TASTE OF DESIGN – Coming November 7th!

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DESIGN|MOVEMENT: Architecture & Industrial Design Student Competition

Save the date! On Thursday, May 22, 2014, seniors in the DASH Architecture and Industrial Design programs will have their final jury and award ceremony at 11am in the New DASH Gallery at 4001 NE 2nd Ave (entrance on 39 Street). The scholarship awards are sponsored by Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Then at 6pm the same day on Thursday, May 22, 2014, please join us to view and celebrate fine art and design work created by graduating twelfth grade students this year at our annual Senior Showcase. Refreshments will be served and the works will remain on view through May 28.postcard-final-2014

DASH Students go to Start-Up City: Miami

20140401-105925.jpg Above: Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine talks about a rail that would connect Downtown to Miami Beach. 

For the second year running, The Atlantic Magazine hosted an event called Start-up City: Miami. In simple terms, it is a conference for all sorts of people involved in supporting new companies, many of which have to do with technology. Though the majority of us at DASH do not consider ourselves budding entrepreneurs, the four DASH students who attended with Mr. Cabrera on Monday found a lot to learn. For instance, speaker Colin Raney talked about the importance of branding. To him, the job of a company is “explaining to the world what the future will be,” and for those of us in the graphics program, that is a message to take to heart. As for the future architects among us, Josh Linkner made a wonderful point during his presentation that “entrepreneurship and city building are one and the same thing”. Not to mention all the city building initiatives brought up by Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine who animatedly pitched his ideas to the crowd.

One point iterated by nearly every speaker at the conference is the importance of keeping talent in Miami. Our city has immense potential for growth, and growth is happening now. This message resonated with me in relation to all the seniors deciding on whether to study in a different state or stay local. Though each decision is individual and complex, perhaps it is a point to remember that Miami is mobilizing its forces, and fresh talent is needed every day.

I could certainly go on about all the interesting points made during the presentations –did you know investors take aerial photos of Walmart parking lots to know whether business is booming?–, but fortunately, it is easy to see for yourself. Head over to the event agenda website and see videos of what you missed. Overall, it was an enriching experience to see how the design skills we are cultivating now will be applied in the real world later. All of us here have a vision of how we want to shape the future, and the more we know about how other people want to do the same, the better equipped we will be to make our ideas reality.

Agustina Woodgate speaks to DASH seniors

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Last Friday, Miami-based artist Agustina Woodgate spoke to DASH seniors as part of the internship day program. At its most basic, her presentation was a survey of her recent work, but on a larger scale Agustina spoke to the seniors about something fundamental– the importance of collaboration. To us students competing in the fast race to college admissions, art often seems like an individual plight for survival. We conceive, execute and present our work in a solitary manner, then ogle at the sketchbooks of others and wonder what mysteries led them to those forms. Ultimately, our work is critiqued individually, and its triumphs and shortcomings rest on the artist’s shoulder exclusively. That is the way of the DASH artist.

What Agustina reminded us, however, was of the way in which collaboration can sprout a life of its own. She talked about how once she conceives of an idea, she knows

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that from that moment on other people and other circumstances will shape the work’s path to execution. One example was in her proposal to extend her hopscotch project in Miami Beach to cover the sidewalks on an entire neighborhood in Buenos Aires. To do this, she will enlist dozens of local schools whose students will paint a segment of the hopscotch onto the sidewalk and report back the last number completed. This, she says, gives the project an entirely new dimension by taking it out of her own realm and allowing other people to become part of this entity greater than themselves.

Perhaps the greatest message of Agustina’s is that by asking for help, the artist is not forfeiting any part of his or her work. On the contrary, branching out brings new viewpoints and ideas –like that of the fashion student who taught Agustina a new way to sew– which the artist would not otherwise have accessed. What does that mean for us students? It is true that our individual portfolios are still the norm for presenting our work, but maybe it is time to try something different. Maybe it is time to take advantage of enormous think tank of talent that surrounds us and make something together.

Four Lessons We Can Learn From Dasha Kelly

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On Wednesday morning, some lucky DASH students were offered the opportunity to attend a workshop and poetry reading by Milwaukee-based poet Dasha Kelly. As students and as artists, we are sponges for the kind of inspiration that Ms. Kelly brings to us. The following is a list of lessons that we can take from Kelly’s words.

1.) You never know what will inspire you. Kelly self identifies first-and-foremost as a lover of fiction. Her relationship with writing began with spinning tales on her mother’s typewriter, though she admitted to having an aversion to poetry in high school. It was only into her adult life, when she first heard the honesty of slam poetry, that she saw its potential as a medium. Suddenly, the poetry form forced her to condense an enormous story into only the most important words and sounds. The message? That as artists, we may believe we know where we are headed, but the possibilities remain perpetually open before us.

2.) You can make a living out of this. One comment of Kelly’s that hit home is that she had been told that one does not make a living off writing. Despite that, today she travels as a keynote speaker, works with musicians to create poetry, publishes novels, and works with the arts outreach program she founded. This is hardly the life of a starving poet. Rather, we should take from Kelly in her ambition to not only create her art, but to find new ways to incorporate it into people’s lives.

3.) It’s not just me. Between sharing her musical, lovely, captivating poems with us, Kelly spoke candidly and asked how many of us were “people watchers”. Upon seeing a room full of hands raised, she said, “I love that moment when you realize that other people do something. You think to yourself, ‘it’s not just me.'” This lesson of the relatability of art and its power to bring people together is one of great importance. Whether your art is about finding connections or breaking them, it is always wise to be aware of its potential to bridge ideas between people.

4.) Be a genre-bender. Dasha Kelly is not merely a poet. She worked with a symphony orchestra to produce a poem in conjunction to a musical score, among other collaborations. In her novels, she mixes short stories with her poetry. Not to mention her influences, which range from an apology for watching too much TV, to the experience of sitting next to someone on a plane, to love. Dasha Kelly reminds us that our art is an extension of our person, and there is no reason to limit that to a narrow band of our lives.

Missed her at DASH? Want to see her again? Dasha Kelly will be performing at the Coral Gables Books&Books on February 28 at 8:00 pm.