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Miami | A Day at the Deering

August 21, 2022 | 11:00 am 2:30 pm

An aerial shot of the Deering Estate

Please join us for a visit to Miami’s Deering Estate, a historical landmark preserving the 1920s era estate of Charles Deering, Chicago industrialist, early preservationist, environmentalist, art collector, philanthropist and first chairman of the International Harvester Company. Nestled along the coast in South Dade, the Deering Estate is a cultural asset and historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Charles Deering died in 1927, but the Estate remained with his heirs until 1986 when it was purchased by the State of Florida, and added to the National Registry of Historic Places. Most of Charles Deering’s original collection was donated to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Libraries at Northwestern by his daughters. Some items have been brought back to the site through the generosity of members of the Deering Family and can be seen in the homes today. Other antique objects, representative of the style and era of the original contents are used for interpretation throughout the homes.

Program Itinerary

  • 11:00 AM – Welcome! Enjoy networking and snacks in the Great Hall.
  • 11:30 AM – Enjoy a roundtable/presentation by Melissa Diaz, Head Curator and Museum Manager, and Becky Franco, one of the exhibiting artists, regarding the exhibition about the Stone House.
  • 12:00 PM – Melissa will provide a tour of the Stone House, the upstairs, downstairs and wine cellar. There may also be an option to visit some of the residences (depending on which artists will be present).
  • 2:30 PM – Program ends.


  • ArtTable Members – $10
  • Member Guests/Non-Members – $20

Your ticket includes access to the estate, a private tour, and light refreshments.

Not a member? Join today!

Please review the below before registering:

Face masks are optional and dependent on the comfort of the individual.

Please note that by registering for this event you consent to have your contact information shared with ArtTable to be used in the event that contact tracing is needed. Please note that these guidelines are subject to change as needed.

The Deering Estate is fully ADA compliant and can also provide golf cart access for anyone who needs it. Seating will be available for the duration of the program. Please contact if you require any accommodations.

The Deering Estate is located at 16701 SW 72nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33157. Free parking is available in the lot on 168th Street and along 72nd Avenue. Upon arrival, check in at the main gate and take the path to the Stone House, where our program will take place.

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About the Speakers

Headshot of Melissa DiazMelissa Diaz is the Head Curator and Museum Manager for the Deering Estate. Melissa is an Art Historian with a focus in Post-war Italian art, and contemporary art theory and practices. At the Deering Estate she oversees the historic house museums, coordinates and curates exhibitions, programing and directs the Estate’s multi-tiered Artist in Residence Program including visual, performing and literary arts.

Prior to the Deering Estate, she held positions in several museums and galleries throughout South Florida including the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, David Castillo Gallery, and Miami Art Museum (now Pérez Art Museum Miami). She also manages and oversees studio operations for Leonardo Drew. She has taught courses in art history and museum studies for Miami Dade College, Florida International University and New World School of the Arts.

As an independent curator, Diaz has organized several contemporary art exhibitions in South Florida and New York. She received a Master of Arts in Art History from University of South Florida and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami. Melissa was first recipient of the Liesbeth Bollen Award from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy.

Headshot of Becky FrancoBecky Franco was born in Havana, Cuba. She escaped Cuba with her family in 1961. She completed in the United States a BFA with Honors from Pratt Institute, New York in 1974. Becky has always been interested in painting on a large scale influenced by the Photo Realist movement of the seventies. Upon graduating, she sought employment in the difficult and male dominated field of outdoor advertising, where she got the opportunity to create large hand painted billboards and had the distinction to prove herself as a competent female artist. She became the first female billboard artist to be hired in the outdoor industry and join The Sign & Pictorial Display Union, Local #230 in the U.S.

She painted large billboards for fifteen years and when digital computer imaging threatened the outdoor advertising industry making it extinct, she shifted her focus by becoming an independent art professional gaining many private Painting and Mural commissions. Her paintings were featured in many publications including Newspapers and a Rizzoli book called Tromp L’Oeil At Home by Karen Chambers. Becky has always remained interested in the expansion and refinement of her skills. To that end, after many years as an independent art professional, in 2008 she returned to academia to attain an MFA from Queens College, New York. In 2011 Becky was awarded the Artist Residency Express + Local: NYC Aesthetics at The Queens College Art Center, Rosenthal Library, Flushing, New York. Becky’s paintings have been exhibited in a number of group shows, a two woman exhibition, and most recently at The Islip Art Museum exhibition about Caribbean artists called LA PLACITA where the New York Times interviewed her about her work. In 2013 Becky had her second solo exhibition CHOSEN at Soho20Chelsea gallery, New York. Most recently El Museo Del Barrio included two of her paintings in LA BIENAL 2013, Here Is Where We Jump.

In 2014 Becky was a Cintas Fellowship Finalist – Museum of Art + Design in Miami. Becky in 2015 exhibits in the group show, LAST EXIT: PAINTING in The Audrey Love Gallery at The Bakehouse, Miami. In 2020 Franco was awarded an Artist Residency at The Deering Estate. Franco now teaches Oil painting at Miami Dade College and continues pursuing her career as a professional artist.

Deering Estate

16701 SW 72nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33157 United States
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