Today we’d like to introduce you to GeoVanna Gonzalez.
GeoVanna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The idea for Supplement Projects stemmed from my interest in creating an alternative art and community space in my backyard. The aim of the project is to explore ideas of domesticity within the urban landscape. As places of comfort, communication, gathering and rest, the home and backyard are far removed from the institutional and commercial structures that dominate art.
Supplement Projects is guided by ideas of openness and collaboration. All programming will be intentionally open to the hyper-local and wider-Miami community as a way to give, to exchange, and to share—not just to ‘show.’
My motivation behind starting Supplement Projects comes from believing that every city and country already has the resources, spaces, and people necessary to create and share art in provocatively new and challenging ways.
By offering a new platform for art, and a new conception of where and how art can be both exhibited and engaged with, my hope is that the project will create a more inclusive and accessible way of working with artists and people in the community.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The project is still in the beginning stages, and I’m planning for the first opening at the space to be in March.
During Miami Art Week, I organized a ‘soft opening’ for Supplement Projects. I hosted what I called ‘Rest Stops’, which offered coffee and tea while organizations, artists, curators, and others presented, shared work, or just took part in conversations; it offered a time to connect with others in a very human and personal way, in a space that felt far removed from the manic energy of Miami Art Week.
A lot – a lot! – Of work went into getting the space ready for the Rest Stops, from preparing and painting the space to building the furniture to organizing equipment for screenings, so I think that hard work will pay off during the forthcoming launch in March. It would have been a lot easier just to buy the chairs and tables, but it was important to me to be resourceful and intentional about how I was creating the space.
Thanks to support from friends and people in the community, I was able to gather and repurpose plywood, collect paint, and borrow a van for transport. Friends also to lend a hand and help build and paint all the seating used during Rest Stops—even the beautiful design for chairs came from my friend, Logan Moises. It was a lot of work and some late nights, but in the end, it was worth it. I feel lucky to have such amazing and supportive people in my community.
I also want to give a special thanks to all of the hosts that participated in the Rest Stop events:
– Najja Moon, visual artist, and cultural practitioner
– Rosie Gordon-Wallace, founder of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator.
– Third Horizon, (Film Festival)
– Larry Ossei-Mensah, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and – Esther Park, director of cultural programming at Art/Center South Florida.
– P.D.P. (Public Display of Professionalism): Domingo Castillo, Patricia M. Hernandez, and Natalia Zuluaga.
Supplement Projects | Rest Stops was included in Commissioner’s Miami Art Week Guide, and supported by the Ellies, Miami’s visual arts awards, presented by ArtCenter/South Florida.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
As an artist, I am interested in working with ideas of translation, and forms of communication – and miscommunication – in today’s technological and consumer-driven culture. I’m interested in finding ways of opening up different and deeper ways of seeing-through, being in, and changing our environments/surroundings. I have a multidisciplinary practice where I experiment with materials to understand notions of tactility by transforming one material to look like another.
The desire to transform materials is influenced by both organic and technological environments and the relationship to our shifting notions of gender and identity. I construct and combine sculptures and installations, and use video and photography to recontextualize, obscure and interfere with how digital platforms curate and dictate the way we experience various and multiplying realities.
As a curator, I approach my work as a collective practice, always looking to work with and learn from others. I believe it’s vital to be intentional about the places we work in, live in, and share together. I enjoy working in and revealing the possibilities around us by finding uncommon spaces for showing and creating art along with wanting to create benefits for other creatives by working outside of institutional spaces.
In a time where much of our communication—and indeed our sharing of artworks—is done online, I want to create spaces, like Supplement Projects, that will act as a platform for people from widely diverse backgrounds to have face-to-face conversations and interactions. Those who may feel unsure about whether the large, prestigious (and often expensive) art institutions are ‘for them,’ will find Supplement Projects to be a welcoming space that is free, inclusive, and participatory.
The most recent show I curated was during the Berlin Biennale 2018, a group exhibition called Augmented Sunrise Beneath The Skin, in the artist-run space Gr_und Berlin. The international group exhibition featured ten artists based in Berlin, Germany, and Miami, Florida.
The exhibition sought to expose and subvert the infrastructural spaces and codes that dictate how our bodies relate to, live, and work in the cities we call home. Augmented Sunrise Beneath The Skin, was featured in Elephant Magazine’s Eight Noteworthy Berlin Exhibitions and reviewed by Berlin Art Link, AQNB, Curated.is Contemporary& Magazine, Daily Lazy, and ArtMirror. The show was funded by Art/Center South Florida.
I am also part of queer feminist collective Coven Berlin, working on exhibitions and events that focus on body politics, gender, labor, and sexuality. And I co-founded READ WHAT YOU WANT! – an international reading club and performance art collective and COIN IN/COIN OUT a collaborative space with Angel Garcia, that functions out of a kiosk at the 777 International Mall.
- Website: supplementprojects.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: supplementprojects
Photograph of GeoVanna Gonzalez by Alex Markow. All the other images were collected by me or visitors of the events on their phone.