Each year, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen invites students from her district’s schools to submit art for a contest, awarding the winner with the opportunity to have his/her art shown in the halls of Congress.  Over twenty pieces were entered into the 2013 competition.

Pictured at this year’s unveiling at Miami Senior High School in June were: Dexter Lehtinen, Cesar Gilfedo of South Miami HS, Alexander & Christopher Kiener (Coral Reef Magnet School), the Congresswoman, Christopher Ferrer, congressional staffer, student artist Yelena Hernandez, and Helen Sweet, an art teacher and local Miami artist, who was one of the judges together with Dexter and Ileana Ros Lehtinen.

Pictured in Washington, with the Congresswoman are photographers Christopher Kiener (winner), and Alexander Kiener (runner up).


Alex and Chris Kiener, photographers, are twin brothers from Coral Reef Senior High School, a magnet school.  Together, they have embarked on a photo-journalistic journey to capture the reality of homelessness in Miami with the goal to create public awareness for the plight of individuals experiencing homelessness.  They have and continue to cooperate with Miami Coalition for the Homeless, Camillus House, Florida International University -Department of Art & Architecture and the National Coalition for the homeless.


Located in the First National Bank’s lobby, each month the gallery presents local & international artists.  Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday 9a-4p, and Friday, 9a-6p.  Artist receptions are generally held on the second Friday of the month, from 6-9p and are open to the public.

For the months of August and September, the gallery will host Venezuelan artist Juanita Ramos, and Miami resident and artist Annie Maxwell, respectively.

Juanita Ramos is a self-taught artist, who is known for her mural-size sublime works. She lives on Margarita Island in Venezuela, with her husband and two children.  This has been her home and studio for the past 25 years. Her many works are found in homes and art spaces all over Venezuela.  She is often defined as “a naïve artist with surreal trends.”  Since 2009 she has participated in the annual Liguenea Art Festival in Jamaica and many others.  Her schedule of solo exhibits make her an assiduous artist, creating in her works, the religious iconography and idiosyncrasy of the everyday life of Venezuelans.

In September, Annie Maxwell’s art will be exhibited.   A native of Guines, Cuba, Ana Ivis Maxwell (Annie) immigrated to Miami at age 10.  This experience provided her with a profound understanding of the Caribbean with an American insight, which influences her work deeply.  Aware of her artistic inclination, she attended various art schools to enrich her artistic growth, and has furthered her studies under the tutorship of noted masters from Cuba, Colombia and Spain.  The artist is very versatile when choosing her subject matter, and can easily navigate from traditional everyday life to modern and abstract by using distinctive compositions. Her modern artworks compile a great deal of emotion, humor, color.

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