Coral Gables Museum celebrates the new year with innovative exhibit

Everyone was in high spirits Wednesday at the Coral Gables Museum as people filtered in for the opening of the museum’s new art exhibit, “New Art for the New Year.”

Located in what was once a police and fire station, the Coral Gables Museum is run by the Coral Gables Museum Corp. along with the City of Coral Gables itself.

The exhibit includes pieces created within the last five years from 11 art galleries around Coral Gables. The hope of the exhibit is to bring the city’s art to one place and provide the artistic flavor of the city.

The show is alive with colors and multi-dimensional works both on the walls and scattered across the floor of the large gallery room. There is something for everyone, from a black and white view of Paris, to a colorful sculpture featuring a Chihuahua made of totally recycled material, to a sculpture by Salvador Dali of one of his famous melting clocks.

The show, which contains all forms of art, from painting and photography to sculpture and mixed media, was curated by Denise Gerson, a UM alumna, the former associate director at the Lowe Art Museum, and a self-proclaimed “Gables girl.”

“I understood that the point was to evenhandedly curate the exhibition,” said Gerson, who explained there was no single inspiration or medium that was being emphasized. Rather, the point was to have a variety.

This was not overlooked by the people at the opening.

“I personally love the variations,” said one patron excitedly as she walked from piece to piece.

The exhibited artists were similarly enthusiastic. Jorge Kuperman of the JSK Architectural group, whose piece “He is Watching You” is being displayed, praised the show as having “great initiative.” Another artist, Julian Andres Acosta Pacheco praised Gersen, claiming that, “Participating in a show curated by Denise Gerson is an honor.” Pachecho has a piece entitled “#263 Prinsengracht” on display.

Cindy Birdsill, the economic sustainability director of Coral Gables, was enthusiastic about the possibility of students, particularly art students, coming to see “what local galleries have to offer.”

“The gallery scene has gotten fractured,” Birdsill said. “Our hope is to make it visually more accessible.”

Gerson explained that this is the first time a show of this nature has been put on, but that it will be “hopefully very well-received.” Her aim is to make it an annual event.

The exhibit runs through Thursday and is definitely a must-see. The museum itself is only around 15 minutes from campus, open until 6 p.m. during the week (closed on Mondays) and until 5 p.m. on the weekends.

“From my point of view it was a great success,” said Gerson. “[We] all put our heads together to make it worthwhile … it’s a nice, eclectic exhibition. There’s something here for everyone.”