This year the fair returns to the Aqua Hotel in Miami Beach, where it was first launched in 2005. The boutique hotel was transformed into a hub for innovative contemporary art programming, represented by the 43 galleries exhibiting there this year.
After a break in 2009, during which the fair focused on its Wynwood location, this return to the original hotel venue where the fair first began in 2005 is welcomed by many.
Over the years, Aqua’s organizers Jaq Chartier and Dirk Park have made it their mission to promote progressive gelleries with strong emerging artist programs from the West Coast, as well as from the greater United States and abroad. This curatorial commitment is complemented by the unique art fair setting of a classic South Beach hotel with specious exhibition rooms that open onto a breezy, intimate courtyard. The surroundings have become a favorite gathering spot not only for relaxation during the busy Art Basel week, but also as a place to exchange and disseminate new contemporary art ideas. And with its close proximity to hte main Art Basel fair., Aqua Art Miami has consistently been ranked among the top satellite art events by collectors, artists, curators, critics and the art loving public alike.
The fair’s organizers are quite optimistic that with this year’s “return to form” and with the recent upswing of the art market, this will be one of the most successful incarnations of Aqua Art Miami during their six-year history of producing the event. Plus, it’s great to be back on the beach.
Photographs by Betty Alvarez