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Views from a Virtual Wayfarer Exhibition

Views from a Virtual Wayfarer is an exhibition presented by the Dade Art Educators Association for its members and affiliates. This exhibition offers a glimpse of our new norm with a venue in cyberspace. The artists in this selection take you into a time when we could travel and socialize.

It is very inspiring to see how the artists responded to present circumstances by fulfilling themselves artistically and inviting us to partake in their world.

We acknowledge all the artists in Views from a Virtual Wayfarer and invite you to view this incredible selection of works.

With so many of us being isolated from each other, we need to challenge each other to create, connect, and participate. We are each other's best resources in these virtual times.

We hope to see you during the digital opening of schools meeting to be announced soon.

Please remember to renew your membership today. We will be offering online professional development soon for all our members. If you are interested in signing up for PD to assist you with online teaching Email us at

Dade Art Educators Association, DAEA

JUDGE'S TOP 3 CHOICES- Q & A with the Artists

Michelle Mc Coy

"El Camino"

1. What was your sense of purpose when creating this piece?

The final work is an interpretation of hundreds of photographs taken from the El Camino -Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage. Given the various textures and colors from this experience and the stories that are intertwined on both a conceptual and physical level, mixed media seemed to be the obvious choice to capture the layered emotions and sensibilities as a result of this journey.

2. What is your process for creating?

My work in general has a tendency to waiver between relief paintings and three- dimensional objects comprised of a wide range of materials. In this particular piece I used, thin set, tar, grout, chalk pastel, oil pastel, graphite, wax, gold leaf, oil paint, acrylic transfer technique, and ball point pen. It is the manipulating process of materials and the dialect between materials and objects that provide an on-going interest for me.

My approach when making work is more intuitive rather than methodical and often the art making process tends to be quite physical while the variety of materials helps direct and inspire my work.

3. If you were to associate yourself with an Art Movement, which one would you choose?

There are so many Art movements that have been and are a constant inspiration for my work. It is difficult to conclude that one movement in particular inspires me as an artist. However, I have always been in awe of Marcel Duchamp and the Dada movement. Marcel Duchamp challenged the establishment on all levels when in 1917 he placed a urinal in an art gallery calling it, The Fountain. This work questioned what is art? questioned the role of the art gallery and questioned the role of the artist and art spectator. This was the beginning of the Ready Mades which also inspired Jasper John’s work in the Neo-Dada movement of the 50’s. Duchamp’s ideology has shaped Contemporary art as we know it today.

4. Tell us about your background as an artist/educator.

I was born in Newfoundland, Canada a few moons ago and have been living in Miami since 1996. To this day I never take for granted starting my car with ease in January. I earned my B.F.A. from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in April 1986 and immediately started teaching at the College of the North Atlantic in the Visual Arts program in the following fall semester. I taught there for 10 years prior to moving to Miami where I am a full- time art educator with MDCPS since 1996. As I always tell my students I am an artist first and an educator second. My classroom is a studio and my students are artists. I think it is very important to be a practicing and an exhibiting artist in order to be a more effective Art Teacher. My students often inspire my work and I learn a great deal from them as I hope they do from me. I have exhibited my work at various galleries in Canada and in Miami.

Merideth Kebaili, "Le Vieux Bassin in Hofleur"

Le Vieux Bassin, Honfleur”

1. What was your sense of purpose when creating this piece?

It was a challenge to paint this scene of water, reflections and boats, during a Study Abroad with FIU’s Professor David Chang. It is very different from interiors, my usual subject matter. Our class of fourteen student travelers painted en plein air at four different locations, and this was one: the quay at the Vieux Bassin in Honfleur, France. We spent a few hours trying to capture the vibrancy of the scene. When I got back to Miami, I worked on it more, from a photo that I had taken. The painting changed completely. The first one was more like how it felt. This one is more like how it looked.

2. What is your process for creating?

First, I get an idea. Then either I make a few sketches, or take photos of things that I need for my idea. Sometimes research is necessary. With either method, I work on the composition until I get what I want. Then I grid the sketch or photo, and I grid the canvas, then I reproduce the image onto the canvas, I get my palette ready, and I paint.

3. If you were to associate yourself with an Art Movement, which one would you choose? For most of my work, it would be Realism. I love Manet, Hopper, and Fairfield Porter. But my work lately has been tending towards Surrealism. I enjoy making enigma the idea, like Magritte. Eventually I hope to achieve a more Impressionistic effect, loving Monet and Sargent’s brushstrokes as I do, but I’m not there yet.

4. Tell us about your background as an artist/educator.

I have always created: painting the walls of my garage as a kid (which my father was not happy about), and any school project I could lobby into an art solution. I took private lessons when I was twelve: basic anatomy, still life, and the use and care of pencils and oil paint. Art Club in high school. Kutztown State to become an art teacher. Then I had a bad car accident, followed by a boating accident. While recuperating for a year at my parents in South Jersey, I entered the Fine Arts Program at what was then Stockton State College. It was new, and the professors were inspirational newly-graduated Ivy Leaguers, eager to make theirs marks. Then I transferred into UM, got my BFA, and stayed in Miami. I drew tiny people in architectural renderings for a firm in the Grove. I worked for a design company, painting murals in homes, restaurants and condos. I did watercolors for sidewalk art shows, sold a few paintings, won a few prizes. The one I was most proud of was 1st Prize in Painting, at the now defunct Miami Beach Sidewalk Show. Robert Indiana was the judge. I was awestruck.

Marriage and motherhood happened, and then divorce, when my children were small, and I got my teaching certification at FIU with Clem Pennington. I was very lucky to have Ralene Diaco as my supervisor, and with their help, I trained in supportive schools. I was itinerant for two years, and one assignment was as a Museum Educator at Artworks. Through that program I met dedicated teachers who were politically active for educational causes. It felt like home. I went to a meeting held by the inimitable President of what was then DAE, Skevy Ralis, and became permanently involved in keeping the Arts in public school. I became DAE Communications Chair, and received The President’s Award in 1993 and the DAEA Jacquie Hinchey-Sipes Advocate for the Arts Award in 2017. Along the way I got my Master’s degree at FIU, and have participated in the Master’s Alumni show each year, along with Reflections, and other local shows.

In 1993 I was hired at Miami Sunset Senior High and stayed until retiring in 2018. During my time there I designed posters, tee-shirts, stage sets, and whatever was needed to make art a PRESENCE in the school. I sponsored Art Club. I was voted Teacher of the year in 2016. I enjoyed my students, entered their work into and attended the District-sponsored shows, met their parents, was proud, and even more so when they won awards. Some of my former students have gone on to become art teachers themselves. We see each other regularly at exhibits, and I stay in touch with many more on Instagram. I consider myself blessed to have trained in Miami-Dade County, where I have been privileged to know so many excellent professors, art educators and students in this career which has given me purpose, lifelong friends, and has taught me so much.

Leslie McKinle

"Firth of Forth"

1. What was your sense of purpose when creating this piece?

After experiencing the astounding beauty of coastal Scotland, I returned with a renewed sense of urgency to create art that illuminates our environmental treasures. The Firth of Forth is one of the world’s great estuaries, as are our own here in Florida. My hope is that experiencing their beauty in art, might further the urgency of viewers to care for these treasures.

2. What is your process for creating? In creating this piece, I wanted to go beyond the visual, to also incorporate the tactile. I started by painting thin layers of greens and golds to produce a “watery” surface on canvas. Over that, I added recycled fibers taken from old, rag rugs to create textures inspired by marine plant life. Finally, additional thin glazes were painted to produce a watery harmony.

3. If you were to associate yourself with an Art Movement, which one would you choose?

I’ve been intrigued by abstraction most of my life. Although I’ve enjoyed working realistically, I find myself strongly drawn to non-literal interpretation. I have an affinity for artists like Paul Cezanne, who grappled with the underlying structure of his subject matter, and I relate to the challenges posed by the Abstract Expressionists.

4. Tell us about your background as an artist/educator. My artistic journey started as a child, with drawing, painting, and collecting books on art and artists. In addition, I learned to create with scraps of fabric, at the foot of my grandmother, who was an extraordinary seamstress; thus, my affinity with textures. My search has drawn me to appreciate the aesthetic of our natural resources, and the creativity humans possess to interpret these. As an educator, I felt it was my job to provide students with the technical skills that enable them and build their confidence. At the same time, it was my duty to instill a sense of purpose to experience, experiment, and express through their individual “visions.”


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