Michelle Lisa Polissaint is a visual artist & arts organizer based in Miami, Florida. She is currently completing a Master of Arts in Museum Studies & Non-Profit Management at Johns Hopkins University. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Florida International University in Photography & Fiber Based Painting. Her current practice is focused on producing community based activations that encourage artists and community members to form collaborative relationships.

She is the Program & Outreach Manager at Locust Projects where she is at the helm of all public programming including Talks and the R+D / Mobile Studio. In her previous position as Programs Manager of The Miami Rail she successfully implemented the Visiting Writer Program, Block by Block Program and produced the new Writer's Retreat partnering with The Standard, Miami Beach.

As an artist she explores the nature of human interaction through textiles and photographs. Her most recent work moves from a previous series of self-portraits, Dancing With Myself, which explored her relationship with herself away from the guidance of her parents, into a new body of work documenting trips and interactions with her parents and family, If Home Was Home. She is currently a resident at Bakehouse Art Complex. 

Ansanm, is her most recent project launched in December 2017 with funding from The Awesome Foundation.  Ansanm, is a civic engagement project that uses meals as a vehicle for creating spaces focused on community building and collaboration. Ansanm is produced in collaboration with The BLCK Family, a collective based in Miami, FL. Her upcoming project, Moonshine Moanin’, is a research performance project exploring identity and queerness as it relates to her upbringing in the South.

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Education

2019 Master Certificate | Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD
Non-Profit Management

2014 Bachelor of Fine Arts | Florida International University - Miami, Florida
Studio Art & Art History

2011 Palm Beach State College - Lake Worth, Florida

Exhibitions

2018

COLLECTIVITY, Bakehouse Art Complex - Miami, FL
RCS: 1-50. Bakehouse Art Complex - Miami, FL
FORGED PATH : Culture, History, and Freedom, Little Haiti Cultural Complex Gallery - Miami, FL
BECAUSE THE DAWN BREAKS, Elaine L. Jacob Gallery - Detroit, MI
southXeast: Contemporary Southeastern Art, Ritter Art Gallery - Boca Raton, FL

2017

To Love Like a Woman (Curatorial), The Annex  - Miami, FL
Finding Home, Spinello Projects - Miami, FL
Champions, The Armory Center – West Palm Beach,FL

2016

Intersectionality, The Museum of Contemporary Art - North Miami, FL
ASCENT, Nova Southeastern University Gallery – Davie, FL

2015

9 Topics, Girls Club Collection – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Alternative Contemporaneity – Museum of Contemporary Art – North Miami, FL

2014

BFA Thesis Show, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Art – Miami, FL
In Bituin, Girls’ Club Collection – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Thaw Out, Space Mountain – Miami, FL
CEADA, Indigo Sky Community Gallery – Savannah, GA
In Bituin, Dwelling Projects – Plantation, FL

2013

Tezina, Dwelling Projects, Plantation, FL
facesEXPOSED, Art Serve – Fort Lauderdale, FL

Workshops | Lectures

2018

Art in the Development of Urban Miami Neighborhoods, CADA - Miami, FL
Create in Power: Using Art to Dismantle Racial Inequities, CIC - Miami, FL
Art Roundtable: Michelle Lisa Polissaint, NSU Museum - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Local Views: Michelle Lisa Polissaint. Perez Art Museum, Miami - Miami, FL
Noon Time Artist Talk - Michelle Lisa Polissaint, Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton, FL
southxeast: Contemporary Southeastern Art, Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton, FL

2017

JAM Fest 2017, University of Tennessee - Chattanooga, TN

2016

Good Intentions Aren’t Good Enough, Common Field Convening - Miami, FL
Roundtable: Gentrification, Locust Projects - Miami, FL
On Identity & Place, Florida International University - Miami, FL

2015

Artist Talk – TAZ, Museum of Contemporary Art - North Miami, FL

2014

Quilting Bee with Michelle Lisa Polissaint, NSU Museum - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Quilting Bee with Michelle Lisa Polissaint, NSU Museum - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Professional Experience

10/17 - Present Locust Projects | Program and Outreach Manager
06/17 - 10/17 Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami | Community Engagement Assistant
06/15 - 10/17 The Miami Rail | Program Manager
08/15 - 10/16 Common Field | Planning Partner
10/16 - 06/16 New World School of the Arts - Miami Dade College | Admissions & Recruitment Coordinator
01/15 - 09/15 Hialeah Cultural Center - Miami Dade College | Project Manager

Awards | Grants | Residencies

2018

The Ellies Creator Award, ArtCenter/ South Florida
Resident Artist, Bakehouse Art Complex
Grant Recipient, The Awesome Foundation

Press | Bibliography

Uszerowicz, Monica. “Your Concise Guide to Miami Art Week 2018.” Hyperallergic, Hyperallergic, 6 Dec. 2018, Web.

Martinez, Nicole. “Four Miami Artists Whose Work Expresses Who They Are and Where They Live.” Miami Indulge, Indulge Miami, 24 Nov. 2018, Web & Print.

Moon, Najja. “A Portrait of Michelle Lisa Polissaint.” Edited by Ekaterina Juskowski, Miami Girl Magazine, 20 Nov. 2018, Web.

Miami Times Staff. “Various Local Artists Win Big at The Ellies.” The Miami Times, 31 Oct. 2018, Web.

VoyageMIA. “Meet Michelle Lisa Polissaint in Little Haiti.” Voyage MIA Magazine | Miami City Guide, 13 Sept. 2018, Web.

Spinello Projects, director. “The Annex Walk Through: Michelle Lisa Polissaint. Vimeo, Spinello Projects”, 10 Sept. 2018, Web.

BABA Collective. “RCS Vol. 42 | Michelle Lisa Polissaint.” Season 1, episode Vol. 42, Feb. 2018.

Valys, Phillip. “Hair neckties and other ‘SouthXeast’ art at Florida Atlantic University.” SouthFlorida.com. N.p. 30 Jan. 2018. Web.

Digital Journal. “Seven Miami Artist Speak Up About Gentrification with a Group Exhibit in Little Haiti.” DigitalJournal.com. N.p. 10 Jan. 2018. Web.

Estape, Taylor. “Four Miami Artists to Watch in 2018”. The Miami New Times. N.p. 2 Jan. 2018 Web.

Uszerowicz, Monica. “Caribbean Artists Mine Their Immigrant Identities.” Hyperallergic. N.p. 27 Jan. 2017. Web.

Levin, Jordan. “Which Miami neighborhood will be the next to be ‘Art-Washed’?.” The Miami Herald. N.p. 24 Oct 2016. Web.

Arroyo, Eddie. "A Conversation with Michelle Lisa Polissaint." ArtIsAbout.com. N.p., 22 Feb. 2016. Web.

Rinnhofer, Angelika. "Interviews." Prep 4 Art School. N.p., 20 June 2016. Web.