Community Voices

TRANSART show to spotlight works of transgender artists

The 2019 TRANSART event will showcase the talent, vision and possibilities within the transgender and gender non-conforming artist community. This 2017 attendee pass shows an example of the artwork that year.
The 2019 TRANSART event will showcase the talent, vision and possibilities within the transgender and gender non-conforming artist community. This 2017 attendee pass shows an example of the artwork that year.

Since 2002, Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida has been advancing equality and fairness through education, leadership and awareness for the Latinx, Hispanic, and LGBTQ communities.

And for the past five of those years, the group has been contributing to Miami’s growing world of art.

At its upcoming fifth annual TRANSART show and conference, there will be international performance art, artists, authors, theater and a lot of inspiration designed to enlighten everyone in our community.

The event will showcase the talent, vision and possibilities within the transgender and gender nonconforming artist community 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Villain Theater, 5865 NE Second Ave. in Miami’s historic Little Haiti neighborhood.

Organizers include co-chairs Aryah Lester and Morgan Mayfaire; Ashley Mayfaire; programming and talent coordinator June Raven Romero; Robert Dee; and Samantha LeTroy.

“As one of the board members responsible for gathering and reviewing performance-based art applications for TRANSART, I am ensuring that the program is reflective of the best and most dynamic acts the South Florida trans community has to offer. Diversity in performance style, content and skill set as well as overall audience satisfaction quality are key factors in composing this year’s lineup,” Romero said.

While the event is free, you must register in advance to attend TRANSART at You can learn about the many artists in the showcase and also see the schedule.

Additional events include jewelry making and inclusive language workshops, fashion and discussion, improv classes, Aryah’s Closet where you can take home free new and gently used clothing, the Chaplin Tyler Fashion Showcase and discussion, and the June Romero presentation of The Trans Experience.

At the end of the two-day event, there will be a butterfly release and remembrance vigil to honor those whose lives have been lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

Artist Pedro Villalba Ospina’s work, including 175 drawings and etchings, are unveiled at the exhibit opening to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez.

22 years of etchings

Be sure not to miss this exhibit of etchings at the University of Miami Otto G. Richter Library. Colombian artist and printmaker Pedro Villalba Ospina dedicated more than 22 years creating a representation — in 175 drawings and etchings — to honor “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Nobel Prize winning author Gabriel García Márquez.

The works bring to life the fantastical story of love and loss in Macondo, the fictional hometown of the Buendia family. The exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication.

“Etching One Hundred Years of Solitude: Gabriel García Márquez” also includes an audiovisual presentation into the artist’s process and his handwritten journal, open to the page where he estimated the entire project would be completed in one year.

“An artwork can be born of many sources, but first of all it’s born of the knowledge, the intuition and the influences of your own time. Sometimes a work of art can be born of experimentation. Sometimes a work of art also inspires other works of art,” Villalba Ospina said.

“Before thinking about doing the etchings, what motivated me most to read the novel so many times — besides its literary richness, its poetic beauty and its great clairvoyant and premonitory power — was my desire or my stubbornness to find a way out of salvation for that community of Macondo that existed between ingenuity, astonishment, curiosity, delirium and frustration, but that never found happiness nor the greatness or simplicity of acts of love.”

He said the classic novel is also about science, inventions, music, poetry and “all the semblance of human behavior, from the highest enthusiasm to the deepest sadness, from the most sublime value to the most cowardly infamous, from the most passionate euphoria to the most quiet skepticism, from the most innocent and innocent love to the most bitter and cruel hatred, from the darkest frustration to the most enlightened hope.”

The exhibit is free and open until May 15. It is made possible in part by the support of The Tonkinson Foundation. The Richter Library is at 1300 Memorial Dr., Coral Gables. Hours vary. Call 305-284-3233 or visit Watch a video about the etching process at

Pinecrest Fine Arts Festival

Explore the works of 60 artists throughout the native forested wetlands, tropical hardwood hammocks, and a native cypress slough hammock at the 16th annual South Motors Pinecrest Gardens Fine Arts Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27, at 11000 Red Rd.

The winning poster is by internationally acclaimed Environmental Pinecrest Gardens Artist-in-Residence Xavier Cortada, who often collaborates with scientists around the world.

Works from the fifth annual Environmental Art Contest also will be on display in the Hibiscus Gallery, and the Chalk Guys will be painting a 3D piece. There will be live music both days.

Admission is free. Overflow parking will be at Miami Palmetto Senior High, Palmetto Middle School and Pinecrest Elementary School, with a free shuttle service to Pinecrest Gardens via the Pinecrest People Mover. Learn more at

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at