Aurora Molina has lived in Coral Gables for 22 years. For this Cuban immigrant woman, it has become her second home. The uniqueness of this community belongs to the founders; it was incorporated in 1925 by George Merrick, and Bahamian immigrants built its homes. Many of the homes were made of limestone with a coral-like exterior and a gabled roof. The Coral Gables plantation was transformed into the City of Coral Gables. Aurora Molina’s current show deals with collected materials from her neighborhood and includes records, memorandums and documents: images of buildings and stories of the people that live there (and of course Aurora Molina’s art). The neighborhood has changed drastically with the advent of investment groups developing luxury condos. The developer has displaced fifty-two homes that have disappeared at the stroke of a bulldozer. The neighborhood used to be a tight-knit community where neighbors shared barbecues, cared for one another’s children and pets, and enjoyed the parks for soccer and baseball games. I fear for Coral Gables and those people who have been displaced. Her new work holds the many investors and real estate agents accountable for transforming the city beyond what the community expects to recognize as Coral Gables and its green spaces. It is through her ability to paint with machine embroidery, punch needle, wool tapestry, and wet felting that I invite you into Aurora Molina’s New Neighborhood.
Aurora Molina’s New Neighborhood
Miami artist Aurora Molina’s interdisciplinary fiber art practice is dedicated to social change and raising awareness of far-reaching issues such as ageism, the objectification of beauty, the failings of government and political apathy, anti-immigration and the border separation of families, and the mistreatment of indigenous communities, to name just a few.
Using the tools of embroidery, sculpture-making, drawing, photography, and video, she uses the radical potential of fiber art to communicate ideas about social and political issues. Her multifaceted platform provides a sustained and powerful critique of a society that “dismisses” the elderly as they become invisible and hidden from everyday life.
Activating Artists’ Archives
Women Artists Archive Miami
A community archive dedicated to preserving legacies & stories of women & female-identifying artists in Miami
So (Sew) America Cares
A Participatory Art Project Spearheaded by Aurora Molina
Community Meeting Room, Coral Gables Museum
October 31st – November 13th, 2020
Opening: October 31st, 2020 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
This exhibition brings to the public eye another stage of completion of the participatory art project So (Sew) America Cares, initiated by fiber artist Aurora Molina in June 2019. Molina has joined efforts with the organization Americans for Immigrant Justice to create awareness and to promote the conversation on the Zero Tolerance Immigration policies that have caused a prolonged and indefinite separation between children and their parents at the US border. She created individual sewing kits where the single portrait of one of the children (ten different faces, altogether) was laser etched on a piece of raw canvas, and encouraged participants to employ an array of materials to stitch, sew, knit, knot, crochet, embroider, or braid their images on the fabric. As the pieces returned to her, Molina pieced them together in the fashion of remembrance quilts.
Starting in Miami, the project has quickly grown internationally and will be continued until 1000 faces have been created to integrate a giant piece that will remind us not only of how many people care, but also that art and community can be strong tools for change.