The 7 Coolest Things to Do at Art Basel This Year
Miami Art Week kicks off the first week of December, with Art Basel (aka the biggest-deal contemporary-art showcase in North America) returning December 6 for four jam-packed days. This year promises to be the largest yet, with hundreds of events popping up across town. Because it’s impossible to be in a zillion places at once, we’ve mapped out the seven coolest events to have on your radar.
Art Basel Miami Beach
We wouldn’t have Miami Art Week without Art Basel. The main event takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, where 200-plus galleries will showcase the photography, sculptures, paintings, film and digital art of more than 4,000 artists from around the world. Get a day ticket for access to every exhibit inside the convention center, or take it up a notch with a combo ticket for Art Basel and Design Miami, which takes place next door and showcases collectible furniture and interior design.
Into outdoor art? Stroll the alfresco public installations at Basel House. Coinciding with Art Basel, the Wynwood mural festival will feature works from dozens of international street artists, paired with live music, larger-than-life sculptures and unique vendors. (Psst: If you RSVP in advance, you’ll earn yourself a free cocktail.)
Think of Artechouse (opening December 8) as an Instagram playground for digital enthusiasts. Showcasing experiential, technology-driven works, the brand-new space will feature a range of performances, installations and other works combining the real and virtual worlds. Like the Washington, D.C., flagship (pictured), the Miami outpost specializes in immersive exhibits, meaning you’re absolutely encouraged to touch the art.
The Art of Banksy
Featuring more than 80 unique works, The Art of Banksy at Magic City Studios is the largest exhibit of pieces created by the England-based street artist. (Full disclosure: The artist himself hasn’t authorized the exhibition, so proceed accordingly.) The pieces, including Girl with Balloon and Monkey Queen, are on loan from collectors around the world. The exhibit opens December 1 and will stick around through the end of February.
With all this gallery hopping, you’ll need a spot where you can kick back for a few hours. Enter Hive Wynwood, a pop-up cocktail and food village open during Basel (December 6 to 9). Savor foods from a lineup of Miami’s best local spots paired with specialty cocktails and DJ performances. Plus, catch daily mixology demos with local bartenders via Hive’s Behind the Bar series. You’ll get an inside look at how master drink makers craft the perfect cocktail.
Basel aside, numerous satellite fairs are happening across the city. Depending on your interests, make sure to attend at least one. Superfine! is all about affordable works for a new generation of collectors, while NADA showcases emerging artists. Then there’s Pinta Miami, focused on Latin American art; Context, featuring nearly 100 international galleries; and Art Miami, which curates 20th- and 21st-century pieces.
You Had to Be There
This is the one event during Miami Art Week where you won’t be encouraged to snap a photo. Taking place at 1-800-Lucky in Wynwood, You Had to Be There (December 7 and 8) is exactly what you’ll need after a long week of Instagramming. The tech-free soiree will feature free-flowing cocktails, live music and zero beeping distractions. That’s right—your phone goes into a pouch when you arrive and stays there, so when your friends ask how the party was, you’ll just have to say, “You had to be there.”