Arts & Culture » Visual Arts

Highbrow lowdown

Orlando artists and arts professionals party down south at Art Basel Miami Beach


  • Patricia Lois Nuss

Art Basel Miami Beach is the U.S. outpost and younger, more fabulous offshoot of a longstanding art expo based in Switzerland. In its 10 years in Miami, the contemporary art festival has surpassed its staid Swiss sibling as international party bait – the Beautiful People pour into sunny Florida every December for a chance to show off the latest resort wear, soak in some sea air, and maybe snap up a trendy objet or two.

For Orlando art lovers, it’s an annual chance to swim in the global art scene and an irresistibly short road trip rolled into one long weekend. We snapped a few (just a few!) locals as they took in the sights – both at the official exhibition in the Miami Beach Convention Center and the many satellite fairs.

The big buildup: Alya Poplawsky of Winter Park's A/K Art Consulting eyes an architectural acrylic sculpture.

Just browsing: Poplawsky and Katy Bakker, co-directors of A/K Art Consulting, scout new work for clients.

Wild style: Painter Janae Corrado, a UCF MFA graduate and adjunct art instructor at Valencia College, and Scott Hall, UCF professor and sound installation artist, take in one of Kehinde Wiley’s cross-cultural mashups.

Ultra lounger: University of Central Florida alum and Gavlak Gallery co-owner Dana Funaro (in little black dress) at Gavlak’s exhibitor space in ABMB’s Art Nova section. The unidentified man is cuddling up on a piece by Orly Genger.

Seeing red: Orlando photographer Heather Comparetto examines an LED-backlit photo. She’s considering using the method in her 2012 thesis exhibit.

Step into liquid: Gilbert Gomez and Benjamin Collins, owners of Twelve21 Gallery and partners in the Laughing Samurai creative agency, join their new Twelve21 blogger Comparetto at the Aqua Art Miami fair, another satellite exhibition.

Light sensitive: Photographer Sherri Nienass visits the Tandem Press booth at the INK Miami Art Fair. INK is one of several satellite art events that have sprung up to take advantage of Art Basel’s influx of visitors.

Starry-eyed: Orlando artist and graphic designer Greg Leibowitz and Patrick Kahn, founder and producer of the Snap! Orlando photography fair, discuss an intricately collaged photograph by Angelo Musco.

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