“Raw talent can only take you so far as an artist,” cautions gallery owner Mindy Solomon. “It’s also about all the work you have to do to develop yourself.”
To that end, Solomon is presenting a Select BFA Graduate Exhibition, showcasing half a dozen artists who just graduated from downtown Miami’s New World School of the Arts—all, no doubt, eyeing the off-campus art scene with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
Although her Little River space is the exhibit’s home, Solomon insists she’s acting more as a teacher than a traditional gallerist; call it Introduction to the Real World 101. “The point is to get them to think about life as an artist after school,” she explains, “to empower them to curate on their own, and also to mentor them about professional practices, from writing an artist statement to marketing.”
Not least among those lessons is how to pay your rent. Referring to last May’s iteration of the show, Solomon adds with a triumphant laugh, “We sold a couple of pieces!”
Indeed, while the artists in this go-round may be the very definition of emerging, the New World School of the Arts’ track record suggests that the exhibit will include some names to watch. Thumbing through the CVs of Miami’s art world reveals that a dizzying array of talent has come through the school’s BFA program, from acclaimed painter Michael Vasquez and conceptualist Bert Rodriguez to current buzzed-about artists like Autumn Casey, Rafael Domenech, and Jessie Laino.
Solomon’s first lesson for the hopeful art stars of tomorrow? Meet your deadlines. “With a lot of artists,” she says, “the paint is literally drying the week the show opens.” The Select BFA Graduate Exhibition is on display from August 20 through September 3 at the Mindy Solomon Gallery, 8397 NE Second Ave., Miami, 786-953-6917