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MDCC North Campus 1970s Faculty Exhibition
Jim Couper, Elmer Craig, Duane Hanson, Charles Hashim, Shirley Henderson, Michael Klezmer, Salvatore La Rosa, Peter McWhorter, Ron Mitchell, Gary Monroe, & Robert Thiele

November 11th, 2011 - January 8th, 2012



Jim Couper

Jim Couper is a professor emeritus in Department of Art and Art History at F.I.U. He began his career as a pioneer faculty member in 1972 when the university first opened. During his tenure, Couper served as senior painting professor, founding director of the Art Museum (now the Frost), founding director of the graduate program, and a period as department chair. He retired in 2005 after 33 years of teaching and administration. He maintains residences in Miami and Tallulah Falls, Georgia, drawing inspiration from both locales.

Couper enjoyed a distinguished career as a professional artist as well as in academia. He has shown extensively, with over 30 solo exhibitions, 7 two person shows, and over 225 group shows. Institutions such as the Ringling Museum, the (former) Metropolitan Museum and Art Center, the Fort Lauderdale Museum, the Boca Raton Museum, the Dunedin Art Center, the von Liebig Art Center, and the Frost Art Museum have featured and/or acquired Couper's works. Couper has also been recognized with the receipt of many grants and artist's residencies. His paintings are in numerous private, public, and corporate art collections. Since his retirement from teaching, Couper dedicated himself exclusively to full time painting.

Elmer Craig

Elmer Craig is a clay artist who worked and lived in Miami for many years until moving to Kentucky where he now holds a Resident Artist position at Eastern Kentucky University. Craig received his B.A. in 1959 from Ball State University in Muncie, IN and his M.A. in 1961 from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. Craig taught for 40 years, and was the Art Department Chair at Miami Dade College.

David Gossoff (May 30, 1938 - March 30, 2008)

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Gossoff was a graduate of Youngstown University in Ohio and earned his Masters at NYU. A dedicated professor of art at Miami-Dade College, David lived and worked in Miami for many years before succumbing to a lengthy illness.

Duane Hanson (January 17, 1925 - January 6, 1996)

Born in Alexandria, Minnesota, Hanson received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College in St. Paul in 1946. He continued his studies at the University of Minnesota and in 1951 completed an M.F.A. in sculpture at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Falls, Michigan. Hanson taught art in Germany from 1953 to 1960 where he worked for the US Army school system. In 1960 he moved back to the US and taught at the University of Atlanta from 1962-65 until relocating to Miami where he taught at Miami-Dade College, known then as Miami-Dade Community College. Achieving notoriety for a sculpture entitled "Abortion" depicting a young woman lying under a white sheet, Hanson was promptly disallowed the use of his studio on campus in creating these works. Continuing in this social vein, Hanson went on exploring the subject of the dark side of human nature, featuring junkies, race riots, motorcycle accidents, bowery bums, murder victims, and the like until 1970 when he turned his spotlight onto the more mundane, but perhaps more insidious figures of gaudily clad aging tourists, overweight shoppers, bored security guards, trudging maids, and other workaday-joes or hapless denizens of middle America who would otherwise not register on one's radar and for which he became most well known for. Duane Hanson died in Boca Raton, Florida of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on January 6th, 1996.

Charles Hashim

Charles Hashim received his BFA from the University of Miami in 1962, his MFA from UCLA in 1964, and was subsequently hired at Miami-Dade College in 1964 where he became the Chairman of Photography from 1967-2003. He was responsible for developing all of the photography courses at Miami Dade College that are still currently all being offered at every campus except for Studio Lighting which is now offered at the North Campus. His solo exhibitions include the Afterimage Gallery in 1973 and Barry University in 1993 and he has participated in numerous group exhibitions including FIU, MAM, and most recently at Bridge Red Studios/Project Space.

Shirley Henderson

Shirley Henderson is a painter, courtroom illustrator, and educator currently living and working in Miami, FL.  Henderson has exhibited both her paintings and courtroom drawings widely nationally and internationally and is included in the permanent collections of The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, the Kresge Art Museum in East Lansing, Michigan, the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, Florida, The Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland FL, and the Museum of Art of Fort Lauderdale, in Florida among many other institutions and private collections.

John Kokko (January 3, 1939 - August 2, 2010)

John Kokko was a painter who received his MFA from Kent State University in 1968. Kokko taught at Miami-Dade College in the 70s until returning to Ohio where he lived and worked for many years until his death in 2010.

Michael Klezmer

Michael Klezmer currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His recent work deals with problems of saying in relation to a material world. The work includes walls, paint, antiquarian end papers, text, turn of the century bronze architectural details and nickel-iron meteorites. He marvels that there is anything at all and tries to do no harm.

Salvatore La Rosa

Salvatore J. La Rosa was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in North Miami, Florida. A Kent State University Fine Arts graduate, La Rosa returned to Miami and joined the faculty at Miami Dade College North Campus. In 1975, La Rosa along with Robert Thiele were the first South Florida artists invited to participate in the Whitney Biennial.

La Rosas works are rarely shown. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) North Miami featured Salvatore La Rosa in August 2005. La Rosa is the first artist to have works exhibited in the Bridge Red Studio 5 Project Space.

Mark Lynch (December 19, 1940 – July 13, 2009)

Mark Lynch was a painter and multi-media artist who taught at Miami-Dade College part time during the early to mid 1970s. He taught 2D Design, Drawing, Drawing, Humanities and Art Appreciation and left circa 1976 for Raleigh, North Carolina where he lived until his death in 2009.

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Peter McWhorter (March 10, 1935 - September 11, 1995)

Peter McWhorter was born in Harrisville, West Virginia where he attended West Virginia University for his undergraduate degree, moved to Miami to study at the University of Miami and then moved back to West Virginia to receive his Masters at WVU. McWhorter was a printer, painter, and multimedia artist who taught full time at University of Miami before becoming full time faculty at MDC North Campus where he taught from the early to mid 1970s and then transferred to the Kendall Campus in 1977 where he stayed for many years. He taught 2D Design, Drawing, Art Appreciation, Art History, Printmaking, and Humanities. He exhibited his works at the Fred Snitzer Gallery in the 1980s and 90s.

Ron Mitchell

Ron Mitchell was a wood sculptor. Mitchell was full time faculty at Miami-Dade College's North Campus teaching Sculpture, Art Appreciation, and Humanities. Mitchell left MDC in 1977 and since left Miami, and no additional information is currently available. If you have any additional information for Ron Mitchell, please contact [email protected].

Gary Monroe

Gary Monroe, upon earning an MFA from University of Colorado at Boulder (1977), returned to his home in Miami Beach, where he spent a decade photographing the old world Jewish community, which then characterized South Beach. In 1980 he began to photograph Haitian boat-people as they arrived in South Florida, first at the I.N.S. Krome Resettlement Camp and then in Miami's Little Haiti and in their other south Florida communities. Beginning in 1984, in the midst of the Duvalier regime, Mr. Monroe traveled throughout Haiti some two-dozen times, until the new millennium. In 1987 he focused his camera on tourism in the Sunshine State, especially the rite-of-passage experiences of vacationers at Disney World. He has been traveling the world to photograph–to Brazil, Spain, Israel, Cuba, India, and Egypt, to name a few of the countries that interest him–while maintaining his curiosity in all things Florida. Gary Monroe has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Department of State's Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Humanities Council, and the Fulbright Foundation to support his photography. Working with Leica film cameras, Mr Monroe crafts traditional gelatin silver (darkroom) prints to archival standards.

Robert Thiele

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Robert Thiele is a sculptor who divides his time living and working between Brooklyn, New York and Miami, Florida. Thiele received both his BFA and MFA from Kent State University in 1964 and 1966. In 1975, Thiele along with Sal La Rosa were the first South Florida artists invited to participate in the Whitney Biennial. Thiele's work has been exhibited widely with recent exhibitions in New York at the Howard Scott Gallery, in Berlin at Galerie Tammen & Partner, and Miami at Emerson Dorsch. Thiele owns the artist studio warehouse Bridge Red Studios, and oversees and runs Bridge Red Studios/Project Space whose mission is to exhibit longstanding working artists underrepresented in South Florida.

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