When Is a Museum Not a Museum?
Private art collections, specifically those open to the public, can be intimidating if not exclusionary places. Walls and floors scattered with expensive (often, prohibitively expensive) artworks, mostly speaking to advanced movements within conceptual, minimalist, installation and new media forms which appear unfamiliar and, sometimes, unfriendly to the general visitor. The key to opening such a treasure chest, and assuring its visitors that its gems are not beyond the sight of the public eye, is extending educational and outreach programming meant to connect non-industry viewers to the artists, curators, critics and collectors themselves who built the vessel. Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz are two such collectors who have capably opened their mammoth private cache of works from Ana Mendieta, Carlos Alfonzo, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, Sigmar Polke, Allora & Calzadilla, Aaron Curry, Martin Creed and Gerhard Richter (as examples) to Miami and beyond.
Spread out between three stories and 30,000 sq. feet, the de la Cruz Collection not only serves as an important cultural center within the Miami Design District, but stands out among international private collections as it offers the collective knowledge and influence of the de la Cruzes to students, practicing artists, writers and scholars through carefully-selected lectures, residencies, scholarship and travel programs open and accessible to the community. There is no charge for admission into the collection and, what is probably the icing on the proverbial cake, the de la Cruzes also serve as a foundational pillar for other important cultural institutions in Miami outside of themselves. Local museums, non-profit spaces and artist residencies all bear the marks of their philanthropic efforts. Artists based in Miami have also received increased exposure through selection to the Project Room; this ensures that not only local creative talents are recognized, but are elevated in their ability to compete within the global market to further their careers. A spot on your résumé noting 'The de la Cruz Collection' is quite the boost.
The de la Cruz Collection is located in the Miami Design District: 23 NE 41st Street, Miami, FL. Tel: (305) 576-6112. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Admission is free and open to the public.
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