Members are at the heart of Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Today, we’re featuring Adam Jalali who has roots in Toronto and lived in South Florida for almost 20 years. These days, he spends most of his time in Montreal with frequent trips to South Florida to visit loved ones and for work. He doesn’t call himself a “snowbird” and doesn’t follow the usual seasonal schedule of the “flock.”

How long have you been a member at PAMM and what drew you to the museum?
I was excited when the news broke that Miami would soon be home to a new large modern and contemporary art museum. My first experience at the museum was at the Ai Weiwei exhibition—this made such a strong first impression. Since then, the museum has consistently proven itself to be on the same level as more established artistic institutions around the world. I felt a personal connection with the museum’s showcase of diasporic Jamaican and LGBTQ+ art and artists, including Ebony G. Patterson’s “…while the dew is still on the roses…” exhibition and Pedro Neves Marques’ “A Mordida” video installation. Very rarely do I see my own culture and experience reflected in a museum setting. These challenged me and resonated with me deeply. I became a member in June 2019 because PAMM’s membership program fosters a sense of community through events, virtual workshops, and social media conversations. It is fun and fulfilling to get to know my fellow members.

Jalali’s favorite video installation at PAMM, Pedro Neves Marques, Production images of A Mordida (The Bite), 2018. Courtesy the artist and Galleria Umberto di Marino

What do you do?
I am the Executive Director of Creative & Content at a full-service marketing, advertising, and public relations agency based in South Florida.

What do you consider yourself to be an expert on?
I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I am a big fan of art house, foreign and independent cinema. It’s a joy to host themed movie nights and discussions with friends.

Are there any current podcast, books, or music you’d suggest reading or listening to right now?
99% Invisible is one of my favourite podcasts, about design and architecture. Some books worth discovering are Kai Cheng Thom’s “I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World,” Ocean Vuong’s “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” and David Wojnarowicz’s “Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration.” My music suggestions are two albums: Jenny Hval’s “The Practice of Love” and Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s “Keyboard Fantasies.” All of these could be enjoyable to fans of PAMM as they are challenging, educational, artistic, and emotionally honest works.

Jalali’s photo of Liliana Porter, El hombre con el hacha y otras situaciones breves – Venecia 2017 (Man with an axe and other brief situations – Venice 2017), 2017. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase with funds provided by Jorge M. Pérez.

Why do you feel art is important, especially in Miami?
Art can be the most authentic representation of expression as it is not limited by words or explanations. A piece of art asks you to simply slow down and observe it quietly. This is the beauty of art: there is no correct or incorrect interpretation. It, therefore, should be accessible for all to enjoy. Miami is a city with a wide range of people from a wide variety of cultures, all of whom could benefit from the challenge and intrigue of art. Every resident of the city could benefit from a trip to PAMM, a place that reflects the authenticity, integrity, diversity, and lively spirit of this great city in its walls.

What do you envision for PAMM in the future?
I’m excited to see how PAMM will continue to reflect the rich and unique culture of South Florida. The museum has made it a mission to engage in dialogue with the community it belongs to. I hope to see more art by local, Latinx, Caribbean, and queer artists. PAMM will also continue to attract more recognizable names in contemporary art as it continues to push its boundaries. South Florida should be proud to have an institution like PAMM and should do everything in its power to support the museum and recognize its importance.

What is a phrase or mantra that you live by?
We are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for and can find shelter within. The passing of time can be incredibly healing. It is important to speak to ourselves with the same kindness that we would use when speaking to our loved ones.

PAMM Individual Member Adam Jalali (above)

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