Common Field Convening 2016 Miami October 20-23 2016

The Common Field Convening is an itinerant annual gathering created by and for the field of visual artists' organizations.

The Common Field Convening Miami 2016 focuses on arts organizing in a time of accelerated capitalism. The four-day program includes panels, breakouts, skill-shares, tours, and celebrations. This Miami convening is organized by BFI (Bas Fisher Invitational), Cannonball, Dimensions Variable, and Locust Projects, with an alliance of Miami organizers and support from national Common Field staff and members.  

The Common Field Convening explores the values and practices of experimental artists' organizations working today. This year's program intentionally incorporates a variety of formats for intimate conversation, peer-to-peer exchange, and cross-pollination of participants. The convening will also provide forums for Common Field members to assemble, share findings, and strategize trajectories for the organization in the year ahead. 

Common Field and Common Field Miami invite you to join in on a one-of-a-kind arts organizing experience. See you in Miami!

Miami Partners

Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI) is a 501(c)(3) artist run space dedicated to creativity, experimentation, and discourse in contemporary art. We aim to create a bridge between Miami and the International art world by curating a program that alternates between the local and the global. BFI is committed to building the Miami arts community by offering support for artist projects, in particular, WEIRD MIAMI, a platform for exhibitions and public programming that takes a behind the scenes look at the city and its artistic offerings.

Cannonball is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), arts organization dedicated to supporting artists, innovative forms of cultural production, and education to advance critical discourse and understanding of contemporary art practice. Based in downtown Miami, Florida, Cannonball’s artist-centric values are mirrored in its experimental programs, resources, and opportunities that respond to the needs of today’s artists and reflect our efforts to better understand the nuances and textures of South Florida.

Dimensions Variable (DV) is an exhibition space based in Miami and committed to the presentation and support of contemporary art. Through a collaborative exchange with artists and institutions, DV develops a contemporary art program that engages the community and promotes new and experimental practices. DV was founded in 2009 by artists Frances Trombly and Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova who direct the gallery.

Locust Projects is a not for profit exhibition space dedicated to providing contemporary visual artists the freedom to experiment with new ideas without the pressures of gallery sales or limitations of conventional exhibition spaces. Local, national and international artists are encouraged to create site-specific installations as an extension of their representative work. Locust Projects supports the local community through educational initiatives and programming that are free to the public.

An Alliance of 60+ Miami Organization and Partners have been a part of developing the convening program and leading Miami arts experiences.

Common Field

Common Field (CF) is a nationally-focused visual arts network connecting contemporary, experimental, noncommercial artist organizations and organizers. CF provides a platform for visibility, learning, and exchange for artist-run and artist-centered organizations. Projects include convenings, research, resources, chapters, forums, and advocacy, with the aim of developing a more accessible and resourced visual arts organizing field.

Common Field officially launched in Fall 2015 in Minneapolis at the Common Field Convening. Since then 400+ organizations and organizers have joined in the effort--which is really just beginning. For more information and to join as a member, visit us online at

"What is our Common Field?" panel at the 2015 Common Field Convening in Minneapolis, MN.

"Place, Race, Geography & Power" panel at the 2015 Common Field Convening in Minneapolis, MN.

Convening History

Common Field and the Common Field Convening emerged through Hand-in-Glove, a conference started by Threewalls Chicago in 2011. The Convening has since been hosted in New Orleans 2013 (Press Street), Minneapolis 2015 (Soap Factory + Works Progress), and now in Miami 2016. The 2017 convening location will be announced in Miami! 

In each of the convening's iterations, Common Field has remained committed to empowering local organizers and organizations to guide the content, program, and culture of the convening. With the official launch of Common Field, the convening is evolving from a series of panels to a diverse array of content formats, providing opportunities for attendees to engage, connect, learn and share. Common Field is committed to providing opportunities for both value-driven discussions and practical tools and skills, a need expressed by Common Field members and the field at large.

The convening is streamed via livestream, and convening content is documented and available for public access after the convening. Videos from Common Field Convening / Hand-in-Glove 2015 are available @ To see all the full programs and contet from past convenings, visit as a portal to archives. 

Why Miami?

Two years ago, local Miami organizations, BFI, Locust Projects, Dimensions Variable, and Cannonball reached out to Common Field with a collectively crafted vision that framed Miami as a place with strong experimental, non-commercial, non-profits, projects, spaces and organizations, as well as a growing artist community. With the rise of the art market, and extreme growth of Art Basel Miami Beach over the past decade, as well as the ever-increasing development of larger, often private institutions, these organizations recognized an opportunity to build a strong local network and create clarity and understanding of and for the art community in Miami.

Made up largely of immigrants, our local population experiences real estate bubbles, a bottoming out middle-class, scares of mosquito-borne viruses, and face-eating zombies while radical, experimental thought and work is obscured by simulated luxury and images of a vacationer’s dream. How does one continue to exist as an artist and an organizer when representation oscillates between poles of extreme distortion?

Plopped on the tip of the peninsula of a conservative swing state, Miami’s reliance on glossy image, accelerated capitalism, and denial of sea level rise is a microcosm in our shifting world. Through all these complications, artists and spaces have adapted various survival techniques, developed one of the best funded individual artist grant programs from a local government, and is home to a network of artist-initiated projects. We are looking forward to joining forces with our national community for robust dialogue and practical skill sharing so we can all better our lot.

About Miami
Despite its early reputation as a man-made paradise and the “American Riviera,” shifts in taste and the advent of air travel left Miami struggling to define its character and re-gain international attention in the 1970s and 80s. (Shout out to the 1980s TV show Miami Vice. Seriously, Google it.)

As the city transformed throughout recent decades, the arrival of Art Basel in 2002 brought dizzying, international attention to Miami as a cultural destination. Despite its intensely seasonal nature, (if you have enough energy to stick around after the after-after parties) Art Basel has helped to shed a little light on the many amazing artist-driven spaces and happenings that call Miami home year-round. 

Miami is truly a thriving gateway between the cultures of the United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Caribbean. The city is home to a diverse, energetic and experimental art scene that is in the middle of a very interesting and vibrant moment. The city’s burgeoning independent art scene has grown steadily in both number and scale, from enclaves in South Beach to Little Haiti, exploring process and production in the shadow of Miami’s emergence as a global city, what it means to think and work locally, and the importance of preservation of the cultural heritage of South Florida.

As it always has, Miami continues to look forward to an exciting future, one that is imbued with a host of endless possibilities.

Miami Organizations

From the beginning of the planning process, the local Miami partners set out to create a platform to recognize and advance Miami's artist-centered community. We are profoundly grateful for your contributions and hope to create a more visible and connected local ecology through and beyond the Convening. 

Aaron Wide; AIRIE; Amanda Crider, IlluminArts; And Gallery; April Merleaux; ArcadiaLabsArt Center/South Florida; Art Serve; Arts 4 Learning; Awesome Foundation; BFI; Bookleggers; Borscht; Both/And/Or/Neither/Nor; Bridge Red Studios; Cannonball; Central Fine; Cornell Museum; Creative Mornings; Design and Architecture Senior High; David Castillo; Deering Estate; Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator; Dimensions Variable; Dwelling Projects; Emerging Art Leaders Miami; Emerson Dorsch; EXILE Books; Extra Virgin Press; Fall Semester; Fat Village; FIU Urban Studios; FlowerBox Projects; Formalist Sidewalk Poetry; Fountainhead; Freedom Tower; Fringe Projects; Gallery Diet; Gean Moreno; Girls’ Club; Hattie May Williams + Loni Johnson; Incub8; IRL Institute; Jacqueline Falcone - B+B Rosy; Jane Hart; Key West Artist Residency; Knee Pits; Laundromat Art Space; Liana Perez, Art Circuits; Little Haiti Cultural Complex; Locust Projects; Made at the Citadel; Moon Lighter Makerspace; Miami Beach Visitor's Bureau; Miami Dade Dept. of Cultural Affairs  / Miami Dade Parks & Recreation; Miami Downtown Development Authority; Miami Light Project; Miami Rail; Miami Visitor's Bureau; Natalia Zuluaga; Noguchi Burton; New World School of the Arts; O, Miami; Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation; Obsolete Media Miami; Paul B. Hernandez (Hialeah); Placeholder; Prizm Art Fair; Radio Espacio Estación; Rauschenberg Foundation Residency; Rich Ejire; Spinello; Swampspace; The Lab Miami; The Nightclub; The Writer’s Room at the Betsy Hotel; Tigertail Productions; TM Sisters; Turn Based Press; University of Miami Special Collection; VOCE; Wolfson Archive; YoungArts.

(This is an ever-growing list, please forgive any omissions.)

Arts Community Meeting at Locust Projects, April 2016.


Thanks to The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Knight Foundation, The Hemera Foundation, and Common Field Members for their generous support of Common Field.


Thanks to the Common Field 2016 Convening Collaborators!

Lead Partners and Convening Organizers: Ashley Ford / Cannonball; Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova + Frances Trombly / Dimensions Variable; Chana Budgazad Sheldon + Elizabeth Shannon / Locust Projects; Naomi Fisher + Danielle Bender / BFI; Michelle Lisa Polissaint / Miami Rail; Courtney Fink and Stephanie Sherman, Common Field.

Common Field 2016 Staff: Courtney Fink, Co-Director; Ashley Ford, Miami Convening Manager; Stephanie Sherman, Co-Director.

Common Field Council: Dana Bishop-Root, Transformazium (Braddock, PA); Elizabeth Chodos, Ox-bow School of Art (Saugatuck, MI); Matthew Fluharty, Art of the Rural (St. Louis, MO); Anne Focke (Seattle, WA); Deana Haggag, The Contemporary (Baltimore, MD); Kemi Ilesanmi, The Laundromat Project (New York, NY); sharon maidenberg, Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA); Nat May, SPACE (Portland, ME); James McAnally, The Luminary and Temporary Review (St. Louis, MO); Cameron Shaw, Pelican Bomb (New Orleans, LA); Aurora Tang, Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) (Los Angeles, CA); Martha Wilson, Franklin Furnace (New York, NY).

Common Field Founders: Elizabeth Chodos, Ox-bow School of Art (Saugatuck, MI): Courtney Fink, (Formerly @ Southern Exposure, SF, CA): Nat May, SPACE (Portland, ME): Abigail Satinsky, (Formerly @ Threewalls, Chicago, IL): Shannon Stratton (Formerly @ Threewalls, Chicago, IL).