The Koubek Center of Miami Dade College in Florida is currently showing "Encounter of Two Hemispheres," an exhibition of sketches and sculptural models created over the past two years by Spanish artist Cristobal Gabarron.

Among the drawings on show are preparatory sketches for the Juan Ponce de Leon Prize, a work by the Murcian artist that Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia presented on Nov. 18 to the president of Miami Dade College, Eduardo J. Padron, "for his special contributions to the preservation of Spanish heritage in Florida and the United States."

The fiberglass and polychrome-resin sculpture represents the dauntless explorer Ponce de Leon on horseback.

The Koubek Center exhibition, which opened Friday and will run until Jan. 25, is organized by the Spain-Florida Foundation 500 Years and The Gabarron Foundation, and contains works done in preparation for creating a sculpture dedicated to the city of Miami.

"We're talking about an iconic work celebrating the five centuries that have passed since the arrival in Florida of the Castilian explorer and adventurer Juan Ponce de Leon," the Koubek Center said.

The exhibit "Encounter of Two Hemispheres" is made up of 12 sculptures, three sketches on paper, three large-format paintings and a 7-meter (23-foot) mural on canvas.

It will also include a video with a selection of drawings and photomontages of Gabarron's work commemorating the ties between Florida and Spain, and between Ibero-America and the United States.

The 68-year-old Gabarron, a native of the southeastern Spanish town of Mula, developed "deep ties" with the Americas, "understood as a region stretching from Alaska to Patagonia."

The artist created a large part of his oeuvre in New York City, where he arrived while still very young and where he came in contact with the artistic avant-garde of America and Europe. EFE