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Meet Michelle Lisa Polissaint in Little Haiti

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Lisa Polissaint.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Michelle Lisa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started drawing because I wanted to be like my older sister, Yolanda but when I realized that I had the skill, I kept going. Growing up in Delray Beach, Florida, I spent a lot of time in workshops and arts classes at Old School Square where I was given the space to learn new techniques and foster my artistic ability. I moved into photography in high school where I had access to a full darkroom, I think I was attracted to photography because it didn’t come easy to me, like drawing and painting, and I was forced to reframe the way my mind looked at the world. Today, I have a BFA in Photography and Fiber Based Painting with a minor in Art History.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
If I were to quantify my “career” starting from when I chose to take it seriously, my “career” spans nearly 14 years. If anything is smooth for that long, you’re not challenging yourself. My life has had its peaks and valleys, from battling depression to the death or my brother to completing my Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. As a creative all of these external experiences have an impact on my work.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Michelle Lisa Polissaint – what should we know?
As an artist my work explores the nature of human interaction through textiles and photographs. My most recent work moves from a previous series of self-portraits, Dancing With Myself, which explored my relationship with myself away from the guidance of my parents, into a new body of work documenting trips and interactions with my parents and family, If Home Was Home. I am also currently a resident at Bakehouse Art Complex.

Ansanm, is my 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. My upcoming project, Moonshine Moanin’, is a research performance project exploring identity and queerness as it relates to my upbringing in the South.

In addition to my artistic practice I am the Program & Outreach Manager at Locust Projects where I am at the helm of all public programming including Talks and the R+D / Mobile Studio.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I was raised in a family that taught me to care for not only myself, but also my community. That principle has stayed with me throughout my life. So a lot of credit goes to my family and my community.

Additionally, having the space to collaborate with others has been a major part of my successes, especially in recent years. Mostly recently, I’ve collaborated with the BLCK family on, Ansanm, a civic engagement project that uses meals as a vehicle for creating spaces focused on community building.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Headshot: Image by Diana Larrea

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