Distinguished Alumna

Silvia Lizama '79

Silvia Lizama '79

Chair, Department of Fine Arts – Barry University

Silvia Lizama was born in Havana, Cuba, and currently lives in Hollywood, Florida. She earned her MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, and her BFA degree from Barry University, where she is now Chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Professor of Photography.

Lizama has worked at Barry for more than 30 years. In her capacity as Chair for the past ten years she has initiated and overseen many improvements to the Fine Arts Department and facilities. These include the design and construction of the Andy Gato Gallery, renovation of the Shepard and Ruth K. Broad Center for the Performing Arts, the Pelican Theatre and most recently the large renovation of the Dr. Cecile Roussell Fine Arts Quadrangle.

Having exhibited locally since 1978, her work has gained national and international attention and has been included in prestigious exhibitions and collections. Major awards include the Southern Arts Federation/NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship Grant (1993) and the South Florida Cultural Consortium Grant (1992 and 2015), among others.

In 1999 she completed a Miami Dade Art in Public Places commission for the Exhibition room of the Trailhead Arrival Facility at Deering Estate in Miami, Florida. For this project she hand-colored 12 panels of glass with sandblasted images of the flora and fauna of the Deering Estate.

In November 2001, Lizama published a book of photographs entitled Cuba 1930 - 1958, Photographs of Dr. Roberto Machado. She worked on restoring and printing images from this collection for exhibition and publication.

Lizama's work appears in many national and international publications, and is included in major collections such as:

  • American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, Miami, Florida
  • Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas, Austin, Texas
  • Consejeria de Cultura, Cantabria, Spain
  • Galeria Nina Menocal, Mexico
  • Lehigh University Art Galleries, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Lowe Art Museum, Cuban Museum Collection, Miami, Florida
  • Mosquera Collection, private collection, Miami, Florida
  • Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Samuel T. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida
  • Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida

The Lizama family has had a long association with Barry. Both her parents attended classes in English with Sister Kenneth when they first arrived from Cuba. Her mother worked at Barry for more than 25 years and Lizama's four older sisters and her son all got degrees from Barry. Lizama's first official job as a teenager was serving food in the Barry cafeteria, which is now the site of the Andy Gato Gallery. She and her family will forever be grateful to all that Barry has provided them.