Arts and Humanities People and Community

Student artists ready to reach global audience

M.F.A. students will showcase their creations in photography, printmaking, painting, and ceramics during Art Basel Miami Beach—the premier art show of the Americas.
Cherlynn Zhang M.F.A student pictured with art at the UM Wynwood Gallery for Art Basel Miami Beach.
Cherlynn Zhang is a story gatherer and image maker whose artistic practice encompasses photographic installation, clay sculptures, creative writing, movement, and performance. Her work explores the intricate intersections of border cultures, cosmopolitanism, deterritorialization, exile, and memory. Photos: Joshua Prezant/University of Miami

Amid the bustle of Art Basel Miami Beach, a new wave of artistic voices is poised to captivate audiences on a global stage. Beginning this week, 12 University of Miami Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) students will showcase their work at the University of Miami Gallery in Wynwood during the premier art show of the Americas. The exhibition, “New Works,” is on view from Saturday through Jan. 19, 2024, and features photography, printmaking, painting, and ceramics. 

As curators, collectors, critics, and art enthusiasts from around the world converge on South Florida for Art Basel Miami Beach and Miami Art Week, the University of Miami Gallery exhibition provides immense exposure for emerging artists, including this year’s student creators:

Mariana Espindola
Natalie Galindo
Zuyi Jin
Sepideh Kalani  
Catherine Kramer
Anthony Magnetti
Monia Meluzzi
Julia Galvao Ramos
Alian Martinez Rives
Lucas Varnum
Alyssa Wood
Cherlynn Zhang

Hailing from around the globe, some of this year’s featured M.F.A. students are presenting their work thousands of miles from their native homes, where their art may be not only controversial but also prohibited by restrictive governments. Many of them focus their creative lens on atrocities of the past, injustices of the present, and existential fears of the future—each telling their stories using innovative materials, technologies, and techniques that convey their experiences in provocative works of art.

“When people see my works, I want them to be aware of injustices, and I hope to sensitize them in order to think about those issues in our daily life, instead of avoiding them,” said graduate student Monia Meluzzi when asked about the impact of her art.

As preparations for this weekend’s opening reception continue throughout the week, students shared how the University of Miami’s connection to the flourishing art community has supported and propelled their work. 

“Miami's artistic community is renowned for its diversity and cultural richness, mirroring the multicultural essence of the city. Involvement in this community exposes artists to a broad spectrum of perspectives, influences, and artistic styles,” said graduate student Alian Martinez Rives. “As a graduate student, this exposure proves educational, contributing to the development of my artistic voice and broadening my comprehension of the contemporary art scene.”

The University community is invited to celebrate the accomplishments of all 12 M.F.A. students this week at the “New Works” opening reception, held at the University of Miami Gallery, Wynwood Building, on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Explore other University-related Art Basel events:

Hours and locations are subject to change for all Art Basel Miami Beach events. Please confirm details directly with the venue prior to attending.