Passages to a Better World at St. Thomas University

By Manuela Gabaldon

altLate last year, the International Solidarity for Human Rights (ISHR), a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of human rights through the arts, launched a multi-media project called Route to Human Rights at Miami Dade’s InterAmerican Campus. The project was conceived to showcase art by local and international artists at 30 different locations throughout the state, each one representing a different Article of the Human Rights Declaration. This year, St. Thomas University graduate student Alina Phillip proposed the creation of four small models/sculptures that would promote the university’s landscape art and beauty. For this, she enlisted the talent of local artist and architect John Angée for an exhibit entitled Passages to a Better World. Due to Phillip and Angée’s unbounded vision and their project’s rapid development, what was initially intended to be a small local project, grew into four massive, raw metal sculptures. One of them, Passages to Education, has been invited by the ISHR to represent Article 28 of the Human Rights Declaration: I have the right to social and international order, in the afore mentioned Route to Human Rights multi-faceted project.

Passages to a Better World, opening to the public next May 12th at St. Thomas University, presents these four Angée sculptures that insight wonder and personal discovery with the artist’s guidance. Angée helps us see the world through different perspectives and urges us “to encourage partnerships in both private and public sectors”. The sculptures, he says, are meant to inspire an open mind and an open heart – always conducive to changes in one’s own life. They are larger than life, and meant to be touched by the spectator; it is this interaction between spectator and sculpture that completes the exhibit, as the pieces’ prominence allows for us to walk through conceptual doorways to reach a different mark, a different perspective, and a view from “over there”.

The MA Communication Arts with an Art Management Specialization graduate program at St. Thomas University sets forth a plan of action through youth, education, growth, and art. The active participation of graduate students in the city’s rising art scene is one of the most promoted endeavors by the university; involvement is key in the development of the students’ career paths and time at St. Thomas University.
Alina Phillip, with the collaboration of seasoned artist John Angée, has set the standard for South Florida art students and professionals looking to make their contribution to our artistic community and prospect through leadership and the heart of a pioneer.

“The state of Florida takes the lead in the installation of the ‘Route to Human Rights’ and they intend to take this concept to numerous other locations around the world.”

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