Maria Napoles and The Red Dot Art Fair #ArtBasel
“I’m living my dream…I’m doing what I love and I’m part of Miami’s passion for the arts…” say Maria Napoles to her son who watches her energy and passion for life with utter amazement.
Article & photo by Kristen Lacayo
Maria A. Napoles is a Miami entrepreneur who has devoted her life to the arts. Born in Cuba and leaving her family behind during the historical “Peter Pan Flight” era, Maria lived in Puerto Rico for 10 years and was part of the Executive Management Team at Volkswagen of Americas before moving to Miami in 1972.
As a life-time avid art lover, Maria perused the art museums & local galleries satisfying her love of the arts. After 7 years of managing ARTE AL DIA, an international art magazine and later as the Executive Director of the longest annual Latin American art fair in Miami, Maria decided to put her many years of business and her love for the arts to grow a business and her passion. In 2008, Maria launched Maria’s Enterprises of South Florida and subsequently dba Latin American Art Pavilion and dba Maria’s Art Momentum Gallery and was appointed by the Mayor of Miami as Honorary Member of Miami’s Arts & Entertainment Council for the City of Miami.
2013 marks Maria’s inaugural launch of both the Latin American Art Pavilion and the Maria’s Art Momentum Gallery at the Red Dot Art Fair during Art Basel Miami Beach. Her handpicked artists and art galleries represent a slice of Latin America’s greatest artists as well as artists from around the world
For Art Basel, Miami– Red Dot Art Fair’s prime location adjacent to Art Miami, Art Context, Miami Projects and Spectrum makes Midtown and Wynwood the most visited areas which run concurrent and successful satellite art fairs during Art Basel Miami Beach. We are also proud to announce that Museo Vault, is sponsoring this event.
Napoles has plenty of goals for 2014. She is working with the City of Miami, and the Arts & Entertainment Council to project the Latin American Art Pavilion not only during Art Basel but eventually have sisters cities for the art in Latin American . Not only to give an opportunity to the latin american artists, projects and institutions to come to Miami during Art Basel but develop a cultural interchange within different Countries.
At this moment we are trying to pass a link with a museum in Sao Paulo, that’s one of our main goals we have going on now. “I always call myself WE, because we have a platform, and we have a curator (Silvia Medina).” Silvia Medina was born in Cuba, and directed the prestigious Sala Mendoza in Caracas, Venezuela. From Venezuela she went to Barcelona and then came to Miami. Between both Medina and Napoles they have many years of experience within the Latin American Arts.
Napoles’s expansive background and many years with the Art Fair industry, the experience she gained has allowed her to develop a business side of the arts. Her expertise is Art Business. Napoles strongly believes in art projects that help artists to create a market. She is also a firm believer in marketing and promotion. They did a very strong campaign for Red Dot this year. Facebook being one huge tool for them, they made a page with all the participating artists. A photo of the artists, along with a short paragraph of what motivated them to do their art. Napoles believes that there is a connection between the brain, the soul, and the hand. Artists always have a story to tell, and what really moved them emotionally to help them create art. Every single artist has a different concept of how they want to express their art.
Your feelings on Wynwood:
“ By coincidental issues of my life” with working for the ARTE AL DIA, the international art magazine, I met David Lombardi. We clicked at the first glance, he’s a talented, aggressive business man. I have great respect for what he has done. He is a low profile individual. Aside from his talents as a businessman, he’s very sensitive to the artist community. It doesn’t matter to him if the artist is from a very important community, or doesn’t have a great education. Lombardi just cares for the artists. In a very low profile way, he has helped many artists. At the very beginning of it all, Wynwood was a very dangerous area! Lombardi provided a place for artists to live, and work. I’m seeing him and Wynwood itself build up to something great! He has bought art throughout the years to this area, buying art to artists and promoting them. I admire how much he has helped the community economically. Which is also my goal.”