homework, A New Nomadic Art Gallery, Launches During Miami Art Week
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “Art Basel?” “Exclusive?” “Elitist?” “Expensive?” What if there was a place you could buy and enjoy art that was none of those things?
Founded by Aurelio Aguiló and Mayra Mejia, homework is a new “nomadic” gallery concept that wants to change the way people interact with art. Starting with a group show during Miami Art Week 2021, the gallery plans on traveling around the globe, activating in different spaces to show art from their roster of emerging artists. Most importantly, homework is an inclusive platform. They want to make art accessible to everyone that wants it, not just a select few with piles of cash.
We spoke with Aguiló and Mejia ahead of homework’s debut exhibition, v00001, at The Knoxon, 7411 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, on Wednesday, December 1.
Explain a bit about the concept of homework. What exactly makes it different from other
Homework is an idea that has been rattling in our heads for many years. We wanted to create a gallery/exhibition space that was nomadic, transformative, and experimental as an avenue to show artists we value in different spaces around the world during critical times in the art world calendar.
After working in and around the art world, particularly in New York and Miami, I wanted to get away from the traditional brick and mortar gallery model, which I found very frustrating, cold, and ultimately not financially viable. This model gives us the freedom to create impactful exhibitions wherever we want, exposing our artists to new collectors during key times in the art world calendar.
Why start your own gallery? What motivated you to take that step?
I personally have been playing with this idea for years. The art world can be a very opaque, closed out and clique-y place with many barriers of entry for artists, galleries, and even collectors. I always found it to be an interesting and cool idea to open our own space that addressed these issues head on.
Having worked in galleries and around the art world in New York and Miami, I always toyed with the idea of activating a new business model that was more inclusive, disjointed from the traditional art world and accessible to all who want to participate.
After many revisions and just when we were about to get started, the pandemic hit and made the world grind to halt. This is when my wife and I decided we should just join forces, tweaked the idea to somehow fit this new world and began to move forward with this project.
You’ve said you want to make the art world more “accessible.” What do you mean by this?
Our experience with the art world is that it can be very unwelcoming, particularly to the art enthusiasts which make up the bulk of the art “consuming” crowd. By “consuming” we mean the people who actually go to gallery shows, museum exhibitions, etc.
We found this rejection to be ridiculous. How can the people who “consume” your “product” be dismissed so easily? We wanted to address it somehow. That’s why we created a space where anyone can participate and actually walk out with something that’s not just an exhibition flyer without ever compromising quality.
What kind of art should visitors expect to see at homework?
Visitors can expect to see a range of stunning artworks by amazing emerging artists from around the world, working in multiple mediums. They can also expect to see amazing objects created by artisans as well as our first line of clothing inspired by this first event in Miami. Finally, we will be selling fantastic visual books and literary works from Dominican Republic-based editorial platform Ediciones de a Poco. In short, they can expect a welcoming atmosphere filled with great work, but most importantly they can expect to take part in the art consuming process. No one will feel left out.
Tell us about some of the artists exhibiting at your first group show.
We will be showing artists from around the world that work in a variety of mediums. They are all artists we have met in one form or another throughout our lives. We have been fortunate enough to have watched some of them develop from amateur students to professional artists. We’re amazed and very thankful that they all wanted to work with us.
What else are you doing with the brand? Is there more going on with homework than just
Yes, we are also working with a group of artisans and designers to have specially made objects for our shows, as well as original clothing at each stop. Our goal is to move this practice into the virtual world very soon.
Since we only exist ephemerally in the physical world, we are working on expanding our online presence in various ways, which we will hopefully be announcing sometime next year.
What’s your ultimate goal for homework? Where do you want to take this project?
We want to take it around the world, like a traveling circus. The art world has a particular global rhythm in which participation is vital to an artist’s success, especially young artists. We want to follow it in our own way, showing artists we love and activating experimental spaces with their work.
What’s next for homework after Miami Art Week?
We have eyes on New York for a show in May, and L.A. sometime after that. In the meantime we plan on having some more shows here in Miami.
RSVP Here for homework’s opening reception on December 1st
December 1st 2021-January 15th 2022
The Knoxon 7411 Biscayne Blvd, Miami FL 33138
TEXT BY DOUGLAS MARKOWITZ
IMAGE BY GABE DUQUE