Pinecrest Gardens Art Exhibit

The musicians from Compositum Musicae Novae Season IX sat down to play. One of the songs they played was “Blackbird” by the Beatles and the crowd of people stood and sat around happily listening to the talented musicians. They also played “Send in the Clowns” which always makes me tender. The gathering was composed of Miami artists and art enthusiasts gathered to chat and have a pleasant time while viewing and buying beautiful art. The reception happened on the 11th of June. It had originally been scheduled to take place on the 4th of June but there had been some bad weather, so opening night was rescheduled.

We walked into the part of Pinecrest Gardens that used to house the Cypress Cafe before the pandemic, and Gary and I walked directly to some clever photographs of a female figure wrapped in plastic and dangling from foliage. The photographs were inspired. It was interesting to see the composition and the different poses of the model chosen by the photographer. It seemed as though the figure was in a cocoon of plastic. I felt as though the photographer was making a statement about how our current ecological problems impact our community and our trees. Because the model was suspended from the trees in the plastic cocoons, it seemed as though the photographer was saying that our relationship with the trees is closer than we tend to think.

I spoke with Tony Mendoza about art after the show and he had something interesting to say. He said that sometimes he will draw something or paint something and have a specific thing in mind for it but the viewer will see something completely different.

At the end of the far wall, adjacent to the piano was a beautiful painting by Mendoza called Manigua. It was inspired by the Wilfredo Lam painting La Jungla. Lam was a Cuban painter but his work La Jungla is dark, full of grays and brown. Manigua, in contrast, is bright and open. Manigua is a sweet cup of hot chocolate on a cold night. It has brilliant greens and blues in a pattern that replicates that of the palm trees standing vigil alongside the sands of our vibrant city. Manigua is not only another Spanish word for jungle, it is a place in Colombia known for its natural beauty.

Next to it was a painting that Jorge Ballard (Ballará) did of some trees that he noticed one day while strolling near a lake or canal. The painting was called Tropical Reflections. The image brought him so much peace that he made the painting. Unlike the striking, dazzling green and blues in Manigua. In contrast, Ballard’s colors were serene and a little soothing. Looking at the painting made me want to take a seat and let a soft breeze soothe away the irritation of the traffic and stress.

On the way out, we met a vivacious female artist, Olidia Mezquia. She was friendly and so sweet. She had this open vibe that made you want to have a spa day with her or hit a dance club. So, I couldn’t wait to see her work. I had a treat. Her work was hypnotic and had this tropical quality. The painting was of two figures intertwined and it was called El Sueño del Harlequin. She had to translate Harlequin for me because I just did not know. Olidia Mezquia said that she had been painting since she was a tiny child and was born “with a paintbrush in her hand.” I know that most parents say that about their kids when their kids are absurdly talented, but in this case I have no doubt that it was true.

“I really enjoyed seeing the special ‘Beyond the Woods’ art exhibit at Pinecrest Gardens. Even though there was a unifying theme for the show there was still a wide range of artistic styles and approaches that was great to see, and the setting was nice. When I spoke to one artist, Jorge Ballará, I found him to be very modest and soft spoken, despite his accomplishments. The other artists that I had a chance to speak with were also very nice.”

Gary Alan Ruse



The opening reception was excellent; we can’t wait to see the closing reception which will take place before the end of the month. Pinecrest Gardens is located at 11000 Red Road. It features theatre, live music, art exhibits and always has a wonderful botanical garden to stroll through. The artist in residence is Javier Cortada.

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