Pérez Art Museum Miami Announces Recipients of Second Annual Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship

(MIAMI, FL — October 28, 2021) — Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is pleased to announce the recipients of the second cycle of the Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship (CCI). With the support of The Mellon Foundation, PAMM’s CCI is a 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. Selected by a committee composed of PAMM Associate Curator Jennifer Inacio, PAMM Director of Education Marie Vickles, PAMM CCI Coordinator Iberia Pérez Gonzalez, and PAMM Curator María Elena Ortiz, two artists and two researchers have been invited to expand their practice and research throughout the next year with the support of PAMM’s institutional resources.


Clockwise from top left: Monica Sorelle, Eliazar Ortiz, Jessica Taylor, and Erica Moiah James.

“Thanks to our partners at the Mellon Foundation, we are delighted to invite the second group of artists and scholars to the Fellowship program of the Caribbean Cultural Institute. Under the guidance of Curator María Elena Ortiz, the coordination of Iberia Pérez Gonzalez, and the curatorial oversight of Chief Curator René Morales, we are delighted to receive the new fellows who represent the global character of the Caribbean from near and far,” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans.

This year’s fellowship was expanded to include both international and Florida-based artists and researchers selected from an open call. The recipients of the second CCI Fellowship are artists Monica Sorelle and Eliazar Ortiz, and researchers Erica Moiah James and Jessica Taylor

“This selection offers an inspiring mix of Caribbean narratives, including Haitian-American identity, Marronage and ancestral healing, along with strong research that expands on Caribbean art history and the Black diaspora,” said PAMM Curator María Elena Ortiz.

Florida-based Artist Fellow Monica Sorelle will expand the project “Reeds/Wozo,” a collection of works utilizing video, photography, and sculpture that engages the history of Haitian people, specifically women, as the poto mitan, or pillars of society, despite the weight of political and international pressure on the island. International Artist Fellow Eliazar Ortiz’s project “Guáyiga Maniel” deals with the recovery of the legacy, memory, and ancestral knowledge of Afro-Antillean cultures through artworks made with organic materials and pigments collected from his own natural environment.

The project of Florida-based Research Fellow Erica Moiah James will focus on developing a chapter for her second academic book, which aims to historicize the concept of the global over a period of 500 years through a series of artworks created in the Caribbean, from the landing of Columbus to the present day. International Research Fellow Jessica Taylor will look at the significance of travel, movement, and cross-border exchange for creative practitioners from the region and consider the relationship between production and travel in the formation of collections of Caribbean art today. 

The recipients of last year’s CCI Fellowship were Ronald Cyrille (Artist Fellowship) in collaboration with Mémorial Acte in Guadeloupe, and Julián Sánchez-González (Research Fellowship). This program has enabled regional and local collaborations with institutions such as the Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami, Mémorial ACTe in Guadeloupe, and the Cultural Services French Embassy in Miami. The CCI Fellowships are possible thanks to the support of The Mellon Foundation. 


Erica Moiah James is an art historian, curator, and assistant professor of African, Black and Caribbean art at The University of Miami.  Her research and writing centers on indigenous, modern and contemporary art of the Caribbean and the African Diaspora. Select academic publications include Charles White's J'Accuse! and the Limits of Universal Blackness (AAAJ, 2016); Every N***r is a Star: Re-imaging Blackness from Post Civil Rights America to the Post-Independence Caribbean (Black Camera, 2016),  Decolonizing Time: Nineteenth Century Haitian Portraiture and the Critique of Anachronism in Caribbean Art (NKA, 2019) and numerous curatorial essays including more recently "Purvis Young: Nothing Left Unsaid" (ICA 2019); "The Black Sublime: Rene Pena's Archangel, 2018" (SX 2019); Ricardo Brey's "Adrift"(MER, B&L, 2019); "Theriantropic Beasts: The Mystic Revelation of Tomás Esson" (ICA 2021); and "Edouard Duval Carrié: Historical Retelling and the Postmodern Baroque" (Bass Museum 2020).

Before arriving in Miami, she was the founding director and chief curator of the National Gallery of The Bahamas (2003-2011); a jointly appointed assistant professor in the departments of the History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University and director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of African American Studies at Yale.

James is a 2019-2022 non-resident research associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Center, University of Johannesburg, S.A., a 2020 recipient of the Creative Time/Warhol Foundation Writers Grant and a 2020 Mellon Foundation Project Grant focused on the multimodal art practice of Geoffrey Holder. Her forthcoming book is entitled After Caliban: Caribbean Art in the Global Imaginary.  

Jessica Taylor is a Barbadian curator and producer based in London. As the head of programmes of the International Curators Forum (ICF), Taylor co-curated the 2017-8 'Diaspora Pavilion' exhibitions in Venice and Wolverhampton and is co-curating the multi-site 'Diaspora Pavilion 2' project. She has co-curated programmes such as 'An Alternative Map of the Universe' (Guest Projects, London), 'Migrating Cities' (Spark Festival, Hong Kong), 'Sensational Bodies' (Jerwood Staging Series), and 'Monster and Island' with artist Sheena Rose (Royal Academy, London). Taylor also produced the exhibition 'Arrivants: Art and Migration in the Anglophone Caribbean World' (Barbados Museum) and the multi-site programme 'Curating the International Diaspora' in Sharjah, Barbados and Martinique. Prior to joining ICF, Taylor worked as an assistant curator at the Barbados Museum. She holds a BA in Art History and Philosophy from McGill University, Montreal, and a MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London.


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 37-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 Arts and Culture 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