📸 Photo provided by Luisa Múnera
Hi Luisa! Who are you? What do you do?
For the past nine years, I have been working at YoungArts. I am currently the Senior Manager, Artistic Programs & Curator.
What neighborhood(s) are you reppin’?
I have lived in a couple of Miami neighborhoods. I love each for different reasons: The Roads, MiMo, and Key Biscayne.
What brings you most alive about the 305?
As a Colombian person who grew up in Miami, I love the dynamism of the city. Whether it’s the language, music, cuisine, architecture, or the arts. To me, Miami feels like a woven quilt of multiple cultures and influences.
What’s your favorite Miami memory?
There was one year on the Fourth of July when a group of us went out on the water to see the fireworks. It was beautiful to see the skyline light up from that perspective.
If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The steak shawarma platter from Daily Bread off of US-1. Their majadra, pickled cabbage salad, and zesty tahini sauce is sooooo good!
Outside of the obvious stop above, share your other top three destinations for where you’d go on your perfect Miami day.
(1) Sunset drinks and appetizers at The Cleat on Key Biscayne, trust me! (2) Dinner at Boia De in Little Haiti. This restaurant is perfect, from the food to the service to the décor. It’s extremely difficult to secure a table so whenever I get to go it’s a special treat! (3) I enjoy visiting PAMM and getting caught up on the exhibitions they have on view. The actual building is beautiful and spending time outdoors overlooking the water is always special.
What’s your favorite local social media account and why?
I really enjoy discovering new food spots and @thehungrypost is always an account I go to for that. They are great at organizing their restaurants for different occasions, neighborhoods, and price ranges.
How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?
Working at YoungArts provides me the opportunity to meet young high school-aged artists from across the nation, practicing different disciplines. I love to follow the artistic growth and journey of some of the artists I have met, especially the ones who are from Miami. I think it’s incredibly special to see some of them return to our hometown to continue to explore and develop their practice here, in Miami!
If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?
Invest in your local institutions, shops, restaurants, and artists!
What’s a project you’re working on (big or small) and how can our readers help you with it?
There are a couple of projects currently on my plate. I curated an exhibition titled “Desde el Charco” that features artist Isabella Mellado in their first solo exhibition in Miami. The work on view invites you into Mellado’s journey of discovery and self-actualization. Through paintings and photographs framed with symbolism found in folklore, mythology, tarot, astrology, and even quotidian life in Puerto Rico, the artist explores the sense of duality inherent to being a queer Puerto Rican of the diasporas. This exhibition is on view at the YoungArts Gallery through December 9th.
In addition to the exhibition at the YoungArts campus, I organized a group of YoungArts artists in our Cultural Booth at NADA Art Fair. Our booth will have over 20 works on sale by 13 inter-generational artists from across the nation. Check us out at booth CP4. 😊
Lastly, YoungArts is getting ready for our annual program, National YoungArts Week, in early January. I have the pleasure of working with a local curator to organize a group exhibition featuring the work of 15 to 18-year-old artists in design, photography, and visual arts. The opening is Friday, January 12th, 2024 — folks should come check out the work from the next generation of talent!
If there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?
Transportation. The city has grown at such a rapid pace and yet, it feels like public transportation is not included in this growth. Miami is a car-centric city, but I believe that Miamians would take advantage of public transportation if it was built in a thoughtful way.
What are you looking forward to between now and the end of the year?
Winter sunsets, holiday meals with friends and family and just slowing down. Miami in December has enviable weather that makes it perfect for neighborhood walks, happy hours outdoors, and leaving your windows open at night.