Art in the Breezeway, Coral Gables’ monthly exhibit of artwork by emerging local artists, is beginning the new year at a new location. On Friday, Jan. 6, 6-10:30 p.m., Art in the Breezeway will make its grand debut in the plaza at the Coral Gables Museum, located at 285 Aragon Ave.
For the past three years, local artists have exhibited their creativity the first Friday of every month while contributing to the next generation of creative young artists. Artists donate art supplies to Ponce de Leon Middle School in exchange for their display space. Mike Thompson, a fourth generation Coral Gables resident, has directed this effort in the name of his late wife, Carole Hughes Thompson, who was an art teacher at Ponce Middle for 32 years.
“Every year we would buy art supplies halfway through the year,” Thompson said. “At that point, Carole was always out of paper, pencils and paints for her lesson plan. So off we went to Rex Art and out came hundreds of dollars from our checking account. This donation program has been extremely successful and now other schools are asking to be a recipient in this program.”
Thompson said that with the help of Arva Moore Parks, Coral Gables Museum curator; Christine Rupp, director, and Caroline Parker-Santiago, program director, relocation has been seamless.
Thompson has invited some of Coral Gables’ most creative artists to the January event. Miguel Rodez, who has been on the board of Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places and is responsible for installations on NW 36th Street near Miami International Airport, the Arsht Center and Metrorail, will display his photography, drawings and paintings as well as his famed inflatable sculptures that graced Bayfront Park during Art Basel.
“Someone asked me why I create giant sculptures, and I do not know exactly how to respond other than to say that sometimes size matters,” Rodez said. “In public art, size is essential. It does not work well if the public can’t see it. So, I make it big. I want people to wonder about my sculptures in the way a child looks at an unusual object for the first time and endows it with meaning direct from the imagination.”
Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason will be receiving his official portrait, commissioned and directed by Thompson and painted by local portrait painter Pery Franco. Franco has been a long-time participant in Art in the Breezeway and has helped Thompson distribute art supplies to Ponce Middle School and South Miami K-8 Magnet Arts School.
Cuban-born artist William Brito will be exhibiting his newest series “Cat in the Clock,” and Edgar Hernandez’s pastel of Life in Miami is sure to bring a smile. Other featured artists include Carole Hughes Thompson, Mike Thompson, Pery Franco, Henry Barnes, Sonia Kohler, Terry Jensen, Katrisk Toimil, Dawn Lovell, Rita V. Gaudry, Emilio Hector Rodriguez and many more.
Music at the event will be presented by Hal Roland, who many locals will recognize as the piano player at Christy’s and Seasons 52 in Coral Gables. Roland is well known for performing and recording with some of the biggest names in music, producing the music for Star Search and being the sultry voice of WDNA 88.9FM.
While attending Art in the Breezeway enjoy dinner at one of the area’s fine restaurants, visit Books and Books or take in a movie at the New Cinema. Art in the Breezeway will be accepting donations from the public of new or used art supplies to be donated to local schools.
For more information, contact Mike Thompson at 305-785-6344 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.