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 a flight attendant mother. Weaved between four countries, she spent her childhood buried in galleries, art studios, and libraries.
Today, Mariam collaborates with artists and institutions to produce projects that connect makers and thinkers from various fields. Working as a gallerist, digital marketer, media liaison, and curator, she has staged exhibitions, events, and campaigns independently, and with Uber, Liquid Architecture, The Walls artspace, Institute of Modern Art, Arts Queensland, Gold Coast City Gallery, and Semi Permanent.
She also 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, Raven Contemporary, The Thousands, and RealTime Arts.
Mariam graduated from a BA Honours (First Class) and Bachelor of Creative Arts degree from Griffith University, where she holds a double major in Contemporary Art Theory & Practice and Creative Writing, with minors in Public Relations and Journalism.
Forging her curatorial career on the Gold Coast, Mariam was the co-founder and director of Rabbit & Cocoon (now Miami Marketta), Tinygold, and 19 KAREN Contemporary Artspace. Through Tinygold, she transformed abandoned sites into spaces for 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 and entrepreneurs with production avenues. So after two years, Mariam left the gallery to co-establish and direct Rabbit & Cocoon, a 14-warehouse creative precinct comprising studios, galleries, event spaces, and a cafe and 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, and by 30, she was selected by The Courier Mail Newspaper as one of the 50 Best & Brightest Queenslanders. Her projects have received coverage on Artscape (ABC TV), The Straits Times Singapore, The Sydney Morning Herald, SBS Radio, Channel 9 News, Pedestrian TV, Triple J Radio and Bullett Media.
After five years working in the arts department of Queensland’s public sector, Mariam relocated to Sydney in late 2016. She is currently working freelance on artswriting, copywriting, editorial, and marketing content for various publications and institutions.
Image: Sydney, 2017. Photo: Aaron Barnes.