Dennis Scholl: Supporting local visual artists at ArtCenter South Florida
During his first year at ArtCenter South Florida Dennis Scholl has been hard at work showing the community how valuable a resource the ArtCenter is to artists around Miami.
“Me coming here and announcing that I’m going to do it doesn’t work in Miami,” Mr. Scholl said. “You have to do the work.”
After selling its historic location at 900 Lincoln Road, the ArtCenter came into $88 million. The money created an endowment to sustain the ArtCenter for generations. While looking for a new, permanent space for the ArtCenter, Mr. Scholl says his top priority is to find innovative, collaborative ways to use the money to support individual visual artists around Miami-Dade.
His first major effort was creating the Ellies, grants offered to Miami artists who pitch their dream projects to a jury of peers. Mr. Scholl calls the Ellies the ArtCenter’s “coming out party.” It will show Miami’s local artists that the ArtCenter is committed to supporting their work and personal passion projects.
“We are trying to create a holistic opportunity for artists in our community to help them celebrate and elevate their practices,” he said.
While Miami has grown as a cultural destination, Mr. Scholl said it hasn’t always been that way and Miami still has a way to go. Miami has invested in “big arts organizations,” but the individual working artist is sometimes left behind, he says. He hopes the ArtCenter will continue to serve as a home and support system for local artists and fill the gap to enrich Miami’s art scene.
“I don’t want us to forget that art comes from artists,” he said.
Miami Today reporter Gabi Maspons interviewed Mr. Scholl at the ArtCenter South Florida on Lincoln Road. The interview was recorded by Jahmoukie Dayle, and can be found Friday at http://bit.ly/2uNHy0Q.
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