Artist Charles Molina represented by Heidi Barnes on the side of a boat in Miami waters
ON THE HORIZON OF CUBE ART FAIR’S FOURTH EDITION IN MIAMI, THE WORLD STOPPED. INSTEAD OF GIVING UP, THE TEAM BEHIND THE EVENT FOUND A NEW WAY TO KEEP ART, HOPE AND INSPIRATION ALIVE.
A billboard featuring photography by Griet van Malderen presented over Miami streets at dusk
“We can’t change the outcome of the pandemic, but we wanted to do our part to inspire others,” says Gregoire Vogelsang, gallery owner of the eponymous Vogelsang Gallery and founder of Cube Art Fair. When Vogelsang started the Cube Art Fair in Brussels back in 2016, he never could have imagined what the world would look like now. After many successful editions in Brussels and New York in the past, it had seemed that the fair had successfully created a network of artists, gallerists and collectors on both sides of the Atlantic—offering a unique platform for artists to exhibit their work and build strong relationships with collectors and enthusiasts through an extensive and curated program of art-focused events. “The fair started in Brussels as the ‘American Art Fair of Brussels,’ aimed at bringing the best of American art to the European capital,” says Vogelsang. “We have since evolved our fair to feature an international selection of artists while maintaining the same spirit.” This past December 2020, Cube Art Fair was set to debut its in-person show Miami, but as the pandemic raged on, cancellation was imminent. Alongside other cultural institutions and art fairs like Art Basel, Cube Art Fair, as it was originally planned, was shuttered. But Vogelsang and his team weren’t satisfied with throwing in the towel. “We have to adapt to this new reality,” says Vogelsang. He continues, “Cube Art Fair decided to meet the public in the only place where the public could still continue to safely go… the streets.” After being locked down, the streets became a symbol of liberty; the streets are still accessible and a place where, albeit masked up, people will continue to circulate.
A close-up of New York-based artist Gregg Emery’s work “Passage” on a Miami billboard.
From this, the #StayCreative campaign was born—the first-ever art fair taking the form of a wide billboard campaign in Miami during Art Basel week. While many other art events replaced a physical event with online viewing rooms, Vogelsang decided to support the artist community in a different way—through exposure and visual impact. “The streets of Miami became the aisles of the art fair, and the city’s entire population is now visitors and can experience the creativity of the artists,” says Vogelsang. The campaign in Miami consists of 50 large billboards and kiosks in the Design District, Wynwood, Downtown and even on the side of large boats coming in and out of Miami’s waterways. “Our main mission was to show that the creativity of artists doesn’t cease despite the difficult circumstances and to give some hope.” This month, to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, Cube Art Fair’s billboards in Miami will feature exclusively female artists to provide an additional platform to express themselves and overall fill a giant hole left in Miami’s art community with the loss of all artistic events.
Owner of Vogelsang Gallery and founder of Cube Art Fair Gregoire Vogelsang in front of a 1985 piece by Frank Stella
Photography by: Billboard photos by Erik Galindo and Fernando Galligani; Gregoire Vogelsang photo by Fabrice Debatty