Three painting sessions investigating South Florida landscapes. An international collaboration between FIU Art + Art History and Art Academy of Latvia (AAL). Sponsored by Erasmus+.

Andris Vītoliņš Head of the Department of Painting at the Art Academy of Latvia and Aleksejs Naumovs, also a noted painter and the Rector of the Academy, have been funded by Erasmus 2.0 to collaborate on new creative projects with Jacek Kolasinski, Chair of FIU Art/Art History and MBUS researcher and FIU Professor of Ceramics, Bill Burke, both of whom recently returned from Erasmus-funded talks to students and colleagues in Riga. Additional participants include Guido Mena, Adjuct Faculty and Eddie Arroyo, BFA 01′. They will paint in situ at the FIU BBC and MMC campuses, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and at the Miami Beach Urban Studios.

Art Academy of Latvia showcase visited by prominent foreign experts
(An academic Exchange between two nations.)

The 2016/2017 Art Academy of Latvia student showcase was visited and appraised by numerous guests from several educational institutions – Florida International University, Hong Kong Politechnic University as well as Azerbaijan State Art Academy. Florida International University was represented by Associate Professor and Chair of the Art and Art History Department Jacek J. Kolasiński, who was the honorary Chair of the Academy’s 2014 Master’s thesis defence commission, as well as Professor William ‘Bill’ Burke. Hong Kong Politechnic University’s Associate Professor at the School of Design Laurent Gutierrez was the Academy’s first “Erasmus+” programme guest lecturer, while Azerbaijan State Art Academy was represented by painting professor Elnara Misirli and two State Art Academy students.

“Upon examining student works, I discovered a multi-faceted approach to concept as well as a complexity to the execution. Despite the fact that functional design specialists seemed to be quite young, they demonstrated distinct matureness and readiness to combine seemingly ordinary disciplinary methods. My overall impression is very positive and I do anticipate future cooperation,” admitted Professor Laurent Gutierrez.

“The works that we saw were of very professional quality. The area that I was most impressed with was the Design area, particularly graphic design, because of how you co-mingled the graphic and 3D together under one umbrella. As for the other departments – the ceramic department and the graduate department – your students that have the BFA are equal to our students with an MFA,” commented Professor William ‘Bill’ Burke of Florida International University.

“We visited showcases all week and gained a favorable impression of the Academy and its students. We’ve seen much to learn from,” said Azerbaijan State Art Academy representative and painting professor Elnara Misirli.

“We’re very happy to participate in this showcase evaluation and observe the synergy between different media at the Academy. It is great that students from Design and Visual arts would work together side by side to improve their skills and figure out their artistic vision. I was especially impressed with the works and fascinating solutions of students from the Environmental department” added Florida International University’s Associate Professor and Chair of the Art and Art History Department Jacek J. Kolasiński.

Miami Beach Urban Studios
420 Lincoln Rd
Miami Beach, Florida 33139