Awareness Day

Open Season for National YoungArts Foundation

Irene Sperber

MouthWater invitation.


MouthWater invitation.

The third annual Young Arts Awareness Day will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 27 and runs through Monday, Nov. 21 with their new exhibition, "MouthWater," featuring a panoply of well documented YoungArts' winning artists of past years synergistically paired with emerging ideas from a new generation of winners.

If, perchance, you are not aware of YoungArts, let us begin with a short synopsis: A platform to nurture highly talented artists in myriad creative outlets, Lin & Ted Arison formed the National YoungArts Foundation in 1981 to assist individuals and groups in reaching the star for which they were bound.

Whether visual, literary, design or performing arts, this foundation has been there to inspire careers while providing the community with progressive programing. Ages 15 to 18 can apply for the program from anywhere in the states.

MouthWater: A Multigenerational Exhibition of Alumni Work opens Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., complete with a festive atmosphere fueled by drinks and “live” DJ, I am relieved to hear. It’s free but do RSVP at the website: www.youngarts.orgFrom Sept. 28 onward: Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

Master teacher at YoungArts, Robert Chambers curated this blow out season opener, providing his masterly sculpting chops to enhance the experience.

An impressive array of over seventeen talented former winners of the YoungArts Foundation have gathered their talents for this event including:

  • Nicole Eisenman - 1983 Winner in Visual Arts.
  • Naomi Fisher - 1994 winner in Visual Arts.
  • Hernan Bas - 1996 winner in Photography and Visual Arts.
  • Lee Heineman - 2011 winner in Visual Arts and US Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
  • Sebastian Ruiz - 2014 winner in Visual Arts.
  • Mikayla Brown - 2015 winner in Visual Arts.
  • Nadia Wolff - 2016 winner in Design, Visual Arts, US Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
Naomi Fisher, oil on panel.


Naomi Fisher, oil on panel.

In addition to encouraging the community to be more aware of what is out there for our children and young adults, they hope MouthWater will give other promising artists the push they need to apply to the program:

I got a chance to pick through thoughts from Robert Chambers on curating MouthWater. As a Master artist at YoungArts he is an integral participant in adding to early artists expertise working with an impressive array of other masters as discipline coordinators, national reviewers, selection panelists, master teachers, editors and curators. Chambers previously ran the sculpture departments at New York University and taught at the University of Miami. He has work in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Miami).

Irene Sperber: What about this exhibition makes it need to be shown and what is it about these particular artists that made the biggest impact on you?

Robert Chambers: I wanted to show the long term impact YoungArts has had on the contemporary art world while giving the latest generation an opportunity to see their work in the context of established artists. I have experience curating multi-generational exhibitions such as Globe > Miami < Island at the Bass Museum of Art on Miami Beach in 2001, the first exhibition of its kind to showcase artists with ties to Miami. This exhibition mixed established and emerging artists in an experimental /installation environment. I was excited to be asked to curate this show for YoungArts and in curating "MouthWater" I set out to be inclusive of the earliest YoungArts Alum, Eric Rhein,1980 and Nicole Eisenman,1983 while moving into the mid 90’s with Naomi Fisher and Hernan Bas, culminating with a focus on the latest emerging talent. The criteria for my selection process were: Being a working artist, having an intrinsic impact or the potential ability to advance the humanities and lastly, strong originality and concept. I was impressed that many internationally acclaimed artists had their roots in the YoungArts Foundation. I could have filled a much larger exhibition space with the abundance of talent including the newest generation.

Eric Rhein, Fly Leaves, wire and paper.


Eric Rhein, Fly Leaves, wire and paper.

IS: Where did that title bubble up from?

RC: “I chose the exhibition title, "MouthWater," as a metaphor for a feast of aesthetics in the visual arts that has been generated at YoungArts. I wanted a visceral title descriptive of the hunger, drive and determination it takes for artists to create new work.

IS: How has being a Master Teacher at YoungArts changed you?

RC: “The idea of being a teacher while helping my fellow artists has evolved into a rewarding facet of my career as a working artist. I enjoy helping others especially emerging artists as much as I do teaching and making art. I have a long history in the art world as an observer/participant and have benefited greatly myself from mentors, teachers and institutional support on many levels. It gives me great satisfaction to give emerging artists opportunities and guidance and I am honored to be a YoungArts panelist/ Master Artist.”

Leonardo Bacan, White Wall, acrylic on canvas.


Leonardo Bacan, White Wall, acrylic on canvas.

Watch for other programs throughout the year on their website. Among future offerings:

  • YoungArts’ Salon Series is a panel discussions with artists on a variety of topics such as Artists as Citizens; Rebellion and Innovation; Discovery and Emerging Talent; Women & Words; and Art & The Next Wave.
  • National YoungArts Week with approximately 170 YoungArts Finalists in the visual, literary, design, and performing arts.
  • Outside the Box multidisciplinary performances.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

National YoungArts Foundation
2100 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami 33137
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You are now aware; my work here is done.

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