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The District is delighted to announce that international art curator, Claire Breukel, has taken on the role of Curator for Dacra and the Craig Robins Collection. “One of the reasons I’m so excited about this job,” Claire says, “is that Miami Design District has its finger on the pulse and now, more than ever, we have an opportunity to support and highlight a diversity of artists and organizations through collaborations in the district.”

Born in South Africa, Claire studied Photography, Art History, and English at the University of Cape Town, but her career quickly brought her to Miami and the periphery of the Design District, when she accepted a curatorial internship at the Rubell Family Collection. Struck with the diversity and richness of the city, Claire stayed, becoming the primordial Executive Director of Locust Projects, helping the renowned alternative non-profit become the robust cultural force it is known as today. 

As the new curator for the District, she is bringing progressive ideas on how to incorporate inclusion, make the public art more accessible, and set in motion collaborations with the art community to help them further flourish. 

Claire discussed her vision for the District moving forward, her curatorial philosophy, and what she hopes to accomplish during her tenure. 

Claire Breukel the Miami Design District's art curator


What do you think is unique to the Miami Design District and what is your vision for the upcoming art programming?

“I’ve lived on and off in Miami since 2004, and there are no words to describe this city - and the Miami Design District is definitely a unique part of it.  This is largely thanks to Craig Robins bringing creativity to the district from its inception. Today, art and design is embedded within the district’s DNA, which boasts ambitious architecture, as well as design and public artwork by some of the world’s best talents. My goal is to further highlight this amazing collection by making it accessible through online programming, audio and in-person tours, and more. Additionally, I have the opportunity to bring cutting edge exhibitions, art and design talks, tours and activities to the district, which provide viewers meaningful experiences, whilst lending creative communities visibility and access. This is especially important given that the pandemic has cost many art spaces and artists opportunities to show their work, and that so many black and brown creative voices need to be heard —we have an opportunity to provide real support to the creative community."

When asked about the five projects currently in the works, Claire lit up with excitement. “These collaborations speak to my personal philosophy, as I am interested in progressive creative ideas that challenge viewers, merge art, design and fashion, and which showcase exceptional talent. 

Right now, Piero Atchugarry Gallery, who runs galleries and a foundation in Uruguay and Miami is showing four contemporary Latin American sculptors who aptly challenge perceptions of time and space. Miami-based conceptual artist Tom Scicluna recontextualizes everyday materials, in this case making a sculptural installation from a giant vinyl billboard advertising banner to questions ideas of authorship and our relation to images, in this window installation “3060 sq. ft”; Place Miami Preview Edition is the first of an ongoing series of collaborative shows and brings together Miami artists, a furniture designer and filmmaker; Miami artist Pepe Mar will be an “artist-in studio” in the district and show his eclectic collage works made in his studio during the pandemic and finally, PAMMs gift shop, which will be housed in the District until PAMM re-opens in September, is a personal retail therapy favorite. We are also speaking to a number of projects and community leaders to lend vital conversation to the Black Lives Matter movement.  We are so fortunate that the Miami Design District is spacious and outdoors so we can feature these amazing cultural happenings while encouraging social distancing. There are also some very chic masks being handed out!"

Claire Breukel art curator


How do you think that the current situation will affect the art community in the coming years?

"There have been speculative conversations circulating about how the art world will fair. As a result of quarantine, a lot more people are becoming familiarized with viewing art online. The web is borderless and, for the most part, less controlled so there is a lot of available information about galleries and artists to better compare prices. Whereas I believe there are many layers to the art “world”, generally speaking I’ve heard from three financial analysts that they feel artwork price points will stay constant and possibly lower, which could allow up-and-coming collectors to access and afford more work. Hopefully, this will mean more sales for artists as opposed to lower price points. Additionally, I hope to see the art community further rally around black and brown artists voices and apply pressure for real systematic change. Through meaningful collaborations, the Miami Design District will continue to play a vital role in the community."

We are all excited for the vibrant and diverse programs, Claire will bring to the district! Stay in touch on Miami Design District's Instagram @miamidesigndistrict and email blasts for the latest exhibitions and more.

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