The Best Teenage Artists in the US Showcase Latest Work at Miami Art Week

OIC (ohhh i see), Glenn Espinosa. All images courtesy the artists and the YoungArts Foundation

A group of visual arts alumni from the YoungArts program gathered to display their latest works in an exhibit at Miami Art Week. The collection, titled Body + Place, featured painters and other 2D artists in a group show in a booth at this year’s PULSE Contemporary Art Fair.

The YoungArts Foundation awards a group of emerging artists every year, ranging from ages 15–18, from around the US with scholarships and mentorship. This year the organization welcomed back 10 alumni artists to display their artwork, including Leonardo Bacan, Glenn Espinosa, Marlena Fleck, Nicole Mouriño, Delali Ayivor, and Luz Orozco, among others.

We spoke to Luisa Múnera, one of the curators of Body + Place, who shared her curatorial process as well as her reflections on past YoungArts winners independently taking off into the art world, developing their aesthetics, and coming back to display the fruits of their labor: 

The Creators Project: Many of these artists featured in the exhibit Body + Place are alumni of the YoungArts program. How was it to see these artists return and show off their evolution?

Luisa Múnera: For many of these artists  who still in high school or early in their college years, it is their first time exhibiting in a fair setting. The YoungArts experience solidified their desire to create, thus turning their practice into a viable career option. It has been amazing to witness the public respond so well to the stories that these emerging artists are saying through their work.

Crimson's Crisis, Glenn Espinosa, 2016

YoungArts is a terrific platform for bringing attention to emerging artists. What have you heard from these YoungArts alumni about how the experience has influenced their development?

I have [spoke to] the artists that have sold their work at the booth thus far and their excitement, surprise and joy is over the moon! This has also been a learning experience for a lot of them; they have had to think about how to price their work and write about it in a clear and concise manner.

Song of Man, Glenn Espinosa, 2016

What strikes you as a particular asset of showing art at Miami Art Week?

I believe that this opportunity really gets the YoungArts name out there to the larger arts and culture community. Audiences were excited to see that the alumni were given a platform in the art fair circuit to present their work.  

Leonardo Bacan

Sugar Field, Kathia St.Hilaire, 2016

Booty Vista, Luis Zepeda, 2013

Lady with a cat, Luis Zepeda, 2013

Disposable, Marlena Fleck, 2015

Sunroom, Marlena Fleck, 2015

GEICO, Wayne Winslow, 2015

LUNCHABLES, Wayne Winslow, 2015

MASTERCARD, Wayne Winslow, 2015

MICROSOFT, Wayne Winslow, 2015

To learn more about the YoungArts program, visit their website, here. Explore more Miami Art Week coverage by The Creators Project, here.


Meet the Organization Fostering the Next Generation of Artists

Award-Winning Young Artists Get Sotheby’s Exhibit

5 Non-Western Artists Who Made a Splash at Art Basel Miami Beach