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    Catching Up w/ Mia Nielsen, The Drake’s Director of Art + Culture

    Coffee: black or cream + sugar?

    Black, always black.

    Album/song you have on repeat this month?

    Hard to pick just one, Jain’s Souldier is so much fun, can’t get enough of that. I keep coming back to 6lack’s new album, and love Jeremy Dutcher’s Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa.

    What artwork are you currently paying off?

    Haha! I’m usually paying off a new artwork, I typically buy one piece a year. Most galleries offer installment plans ­— it’s a great way to manage buying great art, and won’t drive up your CC bill. I’m closing in on a beautiful Nadia Belerique piece from Daniel Faria Gallery (pictured below).

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    Tell us about the new art flips. 

    We have a ton on the go. New works in The Drake Hotel lounge including Ness Lee, Nando-Alvarez Perez, Luke Siemans, Eric Mistretta and Alison Postma. New installations at Drake One Fifty explore repeating forms with George Little and Ludovica Gioscia as well as Dan Perkins. This month Drake Devonshire is getting a new exhibition from US artist Emily Noelle Lambert, and we have new works coming for the lobby of the Hotel including Roxana Azar, a long-time art crush of mine. Phew! 

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    Eric Mistretta, The Drake Hotel lounge. 


    Top local artists to watch right now? 

    Oh man, so many great people making amazing work. I’m really into what Whyishnave Suthagar is making right now. Also Esmaa Mohamoud, Nadia Belerique, Curtis Talwst Santiago…but this just scratches the surface.

    What are you currently reading? 

    Chimamanda Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun.

    Favourite art piece in The Drake’s permanent collection + why? 

    Wow, that’s a tough one. I love Gordon Monahan’s ‘Piano Listening to Itself’ at Drake Devonshire, it’s such a poetic piece in a stunning setting. It’s outside, so amazing thing to see a piano in the snow, playing ghostly music. Ken Lum’s ‘Jim and Susan’s Motel’ is wonderful, the tension of the ‘public message with a personal plea’ is heartbreaking. Alex McLeod’s piece at Drake Commissary is epic, I always see something new in it.   

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    Dan Perkins, Drake One Fifty. 


    Best gift you’ve ever been given? 

    My cousin makes beautiful furniture, and a couple of years ago he surprised me with leather covered end tables. I love them so much!

    Two Drake favourites: charcuterie or sushi? 

    Sushi!

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