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YoungArts announces exciting 2022-23 season

Written By Josie Gulliksen
November 10, 2022 at 3:19 PM

Artist Mark Fleuridor with his piece “Papi Iron my clothes, Papi let’s go to Church, Papi Pa Fem Wont,” 2020, hand sewing, quilting and collage on cotton. Courtesy YoungArts.

Shortly after debuting their latest exhibition “Sunshine” featuring works by artist Mark Fleuridor in their Gallery space on Biscayne Boulevard, YoungArts unveiled the line-up for their upcoming 2022-23 season.

It’s a robust season filled with collaborative presentations with Miami Light Project, Miami Film Festival, The Betsy Hotel and NuDeco Ensemble. All those in addition to an Art Basel VIP Brunch on Nov. 30, National YoungArts Week set for January 9-15, 2023 and a Spring exhibition in May.

Planning a season following nearly three years of uncertainty due to the pandemic was no easy feat but Lauren Snelling, artistic director at YoungArts said it was all about finding a balance.

“Planning this season has been a careful balance of consideration for returning to a (modified) version of in-person programming, and a thoughtful recognition of the learnings of the past two years. Programs for both current winners (ages 15-18 years) and past winners (ages 15-60) have evolved to best serve the artists in our community throughout the various stages of their careers,” said Snelling.

The YoungArts leadership team used the lessons of those pandemic years to their advantage.

“We have learned so much over the last two years on how to strengthen our online presence and digital community building and look forward to continuing that work, but nothing compares to the energy of being in person,” said Deputy Director Rebekah Lanae Lengel.

Collaboration was also a strong factor in planning the season. Snelling explained by saying, “we are leveraging our collegial partnerships in order to expand the resources available to all artists and seeing the fruits of labor two years in-the-making.”

Curating the opening exhibition by artist Mark Fleuridor was a passion project for Associate Curator Luisa Múnera, who said the process of creating this exhibition was completely different from previous shows she’s worked on.

Because YoungArts mostly focuses on producing group exhibitions, it allows them to showcase the work of intergenerational artists from across the United States. Because of this, most of those installations are worked on via e-mail with the artist. With Fleuridor’s show that was different.

“The fact that Mark is local to Miami allowed for collaboration to flourish. I was able to conduct studio visits where I witnessed firsthand the works that I had seen on his website and social media channels,” said Múnera.

She knew she did not want to curate the show without Mark’s insight and voice being part of the process. In working with him, she had the opportunity to learn about his process, techniques, motivations, goals and ambitions for the future.

“During the exhibition installation, we worked closely in deciding layout, which pieces made sense together, how color moves through the space…every day allowed for conversation that revealed layers within each work,” Múnera said.

Once the “Sunshine” exhibition ends on Dec. 10, the National YoungArts Week Exhibition will open to the public on Jan. 9 and run through the 15th.

“This exhibition is a group show featuring the work of 15-18 year old designers, photographers and visual artists. Every year, YoungArts welcomes a guest curator to curate this show and we are so pleased to have Adeze Wilford, curator at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in North Miami, organizing the 2023 show,” Múnera said

The annual weeklong exhibition brings together the next generation of innovative, forward thinking and curious voices from around the United States who are “exploring, questioning, and rethinking the world we live in through their artistic practice. Witnessing their work at such young ages gives me hope for our future,” said Múnera.

Lanae Lengel is excited about welcoming all the winners that week in January saying, “we are so excited to celebrate the 2023 class of winners in January during National YoungArts Week in Miami, and celebrate all the brilliant innovative artists of the YoungArts community, throughout the season, as we share their incredible work and energy.”

Snelling echoes that statement, saying that the energy that comes from witnessing artists in creation; experimenting with their craft, sharing their process and outcomes and learning from one another in real time, “is what it’s all about, whether it is young artists at National YoungArts Week or mid-career artists developing something new in a residency.”

There are also a few new initiatives this season.

They include piloting an in-person program for current honorable mention and merit level winners in all 10 YoungArts Week disciplines that focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration.

“Led by two separate creative teams, up to 80 young artists will have the opportunity to attend a three-day program in Miami and engage in immersive exercises, discussions and sharing sessions, as well as gain insight from accomplished guest artist-led workshops,” said Snelling.

Also, a first time co-commission and partner presentation with Miami Light Project Nov. 3-5 at Miami Theater Center featuring past YoungArts Winner Shamel Pitts’ creation of Touch of RED with his collective, TRIBE.

“A long-time collaborator and host of YoungArts Miami workshops and performances in the past, Miami Light Project’s support of this project made possible the National Performance Network’s co-commission, development and performance grants for the company and partner presenters in five states,” Snelling said.

YoungArts will also be collaborating with NuDeco Ensemble in several programs, yet to be announced.

To learn about the entire 2022-2023 season including dates, times and evolving programs, visit the YoungArts website youngarts.org

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