Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU Presents "Miami Mosaic: Portraits by Inez Hollander"

Exhibit Opens February 12, 2013

MIAMI BEACH, FL –(January 1, 2013) The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, the only Museum dedicated to telling the story of 250 years of Florida Jewish heritage, arts and culture, is proud to present Miami Mosaic: Portraits by Inez Hollander, opening February 12, 2013. This portrait series created by Hollander, a life-long resident of Miami, includes bold and vibrant colored paintings and sketches people representing Miami’s multifaceted and contrasting community.

A self-described chronicler and storyteller, Hollander’s Miami Mosaic series documents the Miami of today: a community teeming in diversity. Through Hollander’s use of primary colors and strong, unrelenting brush strokes, she captures the emotions of her subjects, enabling the viewer to see not only the many faces of Miami as a whole, but also as individuals. Her work is influenced in color, style and composition by artists such as Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, David Hockney and Elizabeth Peyton. Hollander states that she “teaches through the eyes of Matisse.”

“Everyone will find images that symbolize people they recognize in the many faces of Miami portrayed in this exhibit,” said Jo Ann Arnowitz, executive director and chief curator of JMOF-FIU. “In keeping with our mission of presenting the Florida Jewish experience as an example of the acculturation process of everyone’s family in our multicultural state, this exhibit showcases the work of a Florida Jewish artist and highlights the ethnic diversity in our community.”

The inspiration for the Miami Mosaic series began with models from Hollander’s class at Miami Art League in 2003, where her subjects included a lawyer, real estate agent, floral assistant, construction worker, hairdresser, mother of three trying to become a singer, Tango dance teacher working with blind students and a retired civil service worker known as the “King of the Nude Beach.” Hollander realized that this diverse group coincidentally represented a cross-section of Miami and thus began her Miami Mosaic series. Hollander considers the series a work in progress, with more than 200 portraits to date, including watercolors, oil pastels, water-soluble crayons and acrylics.

Hollander’s impetus for the series stemmed from her frustration of the media representing the city as a crime and drug ridden home to gangsters and delinquents. The first piece, “Time Flies Over Miami” depicting a pelican and a Rolex, was in response to the media’s over dramatization of finding a Rolex watch on a crime victim in the 1980s. It was her artistic statement that Miami has more to offer, such as its ecology and unique sub-tropical environment.

Hollander is a graduate of Miami Beach Senior High School, where she had her first art education internship. She earned her BA from the University of Miami, where she studied with Gene Massin and Clayton Charles (who was the head of the liberal arts program at the time). Upon seeing her work, both Massin and Charles were instrumental in finding Hollander a scholarship, enabling her to study full-time. In 1983, after a 13-year hiatus from painting, Hollander took a workshop with renown artist Roberto Juarez in Miami. Previously she had painted with watercolor and oils, and with this workshop, she began using acrylics and mixed metaphor.

Hollander has been teaching and exhibiting in the South Florida community for more than 40 years. She has been involved with The Bass Museum School, WLRN, South Florida Art Center and Miami Watercolor Society and her work has been featured in American Artist Watercolor magazine and Palette Magazine.

Miami Mosaic will be on display from February 12 - May 5, 2013, with the festive Members Only Opening Event on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Admission is complementary for JMOF-FIU Members at the $125 level or above; all other Museum Members are $18 per person. The Opening Event will also include the presentation of this year’s Avis Lee & Abraham Neiman Judaica Contest Winners for the statewide artists’ original designs of Havdalah spice boxes. RSVPs must be received by February 4 to 786-972-3175 or info@jewishmuseum.com. To become a member of the Museum, call 786-972-3164 or email membership@jewishmuseum.com.

About the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU: The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is the only Museum dedicated to telling the story of 250 years of Florida Jewish heritage, arts and culture. The Museum is housed in two adjacent lovingly restored historic buildings, at 301 Washington Avenue on South Beach, that were once synagogues for Miami Beach's first Jewish congregation. The Museum's focal point is its core exhibit, MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida, 1763 to Present and its temporary history and art exhibits that change periodically. Now on display: PROJECT MAH JONGG through March 17, 2013 and FROM HOME TO HOME: Jewish Immigration to America, the Museum's first ever children's exhibit, through January 27, 2013. A Collections and Research Center, several films, Timeline Wall of Jewish history, Museum Store filled with unique items and Bessie's Bistro complete the experience for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Museum is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Mondays, civil and Jewish holidays.

Admission: Adults $6; Seniors $5; Families $12; Members and children under 6, Always Free; Saturdays, Free.

For more information: 305-672-5044 or www.jewishmuseum.com or visit us on Facebook @JewishMuseumofFlorida.