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Best Artist to Leave South Florida in the Past 12 Months Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2008 - Enrique Martinez Celaya

At first it seemed too good to be true — an artist the caliber of Enrique Martínez Celaya setting up shop in South Florida. Then settle he did, and not in Miami or South Beach or even Palm Beach, either, but in Delray Beach, of all places. The Cuban-born exile bought a residence and built a studio there, then got busy producing the kind of work that has made him a top-tier name in art centers all over the world. His spectacular studio complex quickly became a magnet for collectors, curators, writers, other artists, and especially the Art Basel Miami Beach crowd, which trekked up by the busload. It seemed that Martínez Celaya was on his way to achieving his dream of establishing an artists colony in Delray. But the city turned on him, putting paperwork and zoning obstacles in his way, and the romance soured, sending the artist and his family to Southern California. Martínez Celaya still maintains South Florida connections — at the Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale and the Miami Museum of Art, in particular — but gone are the days when he called the place home.

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The fact that someone of Enrique Martinez Celaya�s talent and reputation would consider moving back after experiencing such turmoil would imply that he has the vision to see past these obstacles to know that south Florida can be a great place to live and work. It is rare to have people of this type of celebrity want to reside here as a contributing part of the community; hopefully this time around, the city will recognize this move as an asset to its dream of landing on the artworld map. I, as I am sure many others too, would welcome the artist back with the hope of new vision and expansion for a town seemingly eager to gain cultural significance.


I came across this great insightful blurb on Mart�z Celaya. Did you hear the rumor that is he is moving back? Possibly to a new location in Delray. I heard this from a very reliable source. Everyone needs to write to the City of Delray Beach and show their support for one of the best artist to ever live in South Florida and make sure he doesn�t leave again!


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