MOCA Check InMOCA from Home

MOCA Check In: Meaghan Kent

Moca check in: meaghan kent

What is your name and title/occupation?
Meaghan Kent, Curator of Exhibitions, Art and Culture Center/Hollywood

What are you reading/watching/listening to?
I’m definitely reading more and watching less. I’m currently reading The Orchid Thief, which was recommended to me by Javier Barrios, a Mexico City-based artist conducting research on the Ghost Orchid in the Fakahatchee Strand. The Orchid Thief is a fascinating read as it intertwines the resilience of orchids and their unique history in Florida. A fantastic introduction to anyone, including myself, who is new to living in the area.

For listening, I find podcasts to be a great break from the news: Root of Evil, Dolly Parton’s America, The Drop-Out, Crime Junkie. Right now, I’m listening to Wind of Change which is about the possible involvement of the CIA in composing the Scorpion’s classic hit during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Also, Fiona Apple’s latest album is wild.

What are you working on right now (or how has your work changed over the last few months)?
Since I moved here last November, I have been really focused on familiarizing myself more with the work of local artists. The Center is working on an upcoming benefit, Exposed, with over 80 artists who have been beyond incredible to work with throughout this time.

I am also thrilled to be working on the 2020 Florida Biennial with Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon, Associate Curator for Collections and Exhibitions at the Orlando Museum of Art. This exhibition has really expanded my knowledge of artists not just in Miami-Dade and Broward, but in North and West Florida as well.

What are you most looking forward to once we are no longer sequestered?
I miss my family terribly! I really miss the simple things I never imagined I would be without such as shaking someone’s hand, kissing someone’s cheek, or getting a good hug.

Have you taken up any new activities?
I’ve been really great about not letting myself slip too much into the stress of this very difficult time. I do a lot of running, I practice yoga, I swim with my kids, I eat healthy, I read. I think it’s important to really reinforce your efforts to take care of yourself and be extra kind to yourself and others. So despite everything happening, I consider myself to be really fortunate.

Do you have a MOCA memory that you want to share?
MOCA North Miami has such a great legacy as a supporter of local contemporary art. I loved seeing some of the former curator’s Ruba Katrib’s group exhibitions which were a great mix of international and local artists. I also really enjoyed the last Florida Consortium as it introduced me to the work of Jen Clay, Edison Peñafiel, and Amber Tutwiler. I was able to do studio visits with the three of them before the quarantine and I really enjoyed the work.