Little Havana welcomes Art Basel with artistic umbrellas

Little Havana is welcoming Art Basel with — colorful umbrellas.

Thirty-six, 6-foot-high umbrellas hand painted by local artists will be on display and on sale from Thursday through Sunday along Calle Ocho between Southwest 13th and 17 avenues.

The umbrellas are a way to attract the Art Basel crowd to Little Havana, which has a small but thriving art district, said curator Pati Vargas.

“We have 24 art galleries in this area and we hope collector visit us,” said Vargas, head of Viernes Culturales, a monthly street festival in Little Havana. Vargas said all the artists purchased the same umbrella but decorated it with their unique art work.

The umbrellas sell anywhere from $800 to $1,600. Among the artist who painted an umbrella was local Spanish-language radio personality Ninoska Perez Castellon, who specializes in paintings of traditional Cuban women and the island’s patron saint, La Caridad del Cobre.

The event is a first in Little Havana. Vargas said they hope it will become a local tradition.

For more information about the umbrella exhibit, call Pati Vargas at 305-972-5774.

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