MOCA Hosts Mystery Dates With Miami's Emerging Private Art Collectors, and You're Invited

Categories: Art
Dinner at Felipe Grimberg's.JPG
Mystery Dates dinner at Felipe Grimberg's home.
Kathryn Mikesell and her husband, Dan, love entertaining and sharing their art. So when Bonnie Clearwater of MOCA gave them a call and asked them to host a Mystery Dates dinner, they jumped at the chance. The events, she says, are always a thrill.

Every year, the couple hosts anywhere from 25 to 40 guests, whom they encourage to wander the house and check out their art collection. Every year, the crowd is very different. And every year, immediately following the event, they're giddy to do it again.

"We have pieces that are simply beautiful, that everyone can relate to, and then we have some more challenging work," Mikesell said. "Each room has its own character."

The family has darkly designated one room the "War Room." That's where all their conflict and crisis photography hangs. They also have a wool room, where the floor is made completely out of wool.

Dinner at home of Dale & Richard Newberg.jpg
Scenes from dinner at the home of Dale and Richard Newberg.
The first time Nina Johnson went on Mystery Dates, she was placed as a diner at the home of her first client as an art gallery owner. He still owned the photograph she had sold him and had it featured prominently in his bedroom. She was thrilled to have the chance to talk about the host's collection from the perspective of someone who had sold him art.

After attending Mystery Dates for the last few years, Johnson will host her own. As a gallery owner, she sees a wide range of art, and her home reflects that. But it's not stodgy or prim and proper. Quite the contrary; it's a place to relax, kick up your feet, and talk, the perfect place for an aspiring art collector.

"They can see the way that everyday--I don't want to say everyday like quotidian and boring--but everyday people live with art," Johnson said.

However varied the spectrum of hosts' homes may be, from a mansion in Golden Beach to a classic bungalow in Morningside, there's one unifying principle: These houses are veritable art galleries, and the hosts' charisma unrivaled. Organizers say hosts are chosen as much for their great personalities as they are for their cool houses and their collections.

After dinner comes the after party in South Beach at the Shore Club. Stories of Miami wealth and extraordinary personal art collections will invariably abound.

Tickets for the Mystery Dates evening are still available. Members of the museum's young patrons group, the Shakers, pay $150 a ticket; non-members pay $200. Don't forget your checkbook; during the early evening cocktail party, there will be a silent auction. Visit mocanomi.org.

--Anna Hiatt

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Museum of Contemporary Art

770 NE 125th St., North Miami, FL

Category: General

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