Independent arts and cultural producer, Donnamarie Baptiste, positions the city of Miami, to be a world class-art institution.
As an organizer of exhibitions in traditional and non-traditional spaces, Baptiste lends her expertise to Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora (Miami MoCAAD.) Most recently, the museum unveiled a mural on black sea men—The International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1416 (ILA) created by artist Reginald O’Neal.
“I am honored to tell the story of ILA Local 1416. In African American history, ILA Local 1416, has always been a place where people found familial support, economic safety, activism, and political organization, in the ongoing fight for equity,” said Baptiste.
Though Miami MoCAAD is a digital-first museum rooted with a global outreach, Baptiste has not forgotten about the local art community. As a former board member for Oolite Arts, the largest support organization for visual artists, Baptiste says, “I was a part of a team of people to bring a new art building into existence.”
In terms of this art boom in Miami, the Trinidad & Toga native said, “The pandemic brought in a new breed of philanthropists and the city began to recognize the importance of art.”
Like Miami, Baptiste knew art had a place in her future at age 19, when she got her art start in the Virgin Islands in a small gallery. “I would hang art, secure art, archive art. I loved being there every day.” Baptiste reveals, the Miami art scene includes important art collections, important art collectors, and Art Basel.
“Basel is the small town in Switzerland. But Art Basel, is an international art fair in Miami, Paris, and now Hong Kong.” The purpose of is to help local institutions grow and develop their art programs. The fair is a show and sell event for local galleries. Baptiste had worked for the brand for five years. Other organizations she has worked with is Photo Miami, The Armory Show, and Creative Time. Her clients also include a mix of tech, design luxury brands, and spirits (the alcohol.)
Being an independent art and cultural producer, Baptiste shares “I’m happy about this time period. I feel like I have a place, due to the death of George Floyd. In the past, it was a few of us and I’m happy to bring more of us into the art space.” Baptiste said black women are leading the way as cultural producers. They are elevating black art. This year, she proudly shares that art and cultural are visibly seen with the rise of artists of the Africa Diaspora. “The demand for black art was overwhelming.” In early December, she did an exhibition with Prime Video which showcased 15 artists from the African Diaspora.
In 2023, Baptiste wants to continue furthering the Miami Arts scene. While growing her network “Creative Industry,” and working with more organizations and brands. When asked about her dream organization and brand, she immediately said Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). “The founder is Brian Stevenson. EJI is a non-profit in Montgomery, Alabama, that does great work on behalf of incarcerated people. They do artwork related to criminal justice. They bring attention to the criminal justice system that is stronger than words or politics.”
In the world of fashion brands, it must be “LVMH (Louis Vuitton & Moet Hennessy.) They do a great art collaboration, and they reach millions of people.
To contact Donnamarie Baptiste: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Donnamarie visit: https://www.donnamariebaptiste.com.
For more information about Miami MoCADD visit: https://www.miamimocaad.org
To visit Miami MoCADD’s mural website: murals.miamimocaad.org