The Frost Museum of Art Showcases the 2021 MFA Exhibition

The Editors


Every year the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum features works by students graduating from the Master of Fine Arts program in the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts at Florida International University. 


This year, the museum is featuring the work of Dianna Grace and Elizaveta Kolesnikova. Grace is informed by immersive spaces and engages in innovative experimentation with materials. Kolesnikova's current work presents Peruvian cultures and traditions. This annual exhibition is a part of the Frost Art Museum's continuing support of FIU's art curriculum. 


Dianna Grace:


Experimentation has led me to my current “portals” concept. The energy within my work focuses on movement and space that represent gateways, entrances, or doorways. I am fascinated with the concept of traversing dimensions through openings and creating a moment for the viewer. My sculptural installations consume the viewer using light and shadow to create an engulfing environment.

IG: @diannagrace


Caption: The work of Dianna Grace in the MFA 2021 Exhibition at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum


Elizaveta Kolesnikova


I am of Russian descent and have been living abroad for at least 20 years. The topic of culture and tradition preservation is one that is crucial to the formation of my identity. All my knowledge of my culture and my traditional practices have been passed down to me by my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother, and all the female generations before that.

IG: @lizakolesnikova15


Caption: Elizaveta Kolesnikova, Old Lady of Urubamba, 2020, oil on canvas, courtesy of the artist


Paola Sierra

Records and Presence: Artists Known and Unknown in Virtually Accessible Collections is a virtual exhibition that showcases works by unknown artists in the public domain and works by Laura Aguilar, Romaine Brooks, Adrian Piper, and Amrita Sher-Gil. The exhibit searches for the archive’s shadow: the place within any collection typically unseen, or rendered unseen through a lack of access and, as a result, engagement. Photographs and works with inscriptions are framed as records; while paintings, textiles, drawings, and sculptures are framed to embody presence. They were all made to care for or preserve the memory of a person, place, or moment in someone’s life. The works in this exhibition come from clandestine spaces— whether through identity, medium, or unknown authorship— however, through their digital accessibility, this exhibition aims to create a space for the works to belong and be seen.


Caption: Virtual exhibition view of Records and Presence: Artists Known and Unknown in Virtually Accessible Collections Virtual exhibition curated by Paola Sierra


Arasay Vazquez


BEFORE/AFTER: Unveiling the Creative Process

Exhibition on view from April 10th to May 7th 2021

Laundromat Art Space, Miami, Florida


Both the process and the product of art are valid methods of study in different disciplines, such as music, literature, and cinema. From a curatorial point of view, the creative process is an essential aspect of visual works and a vibrant theme for an exhibition. Before/After: Unveiling the creative process aims to go beyond the borders of the artists’ studio—where intentions, research, material selection, and procedures usually remain private—to explore creative acts in greater depth. This exhibition presents six artists from the Florida International University art community. Among them, we find professor Jahaira Galvez, alumna Karla Kantorovich, and undergraduate student Rafael Lucas. Through a dialogue on contrasting media and practices, they present their tools, sketches, photography films, test color strips, clippings, notes, digital and archival research, and other materials, alongside their works. By recreating a before and after to the journey of the art-making process, viewers witness the creators’ approach and all the components that makes it possible to turn ideas into artworks.



List of artists

Ulices Acevedo, Jahaira Galvez, Karla Kantorovich, Rafael Lucas, Ari Temkin, Valeria Ulloa



it feels too familiar

When the pandemic began last year, the exhibition for the Master of Fine Arts 2020 Class was moved to a digital platform and presented as a virtual exhibition called it feels familiar. Now, the museum has asked the 2020 class to return and present their work, as well as work they have been creating since they graduated. The museum is now featuring the works of these nine artists, now alumni, in this exhibition’s second iteration, it feels too familiar.


Chris Friday

(Chris) Friday is a mixed-media artist based in Miami Florida.

 Implementing a chalkboard aesthetic, a great deal of attention is given to the investigation of the representations and perceptions of Black bodies in media and society. Identifying these perspectives and their origins, questioning their legitimacy, and offering possible solutions is priority in her work.

Friday has a BFA in drawing from New World School of the Arts. She is currently a 3rd year MFA Candidate at Florida International University and a 2nd Year Ratcliffe Art +Design Incubator fellow.

IG: _kinyobi_


Caption: Chris Friday, 20 feet Tall, chalk on Arches paper, 2021, courtesy of the artist



Anna Goraczko


In her work, Goraczko seeks to connect to her genealogy by creating installations that provide a feeling of familiarity and safety, as well as serve as tributes to the bonds made in these remembered spaces.

Goraczko combines her materials with elements from her grandmother’s archive to create an interplay between the two, comingling across various sites and moments in time connect with her. In this work, Goraczko creates a replica of a decorative windowpane from her late grandmother Linda’s house by using typography found from the erasure ribbon in her typewriter. The collection of letters, numbers, and symbols erased over the timespan of many years flow together like a current of faulty compound statements that become remnants of reworked punchlines for inappropriate jokes and recipes that needed exacting. Evidence of generously placed adjectives, tender questions, and traces of the quips she finessed with care are compiled in a pattern, much like the faux stained-glass window in her home. These buried mistakes and errs are displayed in remembrance of her and illuminated to recall her spiritual presence.

IG: @annagoraczkoart


Caption: Anna Goraczko, Ascended Edits, mixed Media, screen-print on plexiglass, 2021, courtesy of the artist.


Donelric Owens

I remember my father was alive, there was bowling alley he took me to every weekend.  In 2000, the bowling alley was closed and reopened as a church. Years later, it became a private clinic. It was as if the effects of gentrification had erased a part of my childhood.

Documenting the issues of gentrification in small communities, such as Little Haiti, gives me a chance to spread awareness of a growing problem that is still happening today. Major corporations forcing residents out of their neighborhoods and stealing their communities away from them is a pain I cannot imagine. Although I know what it is like to move from neighborhood to neighborhood, it is not the same. My intention with this work was to understand the cultural identity of these neighborhoods and to capture a sense of how they persevere over this ongoing problem.

IG: @demetrivondi


Caption: Donelric Owens, Untitled, inkjet archival prints, 2019-2020, courtesy of the Artist  



Yi-Chin Hsieh 


Yi Chin Hsieh is a Taiwanese independent curator living and working in Miami. Her research interests include curatorial methods under the discussion of exhibition forms, collectiveness in curatorial practices, and contemporary visual culture in response to the current time. She holds a BFA in Visual Design from National Taiwan Normal University and an MFA in Visual Arts from Florida International University. She has realized several curatorial projects in the greater Miami area and online.

IG: @ychsiehproject


Caption: Yi-Chin Hsieh, The Gift Shop, mixed Media, 2020—present, courtesy of the artist


Alex Del Canto 


Working primarily through photography, my work is centered on the intimate exploration of spaces in my local community, Broward County. Photographs describe the way individuals and their possessions occupy places in time. My work relates to the themes of home, memory, and familiarity and, although they are mostly void of human figures, they suggest their presence. Handwritten signs, local businesses, and decorative objects show what once was and what still remains. 

IG: @alexdelcanto


Caption: Alex Del Canto, from the series Broward at Night, digital photograph, courtesy of the artist


Carrington Ware  


Carrington Ware is a digital illustrator and creative living in south Florida. Her work extends into the multidisciplinary world including textiles, sound, and experimental video. She received her BFA from Valdosta State University with a concentration in graphic design in 2015. She recently received her MFA from Florida International University in 2020 in studio art.


She is a past recipient of the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator Fellowship (2018 - 2020)


“Over the years, as I have grown, my work, inspirations, and processes have followed suit in rewarding exploration through different materials. Textiles, experimental video, and sound have all become a part of my process for (re)learning and exploring narratives, stories, and stereotypes of Black people with a deeper interest in Black women/black identifying women.”


IG: @carrington_art


Caption: Carrington Ware, Reimagined Memories, appropriated found footage video, 2020, courtesy of the artist, YouTube, and Kinolibrary.


Michael Alexander Fernandez


In discussing my work, my vocabulary shifts back and forth between spiritual, religious ideology, and formal, aesthetic, and conceptual terminology. My practice is essentially a blend of intuitive and spiritual practice with formal aesthetic decisions, evoking the phenomenological blurring of subject and object while the viewer acts as voyeur over the specific rite. Using neo-pagan, Catholic, and Santero sensibilities, I create altarlike installations to work through personal narratives that deal with love, loss, mental illness, and emotional turmoil. My installations use spiritual, religious, and ceremonial formats in a form of “curative performance,” building sacred spaces to repair, recuperate, and reconstruct towards a hopeful outcome.


In using the altar as the format of my work, I build my narratives using an eclectic visual vocabulary to guide the viewer’s experience, often using subtle cues to stand in for literal storytelling. This action toward an outcome is what I consider “curative performance,” an action or series of actions and choices meant to lead to relief and catharsis.


Michael Alexander has an MFA from Florida International University and was a Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator Fellow.




Caption: Michael Alexander Fernandez, On Patience and Apathy, wood, found picture frames, gold leaf, dirt, lavender blossoms, small polaroid, paper, white ribbon, artist’s hair grown during quarantine, pendant, rose quartz needle, inkjet prints wrapped in red thread, 2020-21, courtesy of the artist


Devora Perez


Devora Perez focuses on the porosity of forms/frames by playing with the mutable line between painting and sculpture as historical constructs. Her works reference painting or use it as a point of departure through systemic and overlapping investigations of support, auxiliary support, paint, and the wall. Perez’s works are fashioned from wood, concrete, vellum, and plexiglass, among other quotidian elements. The works similarly raise questions about the relationship among object and viewer, the domestic sphere, and the built environment.


Devora Perez lives and works in Miami. She received her bachelor’s degree from New World School of the Arts in 2016, and her Master of Fine Arts from Florida International University in 2020. Perez participated in a one-year residency with Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator and traveled to Belize on an international cultural exchange in 2018.


She has participated in multiple group exhibitions in South Florida, most notably at Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation in 2016 and the A.I.M Biennial in 2020 organized by william cordova. The most recent traveling group exhibition opened at the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C. on November 2019 and then at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 2020. The exhibition, titled Inter|Sectionality: Diaspora Art from the Creole City, was curated by Rosie Gordon-Wallace. Perez’s work titled Man-Made Environment (here, there, and everywhere) is part of this exhibition, which is set to open on February 5, 2021 at the Miami Design District Moore building.

IG: @devoraperezart


Caption: Devora Perez, Hybrid, colored acrylic and wood, 2021, courtesy of the artist


Dominique Sandoval


I have lived in Miami, Florida since 1988.  I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in illustration/drawing at the University of Central Florida in 2012 and a Masters of Visual Art focusing on Printmaking at Florida International University in 2020.


I work as a fine artist, illustrator, and teacher. My approach is organic and intuitive. I work across a range of drawing, painting, printmaking, and textiles to create fluid works of art. The narratives I focus on are based on my life journey that I tell through color. I appreciate the joy and drama of color and its ability to convey emotion and spiritual energy. In other words, art is my own special and unique way of documenting my environment and my reactions to it. By using bright and vivid colors as well as my intuitive forms of mark-making, I create artwork that is both an expression of my life and the world around me.


My process involves a push-and-pull technique of layers. In other words. I play with the transparency of the layers by adding, erasing, smearing, cutting, and revealing. Each layer creates a history, as I adjust continual layers to work harmoniously with its predecessor. The result is a complex surface, where elements work with one another to create intricate narratives. The buildup of layers mimics the accumulation of my experiences and complexities, and the environment that surrounds me to document my life journey.

IG: @kekeillustrations


Caption: Dominique Sandoval, Vibration I, watercolor and sharpie on Stonehenge paper, 2021

courtesy of the artist


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