Miami Dade College Homepage > MDC in the News

Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design Presents a Rare Glimpse into the Life and Legacy of Noted Miami Developer, Leonard Turkel


Miami, January 17, 2014 - Miami Dade College’s(MDC) Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) is honored to present Following Your Own Sense of Justice. Leonard Turkel: Pioneer & Activist, a retrospective exhibition of Leonard Turkel’s rarely seen collages. Following Your Own Sense of Justice is more than just an exhibition of one man’s avocation and is a true testament to the legacy of a man who proved to be one of Miami’s greatest mavericks of civic equality and community building. Opening Friday, January 17, the exhibition is organized by the museum and on view at the college’s flagship institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. A public reception honoring the life and legacy of Leonard Turkel is scheduled for Friday, February 7, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The exhibition and reception is free and open to the public.  


Leonard Turkel (1930 – 2011)a native of Bronx, New York, was a U.S. Air Force veteran, developer, restaurateur, businessman, and civil rights activist who played violin and guitar, pitched baseball, had a great left-handed hook shot, and created numerous collages bringing historical photographs to three dimensional form. As with other great “Renaissance men” including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, and even modern day Bono, Leonard Turkel was an artist. He was an artist whose medium was humanity.


Following Your Own Sense of Justiceexemplifies the portrayal of a socially conscious movement, created by a singular vision, devoted to living equally for all. Leonard Turkel stated in the height of his career that he preferred to “sell the dream….because the reality never quite measured up to our fantasies.”  For Turkel, he bought his own dream, never playing folly to an irrational fantasy. Leonard Turkel plowed through the challenges and successes of life, fought for the right of all people, advocated for those in need, and in the end, established a more colorful and dimensional Miami. 


A public lecture about Leonard Turkel’s “Miami” and his role in civil equality will be announced in February. The exhibition will be on display through March 29. Museum hours are Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free and private tours are available.

 About MDC Museum of Art + Design

MDC Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) is Miami Dade College’s flagship institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. The mission of the Museum is to promote the appreciation and understanding of art and its role in society through direct engagement with original works of art from within the College’s extensive permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Furthermore, the Museum presents year-round lectures, symposiums and art related events to expose, educate and engage the greater public through related creative processes.


The MDC Museum of Art + Design provides its patrons and visitors access to unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection. Miami Dade College has been collecting art since the 1960s. Over the years, the collection has grown to contain more than 1,600 works in all mediums and genres, specifically within the movements of minimalism, pop art of the ’60s and ’70s, conceptual art and contemporary Latin American art. The College and Museum actively acquire works by emerging and under-recognized artists, as well as major figures in modern, post-modern and contemporary art. 

Following Your Own Sense of Justice. Leonard Turkel: Pioneer & Activist

  • WHEN: Friday, Jan. 17, 12:00 PM - Saturday, Mar. 29, 5:00 PM
  • WHERE: MDC Museum of Art + Design The Freedom Tower at MDC 600 Biscayne Blvd.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.