Locust Projects, Miami’s Longest-Running Alternative Art Space, To Double In Size With New Home

On the eve of its 25th anniversary, Locust Projects – Miami’s longest running nonprofit alternative art space – will double in size to offer more public programming and exhibition opportunities to artists at a new location in Little River.

297 NE 67th Street. Photo Credit: Pedro Wazzan

With 17-foot high ceilings, an open floor plan and access to a large enclosed courtyard, the new space will be an expanded laboratory for local, national and international artists to experiment with new media and materials. Located in a warehouse district at 297 NE 67th St. the 8,000 square-foot space also will allow Locust to offer more educational programming to accompany its exhibitions, and to be located in an industrial neighborhood that is home to artist studios, galleries, manufacturing and creative industries.

“As an incubator of new art and ideas, Locust Projects embraces a culture of ‘Yes,’ encouraging artists to experiment on a large-scale in ways not possible in traditional spaces. We’ve embraced everything from jackhammered floors and working kilns to hanging gardens and synchronized swimming in an above-ground pool,” said Lorie Mertes, Locust Projects’ executive director. “Giving artists freedom to realize ambitious and bold ideas leads to the breakthroughs they need to push their practice. Our new space will bring more opportunities for supporting the creation of dynamic new work.”

Lorie Mertes, Executive Director Locust Projects. Photo Credit: Pedro Wazzan

Artist Rafael Domenech will be the first artist to completely take over the Little River space in February 2023. The Cuban-born, New York-based Domenech earned his bachelor’s from Miami’s New World School of the Arts and his MFA from Columbia University. Currently, his work is on display at a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is featured in a new outdoor pavilion commission as part of the 58th Carnegie International in Pittsburgh.

Rafael Domenech. Photo Courtesy of LagoAlgo. Photo Credit: Ada Navarro

Locust Projects will continue programming at its current Design District location until its move in early 2023 opening three new shows in November for Miami Art Week. The public is invited to get a sneak peak of the new space at a community “Housewarming” fundraiser Nov. 12.

“Embodying Miami’s innovation ethos, Locust Projects offers visual artists the opportunity to realize installations of ambitious new work, without the financial pressures of a gallery,” said Board Chair Debra Scholl. “In many ways, we operate like a laboratory, where the end result isn’t as important as the process the artists take to get there. They learn from each decision and mistake, pushing them forward in their careers.

”Having outgrown their current home with a soon-to-expire lease in the Design District, the move is informed by a multi-year strategic initiative supported by a five-year $1 million grant in 2018 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the Incubator Annual Fund initiative launched in 2021 supporting core program areas; and a recent leadership matching gift from philanthropist and Board Member Diane “Dede” Moss, facilitating the move to the new space.


About Locust Projects

Founded by artists for artists in a warehouse in Wynwood in 1998, Locust Projects is Miami’s longest running nonprofit alternative art space. They produce, present, and nurture ambitious and experimental new art and the exchange of ideas through commissioned exhibitions and projects, artist residencies, summer art intensives for teens, and public programs on contemporary art and curatorial practice. As a leading incubator of new art and ideas, Locust Projects emphasizes boundary-pushing creative endeavors, risk-taking and experimentation by local, national and international artists. They invest in South Florida’s arts community by providing artists with project grants and empower creative careers by supporting the administrative work of being an artist through an onsite artist resource hub and access to pro bono legal services.

Locust Projects 2022-2023 exhibitions and programming are made possible with support from: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children’s Trust; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Miami Foundation; Susan and Richard Arregui; Florida, Department of State; Hillsdale Fund; The Albert and Jane Nahmad Family Foundation; The National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Grant; VIA Art Fund | Wagner Foundation Incubator Grant; Funding Arts Network; Diane and Robert Moss; Ruth Foundation for the Arts; Cowles Charitable Trust; Diane and Werner Grob; Kirk Foundation; and the Incubator Fund Supporting Sponsors and Friends.


Photos Credit: Locust Projects, Pedro Wazzan And Ada Navarro

Date Posted: September 13, 2022

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