In Miami, Even the Malls Are Filled With Art

In Miami, Even the Malls Are Filled With Art

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Aventura slide tower by Carsten Höller. Photo: Courtesy Turnberry
Aventura slide tower by Carsten Höller. Photo: Courtesy Turnberry

There is a phrase for the kind of physical, mental, and spiritual exhaustion many people feel after spending a day shopping. It’s called “mall fatigue,” and a friend of mine who grew up around New Jersey malls swears that it’s a real thing.

Malls are incredibly sensory places — you’ve got logos and brand advertisements flashing at you all day, not to mention the smell of Auntie Anne’s following you wherever you go. They’re crowded and enormous and oftentimes indoors. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could give your legs and eyeballs a break? Maybe with some million-dollar, museum-level art?

Jackie Soffer, whose family owns and operates various properties around Miami including the Aventura Mall, has made it her job to bring visually pleasing, intellectually stimulating, museum-level art to public spaces.

“We have a civic duty to bring art to the people, because most people don’t take the time to go to museums,” Soffer said one afternoon at the mall this week. Soffer’s husband Craig Robins, who owns Design Miami, also feels a similar responsibility to install public art in Miami’s Design District.

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