Press Release

May 19, 2020

Miami artists and art teachers eligible for a share of $500,000 from The Ellies, Miami’s Visual Arts Awards

The Ellies kick-off with a virtual conversation between two Miami eminent artists, Karen Rifas and Edouard Duval-Carrie

(MIAMI) May 19, 2020 – At a time of scarce economic resources – and yet an abundant need for the arts – The Ellies, Miami’s Visual Arts Awards, are offering Miami’s artists and art teachers a share of $500,000 for projects that elevate their work.

Online applications, available at, open June 2, 2020 for the awards presented by Oolite Arts.

“Whether it’s an indie film or an online painting class, we have relied heavily on the arts to get us through this difficult time. In fact, we need artists now more than ever,” said Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts. “We hope that The Ellies continue to be the fuel for artists, who need funds to bring their ideas to life.”

To launch the 2020 awards, Oolite Arts is hosting a virtual “Ellies Connect” conversation featuring eminent artists Karen Rifas and Edouard Duval-Carrie, talking about their careers here in Miami and beyond. Both have received The Ellies’ Michael Richards Award, which provides an unrestricted, $75,000 award along with a commission from Oolite Arts. Rifas will be speaking from the Emerson Dorsch gallery, where her latest show “20-20” – named as a reflection for this atypical year– opens June 10.

The Ellies Connect conversation will take place at 6 p.m. June 3 online.

Ellies applicants can join a half hour early, at 5:30 p.m., for an informational session. Registration for both events is available online.

Over the past two years, Ellies winners have received $1 million to create projects rooted in their Miami communities, like Bo Droga’s piece that turned the pylons beneath the Metrorail into dominoes, and launch exhibitions in cities around the world, including Berlin, San Francisco and more.

Submissions are accepted in two categories (the Michael Richards winner is by nomination of a jury):

The Ellies Creator Awards support working artists with grants of $2,500 to $25,000 to realize a significant visual arts project that will advance their careers. Oolite Arts is looking for bold ideas that speak to our community and our times. These awards are open to all Miami-Dade County artists.
The Ellies Teacher Travel Grants provide K-12 art teachers with $5,000 in funds for travel that will ultimately enrich their classroom curriculum. By encouraging teachers to explore art experiences they can take back to their students, these grants will help create the audiences that our museums and arts organizations need to thrive.
Each fulfills the mission of the awards: to help Miami-based artists realize a significant project that will advance their careers and our city’s visual arts community.

The Ellies are named in honor of Oolite Arts’ founder Ellie Schneiderman, a visionary who, more than three decades ago, created the organization to be a place that would “help artists help themselves.” Schneiderman died in April at the age of 80.
About Oolite Arts
Oolite Arts helps Miami-based artists advance their careers and inspires the cultural community to engage with their work. Established in 1984, Oolite Arts is both a community and a resource, providing visual artists with the studio space, exhibition opportunities and financial support they need to experiment, grow and enrich the city. Through its educational programming, Oolite Arts helps Miamians learn about contemporary art and develop their own artistic skills. For more, visit


Marika Lynch, [email protected], 305-898-3595
Images and video available upon request