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A new crop of contemporary artists just can't spontaneously generate, they require cultivation, mentoring and guidance. Enter The LAB (Locust Art Builders), now in its 4th year at Locust Projects. This unique workshop pools students from high schools across Miami-Dade and pairs them with practicing artists to produce a collaborative exhibition within the 5,000 square-foot Miami Design District space. As a local visual arts incubator that also draws in internationally-renowned artists as visiting practitioners, Locust Projects relies on the ingenuity of emerging artists to accelerate the creative process. This year, it is Monica López de Victoria (one half of the luminous TM Sisters performance duo) and Loriel Beltran who serve as the program directors.

Open calls go out to high schools across the county, which prompts the selection of a number of curious young minds to explore the varying principles and active responsibilities of mounting a contemporary exhibition. A three-week summer intensive then follows, where carpentry, storyboarding, theoretical discussion and pure fun all play important roles in the project's success. After its completion (well, as complete as such an involved project could possibly be), Locust Projects opened the exhibition to its board, its patrons, the students' parents, teachers and friends in an official Second Saturday reception on the 13th.

The participating artists of the 4th annual LAB (Locust Art Builders) are:
Macki Alvarez-Mena, Cindy Becerra, Lisette Carballo, Ellana Cohen, D’anyerlo Duque, Mathew Figueroa, Juan J Garcia, Ilan Gihuly, Catalina Ruiz Luzio, Bernadata Majauskaite, Dillon McDermott, Jon Millan, Daniela Perez, Lisette del Pino, Summer Pizura, Karen Ramirez, Armand Reyes, Antonio Robbins, Ethan Romano, Gisselle Ruiz, Magdiel Santana, Melodie Suarez, Maile Torres, Juan “Tanooki” Vinasco, Maya Yosub.

Locust LAB opened on July 13th and runs through August 10th. Locust Projects is located in the Miami Design District at 3852 North Miami Avenue, Miami. Tel: (305) 576-8570. More information available at

Image credit Ginger Photography and courtesy of Locust Projects, Miami

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