Miami-born-and-bred artist Haiiileen, real name Aileen Quintana, has displayed her larger-than-life, neo-acid experimental works — from massive installations at III Points to performance art and sculptures at local museums — in the Magic City throughout her career. But when the building that housed Quintana's studio was sold, she was left with no space to continue creating her art.
"Just as I want my continued success to grow, I really want to use my powers for good. I want to give back to the world and back to my community," Quintana says.
After she was displaced, she developed Haiiilabs, Miami's first experimental open studio. She describes it as "the art of getting high on life."
Quintana applied for a grant to help her bring her original concept to fruition, and last week she won. Now she has the chance to raise the necessary $25,000 to get Haiiilabs up and running via Hatchfund. "The great thing about this grant is that it pretty much turns me into a not-for-profit until the end of August," she says. "Anyone who donates to me is 100 percent tax-deductible."
The artist elaborately describes the concept and process of Haiiilabs: "For the past year, I have been developing an experiential concept that blurs the boundary between performance art and an open-studio format, where I am able to invite the local community into my creative process, transporting the host space and visitors into multidimensional worlds of color, light, and fantasy, also serving as a platform for alternative translations."
Quintana hopes to open Haiiilabs in Allapattah this November if she raises enough funds. The studio will be divided into two sections: the Public Space and Artist Studio. The Public Space will be an area located in the front of
Quintana wants to provide mentorship, guidance, and inspiration for artists. "I'm all about the world of creativity and wanting to push people's boundaries to work harder," she says. "Working, do more, create more. Don't set limits for yourself, and just keep it going, keep it flowing."
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It's not uncommon for artists to leave Miami to seek better opportunities in other cities. "Everyone says, 'Everyone fucking leaves Miami,'" she says. "I'm like, 'Because Miami needs to take care of their own. Miami needs to make sure people don't leave.'" She adds, "Miami is on the cusp right now of developing greater and extraordinary things. But if we don't continue to create more platforms, more community programming, it's not going to continue to evolve, grow, or inspire."
The donations she receives for her Hatchfund campaign will be allocated for necessities such as a one-year lease, assistants, laborers, and marketing. Donors who give certain amounts will receive Haiiilabs perks.
"The company wants me to try to at least fundraise half of it... They're willing to help me towards the end to try to reach my goal," Quintana explains. She needs to raise at least her target of $12,500, half of her stretch goal of $25,000, by August 29 for the project to move forward. As of this writing, her Hatchfund page has raised $1,165. She shares that she'll also be working with the Upper Eastside restaurant Phuc Yea for a regular programming concept that will allow her to fundraise there.