DD: Tell us about your relationship with DASH, how long you’ve been part of the school community, and what work you are involved with beyond the school.
SM: I joined the DASH community in 2004 when I was accepted into the Graphics program in 11th grade. I was previously attending Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Coconut Grove and could not keep myself out of the art studio and darkroom. I graduated in 2006 having learned an extensive amount about myself and my art practice. I am now a proud member (and the youngest!) of the DASH Advisory Board.
I started a company with some friends called Create Collect this past Art Basel. We are an art collective and online platform for the artists to sell their work. I am based out of Little Haiti, curating the website, events and pop-up exhibitions, creating content and recruiting artists. In addition, I freelance in both graphic design (hats off to Ms. Brooks!) and photography for companies and individuals in Miami.
DD: DASH benefits so much from the support of our PTSA, Advisory Board, Alumni Association, Internship mentors and Design District neighbors. What would you say makes DASH’s relationship with its community so special?
SM: DASH gives its students the confidence to feel as though they can achieve anything as well as giving them the tools to do so. The community around it responds because it recognizes that these kids are its future.
DD: Many different kinds of people from many walks of life make up our school. How would you describe the uniqueness of your own family? What are your family’s thoughts or feelings about your involvement with DASH?
SM: I’ve always felt unique in Miami because my family is British American. In a city where Spanish is often the first language, I’ve been very aware of my background. My family supports me and my passion to be an artist wholly which is why my parents encouraged me to apply to DASH so late in high school—they believed in me, my skill and my passion to succeed. For this, I am eternally grateful. DASH has impacted my life in so many ways since graduating—I continue to connect to the growing community of alumni both in Miami and around the world. I am inspired constantly by my peers and aim to collaborate with as many of them throughout my career.
DD: We’ve come a long way since DASH opened back in 1990. What growth have you witnessed in your history with DASH? How would you envision DASH ten years from now? Where do you see yourself 10 years down the road?
SM: DASH has grown since I attended the school in many ways—popularity, neighborhood, exposure, achievement. I remember the year I graduated was a record breaking scholarship year, over $5 million was given to our class… I know this has just escalated since. I envision more alum getting involved with DASH in the coming years and the community and students collaborating in a different capacity then now. Wouldn’t it be great if DASH’s graduates helped to advance the school?
In 10 years, I see myself working in a creative space where creators practice, share and collaborate on a daily basis. I also see myself as an art therapist and teacher. Maybe at DASH!
DD: Please share something unusual about yourself. What are your hidden talents, extraordinary accomplishments, big-dream ambitions, or upcoming adventures?
SM: I still shoot film and print my images in the darkroom! I am completely connected and curious about the photographic process and older techniques. The art is not lost!
Since launching Create Collect in December, I have assisted in curating and producing two pop-up exhibitions and amazing response in Miami. We’re constantly producing new content and finding new artists to join our community… including two DASH alumni! (More to come!) My dream is to create a scholarship program to showcase and promote graduating DASH seniors.
And lastly, my long-term dream and goal is to be surrounded by passionate, creative individuals with the desire to collaborate and succeed together in a space that I have brought to life.