Creative Duo

Dan & Karthryn Mikesell are contributing as much as they can to help evolve the art world locally and abroad thanks to their vision for The Fountainhead Residency and all the inspiration it brings.
Text by Cristina Zuazua Photo courtsy of The Mikesells | June 1, 2018 | People

Dan & Kathryn Mikesell know what it means to be a team. From the inception of The Fountainhead Residency, which the innovative art-collecting pair founded in early 2008, they knew they had 5 primary goals: to provide artists an opportunity to find new inspiration; introduce visiting artists to Miami’s art community; infuse Miami with global artistic inspiration; enable institutions to realize ambitious shows; and provide their family an opportunity to become integrated in the world of art. “We knew if we could introduce people to Miami’s art and cultural scene in an intimate way, they too would realize the rewards and create deeper roots in Miami and our community would benefit equally,” says Kathryn.
Later in 2008 they added to The Residency and opened Fountainhead Studios, which provides over 41 Miami-based artists with affordable studio space. “I work with individuals and companies to purchase art, make philanthropic donations and create and implement programs to educate and engage people in the arts,” says Kathryn. Adds Dan: “Collecting art and working with emerging artists is a true passion for me,” he says. “It’s inspiring to see them develop their careers and grow with their work.”
Even as they built a space for others to flourish, The Mikesells constantly chose news challenges of their own — both personally and professionally. For Dan, it was earning a pair of martial arts black belts, of which he has very fond memories. “During one of the tests in Bogota, I was fighting 2 black belts and the first thing they did was attack me simultaneously and rip the top of my uniform right off my back,” he says. “That threw me off for a few seconds — but I worked through it.” Kathryn remembers her first art-advising client, who was so excited about the artworks they were looking at, he couldn’t think of much else during the process. “He emailed and texted at all hours, day and night,” she laughs. “When we placed the works in his home, he wanted to show all his friends, so we ended up hosting parties throughout that weekend.”
The couple is currently working on new exhibits and shows with their resident artists, including luminaries Elvire Bonduelle of Paris, Ricardo Alcaide of Sao Paolo and Lior Shvil of New York and Tel Aviv. The passion they have for what they’ve built is even more evident in their outlooks on life. When asked about the secret to their professional success, the Mikesells answer, nearly in unison: “Always aim to create a win-win scenario,” they say;