What to Expect During Art Basel and Miami Art Week

What to do, where to go and what to see during the most anticipated art week of the year.

The countdown has started for the much anticipated Art Basel and Miami Art Week, which draws equally, the serious collector, glitterati and the partyer to Miami. 

Whether you are a first-time attendee to Art Basel or just need a refresher, here's everything you need to know about the largest art event of the year.

Art Basel Miami Beach

For 16 years, the prestigious art fair, Art Basel in Miami Beach (Dec. 7-10), has been the most significant gathering for modern and contemporary art, attracting close to 70,000 influential private collectors, as well as museum professionals and art patrons from around the world. 

"What is terrific about Art Basel in Miami Beach is that works in the fair range from the early 1900s up until present day, and this enables collectors to better understand the evolution of artistic movements," said Howard Shaw, president and director of Hammer Galleries in New York, after the 2016 edition.

Held inside the Miami Beach Convention Center, this year's show will have to accommodate a new floor plan including wider aisles and larger booths, as well as a new design by Tom Postma Design, due to the convention center's ongoing renovation set to finish in 2018. 

Art Basel opens to the public from Dec. 7 to 10. There's a private day on Dec. 6 and a vernissage (French for "private viewing") on Dec. 7 by invitation only, both days. Tickets may be purchased at the venue but, guests are encouraged to purchase them online. Prices range from $50-$60 for a single-day ticket; $120-$130 for all days; and, $65-$75 for a combination ticket that admits one for one day to Art Basel and Design Miami/—the notable high-end design show located across the street from the Miami Beach Convention Center.  

Two-hundred sixty-eight galleries representing 32 countries from North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, will participate in Art Basel 2017—20 of them for the first time. The layout of the show is divided into sectors: Galleries, Edition, Positions, Nova, Kabinett and Survey.

Galleries present paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photography and multimedia works. Edition highlights prints and editioned works from 11 selected galleries. Positions provides a platform for galleries to present one major project by a single artist. This year, this section will feature 14 solo booths. Nova presents new work by up to three artists and will feature 29 exhibitors. Twenty-five exhibitions (group, art-history, solo) from participating galleries will populate Kabinett with more than half works by female artists.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Art lovers can also enjoy 20 site-specific installations and performances at Collins Park, film screenings at SoundScape Park, and panel discussions and talks.

Satellite Art Fairs 

Beyond Art Basel, satellite fairs galore pop-up on-and-off the mainland. Below is our helpful round-up (in no particular order).

SCOPE (Dec. 5-10)

At this fair, guests can take in the art and the beach at the same time. Located on the sands of Ocean Drive and Eight Street, SCOPE features 140 international exhibitors from 25 countries and 60 cities. What's new this year? The launch of The Melech Collection, a collab with six-time NBA All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire, who will bring the world of sports and contemporary art together with his 40-foot installation and lead a lively panel discussion.

Amar'e Stoudemire

Untitled, Miami Beach (Dec. 6-10)

Historic and contemporary works take center stage at Untitled, Miami Beach as the fair explores timelier themes of structure, shelter and national identity that have captured the world's attention."Collaboration, performance and transcending geographic boundaries are important elements seen in recent artistic practices. It was important for us to recognize this and incorporate it into the fair's programming this year," said in statement Amanda Schmitt, director of programming and development at Untitled. Ocean Drive and 12th Street, Miami Beach, FL

Untitled, Miami Beach

Spectrum Miami, Red Dot Miami and ArtSpot Miami (Dec. 6-10)

The trifecta of art shows by Redwood Media Group will take place in Miami's Arts & Entertainment District in a structure built for them along NE Second Avenue and 17th Street.

Self-described as an "international village of art," Spectrum and Red Dot in the past have attracted more than 38,000 visitors and the participation of more than 650 artists and galleries worldwide. This year, Spectrum Miami will unify its artistic mediums under the theme of "fusion" and expects approximately 160 exhibitors, plus Art Labs, Art Talks and Spotlight Artists Program.

Red Dot Art Fair

At ArtSpot Miami, leading international art dealer/curator and former member of the Chicago Art Dealers Association Aldo Castillo will curate a special show with an emphasis on international and Latin American artists. 

Art Miami/CONTEXT Art Miami (Dec. 5-10)

Art Miami, which celebrates its 28th year, is Miami's anchor and longest-running contemporary art fairs. It's among the shows to acquire important works from the 20th and 21st centuries from the most respected galleries throughout the world. Its sister fair, CONTEXT Art Miami, is dedicated to the development and reinforcement of emerging and mid-career artists. Both fairs will pitch their tents this year in a new location, the former site of the Miami Herald newspaper, One Herald Plaza in downtown Miami, between the Venetian and MacArthur Causeways. The show organizers have signed a multi-year agreement to relocate to the Resorts World Miami waterfront property.

Continuing its six-year tradition, Art Miami has partnered with the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) as its beneficiary of the VIP Preview. A soiree of the city's top tastemakers and collectors where ticket ($250) proceds support the PAMM's collection and mission.  

Aqua Art Miami (Dec. 6-10)

Miami Beach-based Aqua, the sister satellite fair to Art Miami, is a haven for the avant-garde and a place to discover new talent. Under the appointment of Grela Orihuela as its new director, Aqua is the most intimate show of the fairs, with around 47 international exhibitors taking over the rooms of the Aqua Hotel. 1530 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Tupac Shakur, Reisig and Taylor

PULSE Miami Beach (Dec. 7-10)

PULSE Miami Beach returns to its oceanfront pavilions at Indian Beach Park with a new director at the helm, Katelijne De Backer, formerly director of the Armory Show, Art New York and Aqua Art Miami. This fair's roster of more than 70 galleries from five continents, will include exhibitors from Denmark, Germany, Israel, Japan, Peru and South Africa, among others. Also new, is the "Projects" special commission by Hector Arce-Espasas, which will depict overflowing fruit bowls in ceramic. 4601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

NADA - New Art Dealers Alliance (Dec. 7-10) 

NADA boasts a global mission of "cultivation, support and advancement of new and relevant voices in contemporary art." This year, it will present 108 dealers from 16 different countries, including 23 first-time exhibitors, at its temporary location at Ice Palace Studios. The relocation necessary due to damage sustained at its former home, the Deauville Beach Resort, by Hurricane Irma and an electrical fire. 1400 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL

FORM Miami (Dec. 7-10)

Sculpture, objects, functional art and design take center stage at the first foray into Miami Art Week by FORM Miami. Like its sister fair, SOFA Chicago, FORM is a venture of Urban Expositions and will feature 25 hand-picked international galleries representing the latest trends in art and design. The Morris Lapidus-designed venue is conveniently located within walking distance of the Miami Beach Convention Center at 1723 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL. 

Bertil Vallien, "Excursion, 2017."

Fridge Art Fair (Dec. 3-10), INK Miami Art Fair (Dec. 6-10) and Satellite Art Show (Dec. 7-10)

Fridge Art Fair at the Blue Moon Hotel, INK Miami at the Suites of Dorchester and the Satellite show at the Ocean Terrace Hotel, represent hotel-based fairs sprinkled throughout Miami Beach. If art fairs were music, these would be considered the "alternative" genre.

Some of the new elements at Fridge will include a craft bazaar and video lounge, as well as a "Fridge Magnet Project" that invites the public to create a magnet to be displayed at the fair. 944 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

If you are looking to buy prints or works on paper, head over to INK. The free fair has a loyal following among the cultured for its 20th-century masterworks and just-published editions. 1850 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

The rebel fair, Satellite was borne out of a need to create opportunities for young dealers, nonprofits and artist-run spaces to exhibit. Now, it finds itself quasi as part of the establishment with its' inclusion of commercial galleries. Although the list of exhibitors for 2017 has yet to be announced, the fair is still no Art Basel as it continues to strive to fill the void left by other Miami Art Week events through "collaboration, direct engagement and fun" according to their website. 7410 Ocean Terrace, Miami Beach, FL

Special Events & Parties 

For the past five years, the III Points team has produced the Art Basel Music Series with concerts including James Blake, Jamie xx, A$AP Rocky, fka Twigs,Nick Murphy and Kendrick Lamar. This year, iconic Icelandic artist Björk will play a DJ set on Dec. 5 and the hip-hop crew, Wu-Tang Clan will bring the house down at Mana Wynwood on Dec. 9. Snap up your tickets here before they sell out. 

The Surf Lodge Bungalow is returning to W South Beach with a series of exclusive events. Starting on Dec. 6, the celebrity-studded events will include artist-hosted dinners, poolside cocktail parties and a series wellness classes in partnership with Reebok. Also at W South Beach, WALL Miami released its five-day Art Basel week lineup, from Dec. 5-10, starting with Favela Beach Nightlife Is Beautiful hosted by Mr. Brainwash (Dec. 5), Behrouz & Friends with music by Guy Gerber (Dec. 6), David Squillace, Rony Seikaly and Jean Claude Ades spinning on Friday (Dec. 8), Paris Hilton on Dec. 9 and wrapping up with a closing party on Sun., Dec. 10, featuring Director's Cut hosted by Tolga.

W South Beach

To drink with the gods, the contemporary Japanese restaurant, ZUMA has you covered. The hip spot recently launched an over-the-top cocktail collection in celebration of its seventh anniversary (a number with significant symbolism and meaning in Japan). The rollout of the collection will peak with a special release timed around Art Basel featuring the only goddess in the group.

From a free Live Performance Series to a Gagosian & Jeffrey Deitch exhibition opening (Dec. 5), to newly installed public art including works by Urs Fischer, Sol LeWitt and Kenny Scharf, a shading structure designed by Ronan & Erwin Bouroullec and a special holiday commission by Charlap Hyman & Herrero that will transform the Miami Design District (MDD) palm trees with silver tinsel through Jan. 6, Miami's most fashionable hotspot will activate the neighborhood with art like never before. New boutiques and restaurants, pop-up stores and its Palm Court Performance Series curated with Grammy-award winning star Emilio Estefan, is a sample of what's happening at MDD. 

An art takeover for a hotel is hard unless you are the Sagamore Miami Beach. The art-inclined hotel has been a hot spot for artists, collectors and exhibitors for 16 years, with its acclaimed art collection. During Art Basel, the hotel's monthly program, The Art of Happy Hour (Dec. 6-8) from 5 pm to 7 pm, will present Crushes, Cocktails and Conversations with award-winning innovator and host of the Innovation Crush podcast, Chris Denson. Guests can also enjoy the hotel's Miami Art Week cutting-edge exhibit "Urban Legends" on the culture and history of urban street art featuring the work of ABSTRK, Bambi, Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and many more. 

Keith Haring, "Pop Shop V," 1989