Press Release

April 15, 2021

Oolite Arts to Inspire Next Generation of Miami Artists and Art Teachers with a Share of $500,000 from The Ellies, Miami’s Visual Arts Awards

Applications open April, 21, 2021, followed by the “Ellies Connect” virtual talk series with celebrated Miami-based artists to kick-off 4th annual awards.

MIAMI (April 15, 2021) – If the last year has taught us anything, it is the importance of art during a global pandemic and beyond. And what better way to support Miami’s vibrant arts community than with a $500,000 award program presented by Oolite Arts through The Ellies, Miami’s Visual Arts Awards. The Ellies are considered to be one of the city’s most noteworthy funding opportunities for Miami-based visual artists.

Starting Wednesday, April 21, 2021, Miami artists and art teachers can apply for a share of The Ellies funding by submitting an online application to Applications will be accepted through 6 p.m. on Monday, May 17, 2021.

“At Oolite Arts, our mission is to provide artists with the tools and resources they need to take their careers to the next level. The Ellies are the fuel for bringing their ideas to life,” said Dennis Scholl, president and CEO of Oolite Arts. “While the pandemic was devastating for many artists, who lost jobs and exhibition opportunities, many have continued to create. We’re delighted to be able to offer The Ellies as a way to provide them with the resources they need to once again get that work before the public.”

Now in its fourth year and at the conclusion of this award season, The Ellies will have invested a share of $2 million to over 150 individual artists and art teachers in Miami-Dade County. Past recipients include Germane Barnes, a Black architect artist who is among 11 artists to be currently featured at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in an exhibit that explores the relationship between architecture and the spaces of African-American and African diaspora communities, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America. To meet the 2020 Ellies award winners, visit

“The money Oolite Arts awarded me has paid off in dividends and allowed me to be much bigger, much bolder, and much more appealing in my proposal to the MoMA for the Reconstructions exhibit,” said Barnes, a Miami-based architect, urban planner and professor who was the recipient of the 2019 Creator Award. “I used the initial funding from The Ellies to produce the first collage in the MoMA exhibit, which deconstructs the kitchen and the porch, and was selected as the official image for the show. I’m proud to be part of the first-ever all black architecture show in the museum’s history.”

To launch the 2021 awards, Oolite Arts is hosting two virtual “Ellies Connect” sessions to highlight works of previous Ellies winners:

Wednesday, April 28 at 6 p.m.
Join Oolite Arts for the first Ellies Connect of the year with artists Reginald O’Neal and Terence Price II, as they discuss their ongoing Ellies projects, previous collaborations, and how their practices use personal experiences as a source of inspiration. This conversation will be moderated by artist and Ellies Social Justice Award winner Chire Regans. RSVP here.

Wednesday, May 12 at 6 p.m.
Oolite Arts also will host an Ellies Connect between María Martínez-Cañas, 2020 Michael Richards award winner, and Leilani Lynch, curator at The Bass. The two will discuss the Michael Richards Award and Martínez-Cañas’ upcoming project at The Bass. RSVP here.

Additionally, Ellies applicants can join for two informational sessions. Registration for both events is available online.

The Ellies offers four categories. Submissions for The Ellies are accepted in the following two categories:

● 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 and share art experiences with their students, these grants help create the audiences that our museums and arts organizations need to thrive.

The Ellies also offers the Michael Richards Award to a Miami-based eminent artist, and The Ellies Social Justice, to an artist who has made a commitment to working for equality in their art and personal life. Those nominees are by nomination and selected by a jury.

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 passed away last year at the age of 80.

This year’s Ellies award winners will be announced in October 2021.

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 information, visit Also, follow @OoliteArts on social media.


Rachel Pinzur
305-725-2875 or [email protected]
Andrea Salazar
954-756-0652 or [email protected]

Images and video available upon request