Oolite Arts launches collection with acquisitions from seven Miami-based artists
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Oolite Arts launches collection with acquisitions from seven Miami-based artists
Oolite Arts CEO Dennis Scholl and artist Diego Gutierrez in his studio at Oolite Arts. Photo: Christina Mendinghall.

MIAMI, FLA.- Oolite Arts announced today it has acquired new works from seven Miami-based artists, launching the organization’s first collection. To further the artists’ careers, Oolite Arts will eventually donate the works to museums across the country, so that more Miami-based artists will be represented in major collections.

“At a time when our visual arts sector is in need, we’re delighted to further invest in the careers of talented artists who make Miami home,” said Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts. “As we continue to face the Coronavirus pandemic, we felt that now was the right time to launch this program, and get these funds to the artists.”

The artists, who represent the diversity of the community and of artistic practices in South Florida, include Yanira Collado, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Adler Guerrier, Diego Gutierrez, Karen Rifas, Anastasia Samoylova and Michael Vasquez. All are current residents or alumni of Oolite Arts’ residency programs.

Their works include painting, drawing and photography; Fuenmayor and Vasquez will be creating new pieces specifically commissioned for the collection. The pieces will be displayed for a few years at Oolite Arts’ new campus in the City of Miami when it opens in 2023, and then donated to museums. The acquisitions program will be annual, with new works purchased each year.

“It’s an honor to be included in this program, and an acknowledgement of the work we all have been doing in the studio over the past few years,” said Gonzalo Fuenmayor, who is creating a large-scale charcoal drawing. “Having the work as part of a museum’s collection completes the circle and helps to propel our future practice.”

The collection is one of several ways Oolite Arts has further invested in Miami-based artists since the pandemic and resulting economic impact on artists and the art sector. Other initiatives including a $250,000 artist relief fund and the Close Quarters film festival, which commissioned filmmakers to make new works in quarantine. In addition, Oolite Arts is again accepting applications for The Ellies, Miami’s Visual Arts Awards, which offers $500,000 to artists and art teachers and celebrate and elevate their careers.

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