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Projects Gallery Only Philadelphia Exhibitor in the Miami International Art Fair

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Projects GalleryA Philadelphia art gallery is taking its show on the road this week as Projects Gallery brings a collection of artists' work to the Miami International Art Fair, which runs January 7-10, 2010.

Participating in international events like this may be a bit unusual for some of the city's local galleries, but it's nothing new for this Northern Liberties venue, according to director Helen Meyrick. 

The North 2nd Street gallery, which features bi-level, multi-exhibition space, has received both local and national attention since it opened in 2004. The artists who exhibit at Projects Gallery aren't exactly starting off, Meyrick explained.  Most have established careers in different places but all call Philadelphia or its suburbs home. The artists hail from many different backgrounds, such as Latin American, Cuban, Venezuelan, and even Canadian.

Within six months of opening, the gallery came across an opportunity to participate at the juried art fair in Miami. After presenting a varied collection of the artists works, they were accepted.

The fear initially, was that "what might be very popular in Philadelphia may not be popular elsewhere." 

But that wasn't the case. One of the artist's work was actually purchased at the show by a Philadelphia resident who lived just six blocks from the city, but had never heard of Projects Gallery. Since then, Projects Gallery has participated in shows all over the country and the world, such as Chicago, New York, Miami and London. The experience has given them great exposure, Meyrick said. 

"We represent the artists, and at the same time represent the city and the country," Meyrick said. 

Projects GalleryOne artist in particular, Alex Queral, a Cuban-born citizen who emigrated to Mexico but now lives in Philadelphia, has seen great success in showing his work at the international fairs, Meyrick said. Queral, who earned his master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania, carves realistic portraits into old telephone books. Another artist, Frank Hyder, has done shows all over the country, paints into wood panels, then carves those panels and repaints them, Meyrick explained. And then Vivian Wolovitz, who teaches at Moore College of the Art  & Design, paints abstracts based on landscape atmospheres.

"Every artist we represent has an intense or unique way of working with the materials," she continued. 

The benefits of participating in this upcoming show are "enormous," Meyrick said. "When you travel like this, you're not a local artist, but an international artist." 

The Miami International Art Fair runs from Jan. 7 -10 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. More than 70 galleries from around the world will be participating, including counties and cities like Argentina, Costa Rica, Paris, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Caracas, Tel Aviv, West Hollywood, New York, and more. Projects Gallery is the only one from Philadelphia to exhibit. 

Everything will be presented including contemporary art, photography, video, and installation art. The fair includes a lecture series featuring prominent experts in Latin American and International Contemporary Art.

Other fair highlights include “Next Generation,” spotlighting artists of the future, the special exhibition, “Focus Argentina,” and renowned conceptual artist Federico Uribe’s “Risk,” featuring many pieces from his major “Pencilism” and “Human Nature” exhibitions.

For more information about the Miami International Art Fair, visit www.mia-artfair.com.

For more information about Projects Gallery, located on 629 N. 2nd Street, visit www.projectsgallery.com, or call 267.303.9652