We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathryn Mikesell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathryn, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
I want artists to be valued for their tremendous contributions to and impact on our lives. Artists feed every sense, ignite change, open our hearts and minds, provoke conversation and provide a unique perspective with the power to change how we view, move and act in this world. I want to be remembered as a loving mom, wife, sister, friend and champion for artists. I hope to be remembered for personal connections I’ve made for others and as someone who’s actions spoke louder than her words.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
While my life has been anything but a straight line, I cherish every step back and forward , twist and turn because each has taught me something unique. I believe if you stay open, listen and learn from people you admire, and follow your instincts even if they seem risky, your path forward will become clear. Fountainhead was born from a passion to empower artists, support our local community and cultivate new audiences for the arts. For us life is about people engaging, supporting and learning from one another. Each of our programs is designed to break down barriers and welcome you inside. We launched Fountainhead Residency in March of 2008. The Residency brings over 30 national and international artists each year to Miami to live and work for a period of one month. It is located in a 1950’s home in the historic neighborhood of Morningside, At the end of each residency we open to the community to meet the artists and learn about their practice in an intimate and comfortable setting. To date, Fountainhead has hosted over 420 artists from 47 different countries and cities across the U.S.. The Fountainhead Studios was started shortly after the Residency in June of 2008. The Studios provide affordable and flexible studio space, and a community for Miami-based artists. After expanding five times, we now have over 30 artists working there. Twice a year we open to the public, welcoming you to explore the private sanctuary of the artist’s studio. In 2019, we hosted the first ever Miami-Dade countywide open studios day called Artists Open. Together along side other major artists’ studio complexes, over 300 artists open their studios to the public. As a green initiative, everything is online and accessible via an interactive map and a directory of artists. This will be an annual event once it’s safe to gather in groups. Until then, we launched Artists Open Online. Each week on Monday and Thursday at 3:05, through Instagram LIVE @fountainheadresidency, two Miami-based artists take you inside their studios. We also offer a number of professional development and community building programs. This includes a dinner series called MEET to nurture relationships and collaboration, Artist to Artist where artists share their experiences in “thinking outside the white box” providing valuable insights and a roadmap to other artists and Financial Literacy programs to help artists with everything from budgets to taxes and buying property.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love being in nature and supporting our local arts and restauranteurs. Admittedly I’m a creature of habit and can usually be found only a few miles from home. I’d start the day with a sunrise ocean swim at South Pointe along the jetty or paddle board in Biscayne Bay. From there we would have breakfast at Lilikoi for a delicious, organic breakfast. While there I would pick up cookies for later by Pamela Wasabi. We would head home to shower then off to museums (Bass, ICA, PAMM, MoCA and Wolfsonian), galleries (check out www.progressiveartbrunch.com for a list of galleries) and private collections of de la Cruz in the Design District, Jorge Perez’s El Espacio in Allapattah and the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse in Wynwood. To rest and refresh, if it was a beautiful day we would have an afternoon cocktail overlooking the bay at Verde at PAMM or in the lush garden at Leku at Rubell Museum. If inside is what we were looking for, we’d head to The Corner or Lost Boys in downtown. Then we’d head back out for more art. Depending on the mood, we’d end the day dinner at Mandolin, Michael’s or Swan, or for a more casual evening at Blue Collar or Blvd Bae’s. To walk off dinner we’d explore the art collection throughout the Design District or head to the Wynwood Walls.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The love and support of my family is the foundation from which everything blossoms. I’m blessed to be surrounded by friends willing to share their lives and insights with me. Artists, curators and cultural leaders are a constant source of mentorship and inspiration. My swim group, the Dolphins and Rainbows, keep my in shape and focused on protecting our beautiful earth.
For my personal photo- Photo taken by Danielle de Jesus For the photos I uploaded p2857476080 -Collaboration with New World Symphony and Fountainhead at our home Tommy Pace, Grela….. -Fountainhead Experience event hosted by Minotti IMG_0945 -Fountainhead’s MEET, dinner series for local artists held at Mike’s at Venetia IMG_5155 -Fountainhead Studio’s artist Pangea Kali Virga 1C7A5677 -Fountainhead Residency alum Alfred Conteh and member Rouslana Adriyanova IMG_3219 -Artist Marie Lorenz in partnership with Commuter Biennial IMG_1565 -Fountainhead Residency alum Ana Maria Devis and member Danie Gomez-Ortigoza 1CA7A6159 -Fountainhead Residency alum Wynnie Mynerva in partnership with Untitled Art Fair