Meme Ferre’ discovered an epic moment at four years old in her grandfather’s studio on Biscayne Bay in Miami. In that instant, the satin sunrise ignited the morning light as it seasawed, dancing and bouncing on the ripples of the sun washed sea. She grabbed the moment and somehow turned it into a lifetime. She has reinterpreted these embryonic memories into her artwork.
Her life later followed the circuitous route of her ancestry from Miami to Cuba and Venezuela then back to Puerto Rico. It is in the verdant Puerto Rican mountain range that she is able to capture the essence of the tropical American percussion. Her current series “Reflections/Reflejos” 2005-2008, enables the viewer to inhale the trade winds of the tropics. She uses her photos and her brush as she evokes the aromatic spice of the Spanish Antilles. The observer is transported to another realm filled with dreams and overlapping realities.
Meme did not walk in the footsteps of her family legacy, as one of America’s preeminent Hispanic political families. Instead she navigated her inherited sense of cultural and societal passion into the visual arts and education.
She is presently the resident artist at The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, Key Biscayne, Fl.; 1991-present, Art Educator with MDCPS, Miami, Fl; in the collection of The Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico. In 1975 studied at RISD in Provincetown, Mass.; in 1978 received a BFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; in 1983 a MA from NYU, Venice, Italy and New York City; 1989-91 Museum Educator with Art in Public Places, Miami, Fl.; 1974- exchange student to India with Sacred Heart Schools.
At twelve years of age, her formal artistic education began with the studying of Rembrandts’ palette. By eighteen she had hitchhiked throughout Europe and the Middle East, as well as an expedition through the South American continent. Additionally, her career has included performance art and installations: grand opening events for many organizations including the Miami International Film Festival and the Miami International Bookfair. She has exhibited in New York, Miami, Venice, San Juan, Ibiza, Washington D.C., Palm Beach, Provincetown, Brooklyn and London.
The grandfather in the artist studio was prominent Venezuelan architect Luis Malaussena, grandson of the president of Venezuela. Her father Maurice Ferre’, former Miami Mayor is known as the architect of modern Miami. Her great uncle Luis Ferre’, was Governor of Puerto Rico and an art patron .Her great aunt Sor Isolina Ferre’, received the Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton and was a missionary sister in Puerto Rico. Her cousin Rosario Ferre’ was a National Book Award finalist.
It was on Miami’s Biscayne Bay that Meme’s artistic voyage began. Navigating her landscape of life has not been without sacrifice .She has endured devastating family loss, the challenge of dyslexia, trial and triumph of raising three children and a career that has enlightened over 10,000 students. She considers raising her three children, who enrich their native Miami, her greatest achievement.
In parallel missions as a childhood art educator and artist, her contemporaries assure us that she has never allowed herself the abandonment of those sparkling childhood dreams.