Conversations | Artist-Led Residencies: Seedbeds for Exchange in Florida
Art Basel Miami Beach 2023, December 9
Often established by artists, residencies offer vital time and space to create. They offer impactful and transformative experiences and help artists forge deep new connections with other art practitioners. Yet, with public funding under pressure, how are residency spaces in Florida continuing to foster local talent and support international exchange?
Cathy Leff, Executive Director, Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami
Lorie Mertes, Executive Director, Locust Projects, Miami
Esther Park, Vice President of Programming, Oolite Arts, Miami Beach
Sadie Woods, Curatorial and Residency Director, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida
Moderator: Julia Halperin, Journalist and co-founder of the Burns Halperin Report, New York
Cathy Leff is Executive Director of the Bakehouse Art Complex and Director Emerita of The Wolfsonian-FIU. She is a seasoned cultural professional and creative entrepreneur with more than four decades of experience working at the intersection of culture and community-building. At Bakehouse since 2018, she has been leading the physical and programmatic transformation of Miami’s oldest and largest artist-serving organization. Over this period, Bakehouse Art Complex has become a model center for contemporary cultural production and has added affordable housing for artists and others to its 10,000 m² campus.
Lorie Mertes is Executive Director of Locust Projects (2017-present) where she is a former Curatorial Advisory Board Member (1999 to 2006). Mertes has held administrative and curatorial posts at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; McColl Art Center, Charlotte; and The Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia. From 1994 to 2006, she was a curator at Miami Art Museum, the precursor to Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Esther Park has been a contributing writer for publications including Vice, Spin, XLR8R, Miami New Times, and The Village Voice. Park was editor-at-large for the respected underground hip-hop magazine Elemental from 1999 to 2004. After moving to Miami in 2003, Park became the Director of Public Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami. There she programmed events and worked closely with the local community. After her tenure at MOCA, she became the Director of Programming at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and later the Director of Alumni and Public Programs at the National YoungArts Foundation. Currently, Park is the Vice President of Programming for Oolite Arts and oversees their robust programming portfolio, which includes ongoing exhibitions, public programs, and a studio residency program. She is a proud board member of the Artist Communities Alliance and the Global Inclusivity Board at Soho House.
Sadie Woods is an award winning post-disciplinary artist, independent curator, and DJ. Her work focuses primarily on social movements, liberatory practices, cultural memory, and producing collaborations within communities of difference. Sadie received her BA from Columbia College and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the Curatorial and Residency Director at Atlantic Center for the Arts, co-founder of The Petty Biennial, and resident DJ at Lumpen Radio, Vocalo, and Wave Farm.
Julia Halperin is a journalist, editor, and cofounder of the Burns Halperin Report, the largest report of its kind tracking equity and representation in the art world. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and the Financial Times, among other publications. She is a columnist at The Art Newspaper and editor-at-large of Cultured magazine. From 2017 to 2022, she was executive editor of Artnet News.
The Art Basel Miami Beach 2023 Conversations program was curated by Emily Butler.
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