The Knight Foundation Arts Challenge has a simple mission -- to bring the community together through the arts. With a goal of transforming Miami into an arts mecca, the challenge has funded a series of groundbreaking and crucial arts projects in South Florida. All in all, the challenge -- which will end its five-year run in 2012 -- is worth $40 million. In this series, Cultist takes a look at the winners.
Gean Moreno is the founder of [NAME] Publications, a non-profit press publishing a series of visually stimulating art books. Edgy, artsy publishing is far from the most lucrative sector of the industry, which is suffering as a whole these days. Beginning any press is much more difficult than it sounds, but Moreno says the rewards are worth the risks.
When asked why he started [NAME] Publications, Gean Moreno
professed an "interest in books -- art books, strange zines, books that
are hard to qualify somehow. This project is the union of my interests
and the opportunity that the Knight Foundation grant offered."
Begun as the result of another grant by The Knight Foundation in 2009,
[NAME] Publications has published five art books to date. These books
are instantly recognizable by their dimensions -- they are 6.9-inch
hardcover books running for 100 pages. Each features a different artist;
among them are Miami locals Daniel Newman, Beatriz Monteavaro, and
Nick Lobo, some of the most interesting artists working in the city
today. The books are distributed from [NAME]'s website as well as niche
Matter in New York City.
"I wanted the format of the
books to be like architecture," explained Moreno. "It's an exhibition
space or alternative venue. Though we occasionally bring in a graphic
designer to do more complicated, weird stuff -- we had one artist who
wanted something embossed for the cover -- in general, the artists
construct their own layouts, do what they want with the book. It's their
Sounds nice, eh?
The 2011 Knight Foundation
Arts grant will be used to produce four new books by women artists in
Miami. This speaks to the huge presence of women artists in Miami, which
Moreno says will make it "interesting to celebrate at this point of
multiple generations of women working in the arts."
new grant also coincided with [NAME]'s new advisory board and 501(c)(3)
status. Ruba Katrib, curator at MOCA, and Renee Morales, Assistant
Chair of the Miami Art Museum, will be working with the press to make
this new series happen. Keep an eye out for the upcoming release of the
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