The Miami-Dade Public Library honors the Library’s Three Graces in the Arts

Arts / Article

By Janet Batet, Miami Arts Journalist

Next February 10, The Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library will be hosting Miami Moments, its first annual fundraising event and under the suggestive title, The Three Graces, this inaugural evening will be dedicated to three exceptional women: Margarita Cano, Helen Kohen and Barbara Young, who for more than forty years have been passionately devoted to the development of the cultural life of our city.

Since the early sixties these three inspirational women has been involved in Miami’s artistic grown.

After having working in the National Library, at Havana, Margarita Cano arrived to Miami in 1962. Her passion for culture and books lead her to join the team of the then emerging Public Library of Dade County. There, Cano created several crucial art programs and designed a program of exhibitions and acquisitions of works by local artists, that is pride of the institution today. Her foundational work went beyond the promotion of local talent, bringing itinerant exhibitions and making our Public Library part of the national network of libraries in the US.

Cano worked for many years with Art Librarian Barbara Young who continued to grow the library’s permanent collection and curated many exhibitions with new artists.

Miami Herald Art Critic Hemeritus, Helen Kohen, worked at the mentioned newspaper as the sole art critic for over twenty years. Her clever and seminal writing marked tendencies and achievements of the arts in our city. In 2000, Kohen founded The Vasari Project, an archive of visual arts history in Miami, housed at the Main Library.

Named for the first art historian of Western Art History, Giorgio Vasari (1474-1511), The Vasari Project is the only collection of printed documents and other items that document the history of art in Miami from 1945 to the present.

Miami Moments will include a silent auction featuring works of world-renowned artists such as Ed Ruscha, Christo and Joseph Beuys along with selected Miami-based key artists, between them, Carlos Alfonzo, Fernando Garcia, Purvis Young, Robert Thiele and, Emilio Sanchez.

One of the central events of the night will be the Contemporary Vasari Raffle, curated by local artist and promoter, Cesar Trasobares. Prominent artists based in South Florida are creating unique artworks on a page from an 1832 Italian edition of Vasari’s Lives of the Artists.

The Evening’s proceeds will benefit The Vasari Project and the Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library.