In April 2019, IKT, the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art, hosted its annual gathering in the U.S. for the first time in the 45-year history of the organization.
On opening night, Cathy Byrd, Fresh Art International founder and artistic director, sparked a public conversation with IKT delegates and Miami-based curators and cultural producers engaging with global issues at the intersection of art, culture and the environment.
Here’s a glimpse into creative perspectives from Miami, the Everglades, U.S. Virgin Islands, Scotland and Canada.
Bios, alpha order:
An Italian-born, Miami-based freelance curator and environmental activist, Ombretta Agró Andruff brings more than twenty years of curatorial expertise with an international practice across non-profit institutions, commercial galleries, and art advisory pursuits with private clients. She has served across numerous boards including IKT, the International Association of Contemporary Art Curators, and the Art in Public Places Committee for the City of Miami Beach. An avid swimmer, diver and kiteboarder, since moving to Miami in 2013, Agró’s passion for the Florida waterways inspired her to launch ARTSail, a nomadic residency and research initiative that instigate creative and climate change inquiry.
The Rev. Houston Cypress, also known by his Miccosukee name Yahalétke, is a poet, artist, environmental activist and ordained minister. Through his organization, Love the Everglades Movement, he has become a major force within Miccosukee society as an advocate for cultural preservation, environmental protection and sovereignty. Cypress also acts as a cultural ambassador, leading the way for meaningful exchange and connection between his society of clans and the outside world.
Monica Marin is an independent curator, artist, educator, and arts administrator. She has degrees in Art History, Theory and Criticism; and Painting & Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For more than fifteen years, she has worked at the intersection of art and community in the Virgin Islands, curating numerous art exhibits, residencies, performance series, and cultural exchanges while forging partnerships to performance festivals, employment opportunities, and increased funding for arts-based development to the region. Her current grant writing for the Virgin Islands Government supports art and culture initiatives that drive community development.
Earl Miller is an independent curator and critic from Toronto. He has curated exhibitions in public galleries and institutions such as the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs (New York), 68 Art Institute (Copenhagen), Galeria Vermelho (São Paulo) Doris McCarthy Gallery, and the Art Gallery of York University (Toronto). He has written catalogue essays for galleries and institutions including the National Art Museum (Cluj-Napoca), the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton, Canada), and Le Crédac: Centre d’Art Contemporain d’Ivry (Ivry-sur-Seine, France). His essays and reviews have appeared in books and in numerous visual arts periodicals including Art in America, Momus, and Flash Art.
Nuno Sacramento is a Mozambiquean-born Portuguese curator, and the Director of Peacock Visual Arts (Scotland). He has lived in Scotland for the last two decades. Between 2010 and 2016 he was Director of the Scottish Sculpture Workshop. He is a graduate of DeAppel Foundation, Amsterdam, and has a PhD by practice in Visual Arts (Shadow Curating) from DJCAD, University of Dundee. Nuno has expertise in the areas of research, project curation, fundraising, writing, and lecturing. In 2015, Nuno and collaborator Brett Bloom co-organised CAMP BREAKDOWN SCOTLAND and co-wrote Deep Mapping.
Vanessa Selk is the Cultural and Education Attaché of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Miami since September 2016. Her French Guianese and German origins informed her vision for the Tout-Monde festival in Miami that she founded in 2018 and directed in 2018 and 2019. As Cultural Attaché, she has curated or organized cultural and academic programs for film and music festivals, the Miami International Book Fair and Miami Art Week. Previously, Selk directed contemporary plays for theatre companies in Paris and New York, and assisted with exhibitions at contemporary art galleries in Paris, New York and London.
Our live podcast event was supported, in part, by IKT and IKT Miami.
Video Editing: Omni-Kizzy Productions | Sound: Anamnesis Audio
Related Episodes: Curators Convene in Miami for Global Climate Crisis Conversation, International Curators Champion Creative Resilience, Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies, Art and the Rising Sea, Miami’s Caribbean Arts Remix
Related Links: ARTSail, Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts (CMCArts), Critical Distance Centre for Curators, Love the Everglades, Peacock Visual Arts, Tout-Monde Festival