Renowned art curator/gallery owner Nina Torres was born in Mexico. That said, the wanderlust Sagittarian has made her mark globally: whether Dubai, Monaco, London, New York, China or Miami (to name but a few). The internationally known art diva not only has a world-wide reputation, she has also been involved in the sales of artwork by some of the world’s best known Latin artists: Siqueiros, Frida Khalo, Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Carlos Merida, Gines Pagan (and many, many others).
Nina is the fourth child of six. Her father (of Spanish origins) was a businessman who worked in the import/export business out of Monterrey, dealing with the international market. Her mother came from a well-known and traditional family located in Tamaulipas.
“My mother, like so many young women of her time, did attend a private college in Monterrey, however, she was basically and ultimately being groomed for marriage and that’s exactly what happened. My parents met, while both were living in Monterrey. They feel in love, married and started a family.”
Living in Reynosa, Nina’s educational arc found her enrolled in a private high school in Monterrey. When finished she moved to Cholula Puebla for her college studies at the Universidad de las Américas, where she majored in Intercultural Education..
“I always had the travel bug,” Nina says, noting that her Sagittarius birth sign perhaps destined this drive.
“While enrolled at the University, I took a year off to travel Europe with my older sister Magally. It was during this journey that my passion for art came to a boil.
“While my sister went shopping and to social events, I was going to museums and art galleries. I simply wanted to be around art—to immerse and absorb the esoteric lifestyle of the art world.”
Both her parents were supportive of Nina’s aspirations. Her father advised, ‘Finish your education and then do what you want.’ While her mother, who spent many hours going from Church to charities in Reynosa could well relate to her daughter’s aesthetic yearnings.
“After graduation, I worked in a big communications corporation.
And then an accident changed it all.
While my sister went shopping and to social events, I was going to museums and art galleries. I simply wanted to be around art—to immerse and absorb the esoteric lifestyle of the art world.
With her reputation on the rise, the Mexican government sponsored Nina’s attendance at the Europalia International Art Festival in Brussels. Upon her return she was rewarded with the prestigious title: Director of Cultural Promotions for the Mexican government.
With that travel bug always nipping at her heels, in 2000, Nina decided to move to New York where she studied E-commerce at NYU. It was during this period that she met her husband, Mark (they married in 2002). Nina continued her studies and also became a consultant for corporate art collections.
Like so many “snow-birds” Mark and Nina spent winters in Miami and in 2010 they decided to make the move fulltime.
“I saw great potential in South Florida and so I opened my first Nina Torres gallery in Wynwood”
In another ironic twist, Nina’s first exhibit featured famed artist Purvis Young. Young died in the midst of this exhibition. Therefore it was not only Nina’s first exhibit, but Young’s last!
In December 2011 Nina moved into the Downtown Miami/Biscayne Bay gallery space— where she continues to operate today.
Perhaps best known for her Miami River Art Fair (the waterfront’s first art fair coinciding with the iconic Art Basel Miami week), Nina is a recognized force in the art-world.
Nina Torres has art credo: she was named Miami Women of Impact—2101, Top Entrepreneur and Best 100 Mexicanos en el Exterior—Negocios Magazine 2013. In 2014 the Lincoln Motor Company selected her as Art Ambassador Damas de Lincoln and in 2015 the Foedus Foundation at Vatican City named her Honorary Member during her meeting with Pope Francisco.
Whether you’ve read about her in Art Bahrain, Brickell Magazine, Art Bodega, the Best of Miami in Miami Today, the Miami Herald, Miami Diario or right here in Latinarrific—Nina Torres is a force to be reckoned with!
Latinarrific Salutes Nina Torres…
Amanda finally realized her dream and enrolled at UM, all the while continuing to work in its Medical Billing Department.
Once graduated (with a degree in Human Resource Management), she stayed on at UM—living the American Dream, but always embracing and holding on to her Cuban culture and heritage.
“Living in Miami makes it pretty easy to stick close to the Cuban experience. As a family we whole-heartedly embraced the traditions, superstitions, holidays (such as Noche Buena) and the food of our Cuban ancestry.”
“Despite my intense work drive, my family always came first. I credit the ability to strive in the business world, without abandoning family to my upbringing and especially the love and loyalty I learned from my grandparents. I actually believe that the most poignant Latinarrific thread that runs through my life is the blending of the immigrant work ethic, with the passion for holding family close to the heart.”
After 15-years working at UM Amanda was laid off. As her husband Eric’s work was more “vocational than educational” (meaning he often went from one job completed to having to find another), Amanda knew she had to find another opportunity. And of course she did.
“While Eric was employed at the time of my layoff, within three weeks I’d landed another job at an Eating Disorder Center. It wasn’t long before I moved from the Medical Billing Department to Staff Management and Payroll.”
After 4-years she left the Center and decided it was time to go back to school, in order to fulfill her life-long dream of becoming an educator. Amanda took a job at a local pre-school in Miami (The Kids for Kids Academy) where she became an Administrator (she currently holds the position of Assistant Director). Amanda recently enrolled back at Miami Dade, where she is working on her teaching certificate.
As for her grandparents, in 2009 they were featured (with three other families) in the PBS special “My Suitcase Full of Hope: The Story of the Cuban Freedom Flights, narrated by Willy Chirino.”
Asked for a tip for wellness and better living, Amanda was quick to pounce. “In 2011 my blood pressure had skyrocketed. Friends and family suggested running. Next month I’ll be competing in my 13th Half Marathon.”
Latinarrific salutes Amanda Dufau!
Whatever happens; happens for a reason. Embrace the adventure follow your path, and keep going!
Kent WallaceSenior Correspondent at LatinarrificKent Wallace has worked in the mainstream media for over 30 years. He has been a journalist, publisher, performer, art critic and marketing strategist. He has written for such magazines as Esquire, Source, Ear, A...
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