Installation detail from Dot Fiftyone Gallery, Wynwood, Miami.
Collaboration breeds great things. Two are undoubtedly better than one, and when you get a group of knowledgeable, professional and passionate individuals to join forces for the sake of art, the results can be powerful and profound.
That is the basis of the newly formed Miami Art Dealers Association (MADA), launched late November 2010 in the Wynwood Arts District with the initial participation of approximately 20 qualified art dealers and co-sponsored by the esteemed and influential Lee Ann Lester, Founder of Art Miami.
MADA launches at a time when Miami has captured the interest of an international art savvy audience and continues to gain momentum. Yet, it has also seen a number of art-related businesses come and go, victims of a fickle market; and an inconsistent year-round demand forces many galleries to open only six to eight months out of the year.
There’s no doubt that Miami has, and continues to struggle with its identity as a major art center. Stepping up to this branding challenge is one of the first orders of business for the association.
According to Board Secretary Dorothy Long, owner of Chelsea Art Gallery. “In the first six to twelve months, we would like to develop a strong presence in the South Florida arts community, initiate an integrated marketing campaign, and provide lectures, workshops, and educational opportunities for collectors, educators, and students by MADA dealers”.
Since MADA’s launch, many community players throughout South Florida have expressed interest; from collectors, insurance companies, appraisers, gallery owners and art agents. “We’ve received numerous letters of interest,” remarks President of the Board Isaac Perelman, of Dot Fiftyone Gallery in Wynwood.
“There’s no denying the need for area art galleries to unite and organize. The diverse group of dealers involved agree that we need to work together,” said Perelman. “Our approach will be very democratic, ensuring initiatives and campaigns are produced via consensus.”
To date, the association is comprised of a varied list of professional dealers who have a common link — a long-term commitment to Miami. Some are veterans of the art industry, like Bernice Steinbaum and Diana Lowenstein, others are young and cutting-edge, like Eric Charest-Weinberg and Anthony Spinello, and others are new to the area like Nina Torres. All want to see the arts community flourish.
As of the end of 2010, galleries involved included Dot Fiftyone Gallery, Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Calix Gustav Gallery, Gallery Diet, Dina Mitrani Gallery, Chelsea Art Gallery, Gallery I/D, Kelley Roy Gallery, Pan Art Projects, Zadok Art Gallery, Galerie Helene Lamarque, Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art and Hardcore Art Contemporary Space.
Another reason the association is getting so much traction is quite simply because “this is the only city of its size that does not have a dealers’ association,” quips Lee Ann Lester. Given the strong positive response, there is little doubt that MADA fills a critical void.
The first meeting of 2011 for the newly minted MADA is scheduled for late February. In the interim, MADA will be hosting a “Knowledge Desk” at the Miami International Art Fair (MIA) from January 14-17, where MADA members will be available to take clients on private tours of the fair[.]
Those interested in joining the association are encouraged to send an email to email@example.com. The annual membership fee is $200.
This post was contributed by Frances Alban.