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During a Special Council Presentation in September 2014, Vice Mayor Stephen R. Shelley introduced the latest artists to be selected to participate in his Artist in the Spotlight program. The program, which was created in 2010 by the vice mayor, seeks to identify, nurture and empower local artists by giving them the opportunity to present their work to the general public. This time around, the recipients were comprised of eighteen students from Palm Glades Academy and their art teacher Rachel Fontaine Morris.
A South Florida native, Mrs. Morris’ relationship with the visual arts has delivered her across three continents eventually settling in Spain for several years. While in the south of Spain, she spent three years bringing together the artist community in her city, teaching creative workshops and classes and organizing arts events that celebrated local talent and culture in addition to exhibiting her own works and evolving her artistic point of view. Her work can be described as conceptually leaning and drawing on universal themes. The unifying theme for the exposition currently on display through October at the William F. Dickinson Community Center (1601 N. Krome Ave., Homestead, FL) is the emotion of fear. When introduced to conceptual art, or art that begins with a central idea or thought and revolves around that, the students of South Dade’s Palm Glades Academy brainstormed many concepts. Love, life, hope, and fear were some of them. In the end, they voted on fear. This joint exhibit of work by high school students and their teacher delves into what it is that informs one’s fears. “Too many times we shy away from the topics that aren’t necessarily pretty or comfortable,” said Mrs. Morris, “but our students managed to really use this as an opportunity to explore and express their personal fears through a medium like art.”Added Vice Mayor Shelley, “Not only is it a pleasure to see so much talent whole-heartedly embrace this moment that has been awarded to them, but, speaking not only as an elected official but as an artist, I feel a profound sense of duty to shine the brightest light possible upon all of those that get the chance to show their work through this program and hopefully it will make a difference in someone’s life however great or small.”The students currently showing their works are Arturo Arzeno, Arianna Lopez, Kevin Melbourne, Sufyan Khan, Ayla Sinclair, Keyla Higgins, Aleyah Hernandez, Kristell Arauz, Grisel Granja, Jocelyne Contreras, Susette Ferro, Lazaro Lezcano, Mecca Villanueva, Victorian Carroll, Fareeha Rizwani, Kennya Casco and Yalina Martinez.To learn more about Rachel Fontaine Morris’ work, please go to www.rachelfontainemorris.com or www.arte360.es