Pérez Art Museum Miami Announces Recipients of Fourth Annual Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is pleased to announce the recipients of the fourth cycle of the Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship (CCI), selected through an open call by Iberia Pérez González, Andrew W. Mellon Caribbean Cultural Institute Curatorial Associate; Laura Novoa, Assistant Director of Programs + Community Engagement at Bakehouse Art Complex, and Aldeide Delgado, Founder and Director of WOPHA (Women Photographers International Archive); in addition to PAMM’s Chief Curator Gilbert Vicario and Director Franklin Sirmans. With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CCI is a program that aims to advance the study of Caribbean art while providing opportunities for exchange and collaboration across the Caribbean region and its diasporic communities.

“We are thrilled to announce and invite the fourth group of artists and scholars to join us in the creation and analysis of Caribbean art in this year’s edition of the Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship Program. This next group of fellows represent the diversity of the region with their unique backgrounds and artistic practices.” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. “PAMM, a leader in the collection of contemporary Caribbean art, is committed to promoting and supporting Caribbean arts and culture, the artists themselves, and research in the field.”

The 2023 CCI Fellowship recipients include: Shannon Alonzo, an interdisciplinary artist from Trinidad; Farihah Aliyah Shah, a lens-based artist of Guyanese descent, based in Ontario, Canada; and Petrina Dacres, a researcher and independent curator from Jamaica. “Unlike in previous iterations, this year’s CCI Fellowship program features a strong female presence, representing the wide cultural diversity of the region. Alonzo, Shah, and Dacres are exceptional practitioners, whose art making and research practices, respectively, are connected by a common interest in aspects related to Caribbean colonial and post-colonial histories,” said Iberia Pérez Gonzalez, Andrew W. Mellon Caribbean Cultural Institute Curatorial Associate.

The CCI is honored to continue to give visibility to Caribbean art in Miami through partnerships with local art organizations and institutions. For instance, this year, the CCI is collaborating with WOPHA to support women-identifying and non-binary artists from the Caribbean working primarily on photography and lens-based practices. In addition to conducting archival research and actively engaging with Miami’s cultural ecosystem, the 2023 CCI + WOPHA Fellow, Farihah Aliyah Shah, will be participating in the international symposium “On the Edge of Visibility,” which will take place at PAMM in October 19–20, 2023.

Similarly, Shannon Alonzo, 2023 CCI Artist fellow, will spend two months in Miami and will have a dedicated studio space at the Bakehouse Art Complex, further consolidating a partnership between PAMM and Bakehouse that started in 2021. This inter-institutional collaboration gives Caribbean artists the opportunity to connect with the local artists participating in the Bakehouse residency programs, and benefit from its wonderful facilities and resources.

During the CCI Fellowship, Shannon Alonzo will deepen her research around Caribbean Carnival and its engagement of the female body as a site of liberation. In her project “Unmasked Unseen,” Alonzo speculates on how the boundaries of corporeal autonomy and spatial engagement are navigated through ritual, assumption of persona and collective action. Alonzo uses as a point of departure, the colonial laws prohibiting masking in the streets of Port of Spain in the early 19th century in contrast with the development of multifaceted, female storytellers, whose power is derived primarily from the creation of new personas which exist (only) on the Carnival road. She questions the impact of patriarchal structures which demand that women are “unmasked” while remaining unseen, a phenomenon which still exists (albeit in other forms) today.

Using photography, video, sound, and installation, Farihah Aliyah Shah’s research and lens-based practice explores identity formation through the colonial gaze, forced migration in relation to labor of goods and services, race, connectivity to land, and collective memory. In the context of the CCI fellowship, Shah will expand two ongoing bodies of work: Along the Demerara2017, which documents processing grief, reclaiming identity, and examining colonial histories, and Looking for Lucille2017, an unconventional portrait of her late grandmother whom she never met. The aim is to research collective resistance, archival preservation, and the role of the matriarch engaging with archival material that documents Victoria Village and the Guyana’s. The work questions processes of authorization of “legitimate” forms of preservation and challenges colonial erasure––limiting access to archives or altering education evident in recent history of the state of Florida and other spaces; compounded by diasporic intergenerational loss. Shah will present her research methods and outputs of her creative explorations in a tableaux and participate in the international symposium “At the Edge of Visibility’, which will take place at PAMM in October 2023.

Petrina Dacres’ current book project, After-History?: The Heroic Image in Contemporary Caribbean Art, analyzes the various ways Caribbean artists utilize, critique and redefine the conventions of heroic representation since the 1990s. This research project extends Dacres’ analysis of commemorative statues and monuments in Jamaica to contemporary formal and material art practices in the region that engage the heroic impulse. Within the context of the CCI Fellowship, Dacres plans to complete the Introduction of the book while exploring selected works by artists from PAMM’s collection such as Ebony Patterson, Sandra Ramos, Daniel Lind-Ramos, Tania Bruguera, and Devan Shimoyama, to name a few. A close study of the works of Ramos and Lind-Ramos, will allow Dacres to discuss the heroic in relation to the spiritual, to the importance and process of historical recovery and invention, material and visual exploration and the political monument. Analysis of their work will be supplemented by interviews. Ledelle Moe and Vaughn Spann in PAMM’s collection provide contextual material of artists that engage memory, monuments and heroic iconography. The Introduction text will frame the book as an exploration of after-images of colonial and postcolonial Caribbean heroic art, interrogate specific examples of heroic representations and conventions that raise ideas further elaborated in the book and reflect on the uses and inventions of the past in Caribbean art.

The recipients of last year’s CCI Fellowship were Abel González (Research Fellowship), Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich (Artist Fellowship), and Guillermo Rodríguez (Artist Fellowship).

About The 2023 CCI Artists Fellows

Shannon Alonzo is an interdisciplinary artist focusing primarily on drawing, soft sculpture and performance. Her practice explores themes of collective belonging, place attachment and the significance of carnival ritual to the Caribbean consciousness. She holds a BA from London College of Fashion and MRes Creative Practice from the University of Westminster. She has exhibited work at the Liverpool Biennial 2023, Ambika P3 and London Gallery West in the U.K, Documenta 15 in Germany, Alice Yard, Loft Gallery and Black Box in Trinidad & Tobago, and the Atlantic World Art Fair on Artsy.

Farihah Aliyah Shah is a contemporary lens-based artist originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Treaty 6) now based in Bradford, Ontario, Canada (Treaty 18). She holds a BHRM from York University and a BFA in Photography with a minor in Integrated Media from OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario. Shah was the 2019 recipient of the John Hartman Award and long-listed in 2022 for the New Generation Photography Award. She is a member of Gallery 44 – Centre for Contemporary PhotographyWomen Photograph, and is the co-founding member of Mast Year Collective; an artist duo exploring kinship through collective practice. Shah has exhibited internationally in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Dr. Petrina Dacres is Head of the Art History Department at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica. Her work and research focus on Caribbean art; African diaspora art; public sculpture and memorials; and memory studies. She is an independent curator and founding member of Tide Rising Art Projects, an organization created to support and promote contemporary Caribbean art and film. Dr. Dacres has organized exhibitions at the International Studios and Curatorial Programmes where she was the 2022 Jane Farver Curatorial Resident, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, New York; The National Museum, Jamaica, Kingston; and National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, among others.


About PAMM

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), led by Director Franklin Sirmans, promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. The nearly 40-year-old South Florida institution, formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, on December 4, 2013 in Downtown Miami’s Maurice A. Ferré Park. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces.


Photo Credit: Pérez Art Museum Miami

Date Posted: September 21, 2023

Written By

Editor of ArtsDecoderMiami.com

Leave a Comment