The Art Lover's Guide to Col­lect­ing Fine Art in FLOR­IDA

American Art Collector - - Collector's Focus Figurative -

With its famed sandy beaches, Flor­ida at­tracts over 100 mil­lion vis­i­tors ev­ery year. Among the lush land­scapes, art lovers can also visit gal­leries, mu­se­ums and art stu­dios to dis­cover works by artists with na­tional and in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tions.

In De­cem­ber, there is no place more burst­ing with cre­ativ­ity than the Sun­shine State. Thou­sands of vis­i­tors flock to Mi­ami for a week­long art ex­pe­ri­ence, with in­di­vid­ual fairs of­fer­ing its own spe­cial­ized view of the art world, al­low­ing at­ten­dees to find ex­actly what they are look­ing for, or ex­plore them all.

Art Basel Mi­ami Beach is per­haps the most famed of these events, this year oc­cur­ring De­cem­ber 6 through 9 at the Mi­ami Con­ven­tion Cen­ter. The Amer­i­can edi­tion of the show hosts booths by lead­ing gal­leries from North Amer­ica, Latin Amer­ica, Europe, Asia and Africa, with sig­nif­i­cant works from mas­ters of mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art in all medi­ums on dis­play, along with cre­ations by a new gen­er­a­tion of emerg­ing artists.

Art Mi­ami rings in its 29th edi­tion De­cem­ber 4 through 9. The event has two sis­ter fairs: CON­TEXT Art Mi­ami, which runs the same dates as the main fair, and Aqua Art Mi­ami, hap­pen­ing De­cem­ber 5 through 9. Art Mi­ami and CON­TEXT Art Mi­ami take place within the same lo­ca­tion on Bis­cayne

Bay. Aqua Art Mi­ami is lo­cated at the Aqua Ho­tel in South Beach, and gives col­lec­tors a chance to get their hands on new work by fresh tal­ent.

Fea­tur­ing over 140 in­ter­na­tional ex­hibitors from 25 coun­tries and 60 cities, and wel­com­ing 60,000 vis­i­tors, SCOPE Mi­ami Beach takes place in a be­spoke pavilion on the beach. The fair

is fo­cused on emerg­ing con­tem­po­rary artists and multi-dis­ci­plinary cre­ative works. Other Mi­ami fairs on the docket in De­cem­ber in­clude Spec­trum Mi­ami Art Show, a ju­ried event from De­cem­ber 5 through 9, and PULSE Mi­ami Beach, which hap­pens De­cem­ber 6 through 9.

Based in Flor­ida, the Palm Beach Show Group is a pro­ducer of lead­ing fine art, an­tique and jew­elry shows that are high­lighted by both con­tem­po­rary and his­toric works of art. Fe­bru­ary 13 through 19, the Palm Beach Jew­elry, Art & An­tique Show comes to the Palm Beach County Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, which en­com­passes the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show, Fe­bru­ary 15 through 17. At the Naples Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­ter, the or­ga­ni­za­tion hosts the Naples Art, An­tique & Jew­elry Show, Fe­bru­ary 22 through 26.

Art Palm Beach and Art Boca Ra­ton round out the ma­jor fairs in the state. Both or­ga­nized by Next Level Fairs, the for­mer takes place Jan­uary 16 through 20 while the lat­ter oc­curs March 14 through 18.

In Naples, the Gallery Row dis­trict will be of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to art lovers. Lead­ing gal­leries with na­tion­ally known artists make their home there. Hosted by Naples Art Dis­trict, the ART ALIVE se­ries is an evening with artists on the first Wed­nes­day of ev­ery month, and select months fea­ture a “Day­time Artis­tic Ex­pe­ri­ence” on the third Satur­day of the month.

The old­est con­tin­u­ously in­hab­ited Eu­ro­pean set­tle­ment in the United States, St. Au­gus­tine’s artis­tic roots run deep. The St. Au­gus­tine Art As­so­ci­a­tion has been pro­mot­ing arts in the town since 1925 and hosts a monthly First Fri­day

Art Walk from 5 to 9 p.m., founded by the Art Gal­leries of St. Au­gus­tine Group. The 54th an­nual

St. Au­gus­tine Art & Craft Fes­ti­val takes place Thanks­giv­ing week­end in Novem­ber each year.

In Sara­sota, the Palm Av­enue’s First Fri­day Art Walk oc­curs monthly from 6 to 9 p.m. Mem­bers of the Palm Av­enue Arts Al­liance, in­clud­ing art gal­leries and other shops, open their doors to the com­mu­nity for events and ex­hi­bi­tions. The Towles Court Arts Dis­trict in Sara­sota hosts a Third Fri­day Art Walk from 5 to 9 p.m.

Or­ga­ni­za­tions, events and artists through­out Flor­ida are rep­re­sented within spe­cial des­ti­na­tion guide, in­clud­ing the Win­ter Park Paint Out, the Braden­ton Area Con­ven­tion & Vis­i­tors Bu­reau, Light Chasers, Kerry Vosler and Terry Ar­royo Mul­rooney.

1The Viz­caya Mu­seum & Gar­den in Mi­ami, Flor­ida. Cour­tesy the Greater Mi­ami Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tors Bu­reau, mi­amiand­beaches.com2Idyl­lic shop­ping in Venice, Flor­ida. Cour­tesy Visit Sara­sota. Photo by Heather Young.3Mi­ami Chil­dren’s Mu­seum. Cour­tesy the Greater Mi­ami Con­ven­tion andVis­i­tors Bu­reau, mi­amiand­beaches.com4A scene of the down­town Braden­ton area. Cour­tesy Braden­ton Area Con­ven­tion & Vis­i­tors Bu­reau. © Ryan Gros­jean

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