Don’t Know Monet From Manet? Tackle Miami’s Art Basel for Beginnersby VALERIE CONNERS
The artsy chaos of Art Basel erupts in Miami every December, with smaller art festivals, shows, and parties dotting the landscape from
Wynwood and Midtown to South Beach and North Beach. There are swarms of people floating around wearing insanely expensive
couture and sipping chilled white wine, as well as pockets of hipster artists looking, well, hip (and bearded).
The main Basel show is held at the Convention Center,
but other events scattered throughout the city give you
the chance to check out various galleries and the famed
Wynwood Walls — a haven of street art, and allow you to
see some street artists at work on their creations, which
is a fascinating experience.
Yes, like many art-centric events, Basel is a great chance
to score free wine at art shows (though attending them for
the booze is a pretty amateur move). But really the festival
offers both novices and art experts a wonderful opportunity
to chat with up-and-coming artists, connect with them
about their vision and inspiration, and generally make
your world a little bit larger.
As an added perk, it’s deeply heartening to see the volume
of incredible art that’s currently getting made — and
hopefully bought — sustaining creatives from around the world.
Here’s how to get the most from your Art Basel experience in Miami.
Preparation is key
First things first. Basel is HUGE. And the event has sparked the creation of smaller festivals, as well as a seemingly endless number of
exhibits, shows and parties. Know this: you will not get to see it all. And that is perfectly fine. With a little planning you’ll rock the full Art
Start your Art Basel research a few weeks in advance. Download the Eventbrite app to your phone, if you haven’t already, and keep an eye
out for discounted or free shows and exhibitions. Tickets to events sell out quickly, and can be pretty pricey, so scoring cheap tickets is a
It’s all about the art, silly
You’ve obviously come to see art, but with the overwhelming number of shows, it’s hard to know where to begin. Start with the main show
at the convention center. This is ground zero for all that happens at Basel, and it is from here that everything else has sprung. Tickets are
pricey but it’s well worth it to ogle art from more than 4,000 (!!!) artists and 200-plus international galleries.
From there, make your way to a smattering of satellite shows around the city. The Wynwood neighborhood is a epicenter for the arts in
Miami, and is home to the now iconic Wynwood Walls, which get a refresh each year for Art Basel. The neighborhood’s street art is
another force to be reckoned with. You’ll see works from some of the top street artists in the world in vivic display. The best part? It’s all
free, public art.
Wynwood and the neighboring Design District neighborhood transform during Basel, as enormous tents unfold and host exhibits, empty
warehouses transform into art spaces and galleries host special events.
Satellite fairs worth popping into include Art Miami, Design Miami, Aqua, and for the budget conscious, Pulse, which showcases less
expensive works from up-and-coming artists.
Party up in here
Miami nightlife is notoriously epic and Basel is quite literally a 24-7 party scene. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, so ease into the
week’s festivities like a pro. You’re bound to find late-night parties at many of the buzzier hotels across the city. Your best bets include the
Basement at The Miami Beach EDITION, the W South Beach, as well as cocktail hot spots like Employees Only and Broken Shaker.
Fill your belly
Chances are, you’ll be hitting up the various sights and scenes in South Beach or the Wynwood area. In the former, tuck into heaps of
delectable fried chicken at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, or go for a classic like Joe’s Stone Crab (yes, there are tourists, and yes, it’s
worth it). Once you’ve hit the hip hangouts of Wynwood, save your dough by ordering up a storm of tacos at Coyo Taco, or splurge and get
an Asian food fix at wildly popular KYU.
Art Basel is often synonymous with one word (no, not “art”): Traffic. The city is clogged with cars on a good day, but Basel week is a
constant, excruciating traffic jam. The city has launched the Miami Beach Art Week FREE Shuttle Service to compensate. There are two
routes linking the Convention Center with locations from Miami Beach from 72nd Street to 10th Street and Midtown Miami.
Copyright 2018 © miamicito.com & AMBIENTE MAGAZINE.
Do not reproduce without citing this source
You Celebrating 6