Miami Art Week 2015

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By Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

While Miami Art Week is as much about the art of the party as it is about taking in one-of-a-kind works from around the world, this year, gale force winds and torrential rain added a new dimension of challenges for those artfully negotiating a month’s worth of activities and events into every day and evening for a week straight. In addition to Art Basel and it dozens of satellite fairs, several elegant events elevated Miami Art Week this year, providing opportunities for engaging discussions, networking, dining, cocktailing, celebrity sightings and, of course, dancing.

The Grand Gala and Exhibition: Salone del Mobile

On Tuesday December 1, The Perez Art Museum (PAMM) hosted Salone del Mobile’s inaugural exhibition in the United States with a Grand Gala. More than 250 top industry leaders in design and architecture, VIPs and journalists were invited for a night of celebrating, dining and networking. Guests were treated to a gorgeous four-course dinner and white-glove service by Cipriani. In addition, visitors had the opportunity to visit the stunning installation of Salone del Mobile in Museum Park.  Salone del Mobile is the leading tradeshow in the world for industrial and furniture design, which takes place in Milan every year, hosting more than 300,000 visitors from 160+ countries annually. Salone del Mobile is the center of creativity and innovation for international design, showcasing the latest in furnishing and design.  The next edition of Salone del Mobile in Milan will take place from April 12-17 2016. 

Pérez Art Museum Miami Stewardship Dinner in Honor of Nari Ward Hosted by Town & Country and Chopard

Among the most elegant and fun events during Miami Art Week, was the intimate dinner for Pérez Art Museum Miami in honor of PAMM’s  special exhibition artist Nari Ward, hosted by Town & Country magazine and Chopard at the spectacular Beachcraft restaurant at the 1 Hotel South Beach on Wednesday, December 2. The conversations were as spirited as the guests, who discussed every topic imaginable, from politics, to art, to romance to shopping. Guests enjoyed an elegant cocktail reception and three course seated dinner, prepared by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio. Guests were welcomed by PAMM Board of Trustees President Jeff Krinsky and Chopard Co-President and Creative Director Caroline Scheufele. Notable attendees included Jennifer Bruno, Ralph Simons, Avery Travis, Hilary Koota, Darlene and Jorge Pérez, artist Sheela Gowda, Ranjana Kahn, Susie and Walid Wahab, and Debra and Dennis Scholl. After dinner, everyone gathered upstairs for dessert, coffee and even more cocktails. Several attendees purchased stunning Chopard pieces.

The Ridingers’ Art Basel Bash Presented By Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery and Shop.Com

Among the most anticipated events during Miami Art Week was the blow-out bash at JR and Loren Ridingers’ incredible, waterfront estate on Miami Beach, which closed out the week in style.  The Ridingers, along with daughter, Amber Ridinger-McLaughlin, son-in-law, Duane McLaughlin and Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim hosted the most exclusive art party on Saturday, December 5, featuring works from RETNA and a preview of Marchesa’s 2016 spring collection by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig.

Stylish guests, none the worse for wear despite a long week of rainstorms and art events, danced until morning under the stars to music by DJ Cassidy, and special performances by Fat Joe, Omarion and Maxwell, while indulging in Tequila Herradura cocktails and Perrier-Jouet champagne.  In addition, Aston Martin showcased the track-only supercar, the Vulcan and the Lagonda “the finest of fast cars.”

The highlight of the evening was RETNA’s exclusive unveiling of his newest works, for which the artist employs different mediums on stainless steel mirrors and sculptures.  Some of his canvas works include diamond dust, while others are matte, making each piece unique with his signature hieroglyphics encoded within the text.

Notable attendees included RETNA, Eva Longoria and Jose Baston; Russell Simmons, Maxwell, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, Fat Joe, Omarion and Rohan Marley.

Russell & Danny Simmons and Rosario Dawson host Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Finale

An illustrious mix of celebrities, musicians, socialites, fashion designers and art influencers attended the invitation-only Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series finale event at the Beach Tent at Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel, on Friday, December 4. The guest list included Rosario Dawson, Solange Knowles and celebrity stylist Ty Hunter; recording artists: Miguel and Teyana Taylor; supermodels: Shaun Ross, Garrett Neff,  and Lady Victoria Hervey; BK The Artist; TK Wonder and Cipriana Quann, DJ Cassidy, and Patrick Janelle.  Attendees sipped artfully crafted BOMBAY SAPPHIRE cocktails while dancing to music spun by DJ Kitty Cash.

Now in its sixth year, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series, an annual collaboration with Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, searches nationwide for the most talented emerging visual artists. Along with Grand Finale Winner Aron Belka, two other artists were selected (out of thousands of applicants) among the 12 finalists at the party: Shawn Warren from Chicago and People’s Choice Becky Rosa from Miami. For the second year in a row, all three of the top artists will have the unique opportunity to create a largescale mural in each of their hometowns next spring, as part of the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Mural Arts Project. The Grand Prize winner will also receive a solo exhibit at SCOPE NYC in March 2016.

Russell Simmons addressed the finalists: “Over the last six years, we’ve succeeded in discovering some truly remarkable talent in partnership with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, and I’m very proud of that. This year, for the very first time, we’re honored to have the opportunity to introduce my friend, actress and social activist Rosario Dawson to our program, who will serve as a Creative Mentor for the program. We continue to discover the most talented generations of visual artists, and we are very excited to continue working with our partners BOMBAY SAPPHIRE to discover and shine a light on their creativity and imagination. It’s been a successful six years, and we’re just getting started!”

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