their work for free. A lot of artists in the area are paying a lot of money to be able to get their artwork in a gallery.”

Both Sebastian and Di Staola said they have learned a great deal throughout the process, and are looking forward to the busy week ahead.

“This is an excellent preparatory step toward organizing and being ready to do a group or solo show in the future, something that I will hopefully be doing after graduation next spring,” said Di Staola.

“It’s great to have momentum and be present. It’s always a good feeling to have your work recognized by others in the community,” said Sebastian.

“Intermedial Bodies” will be on view until January 18, 2019 at the University of Miami Art Gallery located inside the Wynwood Building. An opening ceremony will be held for the artists on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Lowe Art Museum

The Lowe Art Museumis also hosting an Art Basel Event on Sunday, Dec. 9. The annual Art Basel Bubbles & Brunch includes a lavish brunch in the museum beginning at 10 a.m., along with a Lecture Series in Photography featuring artist Hank Willis Thomas in the adjacent Storer Auditorium at 12 p.m.. Admission is free for Lowe members and Art Week VIP cardholders.

For more information, visit http://web.as.miami.edu/lowe/ArtBaselBubblesBrunch2918.