Photo courtesy of Art Basel.
The first week of December heralds the winter holidays, but in tropical Miami it’s also the beginning of a cultural season that energizes South Florida. This year marked the 11th edition of Art Basel Miami, a sister fair to the contemporary art fair in Basel, Switerzland and the most prestigious art show in the Americas. The main event took place at the Miami Beach Convention Center but many satellite fairs across the Miami-Dade County kept local and visiting art lovers busy.
Sponsored by UBS, Art Basel Miami Beach – the main show at the convention center – attracted over 50,000 visitors. Over 130 museum and institution groups from around the world visited the fair, as well as renowned private collectors from the Americas, Europe and emerging markets. More than 250 leading galleries from 31 countries in North and Latin America, as well as Europe and Asia, presented high quality work from the 20th and 21st centuries.
THE ART BASEL EFFECT
During Art Basel Week, international art consultant Sebastien Laboureau of Moonstar, a group of wealth advisors for art collectors, spoke at the Overture Miami Contemporary Art Fair in Midtown.
Overture focused on Andy Warhol in its exhibit titled 100 Warhols, which featured an unprecedented grouping of the artist’s work, some never before seen in public.
Below are some highlights from Laboureau’s talk:
• Each year, America’s biggest art fair provides an estimated $500 million economic boost.
• More visitors fly to Miami on private jets for Art Basel than a Superbowl.
• Many of the world’s most respected art dealers put together exhibit galleries featuring artwork by over 2,000 renowned and cutting-edge artists.
• 24 satellite art fairs enhance the art immersion experience on Miami Beach and on the mainland.
• Year-round, over 2,270 art-related business employ over 8,300 people with a $1 billion impact in Miami Beach and surrounding areas.
• The Wynwood District is home to more than 30 galleries, including those founded by art collector pioneers Don and Mera Rubbell and the Margulies family. Wynwood is also known for its world-class street art.
• The Design District is a luxury lifestyle art and design hub; Luis Vuitton commissioned a work by street artist RETNA. (See video here.)
• The Miami Art Museum, scheduled to open its new home as the Perez Art Museum Miami in 2013 at downtown’s bay front Museum Park, will feature a pavilion by Basel-based Swiss architectural firm Hertzog & de Meuron, following the footsteps of other cities inspired by the success of the Guggenheim in Bilbao to attract tourism and fuel activity.
Laboureau’s enthusiasm about Miami as a cultural hub was clear and he emphasized the important of art for communities and businesses. “The arts are essential to the health and vitality of neighborhoods,” he mentioned in his presentation. “Art is equally useful to businesses and corporations, as it can transmit good values and enrich interactions.”
The breakfast presentation was hosted by The Beacon Council, Miami’s official economic development partnership.
Art Basel in South Florida takes place the first week of December and is the favorite winter meeting place for the international art world. To learn more about the 2013 edition, visit Art Basel Miami Beach.
– Maria de los Angeles is a freelance wordsmith based in Miami.