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Art of Black Miami Podcast Shines a Spotlight on Black Visual Artists

Written By Josie Gulliksen
May 15, 2024 at 1:41 PM

Art of Black Miami Podcast will feature artist Mark Delmont in their 4th season this summer. Photo credit S. Waugh.

Not relegated to happening during Black History Month, the decade-long Art of Black Miami hosted year-round by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) celebrates artists as well as their art exhibits and initiatives.

With the growing popularity of the podcast, the Art of Black Miami program presents their fourth Art of Black Miami podcast featuring a monthly conversation with a Black visual artist. The program runs through Sept. 16 and can be heard on the Bureau’s website, as well as Podbean App, Amazon Music, and Spotify.

Connie Kinnard, vice president of Multicultural Tourism and Development with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Photo courtesy of GMCVB.

Connie Kinnard, senior vice president of Multicultural Tourism and Development at the GMCVB, touts the importance of the podcast as part of their tourism enhancement program and says, “Art and those who create art, as well as museums and galleries, are a key part of our destination and make us unique.”

Through Art of Black Miami, they have been able to connect those artists and artisans to tourism and has also allowed them to connect all Miami-Dade County, the full destination to arts, culture, and small businesses to that culture. “It’s beneficial to everyone,” says Kinnard, “and AOBM is a platform to do that.”

The podcast series is just another way to elevate artists in the community and unify both established and up and coming artists. Artists now call Kinnard and the Art of Black Miami team, asking to be part of the line up.

Returning to host again this year is Rosie Gordon-Wallace, founder of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI), a fixture of Miami’s arts community whose work advocating for, and uniting local artists is legendary.

Rosie Gordon-Wallace, DVCAI Founder and Curator. Photo credit Roy Wallace.

“In addition to Rosie’s role and her relationship with these artists, and their body of work, she puts together a short list of choices for the GMCVB,” says Petra Brennan, GMCVB director of Multicultural Tourism and Development. “It’s very important that there is diversity at the table including Afro Latino, male, female, LGBTQ to showcase the eclectic genre of artists chosen.”

This year’s lineup does just that, featuring:

  • Afro-Caribbean artist Kandy Lopez whose April 15 interview is now available on the GMCVB site
  • Mark Delmont, an artist of Haitian/Jamaican descent, on May 20
  • Cuban American artist Nicole Salcedo, on June 17
  • Congolese-born artist Bayunga Kialeuka, on August 19
  • Miami native Reginald O’Neal, on September 16

Brennan points out that, “We look for synergies and where the artists are being elevated so, Mark being of Haitian descent and speaking during Haitian Heritage Month and Nicole during Pride and Caribbean month, those are correlations we want to make.”

Giving the artists a platform to discuss their work and accomplishments, including being part of the Venice Biennale, Art Basel and collaborating on exhibitions, is just another way for these artists to share their story.

Two such collaborating artists are Delmont and Kialeuka who met in the mid-2010s and eventually collaborated on the exhibition “Paper.”

Delmont works in both Miami and New York and Kialeuka is resident curator at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Liberty City.

“I was impressed with what Mark and his friends were doing, projects they were executing and the more I got to see what Mark was doing as an artist, his work caught my attention. We eventually invited him to do a residency here at the African American Heritage Cultural Arts Center and that led to his exhibition here,” explains Kialeuka.

Kialeuka creates narrative paintings and murals which are his vehicle for exploring themes of cultural identity and social realism. He has known podcast host Gordon-Wallace since the early 2000’s and has followed her work ever since. Kialeuka eventually invited her to attend events at the Center and collaborate on projects with him, which led to her inviting him on the podcast.

Artwork: The nights we were made, Mark Delmont. Photo credit M. Lopez.

Delmont’s work is inspired by his father, who was a hydraulics fabricator with a major car dealer. “I have been in mechanics shops my whole life. My Dad worked building machinery for mechanics, like a lift to pick up a car, air pumps and even construction of mechanic shops and dealerships. That was my workspace as a kid, I did not have a backyard, I had my dad’s shop at home where I would play with his tools,” recalls Delmont. This explains why his favorite materials are aluminum, steel stucco, concrete and compound; the latter of which he says is “super messy”.

Connie Kinnard highlights how the podcast opens up new opportunities for artists, aiming to connect listeners and shine a light on diverse talents and Miami’s vibrant scene. Artists like Mark Delmont and Bayunga Kialeuka love the platform for helping them grow their audience and artistic network, creating a rich, connected art community.

Visit the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau website to listen to the podcasts as they are released on the dates listed in the article.

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music, and more. Don’t miss a story at www.artburstmiami.com.

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