Since Sunday, the art world has started traveling to Miami and Miami Beach to prep for the arrival of Art Basel Miami Beach Week, known alternatively as ABMB Week or Miami Art Fair Week or Art Basel Miami Week. With an overwhelming 25 art fairs opening Tuesday through Thursday and continuing on view only through Sunday, it's an art week unlike any other.
We've put together a survival guide, of sorts, to help navigate through the week and bring readers up to speed on what's new and what's not for Miami Art Week. To see a list of all the art fairs to choose from, visit our Art Fair Directory by clicking here.
By local accounts, residents of Miami and Miami Beach have adapted in dealing with the possibility of being snacked on by a mosquito infected with Zika. In South Florida, the Design District and Wynwood are no longer in the Red Zone but parts of Miami Beach and North Miami are. Want to hedge your bets against Zika while attending the art fairs? Insect repellant and condoms. The only way to avoid Zika is avoiding mosquito bites and unprotected sex with a partner who has Zika, according to the CDC. Click here for more details.
In general, pregnant women are advised to stay away from all parts of Miami Dade County, according to the CDC. Meanwhile, South Texas may have just reported its first case of local-mosquito Zika on Monday, according to The New York Times, making it the second American location where Zika is springing up from area mosquitoes (Miami area is the first). Click here for a map with the latest on Miami area Zika Zones.
2. Art Basel & Convention Center Construction
The Miami Beach Convention Center is in the midst of a $515 million construction project that launched December 2015. The interior renovation and expansion is expected to be completed in 2018 when the exterior construction is slated to begin. Meanwhile, Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 takes place at the Convention Center as in years past. During the art fair, interior construction is underway in Halls A & B, the East Concourse and for the new Grand Ballroom addition, according to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. Click here to see recent photographs posted on their website.
Getting to the Convention Center is likely to be more challenging this year with road closings and diversions impacting typical walking and driving routes to Art Basel Miami Beach. Pedestrians will need to approach from the north side of Dade Blvd, located between Washington Avenue and Convention Center Drive. For closings, the walkway along Collins Canal is closed and a portion of Washington Avenue is closed. Along Washington Avenue, new traffic shifts are in place. Work is occurring on 21st Street, between Washington and Park Avenues, but remains open to local traffic only with other drivers detoured. Click here for details.
3. When Do the Fairs Open?
Satellite art fairs hold their Preview Parties and VIP Viewings from Tuesday through Thursday. Art Basel Miami Beach opens to the press and invited guests on Wednesday with the doors opening to the public on Thursday. For a full list of art fairs and details, visit our Art Fair Directory by clicking here.
4. Art Miami & Context No Longer Next Door Neighbors
If you're searching for Art Miami and Context Art Miami as co-joined neighbors along NE 1st Avenue in the Design District, then you're out of luck. For 2016, Context has moved down the street from Art Miami creating a physical separation between the sister art fairs. Context Art Miami is now located on 36th Street (between NE 1st Avenue and Buena Vista Blvd). Art Miami remains in its long-standing location at 3101 NE 1st Avenue.
5. NADA and Miami Project Switch Locations & Partner
NADA continues to play "find the art fair" by reverting to its long-standing home at the Deauville Beach Resort in Miami Beach. Breaking tradition, last year NADA Miami Beach presented its fair at Fontainebleau Miami Beach in South Beach, with PULSE Miami as a nearby neighbor.
NADA Miami Beach's move back home has Miami Project, who took up the space last year, doing some moving of its own. Find Miami Project across the street and down the block (along 67th Street) from NADA and the Deauville Beach Resort on Indian Creek Drive. Going unique for its fifth year at Art Basel Miami Art Fair Week, Miami Project has claimed and refashioned part of a parking garage to present its upscale art fair.
Both fairs have teamed up to offer a free shuttle service between the Miami Beach Convention Center and Miami Project/NADA. In case shuttles aren't jiving with your schedule, Miami Project has partnered with Uber for discounted transportation for its visitors. Use code MIAUBER2016 for $20 off the first ride and MIAUBERPOOL for $10 off your first UberPOOL ride. If you're driving, head straight to Miami Project. Cars can park directly above the art fair in the parking garage that also houses the art fair.
6. One New Fair & Satellite Fair Changes
Every art fair week brings its new contenders for art collector attention. New to Art Basel Miami Beach Week in 2016 is Art Concept Miami. Presented by Palm Beach art fair producers Next Level Fairs, their first Miami art fair opens on November 29, 2016 at 100 Chopin Plaza. Red Dot returns to Miami from an absence last year and Art on Paper Miami doesn't return at all after its debut last year. Art on Paper New York presents its third art fair in March 2017.
X Contemporary changes up a bit and presents its second fair at the new Nobu Hotel Miami Beach. Aqua Art Miami is partnering with the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD), a non-profit trade network on a mission to facilitate business between and for women art dealers. A special morning panel takes place on Friday, December 2, 2016 to discuss ‘Unconscious Bias and the Art World’; moderated by Susan Mumford, Founder and CEO of AWAD.
7. Art Basel Miami Beach Sculpture Installation at the Bass
Art Basel Miami Beach's Public Section's has an Opening Reception on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from 8 to 10 p.m. at Collins Park at the Bass Art Museum. Special performances take place at 8 p.m. and feature Davide Balula, Lady Bunny, Rob Pruitt and Naama Tsabar. Curated by Nicholas Baume, the curatorial focus is ‘Ground Control’, inspired by David Bowie, who passed away earlier this year. Over 20 artists were selected to exhibit. Click here for details. Free and open to the public.
8. Faena Arts District
Argentine developer Alan Faena unveiled the jewel of his new Faena Arts District, the Feana Forum, earlier this week, before the crowds started to arrive for Art Basel Miami Beach. While the fanfare has come and gone, the building itself is worth knowing about. Designed by Dutch architecture firm OMA, the curved shape of Feana Forum is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum building in New York City. The Faena Arts District is four blocks in mid Miami Beach, running along Collins Avenue between 36th and 32nd Street.
In addition to taking a look at the building (or attending Madonna's pricey $5,000-per-ticket concert benefit on December 2, 2016), Faena Arts unveils a new public art installation for Miami Art Fair Week. Time Capsule by Juan Gatti of Argentina will be on view November 30 to December 4, 2016 on the beach in front of Faena Hotel Miami Beach at 32nd Street. The anticipated artwork is described to be a "surreal garden-like orb featuring films, 360 degree projections, virtual reality experiences and performances. Click here for details and a schedule of events.
9. Fairs by Geography
Setting aside the impossibility of stopping into 25 or so art fairs over the course of five days, traffic in Miami and Miami Beach doesn't tend to be kind and can snarl even the best of intentions. To make planning easier, here's a breakdown for fairs taking place in Miami or Miami Beach:
Miami: Art Miami, Context, Pinta Miami, X Contemporary, Art Concept, Red Dot Art Fair, Spectrum Miami, Superfine!, PRIZM Art Fair, Art Beat Miami, CONCEPTION Art Fair, Satellite Art Show and Miami River Art Fair.
Miami Beach: Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami, Aqua Art Miami, PULSE Miami Beach, Miami Project, Ink Miami Art Fair, NADA Miami Beach, SATELLITE, Scope Miami Beach, Untitled and Fridge Art Fair.
10. Parties & Fun
Considering the election, Zika, the recent death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro and early reports that some galleries and artists are infusing politics into Miami Art Fair Week, the fun factor is going to be a wild card. Still, VIP invites and private parties abound during Miami Art Fair Week. Like every year, there are plenty of fun events related to art that are open to everyone. Click here to read "How to Be a Miami Art Week VIP (or Feel Like One)" and discover the possibilities.
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