Three visionary women in the arts will be recognized this week for their important contributions in shaping the cultural landscape of Miami.
Abigail DeVille during the installation of Sarcophagus Blue, 2017, at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at Harvard University for last summer’s exhibition “Harlem: Found Ways.”
Three female forces integral to the effort to create an impressive new home for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami will be honored, shortly after the museum’s December 1 opening, at the eighth annual Art Basel magazine Women in Arts luncheon: Irma Braman, Ellen Salpeter and Abigail DeVille.
When Art Basel debuted in Miami Beach 16 years ago, Braman, a legendary art collector and a chair of the ICA’s board of trustees, never imagined that a pioneering museum committed to innovative new work would soon also be part of her local art landscape. “The fair has gone beyond anyone’s expectations,” says Braman, adding that, as a result, the Miami community is ready for this kind of museum. Not only did she and her husband, Norman, fund the construction, but she has also spearheaded a capital campaign with Salpeter, the ICA’s director, to ensure the institution’s sustainability, an effort that includes free admission and a variety of classes and programming.
Irma Braman and Ellen Salpeter in front of the new Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.
Salpeter has been equally hands-on in pursuing the museum’s mission of supporting young, experimental artists, including DeVille, who is creating a site-specific sculpture for the inaugural exhibition. DeVille describes the piece, which will be in the museum’s garden, as “mindful of the immigrant experiences and clashes of the African diaspora that occur daily in Miami.”
“The goal is to have the community talking about art and ideas all the time,” says Salpeter about the museum. “We are here 52 weeks a year, not just during Art Basel.”