We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariana Lara Franco and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ariana Lara, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Continuing themes of my personal art practice are rooted in experiences and relationships with people and peoples relationship with objects. When I think about what inspries me my first reaction is how do the relationships between people and their experiences affect who they become. The idea that environment and experiences shape peoples outward and inward motivations. From these ideas I have created works of art that identify objects relationships and abstract personalities to my family members. The ancestral and cultural exploration has inspired me. Recently my research has escalated to discover family members in Italy to better understand who I came from.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think it’s important for me to recongize that since March of 2020, when the pandemic began, everything has changed, both profressionally and with my personal art practice. I have experienced the largest amount of growth in the last 13 months and am transitioning through past challenges. The act of letting go and allowing the new in. One of my biggest lesson has been about workaholism and how that did not serve me or my greater goals.

Lately my art has taken on new forms. I have been writing and researching my family’s history extensively for the last 6 months. Understanding what inspires me, relationships of people, places, and things has brought me to a new place of expression. Years ago I used the little information I knew about my family and focused on people who were living and people I knew in life that had passed away. Now my work is transforming to those I have never met and discovering as much as I can about them. I am processing all this new information in the form of writing. Creatively it has invigorated the way I approach my visual art. I am very excited to see what comes from this and know it may take some time. Professionally, I’ve continued to create environments and retail window dressing. Although business has been slow, I have welcomed the new pace.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh what a fun question! So first things first, I would prepare a homemade lagasna. In order to do that I would take my best friend to Rosinella Market on South Beach. There we get our pasta imported from Italy, fresh parmigiano and mozzarella cheeses, San Marzano tomatoes, sausage and beef for our sauce. Then we would need to get fresh veggies and herbs. I love going to the farmer’s market at Leigon’s Park on Saturday mornings I’ve been getting my produce and eggs from French Farms, and on occasion they have zucchini flowers to make stuffed fritters, a traditional Italian dish. After stuffing our faces with lagasna we would do a wardorbe change and get ready to dance. We would go to Wynwood and enjoy the sounds of what I like to call “Club Taco”, the speakeasy style club at Coyo Taco. The next day we would leisurely awake and head over to All Day for coffee and brunch before heading to the beach for a day in the sun. Sunday’s are pasta night at my house and since we already went to Rosinella Market, I grabbed some spaghetti and Pecorino Romano cheese for cacio e pepe with broccoli rabe on the side. The week will go by fast so I want to make sure to hit the Citadel in Little River. We would bop over the PAMM and enjoy art, and make sure we swing by Primary for more art. We would end our visit at Vizcaya Museum taking in the magic of the gardens.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Shoutout is dedicated to fantasmi del passato (ghosts of the past). My great grandfather Giovanni Franco born 1886 Pontecorvo, Italy- died 1938 Bridgeport, Connecticut. My 2nd great grandmother Filomena Nacca born 1886 Baia e Latina, Italy- died 1957 Los Angeles, California. And my great grandfather Donato Barbiero born 1895 Villa Santa Croce, Italy- died 1982 Milford, Connecticut.

Website: www.arianafranco.com

Instagram: instagram.com/arianalara

Other: https://society6.com/arianalara

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.