University students set to showcase their talents during Art Week

A painting by Mariana Cordoba will be on display at Pinta Miami, The Modern & Contemporary Latin American Art Show.
By Amanda M. Perez

A painting by Mariana Cordoba will be on display at Pinta Miami, The Modern & Contemporary Latin American Art Show.

University students set to showcase their talents during Art Week

By Amanda M. Perez
University of Miami students will exhibit their artistic abilities during Art Week, which is underway and headlined by Art Basel—one of the leading art fairs in the world that is set for Dec. 2–4 on Miami Beach.

Art Week, tied to the Art Basel exhibition on Miami Beach that runs from Dec. 2–4, is underway and runs through Dec. 5. And University of Miami students will be taking part in a few events to display their work and to show that their art is a pathway into a story.

For Celia Jairala, her art tells the story of how technology can infringe upon society. She hopes to relay her message during an Art Week event, “Virtual Tragedy, a pop-up experience” set for Dec. 4.

Celia Jairala Virtual TragedyThe event, which will take place at the Social Hub Miami starting at 2 p.m., will showcase a collection of five large oil paintings on plexiglass.

“They tell a story about the creation of technology by man and how we can lose ourselves in our phones, computers, and TV subsequently letting technology consume us and our time,” explained Jairala, a junior with majors in finance and marketing and a minor in entrepreneurship.  

Jairala, who is primarily a portrait artist, said that people inspire her to create.

Celia Jairala
Celia Jairala

“There is beauty in their mysticism. When I look at the people around me, I wonder who they are. So, when I paint, I want people to stop and look at the person I captured. Who are they? Why are they holding themselves the way that they are? If the viewer is thinking these things, I believe I have accomplished my goal,” she said.

Jairala said that she is feeling very proud to have the opportunity to showcase her art to such a large art community.

“Art Basel to me is one of the pinnacles of being an artist. I came to Miami because of its thriving art scene, and I am thrilled to be in it,” said Jairala. “UM has helped me through networking with others who love art and giving me the freedom to express myself.”

Mariana Cordoba is also proud to be able to take part in a weeklong Art Basel event—Pinta Miami, The Modern & Contemporary Latin American Art Show.

Mariana Cordoba
Mariana Cordoba

It is an honor to show my work to such a wide audience, and I would like to emphasize that I am exhibiting solo,” declared Cordoba, who is currently studying for her master’s degree in real estate development. “I am more than thrilled because I love to see people’s reactions to my work. Whether it is good or bad, I love to hear what people think my work means to them.” 

As a Colombian American artist, Cordoba said that her inspiration behind her collection reflects her journey of how she felt while studying for her master’s degree in real estate. 

“In 2020 my schedule became overbearing. It was rather impossible to fit painting into my daily life. I remember that my passion to paint started to leave my identity,” she explained. “When I decided to start making these paintings, I began feeling comfortable in my own skin again. I started to make time for what made me happy. I am beyond thrilled to share the work I made during this time because it reflects a period of my life where I pushed myself to create.”

Cordoba said that participating in art shows has helped her grow as a person.

It gives you thick skin. I think you need to have it in this art world. Participating in this year’s art week has taught me to be determined when you have a set goal,” she said.

Her ultimate goal for the future is to merge art with real estate development.

“I find that there is such a creative aspect in real estate development. Developing homes is an art. The home is the cradle of art, so I hope my paintings can become part of people’s lives. I hope that when a homeowner buys my art, they will be proud to hang a piece of my art in their home for their enjoyment,” said Cordoba.

Another student who will be exhibiting art during Art Basel is Alejandra Moros, a senior who is set to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts this semester.

Dale Zine by Alejandra Moros“I’ve been working on the pieces over the last two months and can’t wait to see how they look outside of the studio space,” she said.

Moros will have her artwork displayed at the 19th edition of NADA Miami, which will take place Dec. 1–4 at Ice Palace Studios. 

Moros noted that her artwork will be unique portraitures.

“I’ve started decreasing the space between subject and viewer more and more, leaning into the ambiguity that can be given to the composition. I’m interested in the duality of vulnerability as a source of both comfort and discomfort, and to me these compositions are explorations of both my own and the viewer’s relationships with vulnerability and intimacy,” said Moros.

She credits University faculty for her success.

The people and professors at UM have helped me so much, especially in the last two months—whether it was talking to me after a bad painting day or just giving me a space to work in,” said Moros.

Peruse a list of additional Art Basel events.