The Future is Female: Four Women Who Are Elevating Miami’s Arts Scene

Brandi Reddick leads Miami Beach's Cultural Affairs Program. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.
Brandi Reddick leads Miami Beach's Cultural Affairs Program. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.

While Miami Art Week and Art Basel consume many of us, South Florida’s art scene is more than a weeklong sprint — it’s an all-year marathon. There are programs to be orchestrated, galleries to be run, public art to install, deals to be sealed. Those things don’t happen themselves, and they don’t happen only in December. As the female empowerment movement gains volume worldwide, INDULGE wanted to amplify the voices of four women who are driving Miami’s arts culture, 365 days a year. They say that behind every successful woman is herself. Meet four champions of the arts — curators, collectors, gallery owners, artist advocates — who stand alone in positioning Miami as a leader in the arts world.

1. Brandi Reddick: Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Miami Beach 

Brandi Reddick. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.

Before taking on her most recent role as Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Miami Beach, Brandi Reddick curated Miami-Dade’s Art in Public Places program. A Georgia native with a graduate degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design, she’s a Southern belle at heart who is leaving a significant imprint on Miami’s arts scene.

Reddick said she looks forward to Basel as “a big reunion where I see artists and gallerists who I’ve worked with or am currently working with.”

If you see her out this week, she’ll likely be wearing a mix of vintage pieces and unique finds she’s picked up abroad. Her two non-negotiable style rules:

  1. Always keep two pairs of heels on hand. “I never wear flats,” she said.
  2. Red lipstick is classic. “It takes any outfit from day to night.”

Reddick opened her busy Art Week calendar for INDULGE:

  • December 5 (day): Design Miami/ preview.
  • December 5 (night): Art Basel Public Sector opening.
  • December 6 (day): Art Basel VIP opening.
  • December 6 (night): The Bass member preview.
  • December 7-8 (day): “I’ll visit the satellite fairs: Untitled, Pulse, Scope and NADA are all on my list.”
  • December 7 (night): Pérez Art Museum Miami.
  • December 9 (day): “My all-time favorite Basel activity is Saturday morning studio visits with Miami artists.”
  • December 10 (afternoon): “I always go to the Convention Center two hours before the closing of Art Basel. It’s the best time to see the art.”    

2. Nina Johnson-Milewski: Owner of Nina Johnson Gallery

Nina Johnson-Milewski. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.

Easily recognizable by her head-turning hair, Miami-born gallery owner and mother of two boys Nina Johnson-Milewski is in her 10th season of running her Nina Johnson Gallery, formerly Gallery Diet, in Little Haiti.

“I love to host during the fair! It is our responsibility to show that our city does have a warmer side.”

She’s living up to that ideal this month, hosting a grand opening of Katie Stout’s exhibit Narcissus at Nina Johnson on December 3.

Johnson-Milewski is following that with a private dinner at her home to honor artist Emmett Moore. Top architects and designers will be in attendance, and the coolest part: “I commissioned Miami artist Jim Drain to paint a mural in my foyer during the dinner. He will be interacting with our guests!”

If Johnson-Milewski can break out of the hosting role long enough, she said she’ll first check out NADA, whose move to the Ice Palace has her elated.

Then she’ll head to Design Miami/, a show she praised for being “so well executed” and lined with her favorite galleries.

“The design market is so small and the Design Miami/ fair is the best reflection of that.”

Nina Johnson-Milewski. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.

3. Claire Breukel: Curator of Bal Harbour Unscripted and Director of Y.ES Contemporary

Claire Breukel. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.

A world-renowned master curator, Claire Breukel is an expert in describing art to others.

She leads VIP tours through Bal Harbour, explaining the village’s Unscripted public art installments. She directs El Salvador’s Y.ES Contemporary, an initiative of the Robert S. Wennett and Mario Cader-Frech Foundation, which will host a cocktail reception during Basel to celebrate a new grant for writers.

We asked Breukel, originally from South Africa, to give us a tour into her multitalented, multinational mind. Here’s what she said.

  1. “I am an avid runner. This January, the Miami Marathon will be my sixth.”
  2. “I was the first Director of Locust Projects.”
  3. “I helped raised $27.2 million for Bono’s (RED) foundation.”
  4. “I am a writer and editor. I published a book called Y.ES Collect Contemporary El Salvador.”
  5. “Through the Y.ES foundation, I spend a lot of time in El Salvador, introducing the world to what is happening there. I just got back from a tour where I brought in a group from the Tate in London and Phillips Auction House.”
claire yes_book-home-small.jpg__650x428_q85_crop_subsampling-2
Claire Breukel's book.

4. Tanya Brillembourg Capriles: Collector, Dealer and Co-Founder of IdeoBox in Wynwood

Tanya Brillembourg Capriles. Photograph by Felipe Cuevas.

Some people grow up around art. Tanya Brillembourg Capriles grew up around art and artists. In her words:

“Born in Venezuela to major art collectors, it was no surprise to have Fernando Botero, Julio Le Parc, Wilfredo Lam, Roberto Mata, Jesus Soto or Maestro Cruz-Diez relaxing our living room,” she said. “As you can imagine, my interests in the art world were sparked by default. These artists and friends, who are now considered modern masters were also gracing the walls of our homes in New York City, Paris, Madrid, Kentucky and beyond.

“I’ve been in Miami 25 years. Not only am I a collector who founded IdeoBox, an art space in Wynwood, I am a private art dealer, focusing on modern Latin American works.

“Last year we exhibited nearly 200 of our 700 works. With my mother’s foundation, SaludArte, we brought Bill Viola along with members of the Baleares Symphony and Medellin Philharmonic for a grand performance.

“This Art Basel, I am taking a more-low key approach. I am most looking forward to seeing Elias Crespin’s newest works with Galeria RGR+ART at Art Miami. I also am thrilled to present an exhibit at IdeoBox. I think it will be courageous to step out of the box and show a North Korean artist, Jong Oh. It is always great to offer our visitors something different.”