Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design Presents the inaugural Exhibition at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres
MOAD - Cuban Diaspora Celia L
Credit: Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres
Miami, July 28, 2014 - The Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) at Miami Dade College (MDC) presents Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres. The inaugural exhibition will open to the public at 6 p.m. Friday, September 19, at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, a permanent space dedicated to the impact of Cuban culture on South Florida and throughout the world, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres features what have become iconic photographs of Cuban figures living outside the island, among them performers, composers, designers, writers and artists. The Cuba Out of Cuba series was shot over the last twenty years in Miami, New York, London, Paris, Florence, Venice and Los Angeles. The exhibition will take a unique and historical approach in surveying the legacies of individuals such as Celia Cruz, Bebo Valdez, Gloria Estefan, Cristina Saralegui, Andy Garcia, Cundo Bermudez, Nilo Cruz, and Paquito d’Rivera, among other Cubans who have influenced the greater culture of their time.
Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1968 he and his parents were among Cuban exiles who left the Island aboard the humanitarian air lifts called the Freedom Flights. Once arriving to Miami, his family and many thousands of other Cuban exiles came through the doors of the Freedom Tower that served as a processing and assistance center for the exile community. For many, the tower provided nothing less than their freedom from Castro and the hardships Cuba had come to give them, rightly earning its name of the Freedom Tower. Rodriguez–Duarte’s family settled in Miami’s Little Havana community. At the age of 10, he was given his first camera by his grandfather, which led to his love affair with photography. Today, he is a New York and Miami-based internationally renowned photographer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other major publications, and has exhibited his work at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Museum of the City of New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach among others.
Rodriguez-Duarte and his husband of 31 years, Tico Torres, have been documenting the Cuban diaspora since 1993. Torres, a photo stylist who is a master of the mise-en-scene, helped create with Rodriguez-Duarte the joyous image of Celia Cruz standing amid the towering palms of Fairchild Tropical Garden in a traditional ruffled Cuban gown. He was also there to set the mood in the London flat of Guillermo Cabrera Infante, one of Cuba’s most famous authors. Torres and his family were also among Cuban exiles who settled in Miami’s Hialeah community. Rodriguez-Duarte and Torres are thrilled to be returning together, full circle to the historic Freedom Tower for this inaugural exhibit, after separately setting foot there as immigrant children so many years before.
The inaugural exhibition kicks off the Museum’s fall season scheduled for Friday, September 19, 2014 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. in conjunction with SIDE BY SIDE: MDCULTURE STANDS AS ONE, a one night event held at the College’s historic Freedom Tower, featuring performances, exhibitions, film screenings, the public unveiling of 2014 Book Fair Poster, and the long awaited Cuban Exile Experience at the Freedom Tower. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres will remain on display at the museum through August 30, 2015. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.
MDC’s Freedom Tower was operated by the U.S. Government as a reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974. “The building is significant because it represents the important story of the Cuban exodus to America and resettlement during the Cold War,” reports the U.S. Department of the Interior, which has also called the Freedom Tower the “Ellis Island of the South.” Though it operated in that capacity for only 12 years, the building has become an icon representing the faith that democracy brought to troubled lives, the generosity of the American people and a hopeful beginning that assured thousands a new life in a new land.
WHAT: Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres
WHEN: Friday, September 19 –Opening Reception from 6 – 9 p.m.
September 19, 2014 – August 30, 2015
Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
WHERE: MDC Museum of Art + Design
Cultural Legacy Gallery
The Freedom Tower at MDC, First Floor
600 Biscayne Blvd.
About MDC Museum of Art + Design
MDC Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) is Miami Dade College’s flagship institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. The mission of the Museum is to promote the appreciation and understanding of art and its role in society through direct engagement with original works of art from within the College’s extensive permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Furthermore, the Museum presents year-round lectures, symposiums and art related events to expose, educate and engage the greater public through related creative processes.
The MDC Museum of Art + Design provides its patrons and visitors access to unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection. Miami Dade College has been collecting art since the 1960s. Over the years, the collection has grown contain more than 1,600 works in all mediums and genres, specifically within the movements of minimalism, pop art of the ’60s and ’70s, conceptual art and contemporary Latin American art. The College and Museum actively acquire works by emerging and under-recognized artists, as well as major figures in modern, post-modern and contemporary art.
About The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery
The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery is a historical division of the MDC Museum of Art + Design. In addition to visual arts, the Museum supports exhibitions and programs that collect, preserve, research and interpret stories and artifacts that help build a better community understanding and appreciation of the Freedom Tower’s history.
For more information about the exhibition, events or VIP Opening Reception at MDC Museum of Art + Design, please contact the Museum at 305-237-7722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, email@example.com, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949, firstname.lastname@example.org, MDC media relations director
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366, email@example.com, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, firstname.lastname@example.org, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, email@example.com
tony Otero Perez
MY BROTHER AND I SPENT 13 MONTHS OR SO IN FLORIDA CITY FROM 1962 TO 1963. MY FUNNIEST RECOLLECTIONS FROM THOSE DAYS ARE TWO, BOTH INVOLVING ONE OF MY HOUSE MATES. ANYWAY, ONE DAY FELIPE(NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED TO PROTECT THE INN0CENT) SAYS TO ME THAT HE HAD OVERHEARD ONE OF THE GIRLS SAYING THAT SHE WAS NOT FEELING WELL BECAUSE SHE HAD HER PERIOD AND BECAUSE HE HAD SOME SORT OF REAL OR PERCEIVED PAIN IN HIS LOWER ABDOMEN "I PROBABLY HAVE MY PERIOD TOO". SEVERAL WEEKS LATER, HE GIVES ME A LETTER HE WAS GOING TO SEND TO HIS "GIRLFRIEND" IN CUBA AND HE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT I THOUGHT OF THE LETTER. I ALMOST DIED LAUGHING WHEN I READ THE CLOSING LINE WHICH SAID: "TU SABES QUE EN EL CORRAL DE MI CORAZON, TU ERES LA UNICA PUERCA"
AFTER FLA CITY,WE WERE SENT TO WILMINGTON DELAWARE, WHERE WE STAYED FOR ANOTHER YEAR. MY BROTHER WAS ASSIGNED TO A REFORMATORY SCHOOL THERE WHILE I WAS ASSIGNED TO A HALF WAY HOUSE ALONG WITH 18 OTHER CUBAN BOYS.
WE LANDED IN NEW YORK IN 1964 UPON THE ARRIVAL OF OUR MOTHER AND I STAYED THERE UNTIL MARCH OF 2008 WHEN I MOVED TO MIAMI. SO IF YOU EVER WANT TIPS ON WHERE TO GO AND WHERE TO EAT IN NY, I AM YOUR MAN.
I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND GRADUATE SCHOOL WHILE IN NY. I SPENT 35 YEARS WORKING FOR VERIZON AND TOOK EARLY RETIREMENT IN 2005 AT THE TENDER AGE OF 57.
SINCE MOVING TO MIAMI, I HAVE VOLUNTEERED HUNDREDS OF HOURS TO HERENCIA MAGAZINE, WHERE CURRENTLY I HOLD THE POSITION OF MANAGING EDITOR (FOR THE PRINCELY SALARY OF NOTHING). I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO VOLUNTEER TIME TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE BECAUSE THE PERSONAL REWARDS ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD. AND THIS MAGAZINE MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN THE PRESERVATION OF THE CUBAN CULTURE AS WELL AS HISTORY
I HAVE TWO BOYS. THEY ARE BOTH NATIVE NYers AND BOTH OF THEM ARE US NAVY OFFICERS. THE OLDEST IS A LIEUTENANT COMMANDER IN THE SUBMARINE CORPS AND THE YOUNGEST IS A LIEUTENENAT ASSIGNED TO THE USS ENTERPRISE, THE LARGEST AIRCRAFT CARRIER IN THE US FLEET. THEY BOTH HOLD MASTER DEGREES IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING A CIRCUMSTANCE THAT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. SORRY FOR THE LONG DESCRIPTION BUT MY CHILDREN MAKE ME TOTALLY PROUD.
I HAVE RECONNECTED WITH MANY OF MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS FROM FLORIDA CITY AND EXPECT TO DO MORE OF THAT AS TIME GOES BY. IF YOU REMEMBER ME, PLEASE WRITE AND THAT GUARANTEES YOU A RESPONSE