Most of the art fairs open about 11 a.m. This schedule allows fairgoers to get some rest after an evening of private dinners or parties. On the other hand, lots of die-hard individuals use the morning hours to attend numerous brunches offered by the collectors, galleries, museums, and more (sometimes more than one on the same day).
A number of the private (vanity) museums open their doors to VIP members of the hoi palloi on the weekdays during fair week. A few private collections not yet museumized are also available for viewing along with refreshments of some sort.
Friday has evolved into brunch day at MOAD, the Museum of Art + Design at Miami Dade College. This museum is housed in the historic Freedom Tower, a building which originally housed The Miami News, founded in the 20s. During the surge of Cuban refugees, it served as Ellis Island of the South, the immigration processing center for the newcomers.
The huge hall where the brunch is served is overlooked by the expansive “New World Mural 1513.” This mural is a recreation of a tapestry that was original to the building. It represents the meeting of the Old World and the New World with images of Ponce de Leon, indigenous Tequesta, and fantastic figures such as mermaids. During a restoration of the building in 1987, a group of local artists created the mural from black and white photos. It’s a real treasure, as is the building.
Sunday morning has come to be museum brunch day. The Lowe Museum, the Frost Art Museum, and the Jewish Museum offer a spread of food and a noted artist giving their philosophy on life – with or without an accompanying exhibition.
Saturday’s Sagamore brunch has reached legendary levels. It is open, of course, to the VIP art fair visitors. It is also a much sought after invitation by community members. The Sagamore has come to be known at The Art Hotel. Previous owners had installed their own outstanding collection of modern and contemporary art in the hotel’s public areas. They generously started this delightful, truly see-and-be-seen event.
Current owners have graciously continued the tradition of art, art programs, and THE brunch at the hotel. The Paul restaurant/bakery on nearby Lincoln Rd (our iconic pedestrian mall) has catered the brunch for the past few years. This year’s spread was beautiful and mouth-wateringly delicious. Crepe-making stations dotted the outside area of the hotel, too. Not to be overlooked are the never-ending morning mimosas.
Among this year’s artwork in the hotel was Arno Elias’ “I’m Not a Trophy,” astounding wildlife photography. Performers from the local Delou Africa dance troupe helped set the scene. And a small ensemble from the South Florida Symphony added quite a different musical interlude.
The Sagamore, and even more so, The Betsy Hotel contribute to our community by bringing art to their walls and halls year round. Other hotels have installations during Art Week. I wrote a bit about the Aqua Hotel which annually hosts the Aqua Art Fair. Ink Miami is a top notch fair specializing on works on paper which is housed in the Dorchester Hotel. As Daughter and I walked from the Sagamore to Ink, we admired or wondered at the art at hotels along the way:
Constant Companion is a fan of works on paper. Through his insistence we’ve made it a tradition to make a bee-line to Ink immediately after the Sagamore brunch. Always worth the visit. In his absence, Daughter and I continued the tradition. Note: CC arrived home late in the afternoon. After stopping at home … he made the bee-line to Ink and was wowed as were we!
Once again, here’s a sampling of what the International Fine Print Dealers Association brought this year:
There was much, much more. This is a do-not-miss art fair. Remember, it’s in a hotel
Final note: The other day, we ran into local artist in her shopzuri.com dress (see Dec. 7 post). At Ink, we saw another one!