When the University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum began in 1952, the school could comfortably display its entire collection in three unused classrooms. Those days are long past. Today, the museum stands as Miami's most comprehensive collection of western and non-western art. The permanent collections feature pieces drawn from across human history, with notable works including Claude Monet's Waterloo Bridge and a recently acquired face mask from the Dan people of Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, forged from wood, cloth, and fur. A sizable trove of Native American artifacts includes pieces from the Southeast such as a beautifully embroidered bead shoulder bag. Other exhibits include paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs from the Middle Ages through the present, including the Samuel H. Kress Collection of Renaissance and Baroque art, as well as pottery, sculpture, and metalwork from ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, dating from the first millennium BCE through the 4th century CE.
A few miles away, the tower of the 1939 Old Police and Fire Station rises above the street, gazing down on an unusual blend of sleek, depression-era modernism and Mediterranean revival ornateness. Founded in 2003, the Coral Gables Museum Corp. completely renovated the old municipal building. Spanish touches were added—the new Fewell wing and a 5,000-square-foot plaza—and the space was opened in 2011 as a museum dedicated to the civic arts of architecture, urban design, historic and environmental preservation, and sustainable development. Today, it holds regular art and design exhibitions, educational events, and concerts.
A true family business, Ella Bella Rozio's Institute of Fashion combines the talents of founder and 25-year fashion-industry veteran Rocio Sanchez with her daughter Gabriella Tello's fresh take on trends and her son Fernando Tello's marketing savvy. While Fernando handles business matters, the mother-daughter duo helm the school and its workshops, leading fledgling designers through courses in fashion history, window display, and wardrobe planning.
Students find inspiration for their own creations in the custom-made gowns of Rozio Couture. Though the designers focus much of their energy on bridal and red-carpet wear, they also nod to the needs of everyday fashion with creations such as the ella 1 dress, a simple black tube that attaches to swooping skirts, dramatic ruffles, or elegant flotation devices.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
The Miami branch of the Società Dante Alighieri was founded in 1997, more than a century after the society was founded in Rome. Its aim is to celebrate Italian culture and serve as a social hub for Italians. Working in tandem with its principle partner, the Consulate General of Italy in Miami, the society hosts language courses—including Italian, Portuguese, and Latin—and doles out PLIDA Italian proficiency exams and certificates. In addition, they offer cooking and wine classes that teach students how to concoct regional Italian specialties and appreciate the differences between Italian wine and tomato sauce served in wineglasses.
Universal Laser Center has been beaming cosmetic laser rays for more than a decade, devoting itself to a philosophy that welds health to the shimmering luster of beauty. Whether technicians are dissolving cellulite, toning complexions, or sending acne back in time, they pride themselves on using diverse technology "that improves and transforms lives." Spare decor marks the crisp, airy reception area, where patients wait to meet with professionals who leave clear complexions and sleek silhouettes in their wake.
At a professional studio flooded with natural light, professional photographers Marilyn Scavo and Carlos Osorio teach budding shutterbugs how to advance their picture-snapping skills during private lessons and beginner workshops. From composing compelling daytime shots to clearly capturing your boss screaming into a pillow, Photo Workshops Studios' instructors use their backgrounds in wedding, boudoir, and family photography to assist students in achieving portfolio-ready images.