Mariam Arcilla profiles luminaries and movements in art, design, fashion, architecture, food, and tech. She’s currently based in Sydney, after two decades of Gold Coast sun. Working primarily as a writer and marketer, she also produces multimedia content and campaigns; other times, she curates exhibitions and does marketing jazz-hands for galleries and institutions. She’s held full-time roles in commercial artspaces, government communications, start-ups, and urban activation programs in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Sydney.
Mariam was born on Valentine’s Day to a Filipino artist and a Singaporean flight stewardess, which led to a childhood zigzagged between art studios, museums, libraries, and make-shift homes in four countries. Finessing her zest for art and placemaking, today she works with artists and creative groups on projects that connect the public with makers and thinkers from wide fields. Mariam writes elastically in the areas of artswriting, copywriting, editing, and concept strategy/storyboarding. Her arts features have been published in VAULT, Art Monthly, ACCLAIM, Running Dog, Broadsheet, Neue Luxury, and Runway. She’s contributed exhibition essays for white cubes like Gippsland Art Gallery, Metro Arts, and Sophie Gannon Gallery. She also creates multimedia content for Uber and Uber Eats, with a focus on city guides, food profiles, tech hacks, and industry snapshots.
What else does she do? Art voodoo. Some highlights: Mariam recently spoke alongside Laurie Anderson on a panel about ideas and storytelling at HOTA, and wrote her program essay. She’s produced an Institute of Modern Art project with artists and musicians to tease out the concept of ‘skirting’. She brewed alchemic tonics for Liquid Architecture listeners to consume while tuned to music. She also curates an annual show at THE WALLS (one was reviewed here).
Mariam forged her career on the Gold Coast by co-establishing and directing a creative precinct, contemporary art gallery, and artist-run program. At age 27, she featured on the White Pages Gold Coast front cover for outstanding services to the arts (back when phone directories graced doorsteps across Australia). By 30, she was named as one of 50 Best & Brightest Queenslanders by The Courier Mail Newspaper. Mariam’s work has been covered on ABC TV, The Straits Times Singapore, Sydney Morning Herald, SBS Radio, and Channel 9 News; at one point she was listicled into The Art Life for her tendency to bend words. She’s also logged five years in government, where she managed cultural tourism and design thinking projects; and authored digital strategies, media campaigns, and social media policies — these initiatives are rolled out statewide.
Mariam holds a BA Honours (First Class) and Bachelor of Creative Arts degree from Griffith University, graduating with a double major in Writing & Contemporary Art, and minors in Public Relations & Journalism. On a day off, you’ll find Mariam at galleries, libraries, or in someone’s art studio; some things don’t change. 😉 Say hiiii.
Home Page image: Mariam photographed by Hannah Roche for BNE GIRLS.