Mariam Arcilla is an arts & culture writer, digital marketer, and curator of Filipina-Singaporean origin. She has a background in gallery directing, artist-run projects and interventions, and placemaking.
Her interest in art and placemaking stems from being the daughter of an artist father and 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 the public with makers and thinkers from various fields. She has worked as a creative producer, gallerist, arts administrator, and media liaison, and has staged exhibitions, events, and marketing campaigns independently, and with The Walls artspace, Institute of Modern Art, Liquid Architecture, Arts Queensland, Gold Coast City Gallery, Semi Permanent and Uber.
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 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, and as Gallery Director, Mariam curated monthly 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-found Rabbit & Cocoon creative precinct, and turn 14 warehouses into studios, galleries, event spaces, a cafe and a radio station. As a co-director, 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. 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, editorial, and marketing content for various publications and institutions.
Image: Sydney, 2017. Photo: Aaron Barnes.