WYNWOOD (CBS4)- Art Basel Miami Beach is in full swing and one family, who has one of the largest collections, is debuting more of their art during this week’s art showings.

Jason Rubell, 42, didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. He said he grew up with an appreciation for art, all thanks to his parents Don and Mera, who had a passion for it. The family started collecting artists’ works they would spot just outside their small apartment in Greenwich Village in New York.

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“We lived in the city surrounded by artists always a part of our life and our story,” Rubell.

It’s a story that ends with the Rubell family owning one of the largest private collections of contemporary art in the world. After keeping their much loved pieces in storage for years the family moved to Miami, and in the early 90s bought a 40,000 square-foot space in Wynwood.

“Our mission is to show what we own and make it accessible to the public,” Rubell said.

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The Rubell Collection is constantly expanding. Every year a new exhibit is installed and debuts during Art Basel week. Everyone in the family is involved. While Jason and his wife Michelle chat with collectors, his sister Jennifer shows off her “Art is Food” installation complete with homemade yogurt and honey dripping from the ceiling.

“Art Basel basically shows us the power of culture” said Rubell. “What culture can do for a city and how Miami can grow up in side of all this and how culture can help Miami evolve.”

For many, contemporary art can be hard to understand, but for Rubell, appreciating art, even art you don’t like,  is about letting go.

“I think openness is it” said Rubell. “The beauty of art… it takes us to places you’re not comfortable going.  I think for me that’s the most meaningful part. You don’t need the answer right away. You think about the answers over time.”

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The important message Rubell said he would like to get out is that even though Art Basel is here just one week a year they are open year round doing their best to keep the cultural arts thriving here in South Florida.

Lisa Petrillo