Eco-themed After Hours opened spring season

Marcy Diaz/Staff Writer

Alexia Escalante/The Beacon

On Jan. 26, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum set into motion the first Target Wednesday of the spring season: Arts and The Environment.
Guests were treated with a great selection of art, food and music when the doors opened at 5:00 p.m.

At the heart of the Frost’s first floor was a welcoming circle of four booths representing various eco-friendly organizations affiliated with the University. The Department of Landscape Architecture, the Office of University Sustainability, the Agroecology Program, the Department of Earth and the Environment, and the School of Environment, Arts and Society all came with brochures in hand and ready to raise awareness about saving the planet.
Thelma Velez, the representative for the Department of Earth and Environment and former president of Organic Garden Club, said:

“The choices we make now can ripple through and make a difference for the only resources we have. Education is key.”
An opening presentation by Jack Haime, president of the organization Bioplanet, was the first event of the evening.
Established four years ago in Mexico, Bioplanet is a nonprofit organization that educates people on beneficial actions for the environment.

They have already rooted their organization in Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, and of course, the U.S. Currently, they are working on community projects like the one in Haiti where 120 families are working to reforest their barren lands. They are also working on their Million TREES Miami campaign, which is a community centered effort to plant a million trees by 2020.
The Wolfsonian Teaching Gallery, which can be found on the second floor of the museum, displayed Metropole/Colony: Africa and Italy.
The exhibit  included  maps, memorabilia,  posters and paintings of the influence African colonization had on Italian culture. “We want to bring this collection to students—all students—whatever their major. We hope to have something in our collection that will inspire and educate them,” said Cathy Leff, director of the Wolfsonian.
Featured artists Maria Thereza Negreiros, Annette Turillo and Qin Feng displayed their own works for the evening on the third floor. Many of these works continued the art and the environment theme.

At the early age of nine, Negreiros found her love for art. Her inspiration was her surroundings in the forest of Brazil, and her love continued to grow not only for art, but for the place she came from.
“A Thought for the Planet” by Turillo brought an interesting twist to the normal gallery experience. With a mix of media, modern art and a public writing station equipped with stationary paper and colored pencils, Turillo’s display was very original.
Melissa Ussa, a junior, described it as “interactive, engaging to connect with the artist, and expressive about the only earth we have.”
Feng, a self-taught artist, began painting at the age of 14. He learned through experience and was motivated by philosophy and the Chinese language.

He has an ability to create different combinations of harsh, soft and precise brush strokes in the same medium.

“I do not start with an idea when I paint,” Feng said, “but let the movement of my brush to express its own message.”
The Frost will be hosting the next Target Wednesday on Feb. 22 between 6 and 9 p.m., which will feature ARTWORKS!, an art therapy collaboration.

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