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Travel Article
Winter 2018/2019
Miami Art Show 2018
Trend Magazine Online™

By Jay Whipple

Trend Magazine Online™

International Celebration of Art!

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I applied for a press permit for this event in the summer of 2017 and when I did not receive a response basically forgot about it until receiving an email in late November 2018 adding this publication to the press list. My excitement was temporary until I realized that I would not be able to personally cover this prestigious event due to my work schedule in North Carolina. I then reached out to a reliable business associate (Jeff Carroll, a Sci-Fi writer) whose wife (Nivia Carroll) just happens to be a photographer and my enthusiasm quickly returned although I would not be able to personally cover this international art event. I had previously experienced this impressive art fair while providing contract transportation via Queen City Tourssm and Travel in 2015 and 2016. I had the pleasure of transporting both exhibitors and guests from all over the United States and foreign countries who had converged on my hometown to share their art experiences.

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Our VIP press pass included all three of the fairs' previews to include Art Miami, CONTEXT Art Miami, and Aqua Art Miami, with the first two taking place at The Art Miami Pavilion at One Miami Herald Plaza (old Herald Newspaper site; #qctmiamidailycitytour) for the 2nd year, and Aqua taking place at the Aqua Hotel at 1530 Collins Avenue on South Beach. This was the 29th edition of Art Miami and 7th of CONTEXT Art Miami which took place from Tuesday December 4th through Sunday December 9th 2018, and featured important works of art, dynamic projects, and special installations from more than 160 international galleries, nearly 30 countries, and 68 cities. Art Miami attracts more than 84,000 established and emerging collectors, curators, museum professionals, press members, and art world dignitaries annually making it the largest attended international art fair in the U.S. and 2nd most around the world. The 2018 event benefited the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), and was sponsored by Christie's International Real Estate.

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The 2018 line-up presented the finest investment quality paintings, photography, prints, drawings, design, sculpture and video art, with works from the 20th and 21st centuries. The fair featured leading international galleries that showcased renowned modern masters and blue chip contemporary works, as well as the most sought-after living artists from around the world to include Marcel Duchamp, Wilfredo Lam, David Hockney, Jackson Pollock, Joseph Albers, Alexander Calder, Yayoi Kusama, Anish Kapoor; Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, John Chamberlain, Damien Hirst, Marc Chagall; Donald Judd, Ed Ruscha, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Donald Sultan, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Frank Stella, Richard Serra, Salvador Dali, that were among the more than 800 artists' works on display.

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On Tuesday December 4, 2018, my associates were treated to the Platinum VIP Preview which allowed them to be the first to see a sample of the diverse collection of international art on hand at the 2018 fair. It was the 2nd year that Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami were held at the waterfront location of One Herald Plaza between the Venetian Causeway (oldest bridge in Florida; #qctmiamidailycitytour) and the MacArthur Causeway (Highway A1A). They had access to six hospitality areas to include an indoor and waterfront cafe, an outdoor dining space, cocktail lounge, and outdoor cocktail deck overlooking Biscayne Bay. The 2018 Art Miami Fair highlights included works from Montreal, London, New York, Paris, Zurich, Munich, Helsinki, Chicago, Frankfurt, Vienna, and Albuquerque. Top sales went to the VERTES gallery who sold a work by Sam Francis that was priced between $100,000 to $120,000 (United States Dollars). CONTEXT Art Miami highlights included works from Los Angeles, Miami, Havana, Istanbul, San Francisco, Denver, New York, Madrid, Lagos, and London. Top sales went to the Lawrence Fine Art gallery who sold out of Howard Schatz's Dance Study, Balance, a limited addition of five, priced between $10,000 and $14,000 (United States Dollars).

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There were a number of special projects and events at Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami 2018 to include: Artsy.net; the official online partner which allowed art collectors and enthusiasts to browse exhibitor booths, inquire about available works of art for sale, and access fair information via their website and iPhone and iPad apps. Gallery Wendi Norris based in San Francisco partnered with Art Miami in support of Mosaic Miami; a local non-profit arts community resource center located in historic Little Haiti (formerly Lemon City; #qctmiamidailyblackheritagetour). A non-profit organization called UNLEASHED; founded by jeweler and donor activist Kara Ross created an interactive augmented reality experience featuring the main subjects from the #ConnectingThread film series on Refinery.com. The CONTEXT Sculpture Park was a dynamic curated program of installations and sculptures by artists represented by CONTEXT's 2018 exhibitors to include Kenor Romero presented by N2 Galeria, Kim In Tae presented by Liquid art stem, and Julian Voss-Andreae presented by HOHMANN to name a few.

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Aqua Art Miami kicked off its 14th public edition on Thursday December 6, 2018, after its VIP preview the day before on Wednesday December 5th. This energetic preview typically attracts influential collectors and art professionals who migrate across the causeway from Art and CONTEXT Miami as well as Art Basel Miami Beach located just a few blocks away. The Aqua fair is promoted as the premier location for art enthusiasts' to purchase works by young, emerging and mid-career artists. It is unique in that it presents a signature relaxed yet energetic vibe and the 2018 edition featured 52 international exhibitors from 12 countries who showcased new works from 135 artists in an intimate room that opened up into to the very picturesque courtyard of the classic South Beach Hotel. Special projects and highlights included: The InkMinx Mobile Tattoo Tent presented by ArtHelix Gallery/SHIM Network from Brooklyn, NY; MIKIHUMO - Imponderable Cities presented by Blackship from Miami, Fl.; The Parsons Close Project launch from Steve Cohen and Curtis Cox from Springs, NY; and Susan J. Barron - Depicting the Invisible (Military veterans suffering from PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]) presented by HG Contemporary from New York, NY; to name a few.

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Also on Thursday December 6, 2018, the Art Miami 2018 Lifetime Visionary Award was presented to Mr. and Mrs. Dennis and Debra Scholl at the Boulud Sud Mediterranean restaurant located nearby at 255 Biscayne Boulevard Way in the JW Marriott Marquis hotel. Chef Daniel Boulud was the host. Mr. Scholl is the vice-president of the John S. and James L. Knight (former owners of the Miami Herald) Foundation and along with his wife Debra are major influencers of the Miami art scene as collectors and philanthropist. The couple met at the University of Miami's Law School and have been collecting art since the late 1970's. Their accomplishments include helping to revitalize the Art Deco district of South Beach (#qctmiamidailycitytour) as well as aiding in the transformation of the Wynwood area (#qctmiamidailycitytour) into an international art attraction. They have also donated millions of dollars of art to the nearby Perez Art Museum, the Frost Museum at FIU (Florida International University Miami), the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City, and the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Mr. Scholl is also the producer of art documentaries and has produced and directed films highlighting artists such as Theaster Gates, Tracey Emin, and Frank Gehry, to name a few.

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I was ecstatic to learn from Jeff that the fair had spilled over into other areas of the Magic City to include Little Haiti (formerly Lemon City; #qctmiamidailyblackheritagetour) as mentioned earlier in this piece. The mission of the Mosaic Cultural and Healing Arts Collective "Is to engage communities in improving their wellness through a variety of cultural and healing disciplines and to become self-sufficient in sustainable agricultural practices." In addition, Soul Basel took place in the Historic Overtown neighborhood (#qctmiamidailyblackheritagetour) located just east of One Herald Plaza. They are promoted as the premier showcase of Black art from world-renowned and emerging artisans and featured an array of exhibitions, pop-up galleries and special events that took place at the neighborhood's cultural and historic facilities as well as outdoor venues. This event was sponsored and supported by Miami City Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon, the Southeast Overtown / Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (SEOPWCRA) and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) Art of Black Miami.

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In conclusion, Nick Korniloff, director of Art Miami, said, "This was our most successful fair to date when you consider the volume of sales of important art works, the overall quality of the artists and respected international galleries that exhibited. Art Miami continues to remain as a key destination during art week for seasoned collectors when acquiring the most important fresh works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries." The 2018 fair attracted prominent figures in culture, music, sports, and business like the Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary, and entertainment like Actor/Director Forest Whitaker and Model/Actress/Producer Brooke Shields, to name a few. Special thanks to Ms. Lauren Stiffelman and their staff at R. Couri Hay Creative PR for the press invite and assistance and I look forward to the 30th edition of the 2019 Miami Art fair this December. In the mean time you can keep the party going by taking a free tour of the world-renowned Wynwood art district @ https://queencitytours.com/southflorida/Services-SouthFlorida-Miami-Individuals-QCT-Daily-City-Tour.htm.

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