Miami Transformed By Art Festivals

This article from the <em>Miami Herald</em> looks at the annual art fair Art Basel and how it transforms the city -- temporarily and permanently.
December 7, 2008, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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"Seven years ago, a Swiss art fair came to Miami Beach, and with it came the international art world. Connoisseurs, collectors, spectators and glitterati filled the Convention Center to gaze at and (in the case of some, at least) buy the art that Art Basel Miami Beach brought with it. The excitement spilled over into the streets of the Design District, to the shipping containers-turned-exhibition spaces over by the beach, to the hotels that opened their rooms to become instant mini-galleries."

"The week that we call Art Basel is upon us again, with all its frenetic glamour and reflected glory. It's a week when much of Miami Beach, the entire Design District and most of Wynwood are transformed, almost magically, into a world center of art and design, into an admittedly imperfect (would we want it another way?) fantasyland."

"Seven years is not a lifetime, not even a generation, but it's enough to allow for a look back, to try to figure out, at least in part, what it all means. Most likely, it's possible to quantify the impact of Art Basel week in dollars and cents -- the number of artworks bought, the number of hotel rooms occupied -- but, in the end, those are numbers without resonating meaning."

"And so I ask myself the question: What would this place be like had there been no Art Basel, no Design Miami, no Wynwood fairs?"

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Published on Friday, December 5, 2008 in The Miami Herald
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