As part of their Art Basel week experience, some Art + Art History students participated in the behind-the-scenes aspect of the art fairs.
Gardner Cole Miller, Master of Fine Arts candidate helped represent Linn Lühn, from Düsseldorf, Germany at the NADA Miami Beach fair, held by the New Art Dealers Alliance. After hearing about this opportunity through the Art + Art History Department, Miller attended the fair during the Art Basel week and assisted Linn Lühn with running the art gallery’s booth.
Miller said that his experience with Linn Lühn was professionally and personally beneficial. “I certainly gained quite a lot of valuable experience in the fast-paced world of art fair dealing [and] presentation, as well as [in] handling potential clients and collectors. Things went so well, in fact, that Ms. Lühn and I continue to keep in touch, and will be making plans to work together again next year.”
Sofia Dotta, double-major Bachelor of Fine Arts student also involved herself in the festivities of the Art Basel weekend. Dotta, who is studying for both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History, worked at Art Basel-Miami Beach at the Miami Convention Center. She helped run the booth for Berlin-based gallery Arratia Beer. She said she enjoyed learning about the functions of such a prominent art fair like Art Basel-Miami Beach. “Seeing from day one all the galleries setting up their booth, problem solving and getting ready for the ‘show’ was very insightful,” said Dotta. “Also, being on the other side, and seeing how people interact with each other and the artwork was fascinating.”
Dotta said that her education at Florida International University has prepared her for such an opportunity at the most popular art fair in the world. “FIU has helped me to be more open to take any opportunities related to my majors,” said Dotta. “…[T]he best way of learning [happens] when you are hands-on [with] something that you are interested in, and outside [of] campus. It gives you another perspective.”
Adria Llerena (BFA ’13) worked at SCOPE Miami Beach during the Art Basel week and during her last semester as a student at FIU. Just before she would walk in her cap and gown at commencement, Llerena got the opportunity to work at one of the most well-known art fairs in the world.
Llerena worked as an informant for SCOPE Miami Beach, and greeted tourists and locals at the fair’s welcome tents. Llerena answered any questions for visitors about the art fair and other Art Basel events, and assisted the fair’s offices with its tasks. Llerena said, “It was very busy, but it was great being able to have a firsthand look at the artwork and make connections with the artists and galleries after my shift.” Working at SCOPE Miami Beach is an experience she will remember as she continues onto graduate school. Llerena is hoping to start soon on a Master of Fine Arts. During her time at Florida International University, she was the president of the FIU Fine Arts Student Association and was a student in the Honors College.