‘Focusing on the Basics…’


Question & Answer session with Jeff Lawson

Jeff Lawson, producer of art fairs, sat down with me to discuss his latest creation: the launch of UNTITLED, our first beachfront art fair and a new take on the art fair model.


SM: There is great buzz in the air about UNTITLED. Tell me how this fair grew from your original intent to what we’ll see during Art Basel week?

JL: Well, for years we have been thinking about it and finally saw an opportunity about two years ago. The overall artistic direction went to Omar Lopez- Chahoud, who hand-selected about 45 galleries.

SM: This art fair model is different– seems like a good collective came together… tell me how that happened.

JL: We were all in a dialogue together. We saw the show as a very cohesive, very specific, heavily edited one…Omar took care of the selection process, K/R (Architectural Firm) created the space.

SM: With previous art fairs and especially now with UNTITLED., what do you see as the one key success factor?”

JL: It’s as simple as paying attention to the Art. I think in order to stand out you have to go back to basics focusing on great art and great architecture.

SM: I like that! But what took us so long? Why hasn’t this happened already?!

JL: Ha! …not sure.

SM: Were there any obstacles in bringing an art fair like this to the city and more specifically to the actual beach?!

JL:We are dealing with more factors this time but the city has been incredibly supportive. Ocean Drive Association has been awesome. Jerry Libbin, Alan Randolph and everyone. It’s been a real delight.

SM: Will the public sense a theme to this show?

JL: Definitely. Yes. But the full artistic control was given over to Omar so that’s all I will say. We gave him tools….and yes we had a collective vision but it’s truly Omar and his vision. And K&R too-I really give them credit!

SM: I can tell you really respect K/R’s aesthetic—tell us why K/R was so pivotal to this project? JL: Simply speaking, they really understand the art business. In addition they have revolutionized how a temporary structure is built.

SM: What can we expect from you in the future?

JL: I plan to start working on the format for 2013 but I don’t have a specific agenda yet.

SM: In other words, your plans are to keep it fresh?

JL: That’s the goal!

SM: I know you started construction today, what’s your gut feeling at this very moment?

JL: Really excited…all the way from the city to the collectors to galleries to artists and to Omar– everybody feels that they are doing something interesting. We look forward to many more years. I feel confident that we put together something unique and impactful.

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The 3rd Annual South Beach Seafood Festival, presented by Hess Wines and hosted by Coca-Cola, will hit the sands of South Beach October 21-24, 2015, with the main festival to be held Saturday, October 24 from 1-9PM at 7th and Ocean Drive in Lummus Park. Events will be happening all week to showcase the great local culinary talent of Miami and Miami Beach and kick off Miami’s favorite season, Stone Crab Season. Events will be happening all week to showcase the great local culinary talent of Miami and Miami Beach and kick off Miami’s favorite season, Stone Crab Season. Events will begin on Wednesday night with the Hess Select Wine Pairing Evening at Joe’s Stone Crab, Thursday night is the GOYA Foods’s Cooking & Cocktails Interactive Dinner, hosted by STOLI, the Vodka, Friday night is the annual Chef Showdown, sponsored by Range Rover, Whole Foods, & Bacardi, and Saturday features the all-day South Beach Seafood Festival. In addition to promoting all the local culinary talent in the area, the event benefits Community Initiatives Foundation in support of the EAT SMART Campaign to fight against childhood hunger, childhood obesity, and assisting the community to find the perfect balance through nutritional awareness & individual development in Miami Dade County. The festival is proud to announce the current participating restaurants at this year’s Main Event, the Saturday All Day Festival. What makes us unique? These top Miami restaurants and chefs will pop up mini café’s on the sand to create not a sampling event, but an EATING Paradise with over 50 Menu Items for seafoodies to choose from and indulge for ONE Day Only. This year’s participating restaurants at the Saturday October 24th festival include Joe’s Stone Crabs, Naked Taco, Red, the Steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky, Red Fish Grill, CJs Crab Shack, Drunken Dragon, A Fish Called Avalon, Oceanaire, City Hall the Restaurant, CIBO, Tarpon Bend, Poseidon, and Whole Foods. Guests will dive in to items like Stone Crabs, Lobster Waffle Cones, Steak & Lobster Skewers, Shrimp Tacos, Oysters, Shrimp Cocktail, Gyros, Crab Cakes, Grouper in a Bag, Lobster Mac ‘N Cheese and more. These delicious menu items are available for guests between $5-$10. Thousands will flock to the sands of SoBe on October 24th to experience these seasonal selections of Miami’s top chefs and restaurants. The festival also features live music, culinary and mixology demonstrations, a kids zone, health village, and VIP hospitality benefits for the all access guests. There is fun for all ages with countless interactive zones, retail villages, and more. Festival major sponsors include title sponsor, Hess Select Wines, supporting title sponsors, Premier Beverage, Bacardi, Stoli the Vodka, and Herradura, presenting sponsors Coca-Cola, GOYA, Range Rover and the Warren Henry Automotive Group, and hosting sponsors Heineken Light and Whole Foods Market, among others. For a limited time- EARLY BITE Tickets start at $25 Festival Access. This year, ALL Festival Access tickets include complimentary all day open bar*. For more information & to purchase tickets, please visit, follow us @SobeSeafoodFeston Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Check out our #SobeSeafood! To celebrate this announcement, Sobe Seafood Fest in partnership with Guerra Marketing is launching a giveaway contest valued at $3,800. Get ready to enter to win the: CHEF STONEY’S #AREYOUSHUCKINGME VIP EXPERIENCE, which includes package tickets for the VIP tickets for the weekend events, a 2 night stay at the W Hotel South Beach, restaurant certificates, Hess Wine gift baskets, beach lounges, Boucher Brothers Management jetski rides, cooking classes, and more.

3rd Annual South Beach Seafood Festival returns

The 3rd Annual South Beach Seafood Festival, presented by Hess Wines and hosted by Coca-Cola, ...