The Female Art Perspective

BY Riki Altman-Yee | November 21, 2018 | Feature Features

It's been a banner year for the arts in Miami and much of that has to do with the efforts spearheaded by innovative, gutsy women. Whether it's by taking the spotlight or working diligently behind the scenes, our eight fearless female subjects elevate the city's art scene one project at a time.
In her current role with The Underline, Ximena Caminos is overseeing one of Miami's largest public art initiatives to date.

Ximena Caminos

Increasing Miami’s cultural profile on a global level

Before Ximena Caminos came to town, Miami was already a solid player in the contemporary art scene. Yet, almost immediately after she arrived in 2013 to serve as artistic director and chair of Faena Art—with a gilded mammoth skeleton from Damien Hirst in tow—our city earned a permanent seat at the International Table of Sway. “When I created Faena Art, it was to foster high art in Miami Beach and add value to the community,” she says. These days, she’s doing that again by overseeing the public art master plan for The Underline, a 10-mile-long linear park and urban trail spanning from the Miami River to Dadeland South that just broke ground in early November and is being hailed as Miami’s version of The High Line (albeit much larger). “The idea is to use public art as a tool for social activation, as the connective narrative tissue for the 120-acre initiative,” she explains. “The Underline canvas will be a cross-disciplinary space to amplify voices, with a strong mix of international, local and emerging talent.” While Caminos continues to build her commission wish list for 10 miles of art and lighting installations, the project’s first artist-designed Metrorail columns are already underway. It is impossible to tell just where in Miami Caminos’ brilliant mind will take her next, but she says one thing is certain: “Culture has always been at the center of all my adventures.”

Dejha Carrington
Linking collectors and artists on a new platform

December is an especially busy month for Dejha Carrington. At YoungArts, where she serves as vice president of external relations and communications, it’s all hands on deck as the organization debuts the exhibition Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, which is inspired by author bell hooks’ book of the same name and is exclusively made up of works by YoungArts alumni. The month also marks the end of a successful first quarter for Commissioner, the insanely popular art subscription service Carrington launched in September. Designed to unite novice and future collectors with local, midlevel, emerging creatives, Commissioner offers two levels of membership. The first tier comprises 40 Collectors, who receive an original piece from a new artist every quarter by paying a $900 fee upfront and $300 every three months. The second tier is made of Patrons, who pay $50 annually and share in significant arts education opportunities. Though the latter group may not possess anything worthy of a Christie’s catalog just yet, Carrington is jazzed about providing a jump-start. “I got my first piece by doing a [public relations] trade,” she recalls. “There are so many ways to support artists that don’t necessarily involve a financial transaction. Art shouldn’t be relegated to the very few.”

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