Artist-run gallery Dimensions Variable has gotten quite used to being in a state of flux. From opening in a donated space in the Design District in 2009 to then functioning as a pop-up gallery before settling in its former downtown Miami location, the gallery has finally found a more permanent home.
Dimensions Variable and Miami Dade College have formed a one-of-a-kind partnership. Pairing a nonprofit, artist-run space with the largest educational institution in the country, the new agreement offers the gallery an eight-year, rent-free lease, plus the promise of programming independence for the gallery's owners, artists Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova and Frances Trombly. Such autonomy is critical, Rodriguez-Casanova says, to an artist-run space, which focuses on presenting innovative, risk-taking exhibitions without having to depend on
"I think we're starting to have a conversation about new models for the survival of young cultural spaces in developing cities, and Miami is a unique place because of its fast development," says Rodriguez-Casanova. "It’s the place for new ideas like what we are doing with MDC and what we have been doing throughout our existence."
MDC's art galleries across its various campuses have long served as a home for exhibitions of art and design, establishing themselves as incubators of knowledge and exchange. According to President Dr. Eduardo Padrón, MDC is poised to continue serving its student population and local community through partnerships such as this one. "The pioneers at Miami Dade College and the creative community have built Miami to become a major cultural destination that is centered on the visual arts," says Padrón. "Now more than ever, the College can serve as a leader in this community by taking steps to maintain the vibrancy of this great cultural city."
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Set to open in September 2016, the new Dimensions Variable space will offer visual-arts-based installations, exhibitions, and performances of newly created works by emerging and more established contemporary artists. Additionally, the college and gallery will engage in collaborative educational initiatives to support both students and the community at large.
For now, Dimensions Variable can count on long-term security as the gallery — along with Miami — moves into its next cultural phase.
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