MIAMI (CBSMiami) – ‘Life imitating art or art imitating life?’ was a question on the mind of Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani during her recent one-on-one with Mera Rubell, famed art collector and exhibitor.

The two women discussed art, life and much more.

The Rubell Family Collection was established in New York City in 1964 by Donald and Mera Rubell. Now one of the world’s largest privately owned contemporary art collections, this nonprofit venture is accessible to all.

In Miami, the collection is exhibited in a 45,000 square foot former drug and weapons confiscation center. The collection is open to the public.

The exhibits are constantly changing and expanding in Miami, as well as around the globe.

In addition to displaying famous and established artists, the Rubell Family Collection also exhibits and champions emerging artists.

The Rubell Collection is a family affair; son Jason, daughter Jennifer, father Don and mother Mera.

It all started 50 years ago when young newlyweds Don & Mera hung posters on their wall.

“Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse…yes they weren’t originals, but they inspired us. It was the beginning of enjoying and learning how to collect art. It was an appropriation collection of $1.50 posters. It was fun and special.”

Mera and her family are in the hotel business. The Albion, in South Beach, is one of their boutique properties. Giliani finds that the Albion, much like Mera, is smart and chic.

Besides work, art is Mera’s passion—it’s a labor of love.

Mera says she is grateful for the means to be able to pursue her passion and to share it with others.

“We’re working people who somehow found the time and the ambition to engage in this world of contemporary art. We’re very fortunate, indeed,” said Mera.

For Mera, priority number one is sharing; she works hard to bring the joy and brilliance of art to everyone—especially young people.

“We have thousands of kids that come through here, 20,000 that show up during Art Basel, we publish stories on art, we commission new works. We travel exhibitions that are seen by over a million people. It’s extremely rewarding and gratifying,” said Mera.

Mera’s shared her secret to balancing a busy life with Gilani—integrate and merge.

“Art is an important part of our life. I integrate it into what I do with my family, my husband, my son, my daughter and my five grandchildren,” Mera said.
As one may expect from someone so creative and bold, Mera has great style. A fun bonding moment for Gilani and Mera was when Gilani guessed the designer of Mera’s shirt, which was Issey Miyake.

For Mera, happiness is about touching others–life imitating art, indeed.

“This is a beautiful way to interact with the public and engage in a way that enriches our lives,” said Mera.

For more information on the Rubell Family Collection, visit


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