Fountainhead Arts’ Artists Open offers countywide look inside artist studios

Written By Josie Gulliksen
May 19, 2022 at 5:16 PM

Fountainhead Arts presents their 4th annual Artists Open. Image courtesy of Fountainhead Arts.

Stretching the boundaries from as far south as Palmetto Bay and as far north as North Miami, the Fountainhead Arts Artists Open on May 21 is a day-long trek to visit artist studios throughout Miami-Dade County.

“I’m just excited to share Miami-based artists with the world, it doesn’t change. It’s about bringing more and more people to engage with new artists and new residents,” said Kathryn Mikesell, who founded Fountainhead Arts with husband Dan in 2008.

Kathryn Mikesell, Director and Founder of Fountainhead Arts. Image courtesy Fountainhead Arts.

That is the mission of both their space and the yearly Artists Open event. “This is even for people who have been here forever. No matter how long you’ve been here, there’s always something new to discover each year. I want to continue to pique people’s curiosity about Miami.”

This year’s event is the third in person and the fourth overall, May 2020 event happening online. A key component to finding your way around during the Artists Open is the map and artist directory available on their website.

This year, they revamped the website, made the map interactive and worked on the usability of the directory because they want it to be “a year-round resource so people can reach out to artists throughout the year,” she said.

Artists Open provides an opportunity to meet artists from across Miami-Dade County. Image courtesy Fountainhead Arts.

At Fountainhead, Mikesell says every time they learn about a new neighborhood or warehouse, they reach out to the artists in those areas. They’re proactive and even ask other artists to suggest people to them. “We want people, especially new ones to Miami, to discover new neighborhoods.”

Ultimately, the mission of Fountainhead Arts and Artists Open is to support artists, both with visibility and financially through the sale of works.

As part of this year’s event, local artist and Miami native Julie Davidow is hosting a fundraiser for Ukraine during the event. Davidow established ArtistsStand4 Ukraine “as a platform to unite artists in support of causes impacting our global communities through the sale of original artworks and limited edition prints,” she said.

“The response from artists in our community to donate their artworks for sale in support of this benefit has been overwhelming, and the quality of the work is tremendous. It’s my hope that together we can raise a significant amount of dollars to contribute to GEM (Global Empowerment Mission) and the important work they are doing right now for the people of Ukraine.” The sale of artworks will continue through June 30, 2022.

Artist Julie Davidow has organized an art auction to support Ukraine. Image courtesy Fountainhead Arts.

“The artworks that are part of the fundraiser will be clearly marked that day and available at a central location at Fountainhead studios as well as other studios participating in the event,” said Mikesell.

Excited to be participating again this year are the all-female group at The Collective 62 in Liberty City as well as the studios at the Bird Road Arts District including Ignacio Font and Jean Blackwell Font of Warehouse 4726.

Warehouse 4726 is part of the planning committee and one of the many complexes in Miami-Dade that participates in the event. 

“We have spent the last few weeks getting our nine artists excited about the event, and have worked to prepare them in terms of having price lists, capturing emails, and being ready to talk about their work,” said Blackwell Font.

Iggy Font and Jean Blackwell Font of Warehouse 4726 in the Bird Road Arts District participate again in Artists Open. Photo by Ignacio Font, courtesy Warehouse 4726.

She goes on to say, “We know this is going to be a successful year, and we have more studios than ever before from the Bird Road Arts District participating in this year‘s event. We are ready to welcome everyone!”

At the opposite end of the city in Liberty City, they’re just as excited to greet visitors at The Collective 62 on May 21.

Artist Nina Surel says, “we are honored and excited for another Artists Open on May 21 in Liberty City. Fountainhead Arts is helping The Collective 62 elevate its visibility. We are 13 middle-aged women in the middle of our careers and this day opens our space to a bigger audience.

Nina Surel created The Collective 62 in Liberty City.

Surel also loves Fountainhead’s attention to detail when it comes to their online directory calling it “the most accurate online directory, making each location easy to find. That means all neighborhoods and no artist left behind!”

That is exactly Mikesell’s goal, to ensure that all artists have the opportunity to be seen and to meet with the public because “there’s no one group of people more tacked in to what is going on in their community than artists. Also, it’s a learning experience on what they want to enhance and improve on in life,” said Mikesell.

An art inspired conversation at Fountainhead Studios in Little River. Image courtesy Fountainhead Arts.

“Artists Open is about sharing experiences and stories of being a part of Miami as a whole,” says Mikesell. She believes that ultimately, “artists change the way we act, move and treat one another, they open our hearts and minds to make a difference.”

WHAT: Fountainhead Artists Open

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 21

WHERE: Throughout Miami-Dade County

COST: Free

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