MIAMI WOMAN OF ST.KITTS HERITAGE LAUNCHES PRIZM ART FAIRS TO PROMOTE NEGLECTED VOICES IN CONTEMPORARY ART
Mikhaile Solomon, a Miami based Arts Directors of St.Kitts-Nevis heritage is the Founder and Director of the PRIZM
Art Fair in Miami. The Prizm Art Fair, which was started by Solomon in 2013, features the work of international emerging artists with a select focus on solo presentations by African artists and artists from the Global African Diaspora who are traditionally unrepresented by galleries in the mainstream art world. The theme for the fourth edition will explore the global impact of Africa’s cultural DNA.
Solomon founded Prizm because she saw a need to foster the careers of artists who have been traditionally marginalized from and fetishized by the art world.
“There wasn’t enough representation of artists of color being shown in a professional manner,” Solomon said. “Having gone to quite a few art venues, including Art Basel Miami and in Switzerland, I found few examples of work from artists from the diaspora, and their voices were grossly underrepresented.”
For a combination of reasons, the art community hasn’t, until more recently, made substantial and broad enough investments in the careers of black artists, especially those emerging and mid-career artists who are at a critical juncture in their professional development. Without a platform, there’s little room for these marginalized voices to be heard.
“Just recently there’s been a heightened interest in African and African diaspora art,” said Solomon. “Prizm is one of just a few institutions that represents these artists and this kind of work. Prizm seeks to establish that African and Africa diaspora art is not a trend, but a real and thriving component of the art world.”
“I know so many artists locally who were not being recognized and didn’t have outlets for presenting their works during major international art fairs like Art Basel/Art Week Miami,” said Solomon. “Many local artists of color float under the radar, artists that are doing substantive work, and Prizm is one way for these artists to elevate their voice during the major fairs. I work with five major contemporary artists of color who’ve been working for over 20 years and never really had a way of getting their name out there.”
“As a woman-owned business, presenting more women artists of color is definitely a priority. Historically, representation of women artists of color has been very limited. Artists like Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Elizabeth Catlett, Faith Ringgold, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Carrie Mae Weems and many others are now beginning to be fully recognized for their decades of artistry and contributions to the artistic landscape,” said Solomon. “Prizm makes an effort to exhibit the work of as many women contemporary artists as possible. In 2015, for women’s month, I curated an exhibition at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center titled “Divinity Revealed,” which presented a collection of works by four artists: Amber Robles-Gordon, Martin Nyarko, Sheena Rose, and LaToya Hobbs. I hope Prizm can play an important role in contributing to this ecosystem.”
Solomon has a strong Caribbean heritage. Both of her parents Oliver and Yvonne Solomon, are from St. Kitts –
Nevis. She is a graduate of Florida International University’s Graduate program in Architecture and completed her undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts at the University of South Florida. She is a Miami New Leaders Council Fellow alumna, served as the 2016 New Leader’s Council Co-Chair and is currently a Connect Florida Fellow.
The annual art fair presentation takes place over the course of two weeks coinciding with Miami Art Week and producing cultural events that run throughout the year. Prizm’s mission is to expand the spectrum of exhibiting International Artists from Africa and the African Diaspora, and emerging markets that connect to the African Diaspora and reflect global trends in contemporary art.
Each year the fair rotates location and works with different curators to present salient works in solo presentations that highlight the diversity in contemporary visual art practices today.
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