Miami-Dade County’s art landscape in recent years has continued to transform and has become one of the most dynamic art scenes in the country. With growth comes challenges, and the reminder to artists that there is strength in numbers.
“We need each other’s creative energy to continue to inspire. It’s not a competition,” said Ignacio Font. “Our effort is to remind artists that the next person isn’t trying to replicate your business, instead they offer something different.”
This effort brought forth Warehouse 4726, a working artist studio space at 4726 SW 75 Ave., Miami, FL 33155 in the Bird Road Arts District, that is owned and operated by visual artists Ignacio (Iggy) Font and Jean Blackwell Font.
“Each artist is unique and we remind artists that no one else can do what you do or create what you create,” Jean said.
A little more than two years ago, Iggy and Jean needed their own working art space, a quiet creative space to do work outside of the house. Out of their own need to have a place to do their work, they were able to find a space that they could open up to additional artists and help in creating opportunities for them.
“We understand the challenges that artists face with the balance of finances, where to live and where to work. As you can imagine, it is very hard for artists to make work in the home, especially with a family,” Iggy said.
Warehouse 4726 has since become an artist residency, located in the Bird Road Art District among some 75-plus emerging and established artists that represent one of Miami’s oldest art communities.
“With our residency, we are able to offer affordable space and access to resources in the art community,” Jean said.
There since have been a handful of artists who have called Warehouse 4726 home, including students from local universities and artists from the Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, that is led by founder and senior curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace.
Serving as an incubator, their goal is to give artists a platform to be seen and heard, and assist with marketing, making connections with curators and offer advice on how to scale a business. They also offer educational workshops within the artist community to discuss topics surrounding art origin, ritual, passion, and community.
Work in the art community continues to be at the forefront of what Iggy and Jean spend their time doing, whether that be working alongside the six additional studios in their building enclave, or working with Fountainhead Studios in bringing the silos of artists together across the county. Crediting much of the recent growth in opportunities for artists to Kathryn Mikesel, the founder and executive director of the Fountainhead Studios.
“We are seeing more opportunities for Miami-based artists than ever before, and it is our mission to help continue that growth and create a community for artists that sparks passion and the fire to keep going,” Iggy said.
On the third Saturday of each month, artists and galleries of the Bird Road Art District open their doors to host the monthly art walk. Open free to the public, the art walk is an opportunity for visitors to meet some of the artists and visit their studios for a one-on-one art encounter.
“The art walk is the best way to explore one of Miami’s oldest art districts and offers a unique opportunity to engage with artists about what inspires their work,” Iggy said.
For more information and to connect with Iggy and Jean of Warehouse 4726, visit www.warehouse4726.com.