MIA Art Fair

By Manuela Gabaldon

altIf there is something to be said about Miami locals is that they are the most avid supporters and contributors of our developing art scene and cultural identity. Although it is true that our galleries, events, and fairs attract art enthusiasts from all over the world, year-round, it is our core that should be accredited for our successful ascension in the international arts community. As one of the primary indicators of betterment in the economic state of our country, the business of art is one that never seems to sleep in Miami. Just as we have witnessed the survival of Miami staples Art Basel Miami Beach and the satellite fairs in past Decembers, we also bare witness to the birth of promising new ventures like MIA.

Last year, we were blown away by the first edition of Miami International Art Fair, as we were introduced, or maybe even reacquainted, with over 80 U.S. and international dealers and galleries in the Miami Beach Convention Center. Impressively, in that first year, it drew over 17,000 visitors and garnered positive reviews from exhibitors, collectors, curators, and press. This year, in its sophomore edition, MIA managed to exceed all expectations. “I came last year just to be a part of something new in our local scene,” said one MIA visitor, “and this year, I’m here to support a fair that I think is going to become one of the biggest and best in Miami. I think this one is even better than last year’s!” MIA organizer, Lee Ann Lester, recognizes the tremendous local support and has previously said: “Miami International Art Fair’s mission is to enrich the lives of its residents through greater understanding of art and to promote the community’s leading galleries throughout the South Florida region.”

Painting, multimedia art, sculpture, and installation filled unconventionally large booths, creating a maze of gallery spaces that was overwhelming in the most exciting sense of the word. The January 13th opening welcomed 4,000 eager VIP’s that made it particularly hard for anyone attempting to get a detailed look of eye-catching works, and in the words of many gallery representatives and owners on opening night, “that’s a good problem to have!”

Emerging and established artists made MIA a place for discovery and re-enlightenment displaying new pieces and old favorites. Participating local galleries Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts, Spinello Gallery, Pan American Art Projects, The Americas Collection, and others, had an extraordinary presence at the fair, exhibiting the work of the most talented artists in their rosters, and Wynwood pioneer, Dot Fiftyone, displayed an infectious devotion to Video Art.

MIA 2012 is already in the works, and set to take place January 12th-16th at the Miami Beach Convention Center; needless to say, anticipation is in the air.

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