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Little Haiti Cultural Complex Presents Maison Gingerbread: Haiti’s Living Architecture, May 7, 2015, Florida

Written by Staff Writer

Little Haiti Cultural Complex Gallery and the City of Miami with the support of Pari Passu Foundation, The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the World Monuments Fund, the Green Family Foundation and the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance present Maison Gingerbread: Haiti’s Living Architecture, design and curated by Gustavo A. Garcia and Claudia Garcia.

Opening reception will take place Thursday, May 7, 2015 from 6-9pm offering complimentary Caribbean Hors d’oeuvres by Chef DP and  sangria by Santos Sangria. The exhibition will be display through June 30, 2015 at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212-260 N.E. 59th Terrace Miami, FL 33137.

Maison Gingerbread: Haiti’s Living Architecture features the work of Anghelen A. Phillips, Aric Mei, Jenna Mcknight,, organized by Marie Vickles, Curator-in-Residence (LHCC), produced by Exhibition Team Emily Jimenez and Jorge A. Martinez, with additional support provided by Adam M. Drisin, Senior Associate Dean, Florida International University; Norma Barbacci, Program Director for Latin America, World Monuments Fund; Margot Note, Director of Archives, World Monuments Fund; Sandy Dorsainvil, Managing Director, Little Haiti Cultural Complex. Lucie Couet, La Fondation Connaissance et Liberté(FOKAL) and the extraordinary support of Regina Jean Garcia and Gustavo G. Garcia.

This exhibition celebrates Haitian Gingerbread architectural style, characterized by unique and distinctive ornaments, color and details, featured for the first time in Miami, Florida as a comprehensive historical architecture exhibition.  The Gingerbread homes of Haiti represent an important aspect of the post-colonial landscape, and were quintessential to the development of this unique style of Haitian architectural heritage. Hand drawn illustrations by artist Anghelen A. Phillips, from her 1975 book entitled, Gingerbread Houses, Haiti’s Endangered Species, a series of photographic images depict the current condition of select Haitian Gingerbread homes, courtesy of The World Monuments Fund.

A special feature within the exhibition highlights the home of world renowned, Haitian dance legend Vivian Gauthier, featuring architectural plans, elevations, and sections, with photographs by Aric Mei.  The elements of this typography of architecture are beautiful displayed within a vignette that includes actual architectural elements from Gingerbread homes which physically illustrate the complex fret work, ornate balustrades and intricate woodwork that signify the style of “Gingerbread” architecture.  Selections from original windows, doors and building facades are exhibited alongside historical images, providing concrete context to this exhibition of architecture as a cultural, living art form.

Panel discussion scheduled throughout the month of June will address issues of historic preservation in the context of the reconstruction efforts since 2010. Beyond heritage preservation, the exhibit and panel discussions will aim to address the Gingerbread style as the exception to the design, and construction methodologies of the past five decades of building in Haiti.

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Staff Writer