« Art Basel 2015: Littlest Sister gives Female Artists a Bigger Voice | Main | Art Basel 2015: Bacardi and Swizz Beatz bring the baddest 3-day party with Alicia Keys and Wiz Khalifa »

Art Basel 2015: Littlest Sister Panel on Making Space for Artists

Sister-Artsts & Space Panel.JPG

Panelists at the Art, Space and Development panel at Littlest Sister Art Fair on Monday

A panel on art, space and development at Spinello Projects’ Littlest Sister mini-art fair Monday drew a full house to the Little River space and kicked off a week of discussions on art world topics.

The panel of female art heavyweights, included art advisor Lisa Austin; several women who advise Miami’s biggest developers on their art collections and enterprises, including Tiffany Chestler, curator of the Craig Robins Collection and Patricia Garcia-Velez Hanna, art director of Jorge Perez’ Related Group; Brandi Reddick, curator of Miami-Dade Art in Public Places. Avra
Jain, the developer responsible for bringing MiMo flagship the Vagabond Hotel back to fashionable life, who is now a force behind the gentrification of Little River, an industrial warehouse area west of North Miami Avenue, was also there.

Despite the title, moderator Eva Franch I Gilabert, who said she was unfamiliar with Miami,
branched off into discussions of branding, empowerment, and what Miami wanted. A question
about Miami’s lack of central planning (no one there seemed aware of Miami 21) prompted this
response from Austin.

“In a perfect world we would have artists, architects, designers, environmentalists and maybe social justice activists come together,” to create plans to confront gentrification and sea
level rise.

Art in Public Places’ Reddick talked of a project to use art to help remake Opa-Locka’s notorious Triangle neighborhood, and of the Underline, a park which would run underneath the Metrorail.

“My mission is to create a better quality of life for Miami, so for every commission I try to have something to do with Miami, location, culture, an artist from Miami,” Reddick said. “Having people interact with the art to me is a measure of success.”

Reddick talked about affordable housing and home loans tailored to artists’ erratic incomes as partial solutions to the accelerating cycle of gentrification that has priced artists out of South Beach, the Design District, Wynwood, and Downtown Miami.

Jain, who with her partner has bought 100,000 square feet of property in Little River, being talked about as the next artist enclave, seemed confident that developers could handle this one on their own.

“In New York I can buy a building, in Miami I can buy a neighborhood and we can really effect change,” Jain said. “Artists will be your best tenants. You want them to own. You want them to stay.”

Jordan Levin
Arts & entertainment writer/music and dance critic
Miami Herald
twitter: @jordanglevin