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Miami for All: Culture Vultures

Daphne Nikolopoulos

A Focus on Art
   Hotel or art gallery? The Four Seasons Hotel Miami actually is both.
Seated Woman - Fernando Botero - Four Seasons Hotel Miami   A reflection of Miami’s vibrant art scene, the property, located on the top floors of Miami’s tallest tower, is a veritable feast for those who appreciate both fine accommodations and a focus on art. The first indication of the hotel’s well-curated collection is a pair of monumental Fernando Botero sculptures, Adam and Eve, encountered at the ground floor en route to the seventh-floor lobby. The experience continues from there, with another Botero, Seated Woman (right), and various works by Hernan Bas, José Bedia, Daniel Arsham, Vik Muniz and several other artists both established and emerging.
   Miami-based artists are well represented here. That was by design: Millennium Partners, the hotel’s developer, wanted to shift the spotlight onto living artists contributing to the cultural fabric of the community and give them an alternative forum for showcasing their work.
Four Seasons Hotel Miami - place to stay - art   You can’t walk anywhere on this property without encountering art in one form or another. That’s the beauty of staying here. Sure, the rooms are modern and gorgeous, the scene is lively and the new incarnation of Edge Steak and Bar (the signature restaurant) alone is worth the price of admission, but when you combine these with the visual feast of the art collection, the entire experience is elevated.


 

Art Revolution
Jason Rhoades and Barbara Kruger - American Exuberance installation - Rubell Family Collection - Wynwood Miami   Art enthusiasts will go anywhere if it means connecting with a promising new talent or discovering the next piece to augment their collections.
   Sometimes, “anywhere” is a raw, gritty place where art can incubate away from the constraints of commercialism. In Miami, that place is Wynwood. To put it politely, the neighborhood isn’t the most glamorous. There are empty warehouses, littered lots and interesting characters. But the art is for real, and, for the collector, that is what matters. Visit during Wynwood’s Art Walk (second Saturday of every month), when its 60-plus galleries are open to visitors (otherwise, you need an appointment) and the art is cleverly showcased.
   Start with the collections, particularly Rubell Family and Margulies. The Rubell Family Collection (rfc.museum) is one of the largest contemporary art collections in the world, with notable works by Jeff Koons, Kathryn Andrews and Andy Warhol. The Margulies Collection (margulieswarehouse.com) is housed in a 45,000-square-foot warehouse and includes photography, video, sculpture and installations. A must is Wynwood Walls (thewynwoodwalls.com)

Retna, Wynwood Walls, Miami 2011 - Wynwood Walls, photo credit Martha Cooper

Photo credit Martha Cooper
   The galleries are many and varied. Among the most compelling: The Lunch Box, mainly showcasing the work of emerging artists (thelunchboxgallery.com); Bernice Steinbaum, specializing in female artists and artists of color (bernicesteinbaumgallery.com); Pan American Art Projects, representing emerging and established artists from both North and South America (panamericanart.com); and Locust Projects, a nonprofit space where artists can create, develop ideas and exhibit without the pressure of traditional sales (locustprojects.org).

Bernice Steinbaum gallery - female artists and artists of color - Wynwood Miami


 

Design of the Times
   On the second Saturday of every month, the Miami Design District hosts its Art & Design Nights and gallery walks. It’s no coincidence that this corresponds with Wynwood Art Walk, because Wynwood is the adjacent district and the two share a similar mission: promoting the local arts scene. Call it strength in numbers.
   For collectors, this event is a must, not only for the exposure to rising talent and intriguing new work but also for the social value. It’s always good to network with other art enthusiasts and collectors as well as meet the artists. Some of the galleries to watch: Avant, Etra Fine Art, Markowicz Fine Art and Ricart.



Check out page 2 of for a look at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and teh New World Symphony.

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