A traditionally unlucky day was lucky for 15 Miami artists, as Cannonball Miami awarded the first round of its Wavemaker grants in a crowded ceremony and party at its downtown space on Friday the 13th. The 15 recipients, chosen from 97 applicants, got awards of up to $10,000 each, for an intriguing-sounding list of projects ranging from free art workshops in Little Haiti to a performance in the form of a gay bar.
“Our inaugural year’s winners represent an impressive breadth of ideas and artistic practices,” said Cannonball executive director Chris Cook. “Through their tireless work, they contribute to the intellectual, critical and creative depth of Miami’s arts community."
The Wavemaker program was launched last fall with a $50,000 grant to Cannonball from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. It’s the second grant Cannonball, which runs artist residencies, forums and an innovative arts school, has received from the Warhol Foundation. Funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs supplemented the program.
Some of the grant winners are well-known in Miami’s art scene, such as Frances Twombly and Leyden Rodriguez, who got $10,000 for their artist-run exhibition space Dimensions Variable; Adler Guerrier, who received $5,000 to help support a film considering images of Watts, West Coconut Grove and Liberty City; and Monica Lopez de Victoria of the TM Sisters, who got $5,000 for a film and “water-based performance of Miami Beach water ballerinas, Weeki Wachee mermaids and bathing beauties.” Other grant recipients, such as Marie Vickles who got $10,000 for inter-generational arts classes in Little Haiti, are less well-known.
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Other inventive winners include Guillermo Leon Gomez, who got $6,000 for Transitory Moments, a performance piece with a male dancer, a female string trio and a passing train; Pepe Mar, winner of $5,000 to help create Versus, a two-month installation in the form of a gay bar; and Kevin Arrow, who got $5,000 for Obsolete Media Miami, in which Arrow turns his eye for old-fashioned photos, film and imagery into an archive for artists, designers and filmmakers.