It's hard to imagine a cultural organization with an historic presence on South Beach letting go of a property that draws untold thousands of local and international visitors each year.
But that's what's happening with ArtCenter/South Florida which has today listed its 800-810 Lincoln Rd. building for sale to provide the organization with greater resources to expand its programming and services in the coming years.
The decision to sell the building housing ArtCenter's iconic bubble-shaped storefront gallery was unanimously voted on by the organization and supported by the artists in residence, according to a statement released by the organization earlier today. The Miami office of Ackman-Ziff Real Estate has been selected as the exclusive broker for the sale of the property.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for the ArtCenter to expand its influence in the growing Miami arts scene and broaden its ability to offer the best-quality programs, impacting an even greater and more diverse audience," chair Kim Kovel says.
"The timing of this could not have been any better as the organization can now expand its exhibitions and educational outreach programs and increase the resources that are provided to the current and alumnae artists, enabling them to continue to thrive with ArtCenter's support."
ArtCenter's genesis sprung from the vision of Ellie Schneiderman, a Grove House ceramist, whose dream was to create an enclave for local artists. During the early 1980s, she persuaded some Lincoln Road property owners to lease space to emerging and career artists at significantly reduced rates.
Since then, ArtCenter/South Florida has provided affordable studios and workspace to more than 1,000 visual artists from its locations on Lincoln Road while presenting free exhibitions throughout the year.
This coming November, ArtCenter/South Florida will present "30 Years on the Road," a retrospective exhibition highlighting its enduring role as a creative hub and showcasing the work of many of South Florida's most celebrated artists who have benefited from working on Lincoln Road over the past 30 years.
"The mission of our cultural institution remains as it was," says executive director Maria Del Valle. "With the help of thousands of talented artists who have been part of our family and the generosity of our supporters, the ArtCenter is proud of the strides it has made in advancing the knowledge and practice of contemporary visual arts throughout our community.
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"ArtCenter's artists have helped in the transformation of Lincoln Road from a blighted neighborhood to one of America's renowned art deco districts. The ArtCenter is proud to call Miami Beach home," says Del Valle, who adds that the organization is exploring expansion plans beyond the ArtCenter's 924 Lincoln Rd. property.
"We are also studying all other possibilities throughout Miami-Dade County and closely looking to where we can best serve South Florida's cultural community."
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