As another year of Miami art fairs gets underway, I reflect on my Art Basel and surrounding art fairs experiences from last year. By accompanying a group of curators and artists with a breadth of gallery connections, I gained multiple perspectives on the importance of the event as it relates to different people. I also gained my own first hand experiences.
The Art Basel Miami fairs provide a playground for creative activity both in the artwork being shown/sold and in the networking that takes place on the ground. Relationships that began at this time last year have since developed into collaborations over the twelve months that separate then from now, turning a one-time opportunity into the next opportunity for many.
"Opportunity" is the value of first hand experience. When you read someone else’s account of traveling to a destination location, you can only imagine in your mind's eye what it will be like when you get there, let alone what the experience may have in store for you afterward. Second hand knowledge only forms ideas of what could be.
I can read about the art fair experience in Seven Days in the Art World and get a wealth of insight through Sarah Thornton’s eyes. But actually going for myself presents the opportunity for what could be to form and take shape.
The first hand experience removes the comfy barrier of the text. It places you in an opportune space where serendipity can find you. Why else would so many people converge in the same location but for the mere glimpse of possibility turning into opportunity? Making deals, making connections, creating opportunities and getting ahead in one's goals.
What you gain in going places, experiencing new things and taking risks may not present itself immediately. But keeping possibility tucked away in the imagination, rather than taking action, only keeps it from turning into opportunity.
With another year shortly coming to a close, what second-hand experiences do you want to claim as your own next year? What do you want to do that you didn’t get to this year? And finally, what does it take to turn that aspiration into reality?
I always encourage my clients to have a vision for where they want to be. It doesn’t have to be defined entirely, but some level of aspiration needs to exist to frame the work leading up it. Opportunity generates more opportunity. But if the goals that create opportunity or the path to get there aren’t yet clear, it can be difficult to know where you’re going.
In the coming weeks, I encourage you to consider how what you’re doing now aligns with what you want to be doing in the not so distant future. To get there, you may need the wisdom that can only come from first hand experience.