In 2009, while expecting their first child, visual artists and life partners Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova and Frances Trombly co-founded a new artist space in their hometown of Miami. They named it Dimensions Variable after their short-lived visuals-only blog that had showcased the kind of challenging art they rarely saw supported or valued in their city.
Using a donated space in Miami’s Design District, Leyden and Frances worked in their personal studios in the back, and in the small front space, Dimensions Variable started curating exhibits. Leyden was committed to imbuing their new venture with the ethos that had guided a previous Miami-based venture named Box that he’d co-run years before. Dimensions Variable would support great art and artists without placing the demands of the market ahead of the artists’ needs or aspirations.
When we agreed to do this, Leyden was very firm. He was like, “If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right.” And that’s what he’s said this whole time.
—Frances Trombly, Dimensions Variable Artist, Co-founder & Co-director
Since its founding, Dimensions Variable has had to relocate several times for reasons beyond their control due to the increasingly treacherous real estate market in Miami. Since 2019, though, they have operated out of their largest space yet comprising 4,500 square feet in Miami’s Little River/Little Haiti neighborhood. In 2019 they also registered as a non-profit organization and since then have continued to support a wide range of artists with residencies, exhibits and, since DV is also a gallery, sales.
Here Frances and Leyden discuss very frankly the lessons they’ve learned in the last 14 years in how to make Dimensions Variable sustainable through thick and thin while remaining as welcoming and enriching as possible to the art and artists they are passionate about supporting.