Launching this initiative is Miami-based artist-activist Chire Regans with A Reflection of the Times, a memorial exhibition of portraiture open to the public from May 21 to November 1, 2021, at Bakehouse Art Complex.
“New World School of the Arts is so deeply thankful that Commissioner and the Mitchell Wolfson Sr Foundation are helping to support NWSA alumni artists here in our community,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson, NWSA Provost and CEO. “This sense of locality makes alumna Chire Regans’ work resonate deeply, reflecting the humanity and justice that needs to be expressed, seen and felt.”
“Our mission is to create a new cohort of first-time and beginner collectors in our community who support Miami-based artists. Matching our membership and programming to New World School of the Arts, the city’s foremost arts education institution, is a step toward a more collaborative and brighter future for artists and our city,” said Dejha Carrington, Commissioner Co-Founder and Executive Director. “The incredible talent, diverse perspectives and intensive training that young artists from NWSA share is among the very best in the country, and we are thrilled to help forge innovative pathways of support for them.”
Regans’ A Reflection of the Times underscores the ways in which activist art exists as a site of resistance and embodies a social justice framework. As we approach the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death on May 25, the exhibit honors his legacy and the countless number of people who are killed in the U.S. by gun-related and state violence. A Reflection of the Times will commemorate the lives of one hundred victims, and is conceived as a space for collective remembering and healing for families and the community, reminding us of the critical role of community-led activism and the urgency of magnifying its message.
“A Reflection of the Times is dedicated to everyone who encouraged me to use my voice,” said artist Chire Regans. “I hope this work leads you to yours.”
In addition to commissioning NWSA alumni to create new work and support their artistic practice, the program will introduce more stories that highlight alumni artists through media partners, provide paid internships for NWSA students, and create new event programming to connect Commissioner members and the public to NWSA’s faculty, students and resources.
Commissioner’s collaboration with NWSA is kicking off during the program’s third season and will continue throughout Season Four in 2022. Since its founding in 2018 with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Commissioner members have commissioned more than a dozen local visual artists, four of whom are alumni of NWSA, including Adler Guerrier, Kelly Breez, Alan Gutierrez and Morel Doucet.
Created in 1984 as a center of excellence for visual and performing arts by the Florida Legislature, New World School of the Arts educates and graduates hundreds of high school and college students each year, many of whom pursue professional careers as artists. Commissioner, a membership program to foster emerging local art collectors, commissions four local artists annually and creates digital storytelling and programming designed to support Miami artists and connect them directly with new patrons.
This partnership was made possible by the support of fiscal sponsors The Miami Foundation, Miami Dade College Foundation, and Chris Adamo and Randi Wolfson. Commissioner’s curatorial partner is Primary, and is supported by The New Tropic, Miami’s leading daily email for curious locals. The exhibition A Reflection of the Times and the accompanying publication was curated by Women Artists Archive Miami.
About New World School of the Arts
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. For more information visit the website at nwsa.mdc.edu.
Commissioner is a membership program that helps locals connect with artists in Miami. Founded in 2018 with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, we believe that cities are stronger when artists are at the forefront. Commissioner members participate in events throughout the year and receive new works by artists commissioned through our program. With artists bringing us together—and with the collective whole making possible what we cannot do on our own—we are building a stronger and more arts-invested Miami. For more information visit the website at commissioner.us or on Instagram at @cmxnr.
Reflection of the Times by Chire Regans
Honoring the legacy of George Floyd and victims of gun violence
May 21 – November 1, 2021, at Bakehouse Art Complex
About Chire Regans
Artist Chire “VantaBlack” Regans’ art practice exists at the intersection of social justice and storytelling. Her work responds to urgent societal concerns and functions as a critical platform to amplify the voices of the communities she engages with. Over the past decade Chire’s work has focused primarily on community advocacy and depicting social narratives without distortion, in a variety of mediums. As a St. Louis native, the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement triggered a sense of urgency in her art practice and it has continued to expand, allowing for a wider range of social accessibility and creative scale. In South Florida, Chire continues to marry her artistic practice with community-led activism, emphasizing the art of storytelling as a means of engaging with communities with radical empathy and transparency. Chire was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and relocated to Miami in the late 1980s. She studied at New World School of the Arts in the mid-1990s and graduated from Florida A&M University in 2005. Chire serves on the Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board’s Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Committee and was the Fall 2020 Artist-in-Residence with the Community Justice Project.
Chire has received critical recognition for her work in advancing social justice and racial equity. In 2020, she received The Ellies Social Justice Award from Oolite Arts and was recognized as the Best Visual Artist by the Miami New Times. Recently, in 2021, she was awarded a prize for her leadership and activism from The Miami Foundation’s Racial Equity Fund. For more information visit her Instagram @vantablack305.