New Initiative Advances the Study and Discourse of Caribbean Art

Pérez Art Museum Miami Launches Inaugural Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship & Announces Recipients



Caribbean Culture Institute

(MIAMI, FL — December 3, 2020) — Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is pleased to announce the Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship, a new program that aims to advance the study of Caribbean art while providing opportunities for exchange and collaboration across the Caribbean region and its diasporic communities. The first iteration of the CCI Fellowship, which began in November, invites one artist and one researcher to expand their practice and research around PAMM’s upcoming exhibition Freedom Imagined in 2023. This exhibition will explore the relationship between surrealism and Caribbean thought, and how these exchanges had an impact on the region’s artistic production, specifically through ideas of emancipation.   

Through the CCI Fellowship, researchers, curators, artists, and cultural practitioners are invited to develop their work, advancing Caribbean art and its discourse and strengthening Caribbean networks in Miami and abroad. Adapting to the current landscape, the inaugural fellowship program will combine virtual engagements with local and international partnerships. The recipients of the inaugural CCI Fellowship are Ronald Cyrille (Artist Fellowship) in collaboration with Mémorial Acte in Guadeloupe, and Julián Sánchez-González (Research Fellowship). 

“Cyrille and Sánchez-González are exceptional practitioners, representing the cultural and linguistic diversity of the region. We are grateful that we have been able to create partnerships with notable institutions in the Caribbean, like Mémorial Acte, to further promote Caribbean art and thought,” said PAMM Curator María Elena Ortiz.

The 2020 CCI Artist Fellowship has been awarded to Ronald Cyrille, also known as Black Bird, from Guadeloupe. In collaboration with Mémorial Acte, the artist will have a studio for art production in Guadeloupe, creating works informed by Edouard Glissant and Aimé Césaire. These works  will be part of an upcoming exhibition and publication in Mémorial Acte. Julián Sánchez-González’s Research Fellowship is composed of a virtual residency in Bogotá, along with a research visit to Miami. During the fellowship, Sánchez-González will expand his research on art and spiritualities in the Caribbean by engaging with works in PAMM’s collection. 

The Caribbean Cultural Institute is a curatorial and research platform at Pérez Art Museum Miami that promotes the art of the Caribbean and its diasporas through scholarship, exhibitions, fellowships, public programs, and collection development. Most recently, CCI presented The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art, a thematic group show that addressed the future of the Caribbean, featuring 14 artists from the region and its diaspora. CCI exemplifies PAMM’s mission to uplift underrepresented artists and highlight the diversity of Miami’s community, while acknowledging the interconnectedness of the surrounding region. In 2020, Iberia Pérez González joined PAMM as the Andrew W. Mellon Caribbean Cultural Institute Coordinator to further work on this initiative. For more information about the CCI please visit its new website,

In 2021, the CCI will expand the fellowship program and offer four types of fellowships for artists,  visiting scholars, researchers, and other cultural producers. The 2021 fellows will be selected through an open call process. The application information for the 2021 CCI Fellowship program will be announced in the coming months with more details.

The Artist Fellowship is presented with support from the Cultural Services at the French Embassy in the United States. 



Ronald Cyrille is the recipient of the 2020 CCI Artist Fellowship. Known for his public art works depicting surreal imagery, Cyrille creates paintings, drawings, sculptures, and murals that present his personal mythology. His colorful and energetic brushstrokes reveal otherworldly figures in dreamlike settings, evincing humor, satire, and Caribbean histories. Inspired by the writings of Édouard Glissant and Aimé Césaire, Cyrille evokes the lusciousness of the Caribbean landscape alongside the region’s instability and idiosyncrasies. 

Cyrille’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at prestigious venues including the Volta Art Fair, New York; Rémy Niansouta Cultural Center, Pointe-á-Pitre, Guadeloupe; the Clément Foundation, and Atrium, both in Fort-de-France, Martinique. Cyrille has participated in group exhibitions at Hunter East Harlem Galleries, New York; the Little Haiti Cultural Center, Miami; and Tout-Le-Monde Festival, Miami, among others. He lives and works in Guadeloupe. 

Julián Sánchez-González is the recipient of the 2020 CCI Research Fellowship. Studying specific artworks in PAMM’s collection by Belkis Ayón and Arnaldo Roche-Rabell, Sánchez-González will explore the relationship between art and spirituality across styles, genres, mediums, and contexts. Thematically, these works engage with notions of the supernatural, the individual consciousness in relation to the cosmos and the universe, and the harmonious laws of nature. As the items in this selection draw on varied belief systems and personal backgrounds, this comparative research will attempt to understand the connection between artistic creation and hybridized spiritual beliefs in the Caribbean.

Sánchez-González holds an MA in Art History from NYU's Institute of Fine Arts and is a doctoral candidate in Art History at Columbia University in New York. His research focuses on the relationship between artistic and spiritual practices in the modern and contemporary eras, particularly in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. His dissertation explores Colombia’s First World Congress of Sorcery, a four-day international event that combined spiritual ceremonies, popular culture, art making practices, and academia to discuss themes related to the magical, the supernatural, the surreal, and the occult in 1975.

Sánchez-González's work has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia, and the Fundación COLFUTURO. His writing has been published by the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York and Venezuela; Oxford Art Online, Artsy, the Universidad Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), Buenos Aires; and the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá.


About Pérez Art Museum Miami


Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), led by Director Franklin Sirmans, promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. The 36-year-old South Florida institution, formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, on December 4, 2013 in Downtown Miami’s Maurice A. Ferré Park. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces.


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.

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