Mariam Arcilla is a Filipina-Singaporean arts & culture writer, marketer, and curator. Her background is in gallery directing, culture research, placemaking, and artist-run projects and interventions.
Her zest for contemporary art and placemaking stems from being the daughter of an artist father and a mother who was a flight attendant. 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. Working as a creative producer, gallerist, arts administrator, and media liaison, she has staged exhibitions, events, and marketing campaigns independently, and with THE WALLS Art Space, Institute of Modern Art, Liquid Architecture, Arts Queensland, Gold Coast City Gallery, Uber, Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Art, and Semi Permanent.
She also writes about art, design, fashion, and architecture, and has contributed to leading Australian publications, namely VAULT: Australasian Art & Culture, Neue Luxury, Broadsheet, Art Monthly Australia, RUNWAY, Raven Contemporary, The Thousands, and RealTime Arts. Additionally, she authored social media policies, strategic plans, and government speeches during her time working in the public sector.
Mariam graduated from a BA Honours (First Class) and Bachelor of Creative Arts degree from Griffith University. 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 and establish 19 KAREN. As its 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. After two years, Mariam left the gallery to co-establish Rabbit & Cocoon creative precinct and transform 14 warehouses into studios, galleries, event spaces, a cafe, and a radio station. She also helped develop the 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, The Courier Mail Newspaper selected her as one of the 50 Best & Brightest Queenslanders. Her projects have been covered on Artscape (ABC TV), The Straits Times Singapore, The Sydney Morning Herald, SBS Radio, Channel 9 News, Pedestrian TV, and Bullett Media.
After five years working in the arts departments of Queensland’s public sector, Mariam relocated to Sydney in late 2016. She now works freelance on writing, editorial, marketing, and culture research content for various publications and institutions.