New Mayor Welcomes Art Basel to Miami Beach

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Matti Bower makes culture and arts a priority in Miami Beach.

Newly sworn in Miami Beach Mayor, Matti Herrera Bower, was quick to welcome Art Basel to Miami Beach in the coming week. The city's first Hispanic Mayor is fully committed to the The American counterpart to the uber-famous Art Basel show in Switzerland.

"Thousands of people will be descending upon Miami Beach to be part of this internationally recognized event," commented Bower. But the new Mayor also understands Art Basel's importance in propelling Miami Beach to become one of the premiere arts and cultural destinations year round. "The art scene in Miami is truly a magnificent aspect of our glorious city."

Bower should know. She has been instrumental when it comes to the preservation of historic art deco buildings in the city. Miami Beach's Art Deco District is the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world and comprises hundreds of hotels, apartments and other structures
erected between 1923 and 1943. Mediterranean, Streamline Moderne and Art Deco are all represented in the District.

Herrera Bower hopes to foster the arts in Miami Beach through its educational system.

"Investing in our city's youth will play a key role in defining Miami Beach's ongoing international cultural role," says Herrera Bower, who got started in politics after joining the PTA. More registered voters under the age of 30 came out to vote for Herrera Bower than in any previous Miami Beach election, something the new Mayor has expressed great appreciation for.    

Not surprisingly, many in the local art community were among Matti Bower's most ardent upporters including: Peter Saile, an art collector and expert in art authenticity issues and Managing Director of Arttrust Masters, Inc, Christopher Costigan, whose family helped co-found the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Kevin M. Rivera, an art financing expert.

Bower has been very supportive of the efforts of more than 150 residents, students and schools who support the development of a Sculpture Park at the Altos Del Mar Park in Miami Beach's blossoming North Beach section. The sculpture park is currently being designed by the well known firm Arquitectonica, Miami. The project will encompass sculptures from established artists from the 19th century to today, and there will be an art historian teaching about sculpture and the public will use the property for other functions as weddings, small concerts and much more. Students can earn their required credits at the future Altos Del Mar Park, should it be developed as a sculpture park.

Peter Saile believes that Miami Beach is well on its way to become an established art center with more art dealers and art collectors and projects like the Arquitectonica designed Altos Del Mar Sculpture Park in Miami Beach will elevate Miami to a new level of cultural recognition in the eyes of the world. Art Basel has added to the economic well being of the city and has helped local and collectors from all over America and the world to be more active in developing their collections.

Since its inception, Art Basel has expanded events throughout Miami Beach.

"Everybody needs to come out and experience this event!" proclaimed the new Mayor.

Festivities and fairs surrounding Art Basel run between December 4 thru 9. 200 galleries will be represented at the Miami Beach Convention Center December 6 thru 9.

About Mayor Matti Bower's Iniative and Commitments to Miami Beach:
During Matti Bower's eight years on the City of Miami Beach Commission, the City has enjoyed an increased quality of life and enhanced economic well-being. Born in Cuba, Mayor Bower has resided with her husband Richard Bower in Miami Beach for more than 30 years. Committed to historic preservation, Mayor Bower as then Commissioner has chaired the Art Deco Weekend festival, and is a past member of the Miami Design Preservation Board of Directors. In addition, she has worked tirelessly to help register the Art Deco District on the National Register for Historic Places. Matti Bower is the first Hispanic and first female Mayor of Miami Beach.

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CHRISTOPHER COSTIGAN

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