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Curated by Christine “Cricket” Taplin, the Sagamore hotel's art collection-on permanent display all year long-has evolved over the past 17 years to include more than 500 pieces from artists around the world.
For Art Basel Miami Beach 2008, the property expanded its art foundation to draw the interest of a larger group of art enthusiasts. From December 1 to 6, hotel guests and the general public could peruse the permanent collection, as well as a handful of Basel-specific works on display throughout the Collins Avenue property.
One of highlights included the “The Stairwell Project,” which took advantage of an untapped space at the hotel. Off the main exhibit space, guests were encouraged to take the stairs to see the six contemporary artists-both students and recent graduates-from Miami's New World School of the Arts who joined forces to create one collaborative piece in the vertical six-story gallery.
Over a stretch of sand directly behind the hotel, Swiss artist Olaf Breuning constructed a 150-ton contemporary sand sculpture. The sphinx sculpture, on 24-hour display and lit by tiki torches at night, was the first of Breuning's on-site projects, which was constructed during the week leading up to Art Basel. In a related work, Breuning also created an absurdist mural in the hotel lobby.
On Saturday, the Sagamore welcomed several hundred guests for their annual Art Basel brunch. Hosted by the Taplins (the owners of the hotel), the tradition continued with light fare from Epicure Events and a book signing by Martin Z. Margulies, with all proceeds from the book benefiting the Lotus House, a local homeless shelter in Miami.
Additionally, the hotel featured several ongoing art video installations throughout the property and in the outdoor video garden.