YUDELKA “YUKI” TAVERA
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR & CURATOR –
For those that work full time in the world of art, the Art Basel season prep begins months in advance and is top of mind year round. Many traveling the world to the other locations for the shows, exhibits, and collections to curate for Art Week. For this edition of #behindbasel, we get to learn about this world from Yudelka “Yuki” Tavera. A woman who already has had a full career in the space and at the same time is just getting started.
Yuki Tavera is the Associate Director and Curator at Evelyn Aimis Fine Art. She is an international art dealer and consultant specializing in Post-War, Modern, and Contemporary Art. Originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and raised in New York City from the age of 6. Highlights from her career include working at the Clark Art Institute, the Miami Children’s Museum, as well as various schools in Broward and Dade from 2003-2014 teaching art and art history. In addition, she has served as a freelance consultant for various non-profit and educational organizations designing art and cultural programs for over a decade.
Some of the youth Yudelka has exposed to art
From 2010-2014 she was a resident artist at the Sailboat Bend Artist lofts where she curated a myriad of exhibitions. As an artist, her artwork’s visual message is one that often deals with the manifestation of global awareness, socio-cultural, and environmental concerns.
Channeling her inner Louise Nevelson Photo by Craig Denis
Her 15 years in the arts industry have taken her from being an arts advocate and art educator to visual design, creative consulting, and most currently, a trusted art advisor for both private and commercial collections. Yudelka currently resides in Fort Lauderdale and manages various private art collections in New York, Toronto, Boca Raton, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tokyo.
“I refer to Art Basel as my Super Bowl, each year the players are better and better, the shows larger and more elaborate.”
Tell us about your first Art Basel.
My early memories of Art Basel are honestly a blur! I had moved to Wynwood in 2006. It was the early “Renaissance” of the Design District. You had random galleries and pop-ups, combined with sporadic celebrity sightings. I do clearly recall the vibrancy of the people, both locals and tourists alike, buzzing around Miami with excitement talking about art and the next event or happening that day. I vaguely remember being snuck into the Miami Beach Convention Center by a friend working Art Basel and running through it like a hungry kid in a candy store. One moment that stands out to me was a lifesized free standing Louise Nevelson sculpture in the middle of a room (what room/what gallery I can’t recall), annoyingly thinking, “Man, it’s so crowded! I wish these people would move so I can really see and experience this piece!” The man happened to be Lenny Kravitz standing with his daughter Zoe. At that moment I knew Miami was both doomed and blessed for new things!
What are you looking forward to this year?
Since art has been my life and career (in one form or another) for 25 years – first as an art student, then as a practicing artist/curator, art instructor, and now as an advisor and collections manager I can honestly say I’m often “full”. To clarify, think of the feeling of drinking too much liquid – a variety of it, hydrating water, crisp chardonnay, and sugary soda all mixed in there, all making you full.
“How much of the same type of art can we consume in the same old format?”
“Personally I’m looking to have more UNIQUE artistic cultural experieces here in Miami.”
I'm very happy to see the traditional gallery/ art fair/ exhibit model is slowly changing.
I am thristy for the future - new media, new stories, and new methods of them being presented.
Each Art Basel season shows me promise of the next artistic unicorn!
Looking for Unicorns
Break it down for us! What fairs and shows can we NOT miss?
If you can only make it to a single art fair, go to the flagship fair that started it all: Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center. It is a definite must. Each year, they offer a large range of art, and artists for every taste and the selections and programming are really the best of the best in the world. Art Miami comes in second place for me in terms of the caliber of art and participating galleries. I also find the size and layout a bit more manageable!
Regarding exhibitions, I highly recommend you take the time and visit the Wendi Norris offsite space and view Ana Teresa Fernandez’s solo exhibition “Of Bodies and Borders”. It’s very thought-provoking work that I feel really speaks to not only the current political climate, but that is also very well suited for Miami given the variety of immigrants in the local community.
I’m looking forward to the Prizm Art Fair panels on Friday, December 5th and super appreciative that there are more programs such as these that present and paint a more diverse and inclusive take on the typical, mainstream art scene.
For the more laid-back casual art enthusiast the satellite fairs on the beach: Scope, Pulse, Untitled, and NADA at Ice Palace Studios offer a more relaxed “cool” factor for art and people watching.
How would you describe the Miami art scene and your taste in Art?
I love well-crafted things. I can love bright colors in one work and can be moved to tears from a white canvas in another. I love to see process, the artist’s hand, and absolutely appreciate and recognize when a work of art has taken an extraordinary amount of effort and time for the creator to produce it. While the art scene down here had humble beginnings time has proven that Miami is a beast and force to be reckoned with. With the success of the Art Fairs down here, come a smorgasbord of art and people. Some true art lovers and passionate connoisseurs, others just wanting to be in the mix at the right place at the right time with zero interest in art at all.
“Time has proven that Miami is a beast and force to be reckoned with.
What are your tips for the week?
Tip 1: Be prepared! I always carry a spare phone battery so that my clients can always reach me, as well as water and plenty of healthy snacks, sunglasses, and a change of shoes.
Tip 2: During Art Basel Miami Art Week, if possible I recommend no car at all! Sometimes renting a scooter/bike to get around traffic and avoid parking hassles is best. I also like to plan my itinerary in advance according to a map, taking into account distance so I tackle certain areas in clusters.
Tip 3: Keep an open mind to be inspired! If something is not your taste, sometimes it benefits from taking a second look. BUY SOME ART! Small or large, make a purchase that speaks to you, is a good investment, and/or supports the art community.
About Evelyn Aimis
Evelyn Aimis Fine Art has been a gallerist and art dealer for over 30 years with galleries in Toronto, New York, and Palm Beach. Currently. They are international art dealers working primarily with private and corporate collectors, assisting with blue-chip acquisitions, the research of works, and active collection management. They are in frequent collaboration with many of the world’s prominent art dealers and galleries, either as partners on major works of art or by consigning works to the most prestigious art fairs worldwide such as Art Basel, Basel, Maastricht, and TEFAF among others.