Renovation of ABMB Venue Includes $5 Million for Art

Miami Beach Convention Center Photo: Jeff Herron

As part of a $500 million campaign to renovate the Miami Beach Convention Center, home to Art Basel in Miami Beach (ABMB), the Art Newspaper reports that $5 million will be dedicated to commissioning art that will be placed both in and around the convention center, possibly including a new green space next to the main building. The artworks will be selected by the Art in Public Places Fund, though the selection process, as well as the size, type, or scale of the art has yet to be determined.

Of course, the real question on everyone’s mind is how the major fair will be impacted by construction to its venue, which is expected to last for three years, beginning in September 2015. While the Miami Herald reported that Art Basel’s organizers recently rejected a proposal to hold ABMB in two halls, as opposed to the traditional four, a spokesperson for Art Basel claims they were never offered a two-hall proposal.

Art Basel director Marc Spiegler added, “They have given us every indication that the smooth operation of the show is of paramount importance to them and we will be consulted at every stage of the process.”

Maria Hernandez, the capital projects adviser to the city manager echoed this collaborative sentiment, stating that the construction will be a “phased process” that will be planned in coordination with the fair, and that all four halls will remain open. Given that Art Basel is considered by many to be the city’s premier cultural event, bringing in millions for the local economy each year, we’re not surprised the city is so keen to cooperate.


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