Collectors Fair: The Minds Behind ArteAmericas Bring Budget-Priced Art to Wynwood

For some collectors, hoarding works by their favorite artists can become a compulsive habit.

"It's an addiction," observes Emilio Callejo, co-founder and vice president of ArteAmericas, the local Latin American art fair that recently folded its tent after a decade on the South Florida calendar.

Calleja is launching the pop-up Collectors Fair, opening today and running through Sunday at Miami Spaces in Wynwood, (2301 North Miami Ave.), where he is showcasing close to 200 works in various media from collectors looking to sell prized paintings and sculptures they can't market on Craigslist or Ebay.

It's a concept that occurred to Calleja after running out of space at home to display artworks. "I've been collecting art for a long time and had the idea for this event for a while," Calleja says. "It came to a point where some of the works ended up in my kid's rooms, in the closet or under the bed."

For Calleja, who built strong ties with fellow art buffs during his years at ArteAmericas---many of whom shared the same experiences of storing surplus art they could no longer exhibit at home or were in the grips of an economic crunch and needing to sell works---the notion of a Collectors Fair to market artworks seemed the perfect solution.

"Basically we have hung the art salon style in this 8,000 square-foot space in Wynwood where the participant collectors remain anonymous and have given me the art on consignment," explains Calleja, who adds that most of the works on display range from $1,000 to $5,000 and have been priced to attract budding collectors.

On view you'll discover everything from works by Cuban heavyweights Wifredo Lam, Antonia Eiriz and Cundo Bermudez to emerging talent.

"It's not all Latin American art," Calleja says. "We do have a lot of work from Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela, but we also have art from across the U.S., Germany, Sweden and elsewhere."

It's an eclectic and relatively budget-priced exhibit, but Calleja refuses to call it a fire sale.

"It may be that for some, but believe me, most of these people will just use the money from sales to buy more artwork."

Collectors Fair takes place Friday from 6-11 p.m.; Saturday from 12-8 p.m.; and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. Call 305.439.8701 or visit collectorsfairllc.com.

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