Meet My Friend, Mimi

Meet My Friend, Mimi

Posted on Feb. 15, 2023
Myrlene (Mimi) Legendere Desir, Creative Connections Instructor
Artist & Entrepreneur

Born in 1962  in Haiti, Mimi grew up in what she describes as a solid background in art, culture, and natural landscapes.  And while Mimi loved art from a very young age, it wasn’t encouraged as a career pursuit because you couldn’t make a living with it.  So with a background in accounting,  Mimi spent time traveling into the mountains of Haiti providing villagers with basic education skills, such as making candles.  It was here that she realized she could collaborate with large groups of people, no matter their education and ethnicity…and help instill emotional intelligence and help others feel a sense of vibrancy.

Then, Mimi’s life in Haiti changed forever when a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake struck in 2010.    For Mimi and so many others, it was a time of great uncertainty. She didn’t know what her future held but realized she had to make a change.  There was no ‘choice.’  She just had to do it.  Mimi moved to Massachusetts where her brother and some friends already lived, so she had a small community in place.   But what would be next for her personally and professionally?

As with so many who survive natural disasters, Mimi’s mind and body were deeply affected by what she experienced in Haiti.   It took her nearly three years as she struggled with loss and fear of the unknown.  Then, in 2013, Mimi contacted her brother and asked if he knew any Haitian artists in the area.    Lo and behold, he did….and introductions were made.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Mimi was asked to teach art and her resounding answer was ‘YES!’ With her accounting skills and business knowledge in hand, Mimi became an artist entrepreneur.   Today, she owns In Sight Art Gallery and is an art instructor, including for LBFE Boston’s Creative Connections program.

In her own words, ‘Art gives me meaning, joy and a sense of belonging.  I don’t feel excluded. I found my path as I was using art as therapy.   I didn’t know I would end up passing the secrets along to others.   Art calms your mind and makes you stop for a moment.’ Mimi’s advice to older adults…’Please do not isolate.  We need to know your life story. Teach others.”  And to younger adults, “Reach out to others with interaction and involvement….community is so very important.”