Alan Kluger, founding partner of a boutique litigation law firm in downtown Miami, is also an art aficionado.
“I’m an art guy, it’s what I do,” said the veteran courtroom attorney who, for more than 30 years, has traveled the world with his wife, retired Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Amy Dean, adding to their private collection of Contemporary Latin American art.
Now the lawyers at Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine have transformed their office overlooking Biscayne Bay into an after-hours gallery and they donate the space for charity fundraisers.
Guests get guided tours of the artwork Kluger hand-picked from his collection and moved into his office.
“We provide the wine and food, all they have to do is get a minimum gift,” Kluger said. “Essentially, we are teaching people how to raise money.”
Kluger first hosted an event for his grandkids’ school, The Gordon School of Beth David Congregation, where the parents’ association raised $2,000 with a minimum gift donation of $50.
“The buzz was so great for our school that people are already asking when we will do it again and we are planning a second event for the fall,” said associate Lisa Jerles, Kluger’s daughter and co-chair of the school parents’ association.
Since then, several nonprofit groups have approached the firm and are planning to host events in the fall.
Kluger turned to Carol Damian, former director of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum and art history professor at Florida International University, to record a brief description that will pop up using a QR code for each artwork.
“There is a wide variety of work. It’s a really interesting cross section, spanning in stylistic categories,” Damian said. “My job was to give them information and explain the premise of the artwork.”
The artwork on display is carefully spaced out in each hallway and conference room space in the firm, featuring artists from countries all over Latin America, including Cuba, Haiti, Chile Brazil and Argentina.
Some of the art featured, like Vision in Green, from Haitian-born painter and sculptor Edouard Duval-Carrié, includes underlying political commentary. Other pieces are more more abstract.
“This poor, beautiful spirit is not what she seems to be at all,” Damian said of the green goddess-like figure in Duval-Carrié’s piece. “When you get up close, you realize the markings on her body are leprosy and other plagues.”
The artwork varies in color, size, materials used, and some artists are still relatively unknown outside of their countries, but each piece reflects Kluger’s passion for learning about and understanding other cultures and realities.
For example, “you can tell by the choice in materials, where an artist is from and if they live in poverty,” said Kluger, who is adding more pieces for the next events the firm will host in September.
Damian, who is advising Kluger how to best curate the series of works that will be displayed, said she likes the idea of donating a private space and inviting members of the community to enjoy and appreciate unique artwork.
“Each work has a meaning that he [Kluger] wants us, as an outsider, to respond to,” Damian said. “The backstory is very important. This is how art can really move you.”