PE­TRA LEVIN: The Pas­sion­ate Phi­lan­thropist

Ocean Drive - - Shot On Site Photography By Manny Hernandez -

An avid art col­lec­tor and for­mer Miss Ger­many, Pe­tra Levin has ded­i­cated her life to the arts and bet­ter­ing the com­mu­nity, as ev­i­denced by her tire­less ef­forts with the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety, the In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Miami, and many more.

How did you be­come an art col­lec­tor?

I al­ways had a pas­sion for con­tem­po­rary art. I re­mem­ber buy­ing my first minia­ture Yves Klein sculp­ture many years ago. [But] be­com­ing a col­lec­tor doesn’t hap­pen overnight. I [keep up with the in­dus­try] by read­ing numer­ous art mag­a­zines, vis­it­ing galleries, and de­vote a lot of time trav­el­ing reg­u­larly with my hus­band [bev­er­age ty­coon Stephen Levin] to var­i­ous art fairs in Ber­lin, New York, and Lon­don.

What is your opin­ion on women in the arts?

Women have al­ways been im­por­tant to the art world as artists, cu­ra­tors, and di­rec­tors, and have been his­tor­i­cally un­der­rated. To me, the most iconic [woman artist] is Louise Bour­geois. Her work has been so in­flu­en­tial and bound­ary-break­ing through her use of tools like rad­i­cal ab­strac­tion and ar­chi­tec­tural in­ter­ven­tions. She was one of the first artists in Amer­ica to tran­scend gen­der [bound­aries].

What has been one of your big­gest chal­lenges?

Pub­lic speak­ing. Com­ing from Ger­many and learn­ing English has taken a lot of time and ef­fort. But be­ing in­volved with char­i­ties and giv­ing many speeches [helped me] de­velop con­fi­dence.

How do you recharge?

Grow­ing up, bik­ing was part of our fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties. I still bike reg­u­larly on Miami Beach, and I de­vote time ev­ery day to ex­er­cise. But I also love play­ing with my two pup­pies, Feena and Fri­day, who I se­cretly call my “happy pills.” Their cute­ness and un­con­di­tional love al­ways make me smile!

What do you love the most about liv­ing in the Magic City?

Miami has such an in­cred­i­ble va­ri­ety of the arts. And tak­ing our boat out on the bay with friends and watch­ing the most beau­ti­ful sun­sets in Amer­ica is some­thing re­ally spe­cial. Visit the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety at can­cer.org and the In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Miami at icami­ami.org.

PHI­LAN­THROPY PHI­LOS­O­PHY: I be­lieve that peo­ple who have achieved a de­gree of fi­nan­cial suc­cess in life have a moral obli­ga­tion to give back to char­i­ta­ble causes.

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