School of Art + Art History alumnus Miguel Luciano (BFA ’97, MFA ’00) opened his solo exhibition “Ride or Die” at BRIC House in Brooklyn on Wednesday, February 1. The exhibition, which features works that focus on the Puerto Rican bicycle culture present in New York City, and the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States, ran until Sunday, March 5.
Since graduating with his MFA in 2000, Luciano has gone on to have his work recognized both nationally and internationally, with exhibits across the United States, and in places like Paris, Mexico City, Moscow, and Puerto Rico, among others. His work combines the creative and the political, often focusing on the complicated cultural identity of his native-born Puerto Rico.
According to Professor Richard Heipp, Luciano’s phenomenal success following graduation is completely reminiscent of his time here at UF. Luciano completed his BFA at a satellite program at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, before moving to Gainesville and completing his MFA in only three years.
“Miguel was always a bright and hardworking student,” Heipp recalled. “He was creative and independent, and he was always a great student to work with.”
Last year, Luciano came back to Gainesville for an alumni exhibition, where he featured pieces from his project “DREAMer Kites,” which involved undocumented children creating a self-portrait of themselves on a kite, which they then flew to symbolize freedom.
“We’re all very proud of him,” said Heipp.