Meet local artist Michelle Lisa Polissaint

📸 Photo provided by Commissioner

Welcome, Michelle. How about we start with a brief intro: who are you? What do you do?

I’m a visual artist and arts organizer here in Miami. My work uses memory and nostalgia to speak on contemporary issues and conversations.

What neighborhood(s) are you reppin’?

Little Haiti for most of the last 12 years. Originally, I’m from Palm Beach.

What brings you most alive about the 305?

Late-night conversations with my artist community always spark new ideas for me. After these nights I always find myself adding to my long list of “art stuff you should make one day”.

What’s your favorite Miami memory?

Day tripping to Bahia Honda State Park to lay on the beach and eat Pub Subs.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Wagyu burger with truffle fries from MC Kitchen. Runner-up is the pan con tomate and pulpo a la brasa from Barceloneta.

Where else would you go on your perfect Miami day?

If traffic weren’t an issue, I’d go to Robert Is Here for a milkshake, then picnic at Legion Park (on a Saturday so I can get in on the farmers market goodies), and then, end with a swim in the ocean, of course.

What’s your favorite local social media account and why?

@NineFrtn. Jonathan has an amazing eye for vintage furniture and curates his account well. I’ve committed to shopping smarter for home decor items that will last and I believe that buying vintage, well-cared-for items is the best way to do that.

If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?

Hold on to what’s yours: property, identity, community.

How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?

As a photographer, access to natural sunlight has been such an amazing resource. Moments like stepping into bright sunlight every day, or watching shadows shift in a room have had a profound influence on my visual arts practice.

If there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?

The cost of living. As a person born and raised in South Florida, Miami was an affordable option for me, and for so many others, who wanted to live in a larger city and have access to opportunities. Today, with the rise in rent and the major income disparity, it’s hard for most to continue living in Miami.

What are you looking forward to in 2023?

Jumping into my next adventure, which will likely be continuing my education with an MFA in Studio Art. Wherever that takes me, I’m hopeful it will help jumpstart the next phase of my visual arts practice.

That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know. Know someone who ought to be featured or would like to be featured yourself? Reach out by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TNT Locals to Know 2023.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.