“It’s All about the Art”

Written by judyholm on . Posted in Art Fairs




To experience to most art during the week, it is recommended to explore the fairs, museums, galleries, private collections and public art by neighborhood. Pick a neighborhood for each day- and stay there, taking in all of the art you can digest.

The “perfect storm” plan consists of five days, which could be consolidated to fewer days if you have less time. 

There are twenty-four fairs this year, equally divided between Miami Beach, Midtown and Wynwood/Downtown Miami.  In addition to the fairs, art will be prolific in the galleries, collections, design, fashion houses, countless popups and street art- so much to see and experience.


Day 1 – hit the beach!

If you only have one day…. do Miami Beach! The entire “raison d’etre” (reason for being) of the week IS Art Basel.  Housed in the cavernous Miami Beach Convention Center, are approximately 260 Galleries from around the globe.  This fair has become the most prestigious in the United States, and is an important barometer of the commercial art market.  Last year, it was estimated that $1 billion of art exchanged hands in Art Basel.  This is serious art-and it is an incredible opportunity to see so much of the leading contemporary art as well as modern art and the masters, all under one roof.

In addition to the top galleries, Art Basel does an amazing job with programs, lectures, tours and collaborations with cross-cultural institutions. 

Don’t miss…. Art Nova – the section for the hottest artists and their new works; Public Art in conjunction with the Bass Museum; film and video with the New World Center.

Next stop –Design Miami. Directly across the street, in a “starchitect” designed tent, is home to the premier fair devoted to Design.  This fair exhibits galleries and collections from around the globe, and showcases beautiful and thought-provoking works of contemporary design.

There are six more fairs on the beach this year- ranging from NADA in the North (in the Deauville Hotel, on Collins at 67th St), to the highly-anticipated new fair UNTITLED. 

NADA is comprised of “new art dealers” and the works are represented by many up and coming galleries – including some of the top emerging talent.

UNTITLED. will be the first fair to be held literally on the beach, located between 12th and 13th Streets, and will include an ocean-facing lounge.  The fair is produced by a savvy and experienced team- with a renowned architect to design the space, and a famous curator creating the content.  It promises to be a highlight of the week.

The rest of the beach day should include visits to the other fairs (listed below north to south) and two important museums, both boasting exciting new exhibitions: 


Bass Museum of Art- 2100 Collins Ave

Wolfsonian- FIU – 1001 Washington Ave



Art Basel Miami Beach- Convention Center Dr. at 18th St

Design Miami – Convention Center Dr. 18th St (west of Convention Center)

NADA – Deauville Hotel, Collins at 67th St

INK – 1850 Collins

Select – 1732 Collins

Verge – 1671 Washington

Aqua – 1530 Collins

UNTITLED – on the beach (east of Ocean Drive between 12th and 13th streets)


Day 2 – Midtown Madness

For those not familiar with Miami and its neighborhoods, there are two adjacent areas where a massive amount of urban development and artistic creativity are spawned- Midtown and Wynwood.

Geographically, Midtown is centered from 29th to 36th Streets, and between NE 2nd Avenue and North Miami Avenue.  Predominantly home to retail stores and restaurants, residents enjoy an increasing array of entertainment and shopping.  During “Basel week,” Midtown transforms into a village of art fairs, and a sea of tents.  This year, the anchor fairs of Art Miami, Scope, Art Asia, Red Dot and Art Expo, are joined by some new blood.  In total, there are eight separate fairs taking place in midtown this year, aka “the big tents.” 

The Grande Dame of the Miami art fair world, Art Miami, is adding a sister fair – “Context,” and Arts for a Better World moves over from the beach, with a new fair “Overture.” 

Miami Project is another new fair, created by artMRKT Productions from Brooklyn, a group that directs a number of important contemporary fairs in the country.  This fair promises to be interesting; with collaboration with MOCA, and a host committee of the hot Miami art crowd.

Scope, always a favorite, is adding a new twist with partner VH1.  Stay tuned!


Collections and Collaboratives:

Just north of midtown is the De la Cruz Collection (23 NE 41st St).  This beautiful space is one of the most important private collections in Florida, open to the public.

A fantastic exhibition space is Locust Projects, located at 3852 N. Miami Ave.  This is a nonprofit that showcases contemporary art, with a focus on “freedom to experiment with new ideas.”

Another great art collective is Bakehouse Art Complex (BAC), 561 NW 32 St, Miami.


Thursday and Friday, December 6 and 7 
BAC Breakfast
Free and open to the public
For the third year in a row, the Bakehouse Art Complex has been selected as a participant in the Art Basel Wynwood Studio Tours. So staying true to our past, BAC is baking for you! Join us for an elaborate spread prepared by BAC resident artists and check out our current exhibitions before you hit the fairs!

Saturday, December 8, 7-11 pm
Art Miami VIP After Party @ BAC
$10 Admission; Free for BAC Members, Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami VIP card holders/exhibitors
Bakehouse Art Complex hosts The Official 2012 VIP after-party for Art Miami and CONTEXT Art Miami! BAC Artists’ studios will be open along with two exhibitions on view. Enjoy complimentary beverages and live entertainment. 


Day 3 and 4 – From Wynwood to Downtown Miami and beyond

Ahhh… Wynwood.  This formerly ghetto-ish neighborhood is now the pulse of the Miami art scene.  Throughout the year, the “second Saturday” art walks each month attract thousands of locals who visit the  galleries, experience street art and music- and feel the community of culture.

During Art Basel, many of the galleries and private collections produce new exhibitions.  The best way to learn about the Miami art scene is to spend some time in Wynwood.

This neighborhood is roughly adjacent to Midtown, directly southwest.  Continuing south is Downtown Miami.  Though an entirely different neighborhood, they are grouped together for the purpose of viewing the art fairs.  Based on this navigation route, there are eight fairs and numerous galleries and collections to visit.


FAIRS (listed north to south)

Wynwood: Fountain, Seven and Just Mad Miami

Miami: PULSE, Art Africa, Pool, International Contemporary Jewelry Fair, Miami River Art


Some of these fairs are first editions – each with a unique themes or focus.

Just Mad Miami, 2136 NW 1st Avenue, in the SOHO Studios, Wyndwood, will show a complete selection of the youngest and cutting edge art from Europe and Latin America.

Art Africa, 919 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, in its second year, features artists from the African Diaspora, including artists from Africa, North America, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.  ArtAfrica brings a vital and essential cultural service to the South Florida community, lending the Magic City a true international flair. 

Miami River Art Fair, Miami Convention Center, 400 SE Second Ave, Miami

This first edition art fair was conceived as a showcase of world-class artists and galleries in an indoor booth setting at the Riverfront Hall which overlooks the one-of-a-kind outdoor Riverwalk Sculpture Mall which features monumental sculpture on the banks of the historic Miami River.

Bling!  Welcome to the International Contemporary Jewelry Fair, Intercontinental Hotel Dock adjacent to Bayfront Park, 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami

The premiere of the International Contemporary Jewelry Fair (ICJF) will feature innovative jewelry designers from around the world presenting unique, expressive contemporary jewelry conceived as works of art for museums and collectors. The Fair will take place aboard SeaFair docked at Miami’s downtown Chopin Plaza  in a beautiful waterfront location.


PULSE, in its eighth edition, holds court at the Ice Palace Studios, 1400 Noth Miami Avenue.  One of the major players, the fair traditionally includes some of the most interesting works of art.  A must see!

The Fair is divided into two sections and is comprised of a mix of established and emerging galleries vetted by a committee of prominent international dealers. The IMPULSE section presents galleries invited by the Committee to present solo exhibitions of artist’s work created in the past two years.



Some of the most important galleries and collections include:



Rubell, 95 NW 29th St

Margulies, 591 NW 27th St

CIFO, 1018 North Miami Ave


Spotlight: CIFO

The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2002 by Ella Fontanals-Cisneros and her family to support artists who are exploring new directions in contemporary art. CIFO fosters cultural understanding and educational exchange through three primary initiatives: a Grants and Commissions Program for emerging and mid-career visual artists from Latin America; an exhibitions program showcasing international contemporary art from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection at the CIFO Art Space; and foundation-initiated support for other arts and culture projects.


Select Galleries:

Nadar, 62 NE 27th St

Dorsch, 151 NW 24th

Charest-Weinberg, 250 NW 23rd St

Castillo, 2234 NW 2 Ave

Diet, 174 NW 23rd St

Snitzer, 2247 NW 1st Place

Zadok, 2534 North Miami Ave



There are two important art museums to include in the itinerary: Miami Art Museum (MAM) and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

 These two museums, along with the Bass Museum of Art and the Wolfsonian in Miami Beach, are the pillars of the art community of Miami.

They are hosting some of the best exhibitions, lectures and events during the week of Basel, and throughout the year.


Day 5 – Design District

The Design District is rapidly evolving, with urban development underway for a major transformation.  In addition to many top design companies and showrooms, this neighborhood is attracting a growing number of luxury fashion houses, restaurants and art galleries.

The best advice is to go there, valet park at any of the neighborhood collective valets (there is no large parking garage), and explore.  During the week of Basel, most of the stores will be creating popup exhibitions and collaborations. 

Favorite gallery – Etra Fine Art, 50 NE 40th Street.  Etra Fine Art was founded in 2004 after almost two decades in Soho, NY and showcases a range of beautiful work from various contemporary artists.


One of the first to call the Design District home is the Christian Louboutin Boutique (155 northeast 40th St).  Christian Louboutin is hosting artist Ye Hongxing’s solo exhibition Dazzling future in its purpose-built gallery space, surrounding the jewel box Miami Design District boutique.

Voila!  That sums up a full five-days of art. Be prepared, and get ready to experience a fantastic week full of surprises.

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