MIAMI (WSVN) - South Florida once again becomes the center of the art world, as the 30th edition of Art Miami kicked off in style with a VIP preview.

7News cameras captured art lovers coming together at CONTEXT Art Miami at One Herald Plaza, Tuesday night.

For Nick Korniloff, executive vice president and director of Art Miami, it’s time for art to take center stage.

“Get off your iPhone, put the iPad down, come in and explore, interface with the art, try to come up with your own meaning, connect with it,” he said.

Whether you create it, buy it or just appreciate it, Art Miami is back and better than ever. More than 170 dealers from around the world are taking part this year, and each of them has something for every taste.

“We have over a quarter of a million square feet of exhibition space and hospitality areas on 13 acres on the Bayfront property,” said Korniloff. “We have over 16 hospitality areas, some featured directly out on the water, VIP cafés in each tent.”

Art Basel came to town 18 years ago, and this year, the world’s first flying car will be making its U.S. debut at the Paramount Miami World Center. The Personal Air Land Vehicle, or PAL-V, can cruise at an altitude of 12,500 feet and retails for $599,000.

The VIP preview precedes the start of Art Basel in Miami Beach on Wednesday. This year, there are 17 satellite shows.

One particular painting at the Art Miami kickoff event caught the eye of Boca Raton resident Ruth Fialkov.

“I love the Keith Haring that’s hanging over there, but I don’t even dare ask how much it is,” she said.

Others are in town for one-stop shopping for clients looking to build their collections.

“For me, it’s the best way I can show clients, unless I want to go to cities all over the world,” said Sharon Leeber, who is visiting from Dallas, Texas. “If I want to show a client what’s real, I come here.”

There’s something for the novice and the expert alike.

“It’s fun if you’re not an art person yet. You don’t have to be a serious collector, but for those who are, it’s essential,” said Jennifer Lewis, who is visiting from Houston.

Local residents said they appreciate the annual showcase.

“I do appreciate art, so I tend to come down here and do something artsy … whenever I get a chance to,” said Miami resident Junior Lissade.

South Floridians are aware they have a cultural gem right in their own backyard to explore, educate and inspire.

For an artist like Olivia Martins, who recently moved to South Florida from Boston, there is absolutely nothing like your first Art Miami.

“Just looking and finding other artists, artworks that I can find inspiration from,” she said.

Organizers advise attendees to use rideshare services due to increased traffic in the area.

Pérez Art Museum Miami is the beneficiary of Tuesday’s VIP event.

Art Miami continues until Sunday. For more information, click here.

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