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Oolite Arts Announces 2021 Acquisition of Original Works from Seven Miami-based Artists

Oolite Arts announced today the return of its Acquisitions program. As part of this year’s program, seven-Miami based artists were selected to have their work displayed at Oolite Arts new campus in the City of Miami when it opens in 2023 and then donated to museums across the country and internationally. The novel program was launched last year by Oolite’s Board of Directors in an effort to ensure that more Miami artists are represented in major collections, in turn helping to advance their careers.


“Our Acquisitions program comes at a pivotal turning point for Miami, which in recent years has experienced a dramatic cultural arts shift,” said Dennis Scholl, president, and CEO of Oolite Arts. “To be able to see more works by Miami-based artists in museums around the globe will be an incredible achievement for our city and art community. We’re excited to amplify these local artists’ work on a national and international level, while also helping sustain them during these unprecedented times.”


Oolite Arts' exhibits currently on view:


The 2021 Acquisitions artists include Cara Despain, Susan Lee-Chun, Nicolas Lobo, Reginald O’Neal, Marielle Plaisir, Jamilah Sabur, and Antonia Wright. A jury comprised of Miami and nationally-based curators, Tami Katz-Freiman, Omar Lopez-Chahoud, and Larry Ossei-Mensah, helped select the diverse group of both established and emerging artists from a pool of more than 500 artists who are current residents or alumni of Oolite’s programs. Oolite Arts purchases new works each year through its Acquisitions program.

“I am truly honored to have my work acquired by Oolite Arts, as they continue to support artists in our community,” said O’Neal. “The acquisition program is another step taken by Oolite to spread Miami's voice, and I'm ecstatic to be included.”

The collection features diversity across a number of art mediums including sculpture, painting, video, and installation, and is one of several ways Oolite Arts has further invested in Miami-based artists. Other initiatives include The Ellies, Miami’s visual arts awards, which will have invested a share of $2 million to over 150 individual artists and art teachers in Miami-Dade County by the end of this year. During the pandemic, Oolite Arts set up a $225,000 artist relief fund and the Close Quarters film festival, which commissioned filmmakers to make new works in quarantine. Additionally, Oolite Arts supports Miami artists through its various residencies including Home + Away, and partnerships with cultural organizations across South Florida to exhibit artists’ work.

About Oolite Arts


Oolite Arts helps Miami-based artists advance their careers and inspires the cultural community to engage with their work. Established in 1984, Oolite Arts is both a community and a resource, providing visual artists with the studio space, exhibition opportunities, and financial support they need to experiment, grow and enrich the city. Through its educational programming, Oolite Arts help its audiences learn about contemporary art and develop their own artistic skills. For more information, visit oolitearts.org. Also, follow @OoliteArts on social media.


Oolite Arts’ 2021 Acquisitions Artists


Antonia Wright

Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire

Single-channel video, RT: 2:20, Edition of 5 + 2 AP



Cara Despain

Reagan Library

Carbon residue from charred debris from Simi Valley, CA, on muslin

6 x 7,5’



Susan Lee-Chun

Untitled (Apparatus, #1)

Single­-channel video, RT: 2:00, Edition of 3



Nicolas Lobo

Napalm stone (bronzer version #1)

Napalm, play-dough, terrazzo, spray bronzer

20 x 20 x 72”



Reginald O’Neal

(Sample image, commissioned work in progress)

Untitled COMMISSION

Oil on canvas

60 x 80”



Marielle Plaisir

N. Simone, In the Malediction of Cham series

Inks, Marker, gold thread, Swarovski stones on Arches paper 14 lb

30 x 22”



Marielle Plaisir

M. Ali, In the Malediction of Cham series

Inks, Marker, gold thread, Swarovski stones on Arches paper 14 lb

30 x 22”


Jamilah Sabur

Mnemodic alphabet (V/Viderais)

Neon, transformer, print on cotton rag, Honduran mahogany, enamel

44 x 54 x 3”



By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Oolite Arts

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