Fountainhead Focuses on Keeping Artists Center Stage During COVID Shutdown

Written By Jean Blackwell Font
April 7, 2020 at 9:19 AM

Since its inception, Fountainhead has empowered artists by supporting their careers holistically through a series of programs, including its internationally renowned Morningside residency, a local affordable studio space, and various educational and outreach programs designed to strengthen their business skills and ties to one another. 

During the most unprecedented public health crisis in modern history, Fountainhead’s mission to support artists is perhaps stronger than ever. With artists all over the world facing dire consequences from the effective shutdown of the global art economy, organizations like Fountainhead are stepping up to the plate. Creating Artists Open Online – a series of virtual initiatives designed to drive sales, boost engagement, and create new audiences for artists and their work – Fountainhead is supporting artists the best way they know how: By keeping them front and center.

“We have always believed that artists are an infinite source of hope and inspiration,” says co-founder and Executive Director Kathryn Mikesell. “We feel these initiatives can drive critical support for artists while giving the public something beautiful and engaging to connect with in a moment of uncertainty.”

Artists Open Online builds upon the Fountainhead’s planned Artists Open event, a day-long open studio event that welcomes the greater Miami community into over 300 artist studios working across the entire city. That event, which was previously scheduled for May 9, was designed to encourage intimate connections with artists in their studios, giving wider audiences – who perhaps have never had the chance to interact with an artist in their studio – the opportunity to experience their work behind-the-scenes. 

Because the program was always about creating more accessibility to artists and encouraging new supporters to buy their work, Fountainhead decided to launch Artists Open Online as a platform for facilitating virtual studio visits and driving sales for artists in a critical time.

To ensure artists’ work is being collected despite the temporary closure of galleries, Fountainhead is encouraging artists to upload works under $1,000 using #artistsopenonline. For seasoned and aspiring collectors, browsing the hashtag allows you to check out what’s for sale, and message the artist directly if you’re interested in making a purchase. 100% of the proceeds go directly into artists’ hands. 

Starting Wednesday, April 1, artists will also be taking over Fountainhead’s Instagram channels and offering virtual studio visits. Fountainhead’s Instagram followers can take this opportunity to learn more about artists’ practices, gaining a rare window into their motivations and process. Open to Fountainhead residency alumni and Miami-based artists, artists eager to conduct a virtual studio visit should fill out this form to get started. In addition, Fountainhead has recently created a Resources page on their website, to ensure artists stay on top of upcoming deadlines for grants and other opportunities that can impact their careers.

Announcing a new schedule of Virtual Studio Visits every week, be sure to sign up for Fountainhead’s newsletter, and follow them on Instagram @fountainheadresidency to keep track of the schedule.


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