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Oolite CEO is going from supporting other artists to making his own art

Dennis Scholl is the outgoing president and CEO of Oolite Arts. He's retiring to pursue his art and filmmaking full-time.
Mary Beth Koeth
Dennis Scholl is the outgoing president and CEO of Oolite Arts. He's retiring to pursue his art and filmmaking.

For years, South Florida had fewer art supporters bigger than Dennis Scholl — a man who was quietly making art himself.

He was the one who created the Knight Arts Challenge when he was with the Knight Foundation. And what an idea! Someone who had a great art project in mind could get grant money from the foundation, free and clear, to make it happen.

Dennis used the Knight Foundation’s global connections to further art projects all over the world. He promoted Aboriginal artwork in Australia. He sat on artboards from Aspen to North Miami.

He did the same for South Florida artists when he took over at Oolite Arts. The local organization has created a community by providing artists with free studio space, exhibition opportunities and programming to advance their careers.

The residency program Dennis started at Oolite helped shape the career of hundreds of South Florida artists.

Now he’s ready to make his own art. Dennis is retiring from leading arts organizations to focus on his own work.

He’s a visual artist. He displayed a solo show in Berlin earlier this year. And he has two more upcoming in the UK and France.

He’s a filmmaker who’s won 22 regional Emmys for his documentary films. And he’s putting the final touches on a film about the Miami model Bunny Yeager.

On the June 13 episode of Sundial, Dennis talks to us about going from supporting other artists to making his own.

On Sundial's previous episode, Aida Rodriguezjoined us to talk about finding comedy in things that make us cringe.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.
Helen Acevedo, a freelance producer, is a grad student at Florida International University studying Spanish-language journalism, a bilingual program focused on telling the stories of diverse communities.