Karen Rifas in The New Tropic

March 27, 2023

Represented artist Karen Rifas is interviewed for The New Tropic, a Miami newsletter.

Hi, Karen. Who are you and what do you do in town?

I am a visual artist, born in Chicago, who has lived in Miami for about 68 years. For many of those years, I taught art at the New World School of the Arts, the University of Miami, and Miami-Dade College as an adjunct professor.

What neighborhood(s) are you reppin’?

The whole of the 305.

On that note — what brings you most alive about the 305?

The maturing and vibrant art community.

How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?

My work often involves experimentation with color and geometry. The natural light and bright colors of South Florida definitely inform my palette and the energy in my compositions.

Have a favorite local social media account to follow?

@Art.Seen.365. One bright, energetic woman, Dainy Tapia, has taken over the job and responsibility to keep our local art world informed about art-related events that are otherwise unrecognized by our media arts coverage. She is a fantastic asset to Miami’s art world.

What’s your favorite Miami memory?

Globe Miami Island 2001 at The Bass Museum highlighted a terrific group of talented South Florida artists the year that Art Basel was canceled as a result of 9/11. It was an eye-opener as Miami realized it already had a vibrant art scene.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

The octopus salad at NiDo Caffé.

Where else would you spend a perfect Miami day?

Le Bouchon Du Grove, Bangkok City, and/or Matsuri. We have been going to all three for over 20 years and can always count on them for a great experience.

A true foodie! Last question for you: if there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?

Change our politicized environment so that we all treat one another with respect and tolerance.

Also, remind all of the our local collectors to buy locally. There are many Miami galleries, including the one I work with, Emerson Dorsch Gallery, with terrific work by some outstanding local artists.


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