Miami Student Manny Gaona Exhibits Photography at Barry University
Manuel “Manny” Gaona, who is working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Photography at Miami International University of Art & Design, recently exhibited his work at Barry University’s Andy Gato Gallery. Manny’s photograph, “Golden Time,” was created during a class at Miami International University of Art & Design. Students in the class were challenged by the Miami Downtown Development Authority to depict the landscape of downtown Miami through their artwork.
Manny says that he’s always enjoyed the aspects of fine art and landscape photography. “I have been influenced by many photographers, but a few that came to mind are Sebastiao Salgado, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Richard Kenna. I have been fascinated by their photography and creativity.”
His path to art school isn’t typical. Manny retired from the United States Navy in 2013 and after talking to a Veterans’ Affairs representative in Miami, decided to pursue a degree in photography. He jokes that when he started school, he was “studying with kids half of [his] age.”
Manny says that he’s always been a good artist. But he didn’t have the financial resources to attend college right after high school. “Now, many years later after retiring from the military, the door was opened and am in the process of completing my degree. I came full circle and now here I am.”
He adds that his time at Miami International University of Art & Design has been “fascinating and amazing.” And he believes that his instructors are providing the guidance he needs to create photographs like “Golden Time.”
“[My instructors are] fantastic and creative professionals. The studio concentration classes [provide] a sincere critique of my work and ultimately [show me how to] produce a better-detailed piece of photography.”
In addition to his instructors Manny would like to cite the following photography and visual arts professionals who have helped him to achieve his goals: Wes Carson, Judy King, Brian Hively, Linda Phelps, Tony Gallardi, Mona Mandall, Lily Dominguez and Edward Yanowitz.
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