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Merrill Lynch arteaméricas Opens in Miami
Fernando Botero, La Madre Superiora en las Rocas, 1996. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Leon Tovar Gallery, New York, NY.

MIAMI, FLORIDA.- Merrill Lynch arteaméricas, the art fair devoted exclusively to art from Latin America, returns to Miami for its third year, from April 7 through April 11, 2005, at the Coconut Grove Convention Center, Miami, Fla. In less than three years, Merrill Lynch arteaméricas has become the premier fair of art from Latin America. In 2005, it features 50 of the best galleries from 18 countries including the U.S., Canada, Spain, France, and, of course, the nations of Latin America. The fair showcases works of more than 200 artists – from renowned masters to contemporary and emerging artists.
As evidenced by recent auctions in New York and Europe, art from Latin America has gained appreciated value and popularity.

Following the success of its debut event in 2003, in 2004, arteaméricas exceeded all expectations with outstanding exhibits, a diverse audience, and excellent sales. Art collectors were pleasantly surprised to have a chance to view works from all over the continent in one place. On the opening night, Galeria 1-2-3 from El Salvador completely sold out.

Participating galleries are rigorously selected by a Selection Committee of art experts. For 2005, 70 galleries applied to participate. Only 50 were accepted, as one of the goals of arteaméricas is to keep the fair to an intimate size. Most galleries that exhibited in 2004 re-applied in 2005.

“The success of Merrill Lynch arteaméricas is due in part to the fact that art from Latin America is increasing in value and has a currency it never had before,” says Leslie Pantín, Jr., president of Merrill Lynch arteaméricas. The Wall Street Journal reports, a good way to start a new, yet valuable and affordable art collection is with art from Latin America. A good indicator of art that will gain value is by looking at museums’ acquisitions. In recent years, museums have been purchasing art from Latin America, particularly to court the growing Hispanic population. The art available at Merrill Lynch arteaméricas ranges from $2,000 to more than half-million dollars.

“Another factor of the fair’s success is its location: Miami. It is now considered the new mecca of art and culture; it is becoming the new art capital for the Americas,” said Emilio Calleja, Vice President, Merrill Lynch arteaméricas.

The exhibition will include paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations and videos, and will also feature a section dedicated to contemporary art – Ephemeral/Trends III. A series of conferences and events are planned throughout the fair. Art collectors and art experts will be guest speakers for conferences on Latin American art. Local museums will host Latin American art exhibits, and local collectors will be opening their doors to the public.

The works of renowned masters such as Diego Riviera, Roberto Matta, Rufino Tamayo, Wilfredo Lam, Jesus Soto, and Fernando Botero will be shown. Also, some of the most popular contemporary artists include, up and coming Brazilian artist, Regina Silveira, with Galeria Brito Cimino from Sao Paulo; Cuban artist, Atelier Morales, with Nina Menocal Gallery from Mexico City; Puerto Rican photographer, Victor Vazquez with Walter Otero Gallery from San Juan and Galerie Intemporel from Paris; Cuban sculptor and artist K-cho with Juan Ruiz Galeria from Maracaibo; Argentinean sculptor, Nora Correas with PanAmerican Art Gallery from Dallas, TX; and, Panamanian sculptor, Isabel de Obaldia with Mary Ann Martin Fine Arts of New York.

Installations from various artists will surprise and open visitors’ imagination. The outstanding installation “El Arco del Triunfo de Rotchtill” from Jacob Karpio Gallery from San Jose, Costa Rica, will appear at the fair.

“Merrill Lynch arteaméricas is starting to play a very important role for art from Latin America in the U.S. The quality of art is in the vanguard of the new art trends in the continent,” said Diego Costa Peuser, Fair Director.

Additionally, the most important museums that specialize in Latin American art will attend. Among them, The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Museo del Barrio, New York; MoLAA – Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; and Miami Art Museum, Miami, will be present. Prominent art foundations that work for the promotion of Latin American art, such as, Fundacion Cisneros, Caracas; Fundacion Proa, Buenos Aires; Fundacion Centro Leon Jimenez, Santiago, Dominican Republic; and MAC – Miami Art Central, will be at the fair, as well.
Visitors can explore an ample variety of published art books offered by the Miami-based, nationally known bookstore, Books & Books. The full-color fair catalogue will also be available for sale.

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