Just when visitors to Art Basel Miami Beach and satellite fairs think they’ve seen it all, along come new artist-led initiatives to make each year memorable. Take COMPANY’s ArtV, a mobile art gallery that traveled New York’s Chelsea gallery district before making its way south for Art Basel. Through the week, the ArtV shuttled passengers between fairs as they enjoyed free DJ’d tunes and beverages. Among the artists with work on the ArtV was current BFA Visual & Critical Studies student Elektra KB, whose work was recently featured on COMPANY’s Web site.
And then there were the bricks-and-mortar operations that offered a fresh take on exhibiting art and building community. Co-directed by Brian Whiteley and Matthew Eck, current students in the MFA Fine Arts Department at SVA, Art Now is a young hotel fair that took place at the Catalina Hotel right alongside more established fairs. So why another fair? “I believe I can start changing the system from big money and big names and start showcasing young, hip, creative people,” said Whiteley. And what of the city’s appetite for yet another art fair? “Art has transformed Miami and Miami has welcomed it with open arms,” Whiteley told the Briefs. This year’s Art Now fair had 19 international exhibitors, with a mix of galleries, solo artists and collectives.
At NADA, a well-established fair organized by the New Art Dealers Alliance, one of the success stories belonged to alumnus Mike Egan (MFA 2007 Fine Arts), who directs New York’s Ramiken Crucible gallery. Ramiken moved into a new space on the Lower East Side earlier this year, joining several other artist-run spaces in the area. Showing just a handful of emerging artists in a compact booth at NADA, the staff at Ramiken reported doing brisk business from the fair’s opening.
For more images from Art Basel Miami Beach and beyond, or to post photos of your Miami art experience, visit SVA’s Facebook page.
Image: Art Now 2011 at the Catalina Hotel, Miami; courtesy Art Now, photo Matthew Eck.