Perspectiv is the brain child of Taylor McGhee and Deion “Wynter” Mendez: two Miami creatives with a passion not only for their artwork, but for spotlighting the work of artists around them as well. McGhee, a Miami native, is a web designer and portrait photographer. Mendez has been working as a full time artist after moving down to Miami from Philadelphia a little over a year ago.
The idea of Perspectiv originally came about from plans that the duo were formulating for Mendez’s birthday. “I was thinking about how I’ve been doing a lot this year and making a lot of moves. I definitely wanted to end out one year doing something I’ve always wanted to do.” Mendez recalled.
Mendez had never hosted an art show before, but it was on his list of things he wanted to do. Initially, McGhee and Mendez mapped out plans for an exhibit of just his work. These plans changed once they booked the Wynwood designer space Museø for the showcase.
“I thought – nobody is going to show up because it’s just me. I’m a nobody, I don’t have a name for myself yet.” recalled Mendez. It was a mix of these thoughts and the expanse of the space that brought Mendez to the realization that he wanted to make this about more than just his work. From here, McGhee and Mendez reconditioned their initial idea: they began to brand it into a platform for emerging artists.
After weeks of planning and promotion, the first installment of Perspectiv occurred on July 30th. The exhibition showcased ten artists: an assemblage of photographers, mixed media artists, painters, and metalsmiths. The line to get in to Museø wrapped around the wall of the building, curving out onto the back street.
The turnout completely shocked McGhee and Mendez. “I just remember the day of, tickets were booming,” recalled Mendez. When they first started selling tickets for the event, sales were slow. The duo had collaborated with the artists to make bags filled with their work to give away to the first 50 at the door, so the lull in sales worried them.
On the day of the show ticket sales rapidly picked up. “I was looking at the mailing list, and it was just blowing up out of nowhere.” recalled Mendez. By the time that doors opened, all the bags were gone – they were in the hands of attendees.
Despite an enthusiastic turnout, the event got shut down only two hours after it began. Undeterred, McGhee and Mendez got back to the drawing board and started sketching out plans for the second installment of Perspectiv.
After noting down the pros and cons of the first installation, McGhee and Mendez began hashing out the details of what to do to evolve their art show. “The second time was a lot easier,” said McGhee. They made an advertisement for interns and now have four on their team. “We have more of a formula now, and we’re trying to keep that formula going.” she continued.
The team made quick work to start preparation for the second installment of Perspectiv. Two weeks after the first installation, they sent out advertisements for artist submissions for the second one, which would occur on October 8th.
The day before the art show, McGhee and Mendez bustle about the intimate space of Perspectiv’s new home at Macaya Gallery, assisting the 19 artists of their showcase in hanging their pieces. The stress of the situation is discernable – they’ve got new benchmarks to overcome, and last minute details to hash out.
McGhee and Mendez don’t wear the stress on their faces. McGhee floats around the gallery with a bright smile, greeting each of the artists with an effervescent ‘hello’ and guiding them through setting up their art pieces. Mendez is the same, never in one spot for more than ten seconds. He checks up on each artist with a warm sense of reassurance.
“Taylor and Deion work really hard to get through this, it’s a lot.” said Macarena Castaneda. Castaneda has been a social media intern with Perspectiv for three months now. “It’s crazy to see how they’re so young and doing something that has such a huge outreach.” she continued.
The night of the show, Macaya Gallery is flooded with attendees. From the kickoff of the event, there is a feeling of solidarity from the various types of art involved. Multiple photographers, mixed media artists, graphic designers, and painters have their work on display.
Each of the artists on showcase bring an outstanding amount of individualism to the table, a factor that McGhee highlighted as integral to the show’s mission. “We have a lot of people who really want to show something with their art.” said McGhee.
McGhee and Mendez do well in keeping their attendees entertained. They take turns mixing drinks at the bar and helping McGhee’s parents serve up the most enticing barbeque on the block. All the while, they mingle with guests and answer questions about their own artwork being showcased.
With a batch of artists, performers, and vendors gifted in their craft, the future of Perspectiv is as bright as McGhee and Mendez hope for it to be. “I want to go on tour!” Mendez said triumphantly of his and McGhee’s project. “I want to take Perspectiv to cities like New York, Philly, Atlanta, and then bring it all back to Miami.” he continued.
McGhee and Mendez plan on hosting exhibitions every two months, and hope to grow their roster of artists each time. “We’re trying to be that platform for people so they can get started,” said McGhee. They continue to work every day to make Perspectiv the household name for budding artists to have a platform.
for more information about future installments – head over to www.perspectivmiami.com