Mariam Arcilla is an artsworker in the Australian creative sector, oscillating as a writer, comms consultant, producer and researcher. Her main jam? Profiling people and movements in art, design, fashion, and architecture—through various publications, programs, and events. After two decades of Gold Coast summers, Mariam now lives in Sydney and works freelance. She’s held full-time roles in galleries, start-ups, creative agencies and governments in Brisbane, Sydney, and the Gold Coast.
Born on Valentine’s Day to a Filipino artist and a Singaporean air hostess, Mariam spent her kidhood in four countries, zigzagged between studios, museums and make-shift homes. This finessed her zest for art and places, so today she works with artists and agencies on projects that brighten the connections between people, cities and sectors. Mariam writes elastically in the areas of profile writing, content ideation, copywriting and editing, and cultural research. Her artswriting has featured in leading publications, namely VAULT, Running Dog, Art Collector, Design Online, Runway, ACCLAIM, Broadsheet, Neue Luxury, and Art Monthly. Her clients include Museum of Brisbane, Home of the Arts, Liquid Architecture, Queensland Government, Art Incubator, and Uber & Uber Eats.
Jumpstarting her career on the Gold Coast, Mariam co-founded and ran a creative precinct, contemporary art gallery and artist-run initiative. These directorial roles led to vivid projects in conjunction with artists, architects, philanthropists, and local business owners. Mariam also wore a government hat for five years, managing projects and digital strategies for the science, art, design, and IT sectors; these initiatives are now rolled out statewide.
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 brewed alchemic tonics for Liquid Architecture listeners to consume while attuned to music. She’s also curated projects at THE WALLS; one of them was reviewed here. By age 30, Mariam was named as one of the 50 Best & Brightest Queenslanders by The Courier Mail Newspaper. Her collaborations have also been covered in The Straits Times Singapore, Sydney Morning Herald, Broadsheet, SBS Radio, ABC TV, and Channel 9 News. On the fun side, she was listicled into The Art Life for her tendency to bend words.
On a day off, you’ll find Mariam pouncing into a gallery or breaking bread in an artist’s studio. Plus, she cooks rice-based meals most nights, using her grandmother’s recipe. Hit her up here.