Miami Beach hotels showcase local talent during Art Basel fair

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No Vacancy—an annual juried exhibition jointly organised by the City of Miami Beach and the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) since 2020—returns this month. With 12 new commissions installed in hotels spread throughout Miami Beach, the 2022 edition is the biggest yet, and with 11 of the artists involved based in Florida, it is also a more locally-minded affair.

“The programme has continued to organically grow,” says Brandi Reddick, who oversees the public art programme of the City of Miami Beach. “This year, we’ve grown to 12 hotel properties, and what I love most about the hotels is that they vary from the most luxurious, five-star properties like Faena to local gems like the International Inn.”

Following open-call submissions, each of the dozen selected artists received a $10,000 stipend to bring their project to fruition, and so long as they have the hotel management’s approval, there is no restriction as to where on the premises the artists can install their work.

Magnus Sodamin’s installation, for example, will involve a billboard placed in front of Loews Hotel, while a piece by Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares will be exhibited beachside at the Faena. Past years have seen installations in lobbies, hotel rooms, and more.

“The hotels allow artists to take over their public spaces, they work with the artists, they provide services, they help the artists with installation, they even work with the artists to have receptions for the artworks,” Reddick says. “They have been wonderful partners for this programme.”

“Our main economic force in Miami Beach is tourism, we’re a very tourist-driven economy, and our hotels are very popular gathering spaces here. Even as a resident, when I get together with friends or have people in town, it’s hotel restaurants and lobbies where we go to eat and drink. So we wanted to bring our hospitality industry and merge it with our arts industry,” Reddick adds.

“The public art programme at the city of Miami Beach is largely geared towards internationally renowned artists, so it’s nice to give our local artists—some of whom are more up-and-coming—a platform where they’re not only working with the city but showcasing their work on an international level,” she says. “And in all honesty it’s my favourite programme we do here.”

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