In Miami, any support of the arts is valuable. But there's a special kind of supporter with the deepest appreciation of art, people who take change into their own hands and do something more with it than just hanging it up on their living room wall.
Meet those special kind of art supporters, Dan and Kathryn Mikesel. In March 2008, the Miami-based collector couple founded The Fountainhead Residency, a non-profit residency program that offers both living and work spaces for visiting artists from all walks of life. Tonight, they're bringing the work of artists Citizen X to the masses. But that's just the beginning of their impact on Miami's arts scene.
The Mikesell's residency program hosts between 20 and 40 artists a year and offers artists the opportunity to live and work in Miami from anywhere from one week to two months. Whether they're emerging or established artists, with the help of the Mikesells' connections, artists are also given an opportunity to meet and receive feedback from Miami's who's who in the art community, including curators, collectors, gallerists.
Since its inception, the residency program has collaborated with local museums as well as arts institutions such as Locust Projects to help arrange exhibitions. "We're not a gallery; we're a workspace where artists live and work," says Kathryn Mikesell. "If people want to see their work outside of that one night, then we set up scheduled studio visits for gallery owners, museum curators, and really anyone that's interested in seeing the work. It's what we do."
In addition to the Fountainhead Residency located across street from their home in Morningside, the Mikesell's also run Fountainhead Studios, a 10,000-square-foot space in Little Haiti that provides over 30 Miami-based artists with low-cost studio space. Last year, they opened The Fountainhead Haus, which provides five more Miami-based artists with working studio space.
Tonight, for one night only, the residency will host an opening for L.A. based artists Citizen X. The individual artists prefer to remain anonymous; the only way to tell one Citizen X artist's work from another is by his or her own unique font of choice.
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While in town, the group has been working on a number of projects. Tonight's event is a video installation in which they will be showing three videos. They're also doing three or four text-based murals, one of which was completed yesterday on the corner of North Miami Avenue and 71st Street. On top of that, they're working on a project for this month's edition of Art Walk, much of which is still undisclosed.
The Fountainhead Residency gives artists like Citizen X the opportunity to undertake varied projects like these. "There's just a level with the artistic practice that happens here with the artists that are accepted into the residency that we're just much appreciative of being amongst them," says one of the Citizen X artists. "They're not just a non-profit, they're doing it just for the love of it, and that alone is worthy of our participation."
The Citizen X opening is open to the public. 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fountainhead Residency, 690 NE 56th St., Miami. Call 305-757-4444 or visit fountainheadresidency.com.