ABOUT

Mariam Ella Arcilla (she/her)
Living and working on Gadigal/Sydney

Pronounced: Mar-yum Ell-lah Ar-seel-yah
A drawing of me by artist Hannah Smith, gifted as a surprise with a note to use this as a visual bio of the work I do. I’m wearing a batwing dress with purple and pink stockings, stamped with a metallic brooch, a necklace of coins, and a polka-dot coloured hat. I’m smiling, cheeks are blushed, arms in the air catching vibes.

My name is Mariam Ella Arcilla and I’m an arts & culture consultant working across community-engaged facilitation, writing, editing, creative producing, and communications design. I have managed galleries, artist-run collectives, publications, placemaking initiatives, and knowledge-trading projects since 2006.

Raised in a household of Filipino artists and creative cooks, I spent my childhood making zines, selling treats from my family’s bakery, and helping my father mix paint in his studio. I immigrated to Australia in 1996 and today I work elastically with artists and organisations to turn radiant ideas into dialogues, programs, and resources.

I’ve held senior appointments at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Queensland Government, Arts Queensland, Museum of Brisbane, and STATION Australia. During this time, I led or co-designed strategies, programs, podcasts, and campaigns for exhibitions, partner institutions, festivals, digital infrastructures, and creative start-ups.

My collaborators include: Arts House Melbourne, Art Month Sydney, Creative Australia, State Library of Qld, World Science Festival, Uber Australia & NZ, *Bleach Festival, The Entree.Pinays, Cultural Capital, and Accessible Arts NSW. Devoted to cross-field synergies and communications design, I have curated projects for Powerhouse Museum, City of Gold Coast, Semipermanent, THE WALLS, Miami Marketta, and Institute of Modern Art.

I have edited for Australian publications, notably fine print, 4A Papers, Runway Journal, and Brisbane Art & Design festival. I’m also a cultural researcher who writes about art, design and architecture. My texts are published in Running Dog, Art Guide, MeMo Review,  Home of the Arts, Vault, Art Collector, Broadsheet, Neue Luxury, Scenestr and ACCLAIM. I also do UX and copywriting for collectives, arts orgs, creative tech, and governments as I like sling-shotting between writing personas.

As an arts commentator, I have facilitated talks for Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Museum of Contemporary Art, Arts Queensland, and Verge Gallery, and have appeared on panels for ABC TV, Home of the Arts, QUT Art Museum, and Arts Northern Rivers. In 2023, I completed the Creative Leadership program at Creative Australia and was an arts mentor at Parramatta Artists Studios and Outer Space.

On a voluntary capacity, I have served as Co-Chair and Digital Producer at Runway Journal, Co-Director of tinygold ARI, and committee member for City of Gold Coast’s arts reference groups.

Every blue moon, I make art. I have presented work about food cosmogony and language incantations for Electrofringe Festival, Welcome Merchant, Saluhan, Firstdraft, Liquid Architecture and more. Magenta House is the domestic communion project I run with my husband in my spare time. It features workshops, talks, coworking sessions, test kitchens, soirées, and an arts & culture library.

I graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Creative Arts (Double major: Contemporary Art and Creative Writing).

The seed of my practice was first nurtured on Yugambeh/Kombumerri / Gold Coast and Meanjin / Brisbane lands. And this continues to be replenished on Gadigal/Sydney, with eternal gratitude to the knowledge systems cultivated by First Nations communities since the ancestral clock began ticking.