Over the last few decades, video games have blossomed from simple entertainment to a vibrant art form and one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. As appreciation for the medium has grown, the music of video games has become particularly celebrated. It is thus with great pride that Weeks Music Library has begun curating a collection of video game soundtracks and scores to promote and support the study of this music within the Frost School of Music and across the University of Miami. Our growing collection highlights the music of games released from the 1980s to today, and heavily features the work of American and Japanese composers. A selection of these materials is currently on display at Weeks Music Library. You can also browse our collection in the catalog.
by Sarah Block, Library Communications
You may have viewed the Quince Sellos Cubanos exhibition at Richter Library without realizing, at least at first, that you’re actually looking at photography. This is not an uncommon response to the style of artist María Martínez-Cañas, nor an unwelcomed one. In visiting the 15 iconic scenes depicting Cuba’s past, reimagined from the artist’s childhood stamp collection, you’re encouraged to take them apart as a way of understanding how they connect and the complex narrative that they together form.
“Photographs can be more than a way of recording the world. They can also be a tool for understanding who you are,” Martínez-Cañas explained during a November 19 event at the Cuban Heritage Collection, where she provided a closer look at how her unique style has helped her explore history, memory, and identity, among many other themes, during a conversation with professor J. Tomás López.
Martínez-Cañas is well known for pushing the boundaries beyond a traditional photograph, experimenting with a variety of materials and formats—analog and digital, color and black-and-white, camera-less and camera-base—in order to capture the image she intends. “It’s ideas,” she explained, “that drive my use of the medium, rather than the other way around.”
López, a professor of art and art history who serves as head of Electronic Media and Photography at UM, navigated the discussion with topics spanning the course of Martínez-Cañas’ winding and prolific journey, from her early life and fascination with photography in Puerto Rico to the rise of her career and evolution of her work, which she carries out today in Miami.
“I had a curiosity of wanting to understand how the medium works from an early age, developing my first roll of film when I was eight years old. I asked my parents not to park the car in the garage because I wanted to use it as a dark room—and they didn’t!”
Her experimentation with photography in nontraditional forms began while studying at the prestigious Philadelphia College of Art, continuing at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she earned her MFA. She explained that when a Fulbright-Hays grant then brought her to Seville, Spain, she became interested in using the craft as a way to explore her Cuban identity.
“At the time I was trying to figure out what makes me Cuban. I was born in Cuba, but I never had the opportunity to grow up in the country in which I was born…I developed a project working with the maps that Christopher Columbus used to discover Cuba as a foundation for my photographic project. I thought if I used these maps, I will find my background and where I come from and I will connect more with what makes me Cuban. It changed my life.”
After moving to Miami, Martínez-Cañas embarked on the two-year project resulting in Quince Sellos Cubanos (1992). The first series of 15, comprising the 15 gelatin silver prints currently on display at the library, was donated to the Cuban Heritage Collection by Alan Gordich in 2015 along with the limited-edition portfolio Páginas de Viaje (1996).
Quinces Sellos Cubanos will remain on view through spring 2016.
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Photos by Andrew Innerarity.
Since 1997 students at the School of Architecture have commenced their program studies in architecture and urban design by researching, analyzing, and interpreting the distinctive characteristics of the places they are most familiar with—their own hometowns. A selection of hometown maps created by students over the course of nearly 20 years is now on view in Hometown Maps: Where in the World Do Architects Come From?, located on the first floor of the Richter Library.
The exhibition includes works by six former and four current students representing various cities and towns in the United States and beyond. The maps are showcased next to an interactive digital map of the world that has been specially created by UML librarians and School of Architecture faculty as a way to view a range of students’ work by location and year, among other aspects.
“These maps engage the students’ awareness about urban planning and the development of towns through the lens of architectural, environmental, and historical features,” says Gilda Santana, who as head of UML’s Paul Buisson Architecture Library has been helping grow the Hometown Maps archive at UM Libraries Digital Collections. Currently it includes around 300 student-created maps dating back to 2004.
At the exhibition’s opening on October 6, Dean of the School of Architecture Rodolphe el-Khoury said the project is an important way of introducing students to the UM architecture program and its big-picture philosophy. “We think of architecture in an urban context and what it brings to the city rather than focusing solely on individual monuments,” he explained.
The maps are hand-drawn, a testament to the program’s continued recognition of traditional drawing skills, while students use a range of tools and resources to support accuracy in their graphic layouts. The UM Libraries Maps Collection has long been a popular resource, and several students this year consulted UML’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Lab to cull information about their hometowns such as elevation and street data.
With the archive in place, this work has the potential to inform and inspire architecture students down the road. “As each project is presented to the class, the studio learns more about the larger issues of architecture and the environment, geography, and culture, as well as something new about the perspective on place,” Santana says.
Visit Hometown Maps: Where in the World Do Architects Come From at the Otto G. Richter Library, on view through December 2015.
Charles D. Eckman
Dean and University Librarian
Dean of the School of Architecture
cordially invite you to a reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibition
Hometown Maps: Where in the World Do Architects Come From?
Tuesday, October 6, at 4 p.m.
Otto G. Richter Library Reading Room, 1st Floor
1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146
This event is sponsored by University of Miami Libraries and the School of Architecture. Free and open to the public.
Since 1997 students at the School of Architecture have commenced their program studies in architecture and urban design by researching and analyzing the distinctive characteristics of the places they are most familiar with—their own hometowns. Using resources from the University of Miami Libraries, such as historical and contemporary maps, GIS tools, and Internet resources, students incorporate architectural, historical, environmental and geological details to create graphic layouts of their hometown. Please join us to view the exhibition of hometown maps by former and current students and celebrate the diverse and far-reaching talents of the University of Miami and its School of Architecture. The exhibition will feature an interactive digital map of the world that has been specially created by UML librarians and School of Architecture faculty, allowing one to further experience the imaginative ways in which students have interpreted the places around the world they call home.
Contact us at 305-284-4026 or email@example.com with questions about directions and parking.
An exhibition highlighting the island’s vibrant flora and fauna and their historical depictions, from iconic botanical illustrations to stunning wildlife publications to the beautifully colored specimens of the polymita picta, Cuba’s native tree snail. A series of historical photos, books, and other materials preserved by the Cuban Heritage Collection are now on display through Fall 2015 at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion at the Otto G. Richter Library.
An exhibition highlighting iconic scenes and symbols from Cuba’s past, reimagined by internationally renowned Cuban artist María Martínez-Cañas. A limited-edition portfolio of gelatin silver prints is on view alongside the artist’s thirty-year collection of original Cuban stamps which inspired the work. The portfolio was donated to the Cuban Heritage Collection in 2015 by Alan Gordich. It is on display on the second floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.
The Weeks Music Library presents a selection of materials from its collections that highlight the profound, multifaceted cultural influence of the artist—perhaps best reflected in the assortment of nicknames including “Chairman of the Board,” “The Voice,” “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” and others by which he is still remembered. This exhibition spans his many memorable musical hits as well as his acting achievements, including his involvement in the Rat Pack, and other influential endeavors throughout his life.
Born December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra began his career performing as a big band crooner before finding fame as a popular singer and actor, culminating in his 1953 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for From Here to Eternity.
Though his popularity dwindled somewhat in later years, he stepped back into the spotlight with his 1980 cover of “(Theme from) New York, New York.” After a brief “retirement” in 1971, Sinatra continued performing and touring until his death in 1998.
Infamous for his membership in the “Rat Pack,” his alleged Mafia connections, and his ties to such political notables as John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Sinatra remains a beloved and fascinating figure of American popular music and culture.
by Sarah Block, Library Communications
Local food experts reflected on South Florida’s abundant natural offerings, strong multicultural seasonings, and rich supply of untapped resources—all shaping the area’s evolving culinary landscape during a panel discussion at UM Special Collections’ Tropical Gastronomies. The event featured chef and cookbook author Norman Van Aken, food blogger and Edible South Florida editor Gretchen Schmidt, and author and historian Mandy Baca.
Moderated by Special Collections Head Cristina Favretto, the discussion touched on well-established fares and flavors such as stone crabs, citrus, and mangos, the formation of Van Aken’s New World Cuisine, and how recent developments like the farm-to-table movement are shedding light on lesser-known edible flora and fauna. The event was held as part of a UM Libraries-wide exhibition exploring the rich culinary traditions of South Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean. Vintage restaurant postcards and menus, local organizational cookbooks, and dining brochures from Pan American World Airlines, Inc., and other materials are on display from Special Collections.
During the event, Favretto announced that Special Collections aims to further its collection of food- and cooking-related materials through the establishment of the Culinary History Collection of Florida, and is seeking donations of historical materials such as restaurant menus, local and regional recipe books, oral histories with chefs, and images of restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets. Individuals interested in contributing to the archive are encouraged to contact Special Collections at 305-284-3247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Andrew Innerarity.
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Coffee… candy… picnics… pie… some things are so good you could just sing about them! And, in fact, countless songs have been written about food and drink over the years. To celebrate all things gastronomic, the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library presents a selection of songs from the Larry Taylor-Billy Matthews Musical Theater Archive. From “Tea for Two” to “Let ’em Eat Cake,” the exhibit highlights the importance of food and drink to American culture.
The exhibit will run through the summer. Come and sample the melodic morsels we have to offer!