Mariam Arcilla is an arts & culture writer, digital marketer, placemaker and curator of Filipina-Singaporean origin.
Her interest in contemporary art and placemaking stems from being the daughter of an artist father and stewardess mother. Weaved between four countries, she spent her childhood buried in galleries, art studios, and libraries.
Today she writes about art, design, fashion, and architecture, and has been published in leading Australian reads, namely VAULT: Australasian Art & Culture, Neue Luxury, Broadsheet, Art Monthly Australia, The Thousands, and RealTime. Mariam also works with artists to produce projects that connect the community with makers and thinkers from various fields; she has also worked on shows and campaigns in collaboration with Uber, The Walls, Liquid Architecture, Institute of Modern Art, Gold Coast City Gallery, and Semi Permanent.
A Griffith University graduate, Mariam completed her BA First Class Honours in 2006, and also holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts degree, where she double-majored in Contemporary Art Theory & Practice and Creative Writing, with minors in Public Relations and Journalism.
Mariam forged her curatorial career on the Gold Coast by co-founding and directing the creative precinct Rabbit & Cocoon (now Miami Marketta), Tinygold artist-run project, and 19 KAREN Contemporary Artspace. Through Tinygold, she transformed abandoned sites into spaces for art exhibitions, talks, and performances. This led her to partner with a philanthropist to establish 19 KAREN, where as Gallery Director, Mariam curated programs of an emerging and experimental slant.
With exhibition spaces cemented, her next agenda was to provide artists, designers, and entrepreneurs with avenues for work & show. So after two years, Mariam left the gallery to co-found and direct Rabbit & Cocoon, a 14-warehouse precinct comprising art studios, design labs, galleries, performance spaces, and a radio station. During this time, she helped develop the signature community program Miami Marketta, which remains a cultural destination on the Gold Coast, while 19 KAREN now operates as a commercial gallery.
At age 27, Mariam featured on the front cover of the White Pages Gold Coast Phonebook for her services to the arts. She was also named one of the 50 Best and Brightest Queenslanders by The Courier Mail newspaper, and received a Cultural Achievement Award from the Gold Coast City Council for her role in Rabbit & Cocoon.
After spending five years in the arts & culture department of Queensland’s public sector, Mariam returned to freelance in late 2016, and currently works in Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. Her projects have been featured on ABC TV, The Straits Times Singapore, The Sydney Morning Herald, SBS Radio, Channel 9 News, FBi Radio, Pedestrian TV, Triple J Radio and Bullett Media.
Image credit: Svenja Kratz.