Ars Feminae Miamiae Gives Miami's Women Artists the Freedom to Create

Ars Feminae Miamiae artist Roxana Barba in Claudio Marcotulli's short film Zenu.
Ars Feminae Miamiae artist Roxana Barba in Claudio Marcotulli's short film Zenu. Claudio Marcotulli
When Hanah Davenport first conceived of Ars Feminae Miamiae in February, it wasn’t as an explicit political statement. Coming off the heels of a calendar year that saw gender politics writ unavoidably large, it’s only reasonable to expect that a female artist would want to interrogate and pursue expressions of creativity through a distinctly feminine perspective. But tomorrow’s Ars Feminae Miamiae – an all-female interdisciplinary celebration of the arts in Miami – is a notable event thrown in the hopes that it will someday become mundane.

“To me, it’s kind of ridiculous that it’s a political statement just because it’s all females,” Davenport says. “I think that the stronger of a community that we can curate and foster, the more we can celebrate female-driven successes, and it won’t be such a taboo to see only females in a performance or production.”

Ars Feminae Miamiae was organized by the Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts, a local non-profit dedicated to spotlighting and nurturing more out-there local talent. When she was interning with the organization as an FIU student, Davenport was exposed to the same kind of strange, forward-thinking music and art that will characterize tomorrow’s event. According to Davenport, the acts on display and the speakers in attendance have been given free reign.

“One of the first artists I reached out to was Melissa Iverson,” Davenport shares. “She does really nice work with live performance and electronics. I actually think she’s going to be using glass dildos as instruments, which is going to be super fun.”

Besides the promise of musical dildo finessing, Ars Feminae Miamiae will also feature the likes of Sofia Del Rivero, an accomplished Miami painter, as well as Deming Harriman, a Miami-born illustrator well-known for her collage work and costume design. The event has been configured with dynamism in mind, with different mediums and forms cross-pollinating to produce a more improvised, avant-garde whole.

“So we have grouped the artists into groups of four, and in each group we have a sound element, we have a movement element, and then we have visual arts elements. So within the space, we’ve given them as much artistic freedom as we can,” Davenport says. “We’re just doing the curatorial structure and getting the information that we need from them to structure it. Everything else is a bit of a mystery, which is fun and a little—” she pauses to laugh nervously “—unnerving sometimes.”

Although Ars Feminae Miamiae will have free admission and is staged with the intention of producing art for art’s sake, FETA is also hoping to raise funds for its Women in Technologies and Arts Scholarship through donations. If all goes correctly, the scholarship will be awarded in the fall of 2018 to a female Miami-based artist in order to further her education.

As an FIU graduate, consummate artist and curator, Davenport is heavily invested in Miami’s long-term artistic health. If she has any say in the matter, Ars Feminae Miamiae and other events with its collaborative spirit will take place with increasing regularity. In her mind, an interconnected scene is as positive an artistic prognosis as they come.

“I think there is this culture that allows for a lot of growth in Miami, and I think that it is a great city to grow [in], but I also think there’s a lot of talent that gets swept up into very commercial avenues… there isn’t a huge community of people that actually reach out and collaborate with each other. I think everyone still kind of stays in their little circles, and that’s something that I would love to see change. Because there’s so many great artists in Miami that don’t have access to each other because we don’t know they exist, or there’s nothing pulling them together.”

Ars Feminae Miamiae
5 p.m. Saturday, June 17, Center for Visual Communication, 541 NW 27th St, Miami; (305) 571-1415; Donations suggested. Visit
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Zach Schlein is the former arts and music editor for Miami New Times. Originally from Montville, New Jersey, he holds a BA in political science from the University of Florida and writes primarily about music, culture, and clubbing, with a healthy dose of politics whenever possible. He has been published in The Hill, Mixmag, Time Out Miami, and City Gazettes.
Contact: Zach Schlein