Meet the local inviting fellow Miamians to engage with artists in their studios

Nicole Martinez of Fountainhead Studios

📸 Photo Credit: Karli Evans/All Seeing Media

Tell us about your work — your job and/or any volunteer work. 

I am the Associate Director at Fountainhead Arts, the only live/work residency in Miami welcoming national and international artists to Miami for a month at a time. I love my work because what we do directly impacts artists with the time, space, and resources they need to continue growing and evolving their practice, and it allows me to get to know new and familiar artists from all over the world on an intimate level. I love watching their studio practice in real time and getting to show them what makes our city so great. Recently, we’ve been collaborating with local photographers and filmmakers to create incredible stories about the work they’re making and why it matters to some of the most critical issues of our time — I’m in awe of the dialogue they’re creating. You should follow along on Instagram @fountainheadarts!

What’s your favorite Miami memory? 

I was born and raised in Miami, and was a ballerina from the age of 4. One of my favorite memories is driving along Okeechobee Road on the way to perform at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach. Seeing buildings like the ¡Ñooo! Que Barato! store, the Pink Pussycat club and the strip of by-the-hour motels before driving over the Julia Tuttle bridge and arriving at the beautiful, palm tree-clad Welcome to the Miami Beach sign really made an impression on me. It felt like I was getting the whole story about this city I love so much. I hold those memories dearly because they remind me why working to build art and community matters so much to me.

Pick a favorite local outdoor experience. What is it? What’re we doing? Who’s going with ya? 

The ocean, always. I’m a diver, a lifelong boater, and I firmly believe that the ocean heals all things, including illness, heartsickness and stress. If you’re coming along for the ride, we’re probably taking my ‘small but mighty’ boat out to Key Biscayne for a dive trip.

What’s your favorite local Instagram or TikTok account and why? 

I love Coral Morphologic because it has both aesthetic and scientific value — and it takes place in the ocean, so naturally I love it. I loved seeing it projected on a large screen during Design Miami some years back! Plus, how cute are those guest appearances by sea life you couldn’t have imagined existed?

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

My favorite Miami restaurant hits the three Bs: bueno, bonito y barato. I could eat Fiorito’s mollejas all day, every day.

What’s a project you’re working on (big or small) and how can our readers help you with it? 

Right now, Fountainhead Arts is getting ready for Artists Open on May 21, a county-wide open studios event that welcomes the public into over 300 artist studios across the county. If you enjoy looking at art in museums or galleries, imagine being able to see the work in progress and hear directly from its maker about their motivations and intentions for it. It’s a way to be a part of its creation and to connect with art in a completely unique way. With artist studios located all over the county — from North Miami to Kendall, Doral to Miami Beach — you don’t have to go far to discover new talent. Our completely interactive artist directory makes it easy to search and find artists and get directions right to their studios. I hope you’ll plan to join us and sign up for the event by going to artistsopen.miami.

What are you looking forward to this year? 

This summer, my family of three is headed back to Buenos Aires for the first time since the pandemic. It’s my son’s first time visiting, so he’ll be meeting new friends and family. Though I’m a Cuban girl from Miami, Buenos Aires is my husband’s hometown and my second home (I lived there in my 20s, and it’s where we met), and a place that sparks intense nostalgia and creativity for me. I’m excited for the nourishment I know it’s going to bring to all of us!

Join Nicole and Fountainhead Arts for Artists Open on Saturday, May 21 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Learn more at artistsopen.miami.

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 2022.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.