What's It All About, Basel?

Locals weigh in on the meaning of Miami's week in the artistic sun

Do you think local artists benefit from this event?

Hartup: Yes, both tangibly and intangibly. Some sell work, get gallery representation, and are invited to participate in exhibitions. If Art Basel Miami Beach continues for the next five years, I think the benefits will be seen most strongly in the work of young artists living in Miami, who have seen the work in the fair and all the projects that take place around the fair.

Dorsch: I agree. Every artist I talked to had something being shown somewhere, whether in group shows or alternative spaces. The exposure benefits everybody, and the local community as well. Also, the community was more involved this year.

Art everywhere, like Bask at Objex Art Space
Art everywhere, like Bask at Objex Art Space

Arias: Of course. The fair has taken the level of our local artists to another level ... to an international audience. I just hope that our local collectors would buy more local art, now that the fair has brought attention to them.

Though it's a little early to say, what could be the immediate impact of this second installment of the fair?

Clearwater: We've all benefited. The enormous local, national, and international press will help contribute to the realization -- both here and elsewhere -- that there is a vibrant cultural community in Miami that exists year-round.

Dorsch: A very positive impact. I was able to get some museum shows for my artists [and] more sales. Art Basel has given more opportunities for local artists to exhibit in places other than Miami. That's in itself positive.

Hartup: It seemed to me the galleries -- especially Miami-based galleries -- fared as well if not better with sales this year. Next year's fair will likely be bigger. Other immediate impacts -- half the city seemed to be recovering on Monday ...

Chambers: Yeah, the word is out: [we have] The Movement and it's growing...

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