49 Heroes (From the Revenge of the Paperdolls), Carol K. Brown
49 Heroes (From the Revenge of the Paperdolls), Carol K. Brown
Courtesy of Carol K. Brown

Miami's Women Artists Get a Gallery of Their Own at the Fountainhead

In December, New Times wondered, "How well do Miami museums represent local women artists?" The answer: Not well. Just one, the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, was willing to admit that women made up only 16 percent of the creators in its collection. Other institutions, from Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art to the Bass, refused to provide any statistics about their collections.

But where Miami museums are failing, smaller South Florida institutions are picking up some slack. The Fountainhead joins the fight with "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!" — an exhibit that promises to engage its audience through art created by local women who challenge traditional ideas about femininity.

Curated by Kathryn Mikesell and Ombretta Agrò Andruff,  “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!” pushes beyond stereotypes about women to highlight the artists' authentic points of view. “On the most simplistic level, this exhibition elevates women’s voices by providing a platform for them to be heard,” Mikesell says. “With the sheer number of women involved, we are celebrating our diversity boldly and proudly.”

According to Mikesell, “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!” provides an opportunity to expand the audience for Miami-based artists who happen to be women. It also gives the curators and artists the space they need to respond to the current political environment in a positive and constructive way.

“We’re surrounded by such incredible talent that can easily go overlooked. The artists in the show are not formally represented in Miami and range in age from their 20s to their 70s. We have artists who have lived here all their lives and some who have only recently chosen to call Miami their home,” Mikesell says. Miami-based artists Bianca Pratorious, Carol Jazzar, and Michelle Weinberg are among the 21 well-known locals selected to exhibit their work.

Although all of the artists are women, their diverse work represented a challenge for the curators.

“The common thread is that the artists are female, but the works themselves are very different. The biggest challenge was hanging the show in a way that felt cohesive,” Mikesell says. “We have works in every medium: painting, sculpture, photography, embroidery, etc. The diversity in the woman and their work is the strength of this exhibition.”

“I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!”
Opening Friday, February 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fountainhead, 65 NW 24th St., Miami. Admission is free. Visit fountainheadresidency.com/upcoming/2017/2/3/i-am-woman-hear-me-roar.

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