Mariam Arcilla works in the Australian creative sector, and oscillates as a writer, comms consultant, digital marketer, and curator. Her main jam is profiling luminaries and trends in art, design, fashion, and architecture—through various publications, programs, and events. After two decades of Gold Coast summers, Mariam currently lives in Sydney and works freelance. She’s held full-time roles in government, galleries, start-ups, and creative agencies in Brisbane, Sydney, and the Gold Coast.
Born on Valentine’s Day to a Filipino artist and a Singaporean chief air hostess, Mariam spent her childhood in four countries, zigzagged between studios, museums, and make-shift homes. Finessing her zest for art and places, today she works with artists, agencies, and institutions on projects that brighten the connections between people, cities, and sectors.
Mariam writes elastically in the areas of copywriting, editing, artswriting, content ideation, and cultural research. She’s dished out words for VAULT, Art Monthly, ACCLAIM, Running Dog, Broadsheet, Neue Luxury, RealTime, and Runway. Her copywriting clients include the State Library of Queensland, Museum of Brisbane, Home of the Arts, the Queensland Government, and Uber & Uber Eats. Jumpstarting her career on the Gold Coast, Mariam co-founded and directed a creative precinct, contemporary art gallery, and artist-run initiative. These roles led to vivid projects in conjunction with artists, architects, philanthropists, and local business owners.
What else does Mariam do? Art voodoo. Some highlights: she was invited to speak alongside Laurie Anderson at Home of the Arts about ideas and storytelling. She’s worked with musicians and artists to produce a multi-sensorial project at the Institute of Modern Art. She’s brewed alchemic tonics for Liquid Architecture listeners to consume while attuned to music. And she also curates an annual show at THE WALLS (one was reviewed here).
By age 30, Mariam was named as one of the ’50 Best & Brightest Queenslanders’ by The Courier Mail Newspaper and featured on the White Pages Gold Coast front cover (back when phone directories graced doorsteps across Australia)—both for significant services to the arts. Her projects have received coverage in The Straits Times Singapore, Sydney Morning Herald, Broadsheet, SBS Radio, ABC TV, and Channel 9 News. On the fun side, Mariam was listicled into The Art Life for her tendency to bend words. For five years, she put on a government hat, managing arts and culture projects and digital strategies for the science, art, design, and IT sectors; these initiatives are rolled out statewide.
On a day off, you’ll find Mariam pouncing into a gallery or breaking bread in an artist’s studio. And she cooks rice-based meals most nights, using her grandmother’s recipe. Say hi here.
Home Page image: Mariam photographed by Hannah Roche for BNE GIRLS. Check her out, she’s got mad lens skills.