After mostly taking off for 2020, Miami Art Week is back in full force. Thousands of tourists are about to descend on the city for Art Basel Miami Beach, and that means catastrophic traffic, unbridled elitism, and private parties taking over your favorite bar. So what does it take to actually get something meaningful out of the most hectic week of the year?
Well, a little homework doesn’t hurt.
Taking over the Knoxon Hotel in MiMo during Art Week, homework is a new gallery that aims to be the antidote to the art world as it currently stands. It was founded by two Latinx art professionals, Aurelio Aguiló and Mayra Mejia, who are aiming to break down barriers for artists and art lovers alike.
“We felt that there were walls for artists and for people that really love art,” says Aguiló of the existing art establishment. “It was very opaque for those people. They don’t let people see how things work or take part. It’s a type of exclusivity that I feel is very unnecessary.”
“We definitely did not feel very welcome,” Mejia concurs.
A good example of this in practice is how galleries sign up for fairs. For both Art Basel Miami Beach and the so-called “satellite” fairs that have sprung up around it, a gallery has to pay a steep exhibition fee just to get into the door. That doesn’t include all the overhead costs, such as actually getting the art to the show and in the building, that come with showing at an international art show.
Naturally, this means the galleries best equipped to show at Basel, Frieze, and other events on the international art calendar are the ones with the most money. It’s yet another barrier to entry into the art world for those outside elite circles, especially PoC.
That’s what homework is trying to change.
The gallery has no physical location in any city. Rather than pay exhibition fees or rent a pricey gallery space in an art world capital like New York, they plan on following the global art calendar, activating spaces in cities around the world. They’re starting in Miami with “homework v00001”. It’s a group exhibition featuring emerging artists, artisans, and a publishing house, many of whom are Latinx or from other backgrounds underrepresented in fine art.
“We want to open up a platform for emerging artists that is missing,” says Aguiló, “and also a platform for art enthusiasts which make up the bulk of the art world, but feel priced out or otherwise pushed away from the art world.”
Other plans are on the horizon for homework, such as merch and other products. For now, their opening exhibition will be on at the Knoxon during Art Week, taking advantage of the MiMo district’s unpretentious vibe. It all begins on Wednesday, December 1 at 7411 Biscayne Blvd.