The Arsht Center Celebrates 5 Years

HL: The arrival of Art Basel in 2002 and the opening of the Arsht Center in 2006 were both major milestones in the city’s evolution into a global arts capital. In your opinion, what are some other major milestones in this transformation? What do you think will be the next one?

ME: Other milestones include the development of Wynwood into an international arts destination that is home to major arts galleries. It will raise the profile of Miami’s arts scene both nationally and internationally and also increase the local interest in the arts. What’s coming next: The new Miami Art Museum in downtown Miami, the expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, and the Frank Gehry-designed New World Symphony building in Miami Beach.

HL: What will the Arsht Center be doing for Art Basel / Miami Art Week 2010?

ME: For starters, we’ll be presenting a very limited intimate run of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Legacy Tour. This will be a very unique program taking place in a 360-degree setting on the stage of the Sanford & Delores Ziff Ballet Opera House. We’ll also be presenting South Beach Babylon, a new play by Michael McKeever that explores the lives of five South Beach artists in the weeks leading up to Art Basel. Lastly, the walls of our buildings will be displaying artworks on loan from Lincoln Center in New York City. It’s an exciting partnership that marries the performing arts and the visual arts in one setting—the Arsht Center.

HL: Last year’s Art Basel was more subdued than years past, in terms of both sales and events. Any predictions for this year?

ME: I believe the events this year will be terrific; the arts exhibited will be stimulating, and, because the galleries have learned that we are in difficult economic times, I expect sales to be improve—not back to pre-recession times but that the prices will be sensible.

HL: What’s your favorite aspect of Miami Art Week?

ME: I enjoy walking around Art Basel and talking to the artists, collectors, and gallerists, as well as attending the great parties. This year, I am most looking forward to seeing the new art displayed all over town. I try to hit all of the fairs and exhibits, at least until I run out of time!