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By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – As Art Basel Miami Beach enters its 18th year, the City of Miami Beach announced a plan to deepen its commitment to contemporary art and its relationship with Art Basel, by establishing a new acquisition program for purchasing a work of art at the fair.

The City of Miami Beach plans to strengthen connection with Art Basel through public art purchase program, Miami Beach, Miami, Florida, News
The City of Miami Beach plans to strengthen connection with Art Basel through public art purchase program, photo courtesy of Art Basel.

The Legacy Purchase Program, under the city’s Art in Public Places (AiPP) division, will allow residents to be involved in the acquisition of a world-class art piece for the municipality’s public collection.

“We look forward to the city’s strategic expansion of our current public art collection by leveraging Art Basel’s ability to attract exceptional art and allowing our residents to be a part of the excitement,” said City Manager Jimmy Morales.

Artwork that could be considered includes painting, photography, sculpture, video and installation-based works. The Legacy Program is funded from the city’s AiPP fund which is dedicated to the purchase of public art, with a limit of up to $100,000 from the AiPP that includes the purchase, commission and all other associated fees.

Maintenance and conservation of the piece will fall under Art in Public Places Fund 147 and the city’s AiPP guidelines. These funds have been designated to purchase first-rate works of art, so that is exactly what the Tourism and Culture department has set out to do.

“The city’s curatorial vision is to pursue artwork that is reflective of our community, echoes artistic excellence, is the work of a nationally and/or internationally recognized artist, and is a valuable addition to the Art in Public Places collection,” said Director of Tourism & Culture Matt Kenny.

Adding, “It is important that we include the residents — to allow them to be a part of the excitement of a world-class art fair and to include their voices in what piece of art becomes a part of their permanent public collection.”

Galleries taking part in the Nova and Positions sectors of the 2019 fair will receive a “Call to Artists” from the City of Miami Beach and Art Basel to submit up to two works that meet the Legacy Program’s curatorial vision and guidelines. From those submissions, the city’s AiPP Committee will select six artworks to view in person at Art Basel Miami Beach on Wednesday, December 4th.

The 18th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach arrives from December 5th to December 8th, Miami Beach, Miami, Florida, News
The 18th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach arrives from December 5th to December 8th, press photo.

Following this viewing, the AiPP Committee will select three works of art to put to a public vote online. Voting will be open from approximately 8PM on Wednesday, December 4th until Thursday, December 5th at 8PM. The work of art with the most votes will be announced on Friday, December 6th and will be acquired by the city on that same day.

The artwork will be displayed within a dedicated, publicly accessible area of the Miami Beach Convention Center or the surrounding City’s Civic and Cultural District (if the work determines an outdoor location).

“We’re delighted to strengthen our relationship with the city through the new Legacy Program, which will give emerging artists from our Nova and Positions sectors the possibility of establishing a permanent home here, for residents and visitors to enjoy long after the fair closes in December,” said Noah Horowitz, Art Basel’s Director Americas.

The city’s Art in Public Places collection includes works by renowned artists such as Franz Ackermann, Elmgreen & Dragset, Dan Graham, Ellen Harvey, Joseph Kosuth, Sarah Morris, Joep van Lieshout, and Tobias Rehberger, among others.

The 18th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach arrives from December 5th to December 8th, as the cornerstone event of Miami Art Week. The fair, which originated in Basel, Switzerland, has its main official Art Basel exhibition at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) in South Beach.

For more information about the award and process see the October 30th City of Miami Beach memorandum.

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