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The de la Cruz Collection Defines Contemporary and Future Art

By S. Mathur

The de la Cruz Collection has been listed as one of the top ten leading private museums in the world. Originally the private collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, internationally respected art collectors, the museum was opened in 2009 in a specially designed building in Miami's Design District.

The art, says Owner Rosa de la Cruz, has always been open to the public: "Our museum space in Miami's Design District is an extension of our home in Key Biscayne, which has been open to the public for over 25 years. Carlos and I wanted to make our collection more accessible to the public. We made this decision of building a museum as a way of contributing to our community, through sharing our collection."

Mark Bradford Untitled, 2011

Mixed media on collage. 102 X 144 Inches

The Collection, says de la Cruz "spans 30 years and includes Latin American, Conceptual, German and American Abstraction. Visitors are greeted to our space by a large outdoor billboard "Untitled", 1995 by the artist Felix-Gonzalez-Torres." The current exhibition, Beneath the Surface, showcases the work of leading contemporary artists transcending the divide between abstract and figurative art while responding to the new globalized American landscape.

The goal in creating the museum was to educate the community in trends in contemporary art and to provide a space for cross-disciplinary work by contemporary artists. Local artists are invited to create installations, explains de la Cruz, "In an effort to elevate our local art scene, we have dedicated a room in the collection to promote cross-disciplinary practices with Miami's artist community. The de la Cruz Collection has organized multiple exhibitions, provided artist residencies, as well as, collaborated with multiple institutions in showcasing projects by local artists. These institutions include The Fabric Workshop & Museum in Philadelphia and White Columns in NY among others."

Sigmar Polke "I Live in My Own World, but its ok, They Know Me Here", 2002

Mixed media on fabric. 118 X 196 Inch

Programs are designed to "enrich the education of students through exposure to both the national and international art scene, as well as art practices," says de la Cruz. These include summer workshops, travel programs, scholarships and competitions that benefit students and artists as well as the larger worlds of design, fashion, industrial design, and architecture.

Travel programs include a pre-college summer program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and a summer trip to Venice & London. Workshops and classes offered through a partnership with the Dade County Public Schools provide exposure to contemporary visual art for students and teachers. Exhibitions, artist residencies and collaborations with other institutions support artists. The Architecture and Industrial Design Competition promotes student interest in creative and rigorous design.

Programming includes artist lectures, workshops, discussions, films and special exhibits and has been very well received in the community. Admission to all programs and the Collection is free. Unlike many private museums which exist solely for the purpose of providing tax breaks for the owners, the de la Cruz Collection is not a tax-exempt charitable foundation. The museum and its programming are born of and function according to a passion for contemporary art and a commitment to making Miami a major art destination.

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