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MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – South Florida is at the center of the art world for the next few days as Art Basel, the largest international art show in this country, opens to the public on Thursday.

The international art show in Miami Beach is the American sister event of Art Basel in Switzerland.

Art Basel Miami Beach organizers chose more than 250 galleries to show during the fair. The exhibiting galleries are among the world’s most respected art dealers, offering exceptional pieces by both renowned artists and cutting-edge newcomers. The event kicks off for VIPs on Wednesday and opens to the public on Thursday finally wrapping up on Sunday.

Forty thousand people came through the doors last year and this year the largest collection of contemporary art from 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries will be featured.

There are many exhibits to see and hear, including amazing sculptures, video art, photography, paintings, everything in between, CBS 4’s Lisa Petrillo reported.

The pavilion uses two types of rope, reflective and phosphorescent, to create a diverse and interactive environment of open-air structures that sway and glow in the night. The Oceanfront at Collins Park, between 21st and 22nd Streets is free and open to the public from 6pm to midnight.

ArtNexus will be providing daily tours hosted by art critics. Tours are available both in English and Spanish. Each lasts about an hour and costs $20 per person.’

Marvin Friedman, an art buyer, said although there are not many ‘deals’ the event gives people the chance to see art from around the world.

“It’s a great opportunity to see the great dealers and the great artists and the great things that are being done all over the world all in one place,” he said.

Art buyer Dana Slatkin said the event also brings people together.

“It is pretty cool,” she said. “Art brings people together. It is neat to see everyone here doing the same thing. Looking at great art. Seeing all of the artist expressions of their work.”

Art Basel Miami Beach will host a nightly program at the Oceanfront. Organized by Creative Times artists will perform in a pavilion designed by Phu Hoang Office and Rachely Rotem Studio.


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