Visual Arts

Miami ties translate into money, mentorship for young visual artists


A hometown artist with an international reputation is helping a Miami foundation support aspiring visual artists.

On Wednesday, the National YoungArts Foundation announced the launch of a $25,000 annual award and mentorship program with globally acclaimed artist Daniel Arsham, a YoungArts alumni, presented by the Ridinger-McLaughlin family.

The award includes an unrestricted grant of $25,000 and year-long mentorship opportunities with Arsham, who is now based in Brooklyn. The fellowship is open to YoungArts alumni who have received their bachelor of fine arts degree within the previous three years.

The program currently is funded for three years. Also, the Ridinger-McLaughlin family will donate an additional $75,000 to support ongoing programming for YoungArts alumni.

The initial recipient, 2011 YoungArts winner SHENEQUA, was chosen by a jury of artists including Arsham, Derrick Adams, José Parlá, Teresita Fernandéz and YoungArts CEO Carolina Garcia Jayaram.

SHENEQUA was born in St. Thomas and grew up in Miami. She explores her heritage through works including cotton, yarn and synthetic hair.

Such support for early-career artists is rare, said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, via a release. “YoungArts is helping to fill a gap in the funding spectrum, which often reserves significant financial and mentorship support for more established artists,” he said.