Five Questions for Meme Ferré
Tell us about teaching at North Beach Elementary.
My background is private school but I am a public school advocate. We have to support the public schools. Everyone deserves a good education. I did not get into administration because I want to be hands on with the students. If you don’t start them at a young age you’ll lose them. I’ve taught about 10,000 students in the last 20 years and I love that community. They’re incredibly supportive of my work.
How did you learn your craft?
Growing up, there was always a passion for the arts in my home. I had private art teachers at a young age and we had an art historian who lived with us. I started painting as a toddler, but my earliest memories were mixing paints for my grandfather. At 9 years old I went to Spain and traveled throughout the country, studying Spanish art. At age 12, I went to England, and this was in addition to my academic work. Eventually, I went to Pratt Institute for undergraduate and NYU for graduate school.
And how would you describe the art you create in your Wynwood studio?
I’m a painter, an abstract artist. Sometimes I might say abstract expressionist style. But I’ve also worked in the 1980s at major events. For example I was the artistic director for the opening and closing parties of Miami Film Festival. Also back then I was interested in a lot of the performance art we saw in Venice, Italy and Ibiza Spain – so we’d do wild banners and instillations.
What do you do to relax here on Key Biscayne?
My No. 1 favorite organization is the Biscayne Nature Center. I knew its founder Marjory Stoneman Douglas as a child – she was friendly with the art historian we traveled with in London — and when I’m there, working with children, it’s another type of experience. I don’t want them to paint a sea grape, I want them to think about how they’re going to protect the sea grape. I want deeper thinking. But also I love walking down the beach to the lighthouse. My boyfriend is a runner and he does all the races, my brother lives here we go to the sandbar.
Favorite place to eat and relax on Key Biscayne?
I like to go the Lighthouse Café, where I order the smoothies and the fresh fish.