CONTEMPORARY ART LAB | Arts Incubator | Adapting to change as it comes... Let's Set in Motion

  • It’s too recent to have a clear picture of the future as we look forward to what indeed moves towards a challenging situation in the second half of 2020. If our human species wants to enjoy a long-term future, it might need to valve into the very human qualities of emotion. And in that matter, Art is essential.  So, we place as priority the exchange and discussion of thoughts about how the arts can help us rethink time and future, and how the arts profession may be impacted, and potentially transformed, as a result of the current global crisis.                                                                                                                      To create art is to believe in advancing continuous change in the sphere of society, with a firm belief in the future. At present, it might feel like the world we have built is the only possible choice. However, the arts can disclose us to a diverse network of possible futures. It’s a right moment to push the boundaries of contemporary art beyond a Western-oriented comfort zone, capturing  the sense and senses of a much needed diverse new energy, in ways of reshaping and doing in contemporary art. 



  • To redirect and recommence will require a lot of insight and audacity to build a new approach to the arts. We wish to contribute through our creative workaround of online events, courses, lectures, coaching, and consulting. There’s so much potential for self-invention and to renovate all dated ways of doing things. More than ever,  forging civically committed communities, encouraging other logic of art values, and exploring approaches to handling art production, markets, audience interaction, exhibits, space, and exchanges.                                                         
  • Through actual-time interaction with proficient lecturers, designed to equip you with skills for use in the real art world. The coaching and workshops are  customized one-on-one or small group sessions  online via video conference. We can build the perfect workshop according to your specific needs. We need the imagination of artists, designers, architects and creatives to find solutions for an innovative response to social distancing.

Adapting to change as it comes...

  • "Art is the crucial interface between the imagination and reality, the thing that makes life deeper and broader than it might be without such insight. We have to believe in that kind of creativity."                                   Todd Levin - Writer | Actor | Producer. 
  • Experiencing art in times of social distancing. | Adjusting Art Initiatives at The Lab during the global pandemic.  | When pandemic social media and online chats have come to the forefront during the COVID-19 disease, we do offer some of our resources for experiencing art in times of social distancing.  In that regard, we offer different modalities of information, participation, the discovery of art issues, and exciting art links to view online.  As our spaces remain temporarily close, we also provide part of our in house programming online, during pandemic and self-quarantine times.     Once back to the new  normal and not clear  how it will be for art organizations, we understand that the COVID-19 will change a lot of things for art. We will be thrilled to introduce our inclusive, engaging, and vibrant programs on contemporary artistic practices. As we adapt to change as it comes...                                                                   |   Photo by Edwin Hooper
C O N T E M P O R A R Y   A R T   L A B   |   Arts  Incubator A platform for research, create and propel formative and critical thought generation activities, artist exchanges and exhibitions about current local and global art narratives and issues.  

 At Contemporary Art Lab, we believe that more effective use and a better understanding of visual language strengthens community dialogue. To this end, we offer during these times of Coronavirus, Social Distancing and Self Quarantine the following modalities in our activities:  

 *Visit our section Art Links to view weekly recommended links as ways of experiencing performing and visual arts from home, to keep our spirits and minds up and pumping. 

 *View the Unveiling Diverse Art Practices section, exploring and presenting thought-provoking artists who are contributing to shaping contemporary cultural and ideological patterns in their social contexts. Through artists, we have developed projects with or will in the coming months.    

*On our Art Disclosure at the Lab, exhibition series view some of the works of  our upcoming show “PURVIS YOUNG - something of a legend. ” A limited selection of the celebrated artist’s vibrant works on paper.    

 *Explore the A Succinct Message series of three-minute tours for which artists, curators, and scholars provide us an insight into their current experiences. At the same time, the coronavirus situation hinders access to an everyday art world. Anticipating the Inside Studios Project to take place once we move beyond pandemic times.   

 *And soon to come, Dialogues, Workshops, and Coaching. Take this opportunity to learn more about artistic and curatorial practices in these workarounds during times of social distancing. To examine key issues facing contemporary art in our cities.  [1st round Philadelphia-Miami]   
A B O U T   U S    |    “ We are what we behold. ” -  Marshall McLuhan 

  •  OUR PATHWAY | As a small and diverse team of curators and art activators, we began our activity in 2013 in Miami, FL, as Curatorial Labs. And have since curated, produced and presented in collaboration over 30 compelling exhibitions throughout the Americas from concept to installation, in museums, galleries, universities, art fairs, and biennials.  Working collaboratively with artists, and curators, contributed to the publishing of catalogs, artists’ exchanges, lectures, workshops, and pop-up art experiences with numerous local and global organizations, on contemporary art issues.  
  • OUR MISSION  | Our mission is to build links between creatives, thinkers, and visionaries from the diverse communities of  Philadelphia, across the  Americas and abroad, and as an art incubator and think tank, provide them with a continuously evolving range of platforms for exchange, research, coaching and enterprising, creative practices. Through curatorial balance and integrity across all disciplines.  
  • OUR COMMITMENT | The Contemporary Art Lab is a unique art incubator in Philadelphia, offering a multi-disciplinary coaching program for innovative artists, emerging curators overlooked talented artists and rising collectors to help bring their artworks and projects to life. We are focused on creative coaching centered on artistic and curatorial practices, criticism, and cross-cultural exchange by relating artists with local and global communities.     
  •  OUR VIBE | Contemporary Art Lab values the fantastic diversity of Philadelphia communities and its artists, and their cultural contribution in the social context of the city. As an inclusive forum for contemporary art and cultural exchange, we are committed to the strengthening of the current art environment in Philadelphia. Through continuous relations with the Americas, the Caribbean, and beyond, to create a focal point for global inquiry and awareness.  
Photo by Aaina Sharma on Unsplash (c)

T H E   L A B

  • Contemporary Art Lab is a non-profit organization now based in Philadelphia, PA, committed to supporting contemporary art and cultural practices across disciplines.   

  • Open to visual artists interested in multiple media. Also Writers ,performance artists, designers, photographers, filmmakers, and architects, curators, researchers, or inquiring students at all career stages.         

  •  Altogether, as a Philadelphia art incubator, you are welcome to join an inclusive, engaging, and reflective approach to contemporary artistic practices.                   

  •  The Willow Street Steam Generation Plant built in 1927 by the Philadelphia Electric Company.           Photo Louis Villor (c)

ART LINKS AT THE LAB                                                                              
  •   This week we recommend the following links as ways of experiencing performing and visual arts from home, to keep our spirits and minds up and pumping.   
  •  GOYA Archives online. If you wish to review the work, life, and other exciting references on one of the most cutting-edge artists of all time, you can go to | The Goya Foundation in Aragon, Spain, makes available online the catalog of Francisco Goya's work. You can search and filter by the characteristics you want. The complete work of Goya is compiled in the Online Catalogue, which is continually updated, where you can consult his artistic production. At the same time, the section in the Goya in the World, users can geographically locate all the institutions and centers that exhibit the Aragonese artist's work-life. 
  • Nightly Met Opera Streams. If you re more oriented towards performance, during this extraordinary and challenging time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark. Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming. You can enjoy these online performances at
  • The Art Newspaper Weekly Podcast. If you are interested in breaking art news and insider insights on exhibitions and events from around the art world. You can link to Every week this art podcast invites special guests to join their host Ben Luke and its colleagues Margaret Carrigan and Nancy Kenney in New York to look at the big topics from the art world. The i Newspaper voted this art pod as one of the 50 best podcasts to listen to now.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations Art World Conference offers Free, Online Workshops to Navigate The Now. Zoom sessions hosted by Art World Conference seek to economically guide artists and independent cultural workers during the months to come. At           
  •   Photo by Mahdis Mousavi  

  • We present and incubate work by contemporary artists, community-oriented art organizations, and art institutions who reflect the diversity that surrounds us — targeted to an extensive local-global exchange in cross-cultural programming.  

  • An inclusive work lab that seeks to articulate a complete program of themed discussions, exchanges, work tables, coaching practices, and live stream dialogues, studio visits, focused exhibitions, and workshops with artists, curators, scholars, and critics.   Within a constant flow of information from the local artistic fabric in its connections to national and international creative communities. 

Reading Railroad built the 915 Spring Garden Building . 1909. 
Photo Louis Villor (c)

Antuan. "Viral Geometry"

  • Antuan's conceptual framework holds visionary approaches, not necessarily interpreted by the art trends of our time. He is an integrator of human experiences, a visual researcher of extensive experimentation. With profound humanism, he envisions his art as a contribution to a new conception of being in a complex world where Coronavirus offers "a blank page for a new beginning" or the risk of returning broken existing conditions of our political, environmental, economic, cultural and social body. 

  •  The corona virus didn't break the world. It revealed what was already broken. Many of us are getting a glimpse of dystopia. Others are living it. Meanwhile, Viral Geometry is an excellent analogy to try to envision our present and future

Viral Geometry online exhibition, as an open dialogue on the current pandemic crisis. Before and during.
  • VIRAL GEOMETRY  is contemporary artist, Antuan's latest project. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the artist has produced an extended series of drawings concerning the global crisis that emerged as a result of the virus pandemic. These set of artworks is an exploratory vision and statement of our global crisis and the need for a shift in human behavior regarding our social net, the environment, economic disparities, and our own physical and spiritual health while signs of the COVID-19 crisis is heightening.
5G Spiral / Espiral de G5 2020. Ink on paper. 11 x 10 inches from the Viral Geometry series..

  • VIRAL PANDEMIC IN REAL TIME The project initiates with the curatorial team of: Curator and Art Historian Marisa Caichiolo, Executive Director / Founder of Building Bridges Art Exchange and Curator of DIVERSEartLA, Museums & Institutions section of the LA Art Show (Los Angeles, USA); Curator and Art Historian Elisa Massardo, Editor of Arte Al Límite art magazine (Santiago, Chile) focusing on project  concept and design; and Curator and Museologist Jorge Luis Gutierrez, Artistic Director of Contemporary Art Lab | Arts Incubator and Consultant for Art Africa Miami art fair (Philadelphia, USA), focusing on the art essays of the project.

Magnetic Field Transmitter / Transmisor de campos magnéticos 2020. Ink on paper. 11 x 10 inches

  • CURATING THROUGH CRISIS This project is an integrated effort in times of social distancing and lockdown between Building Bridges Art Exchange  in Santa Monica, CA; Arte Al Limite, in Santiago, Chile; Curatorial Labs, in Philadelphia, PA; and La Neomudejar  Museum, in Madrid, Spain. To inquire about the artwork seen here, call us at 1 (323) 893-3924 or email at Or you can contact For more information about ANTUAN you can

Reprogramming of Cause and Effect / Reprogramación de la causa y el efecto 2020. Ink on paper. 15 x 12 inches.

  • ANTUAN AND THE ALCHEMY ART. As an artist, Antuan claims a new approach to mindfulness around art’s function and reason. Likewise a genuinely sensible artist concerned over the humanizing possibilities of discovery through the art process and its ways of building an enlightened human history and semblance. Also, providing within his inclusive territories of art, science, and life-changing acts, ways of creating a glow of clarity the universe we live.

5G Global Magnetism/Magnetismo Global.  2020. Ink on paper. 11 x 10 inches.

  • WELCOME TO THE ANTROPOCENE.  Antuan envisions a world where creative minds, scientists, dedicated leaders, and spiritual practitioners gather around art to learn and share towards creating a better world. Art as an expression of the potential wholeness of the human being. Harmonizing mind intelligence, the sensitivity to the feelings, and the wisdom of nature and its cosmic law. Without denying or promoting the underlying diverse human cultural foundations.

 "PURVIS YOUNG - Something of a Legend"

  • “Since Young’s death, his reputation has grown significantly. His work—like that of a number of self-taught African American artists from the South, including Thornton Dial, Bessie Harvey, and Lonnie Holley—has lately transcended the outsider genre and been embraced by the art world. The recent exhibitions at James Fuentes and Salon 94 offered viewers a chance to survey Young’s achievements. (A retrospective of his work on view at the Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation through June 29 gives Miami audiences an even greater opportunity to do so.) Young developed and refined his compelling visual language over the course of his career. His recurring imagery included crowd scenes, pregnant women, and haloed figures. In interviews, he often referred to his work as a form of protest art…”  [1]     

  • [1] - David Ebony. Art in America. May, 2019.        Photo:  Untitled; from Eyes series. Purvis Young. Paint on wood and fiberboard; 24 x 48 inches;  Credit. Rubell Family Collection.

ART DISCLOSURES AT THE LAB   |   "PURVIS YOUNG - Something of a Legend". | From gallery space to online.

  • As the pandemic moved in March 2020 the "PURVIS YOUNG - Something of a Legend" exhibition to open at Contemporary Art Lab in April 2020, had to be postponed for an uncertain date in the future, until a "new normal" emerges. Purvis Young died in 2010, but his paintings are having an enduring "moment" in Miami, his hometown, and abroad. His work was presented in a satellite show of the Venice Biennale in 2019, as well as in prominent art gallery exhibits, and numerous institutions in America. Since Young's death, his reputation has remarkably grown. His work, such as self-taught African American artists from the South, including Thornton Dial, Bessie Harvey, Gregory Warmack, and Lonnie Holley, his work has in recent times transcended the outsider genre and been embraced by the contemporary art.
  • Even when there is no real substitute for viewing an original artwork, on times of social distancing, we wish you enjoy some of Purvis magic works online. We will welcome you to visit the exhibition at the Lab once we can adjust our plans to new regular times. We will be in touch with further details about the project and access to a limited selection of the artist's energetic works on paper. He often executed on the pages of found magazines, books, and ledgers. Young built a substantial record and a political and social commentary on life in the Miami neighborhood of Overtown. Young was born in 1943 into a thriving community of steady African-American families and prosperous establishments. However, the Overtown neighborhood declined after whole city blocks were demolished to create the new I-95 interstate. A political outcome that ruined lives and ruptured the urban fabric of the community disjoined. Overtown's decline collided Young's existence when he was arrested and sent to prison for a youthful felony.
    • By the 2000's, Young had finally become recognized on a national scale. Young's works are represented in collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Miami-Dade Public Library System; the American Folk Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, New York. As well as the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and de Young Museum of Art, San Francisco, among others. Young's artwork has recently been highlighted in leading shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Rubell Family Collection, Miami, and the Venice Biennale, 2019. In 2003, he was highlighted in the distinguished exhibition African American Masters: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Having acquired numerous of his pieces, Mera and Don Rubell art collectors went on to donate them to numerous art institutions. Among others, Morehouse College in Atlanta, which owns the most extensive grouping of his works outside Miami. The art of Purvis Young was represented in '30 Americans' at the Barnes Foundation, the traveling show organized by the Rubell Family Collection that brought a stellar lineup of black artists to Philadelphia in 2019. 
    “The Call To Freedom ” By Purvis Young . Mixed Media. 
    "Young_angel_reawakening" By Purvis Young.  Mixed media. 
    "Green people". By Purvis Young. Mixed Media
    Untitled illustrated book. By Purvis Young. Mixed Media.
          Artist Purvis Young , 1943 - 2010
    Installation view of Purvis Young’s multimedia works at Palazzo Mora for the Venice Biennale (2019). Courtesy of Skot Foreman Gallery.
     Marielle Plaisir "Acta Es Fabula

    • In her contemporary narrative, Plaisir approaches issues such as identity, domination, discrimination and the look of the “Other”. Recreated fabric, dresses, portraits, tapestries, drawings, performance, video and paintings reflect questions about image and self-image as well as analogies of the self and reinvention of the self. Built on fabric, clothing, dressing and the body, the narrative addresses complexities in moral and aesthetic patterns that govern the use of alternatives to establish identities.
    • In her latest project ACTA EST FABULA (The piece is over) Plaisir features a new video in which the artist modifies, intertwines, and remodels films starring performer, Dorothy Dandridge, from the 1940s and 50s.  As part of an immersive environment that explores representations of the black sexual body and the exoticism of opera in two works of mid-twentieth century American cinema.

    Unveiling Diverse Contemporary Practices

    We are exploring and presenting thought-provoking artists who are contributing to shaping contemporary cultural and ideological patterns in their social contexts. Through artists, we have developed projects with or will in the coming future.  We continuously initiate our series with four stellar contemporary artists whose current shows were affected by the temporary closing of art spaces all over America due to the Covid-19 in the following sequence:  Purvis Young with the  small format show "PURVIS YOUNG - Something of a Legend" to open in April 2020 at the Contemporary Art Lab.  “ACTA EST FABULA” (The piece is over), a site-specific multimedia installation at Locust Projects incubator of new art in the Miami Design District, by French-Caribbean artist Marielle Plaisir who is based in South Florida.  “Andrés Michelena: ...the two”  at Piero Atchugarry Art Center at the Design District in Miami, FL. | Philadelphia based artist Henry Bermudez exhibition: “WILDERNESS IN MIND” at Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia.Presentation of each artist will run one by one through July and August 2020 , starting with Marielle Plaisir, and Purvis Young, then Andres Michelena, closing with the works by Philadelphia artist, Henry Bermudez.

     M A R I E L L E   P L A I S I R  
    "Her most recent works dwell at the borderline of philosophy and sociology, history and memory, to produce mnemonic devices. The series of paintings, installations, and performances explore the concepts of meta / count narratives about domination and the construction of identity. She incorporates what the French philosopher, Pierre Bourdieu, calls “symbolic violence,” which consists of forcing the acceptance by an entire community of any act of power as legitimate."  

    Marielle Plaisir is a  French-Caribbean multi-media artist who  lives in United States.  She combines paintings, drawings, installations and performances to present intense visual experiences.  Even when Plaisir does not consider she part of the current contemporary trend of art activism from the western perspective, she does however; submerge her within the borderline of philosophy and sociology, history and memory, to produce mnemonic devices. The series of paintings, installations, and performances explore the concepts of Meta / Count Narratives about domination and the construction of identity. At the end she is a hybrid between activism and dreaming. ​Her most recent works dwell at the borderline of philosophy and sociology, history and memory to produce mnemonic devices. She incorporates what the French philosopher, Pierre Bourdieu, calls "symbolic violence," which consists of forcing the acceptance by an entire community of any act of power as legitimate. Her artistic outcome not only becomes an extraordinary research on materials, samples, and prototypes, but a mirror of contemporary assumptions. Critical of the current “social atmosphere” through the rear-view mirror of history and symbols.  |   |     

    Some references on the life and work of Marielle Plaisir:  | | |  | | |

    “ACTA EST FABULA” (The piece is over)  by Marielle Plaisr | a site-specific multimedia installation at Locust Projects, 2020.
    “ACTA EST FABULA” (The piece is over) by Marielle Plaisir | a site-specific multimedia installation at Locust Projects, 2020.
    “ACTA EST FABULA” (The piece is over) by Marielle Plaisir | a site-specific multimedia installation at Locust Projects, 2020.
    “Equiano Olaudah" 22"x14". Fabric stuffed, printing, engraving and resin on wood. 2016-2017.

    “The Human Comedy”. 52” x 52” Mixed media, acrylic, gold pigments, inks on canvas / rich fabrics stuffed. 2018

    “The Day I met the little worker of the Street”. 16” x 12” x 6. 3/5. Porcelain, buttons, stuffed fabric. 2019.


    'Oh. What a mirage!" 48 x 35 x 38 inches (Dimensions variable) Fabric, embroidery, buttons, lead weights, fan 2018.

    "ACTA NON VERBA" performance  | WORK IN PROGRESS  by Marielle Plaisir, Museum of Contemporary Art-Miami. 2016 / Doral Contemporary Art Museum. Miami. 2018.


    "Dresses'  20 dresses / Tyveck Paper / LEDS/ Fun fur 15 x 7 m.  2014- 2016-2018

    • Possible through comprehensive apprenticeship, exhibitions, and curatorial projects. The Contemporary Art Lab programs are expected to reach thousands of people each year, as a platform for research and circulation of contemporary artistic practices.  

    • Philadelphia embraces the creative components to become a vital global contemporary art hub. It’s the right time on the expanding global cultural role of Philadelphia. We are committed to being active proponents of this vibrant experience.  

    •  The Lab team has curated, designed, and produced more than 150 significant exhibitions. Through projects in museums, art fairs, biennials, nonprofits, and art galleries, among others. 

    •  Through our strategic consulting and inclusive curatorial practices, we bring innovation. As well as team exhibition planning, cost-effective production, and outstanding outcomes. 

    •  At The Lab, we are passionate about the intersection of art narratives, communication technologies, design, and human-environmental interactions. To create unique, memorable exhibitions and art projects that lead to meaningful visitor art experiences.                                                               Photo: Sjors Lodewijk (c)

    Art Incubator. At The Lab we work with innovators and creatives from different fields and geographies. To exchange and inquire in synergy on how to work art metaphors and practices to advance strategies for innovation and education through art.
    Dialogues  and panel discussions. On past events, Arts manager and curator, Jorge Luis Gutierrez  from Contemporary Art Lab, Tobias Ostrander former Chief Curator PAMM -Museum, Miami, and artist Edouard Duval Carrie head of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance

    Consulting and coaching. To find solutions, gain insight, widen perspectives, and learn, in an evolving art process itself leading the next step towards achieving clear project or planned goals.

    Lectures and seminars. Omar Lopez Chahaud of the UNTITLED Art Fair and Jorge L. Gutierrez from Contemporary Art Lab. on past art market lectures at the Coral Gables museum and the  Doral Contemporary Art  museum.

    Workshops and courses. Past exhibition design and alternative curatorial practices workshop

    Exhibition design and architecture. Exhibitions as visual narratives demands a solid concept, great design and consistent content. However it requires, vision, intelligence and commitment. Our portfolio of three decades of exhibitions is our best testimony on practicing exhibition architecture from small scale exhibitions to museum  space management and design

    COMING PROJECTS         

    DEMYSTIFYING ART | Lecture Series     
    >UM HUM...IS EVERYONE A CURATOR?  | Reaching far beyond the limits.                                    
    >KEY ISSUES FACING CONTEMPORARY ART IN PHILADELPHIA | What does “any good” mean right now?   
    >ANATOMY OF AN ART EXHIBITION | Art Exhibitions from Start to Finish [Essentials for artists]  
    >HOW DO YOU BUILD A SUSTAINABLE CAREER?  | The Business of being an artist.| Case Studies Examined.                                                        
    > MAPS ON THE WALL | A selection of 21st-century  artists with roots in crossed culture cities in America. Part of the Crossed Boundaries art exchange program.                               
    CONTEMPORARY ART LAB SPACES  |                                  Photo: Louis Villor (C)


    • The Contemporary Art Lab is a non-profit foundation that carries out its programs, projects, art, and educational initiatives thanks to the generous support of our funders, supporters, volunteers, and friends.
    • By supporting the Contemporary Art Lab means participating actively in the development of artistic practices, networking local culture on a global scope, and the cultural enrichment of the vital communities in Philadelphia and beyond. Your donation equally contributes to the development of innovative artistic space, committed to contemporary art and cultural practices across disciplines.

    TO DONATE BY MAIL Please send donations to:
    Contemporary Art Lab                                                    
     915 Spring Garden Street, Suite 301            
    Philadelphia, PA -19132  
    For more information on how to support Contemporary Art Lab, contact us at:

    Let's Keep Connected...  Stay in touch to receive up to date information on our future activities.