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#564: Haitian-owned gallery opens (fwd)


Published Sunday, September 19, 1999, in the Miami Herald               
 Haitian-owned gallery opens
 Owner finds new showcase for artworks

 By HANS MARDY Herald Writer 

 When Maggie Dumay left Haiti in 1982 to join her father, Ben Almide,
who had migrated to the United States in the early '70s, she didn't know
how to appreciate a piece of art. Seventeen years later, Dumay has
opened L'Esprit des Arts (Spirit of Arts), the only Haitian-owned
gallery in Miami's Design District. The gallery is located at 1 NE 40th
St., Suite No. 4. ``L'Esprit des Arts translates into feelings,'' said
Dumay, 32, a 1994 graduate of Florida International University. ``Some
people experience some kinds of feelings when they see or possess a
piece of art.'' Dumay, who now lives in North Miami with her husband,
James, said her appreciation of art grew over the years. She didn't like
the subject in high school, but by the time she got to Miami-Dade
Community College's North Campus, she had developed an interest in it.
 ``Each artist strives to achieve a level of communication through their
work,'' said Dumay, who majored in business management at FIU. ``At
L'Esprit des Arts, this level of communication of the artist is well
recognized by allowing them to display their work and open their door to
the public.'' The Dumay family spent several thousand dollars to open
the gallery in a commercial site located close to Little Haiti.
 Dumay imported art from different Caribbean and Latin American
countries, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Venezuela
and Mexico. She also bought works from several local artists to adorn
the gallery. Last week, the Dumays held an open house, with more than 50
people in attendance. Several of them bought some valuable pieces of art
to support the family effort. ``People should see that place,'' said
Roberson Brown, director of Prepaid Legal Services of Florida, 1395 NW
167th St. He attended the four-hour open house and was impressed with
the changes he saw in the 1,500-square-foot room, which was redone by
the Dumays. ``She put so much effort into it. Now it appears to be a
business that been established for years. I wish her good luck. She has
to keep her vision in doing good work.'' Dumay said she hopes the
gallery will expand and become a home for many more artists from other
countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. Dumay said she also hopes
the South Florida community will get involved. ``The community can help
by being aware of the existence of the gallery. They can refer visitors
who are in search for those types of artworks to the gallery,'' Dumay