We took a look through all 3,485,385 e-mails, Facebook messages, and pieces of snail mail we received about Miami Art Week events and chose those that offered something uniquely local.
Plus, we hit up locals who are paving the way for the Miami art and music scene for their own recommendations. Alex Mitow is the founder and director of Superfine! – The Fair, and you can read his take on how he Basels here. Dejha Carrington works for the National YoungArts Foundation and is a firm believer in providing valuable opportunities to emerging artists at pivotal stages in their careers – you can check out all of her Basel tips here. Lolo Reskin is the owner of local record store Sweat Records. You’ll see some of their picks throughout the guide below.
Here we go! Be sure to head to the end as well, where we chose some of our favorite multi-day events and fairs, too.
Tuesday, Dec. 5
- Derrick Adams “Black White and Brown” Opening Reception at Primary Projects – Sometimes the local galleries get overshadowed by the big fairs that swoop into town this week, but you don’t want to sleep on Primary Projects or artist Derrick Adams during Miami Art Week. Recommended by Dejha Carrington. “This solo exhibition by Derrick Adams is boldly all-encompassing, fully immersive, and graphic black, white and brown,” she writes. Can’t make that? YoungArts is hosting his curatorial debut, IMAGINATION LAND: Fantastical Narrative. Pop in to see him “exposing the constructs of the art industry and working with alumni artists to showcase their painting, photography, sculpture, video and more.”
- Red Bull Sound Select at The Ground – Get a first look at under-the-radar Miami artists who we expect to be blowing up the scene soon. It’s only $3 if you RSVP.
- Franklin Sirmans in conversation with Jorge Pérez and Pamela Joyner – PAMM Director Sirmans will be chatting with these two leading collectors (yes, that’s the same Pérez the museum is named for). Hear about how they built their collections over the years.
- Björk DJ Set – Bjork will be holding court for a DJ Set at Mana Wynwood as part of III Points’ Annual Art Basel Concert Series. Recommended by Alex Mitow. Tickets here.
- Coyo Taco’s 2nd Annual Rum and Bass Block party – last year included Diplo, Walshy fire, and Travis Scott, so we have high expectations for this year’s lineup too.
Wednesday, Dec. 6
- Jungle at the Ground – London soul collective JUNGLE makes their Miami debut. Recommended by Lolo Reskin.
- Midnight Vernissage at Superfine! The Fair – Get a late night sneak peek at Superfine! The Fair 2017. Like everything with Superfine!, there will be some funky twists on the typical preview. Director Alex Mitow describes it as “a witching hour preview of Superfine! 2017 replete with cotton candy topped champagne, costumed performance artists, a harp player, and more surprises. It’s an ideal time to discover artworks while they’re still available, and to get that ‘sneaking-into-the-museum’ feeling in a very grown-up way.”
- Cut Copy at The North Beach Bandshell – This is a must for alt music fans, and there is no better time for a show at the Bandshell than “winter.”
- RAW Pop Up by Young Artist Initiative – the Historic Post Office Building in Downtown has been taken over for a three-story artistic installation highlighting emerging artists by the Young Artist Initiative. “The human senses will be stripped to their purest form; ready to be felt in a raw space,” the organizers write. (The New Tropic partner event)
- Opening Night, ART AFRICA – The Black Party – “The signature night that transforms Historic Overtown for the ultimate Black Party. Come dance the night away to DJ Dorenzo spinning Island beats & the cultural sphere of Black Arts to serve as your backdrop. Music by Melo Groove Steele Orchestra and Carnival costumes by D-Junction Mas Carnival-all powered by Miami Carnival. Attire: Black.”
- Interactive Sound Installation – Recommended by Dejha Carrington. “Reimagining how we experience empathy, internationally acclaimed live artist Tania El Khoury implements two interactive performance pieces using innovative forms and the real oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens.”
Thursday, Dec. 7
- PAMM Presents – The Pérez Art Museum Miami annual Art Basel party is always a hit. It’s open to sustaining and above museum members, plus anyone with a pass to Art Miami or Art Basel. Party on the beautiful verandah while DJ Maseo of De La Soul spins. Spoken word poet Aja Monet will be performing as well, plus some local musical talent.
- Afrobeta @ Superfine! Miami Love Opening – While the world descends on Miami and packs the big fairs, celebrate our homegrown artistic talent with Superfine! Their focus is on affordable art, and you’ll be able to browse the world while jamming out to local fave Afrobeta, gobbling up fab Haitian food from Naomi’s Garden, and downing cocktails from the bartenders at The Vagabond.
- Unlock the Vault at the Security Building – Join us and WeWork for a party celebrating the opening of their fourth Miami location. Local throwback faves Patrick & The Swayzees will be performing, 1306 will be providing the cocktails, All Day will be providing the cafecitos, and Fooq’s will be providing the bites. (The New Tropic partner event)
- Bareback Follies Art Basel Edition at El Tucán – What’s a Miami party week without at least one drag performance? Fortunately, El Tucán is making sure that base is covered. Recommended by Lolo Reskin.
- Funky Turns 40! Funk, Art, and Soul Basel: The Black Archives – Soul Basel is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year at the Historic Lyric Theater, and Thursday night’s throwback party includes the Sugar Hill Gang and Doug E. Fresh, plus an opportunity to browse the Funky Turns 40 exhibit.
- PRIZM Perform – Recommended by Dejha Carrington. “Their performance series is a one-time only engagement highly recommended by Director Mikhaile Solomon.”
Friday, Dec. 8
- Daybreaker Concrete Jungle Boogie – If you weren’t partying until all hours, or you just never went home, you can grab a few minutes of zen at Daybreaker in the early morning. The yoga starts at 6 a.m. and the dancing begins at 7 a.m. Artists will be doing their thing live on site.
- Superfine! Miami Collectors Panel and Young Collectors’ Ice Cream Social – Art collecting doesn’t have to be a stuffy thing for rich people. Hear from local Miami collectors on how they do their thing, then down some ice cream while browsing the fair. Panel details here, ice cream social info here.
- You had to be there, presented by Adidas – You’re not doing this one for the ‘gram – this party is a no-phone zone. Come out to 1306 for surprise hip-hop, R&B, and reggae DJ sets. You’ll drop your phone into a pouch at the beginning of the night; you get to keep it on you, but you can only open it if you step outside of the phone-free zone
- Rooftop Duvel X Atomik Party – Join Duvel and local street artist Atomik on the rooftop of the Langford Hotel. Plus, take home a new Duvel x Atomik limited edition art glass and watch Atomik while he paints a live mural.
- David LaChapelle at TASCHEN Store Miami – Get the chance to meet with incredible photographer David LaChappelle at the release party for his two latest books.
- Basel at the Yard ft. Afrobeta and Millionyoung – Tired of Baseling? The Wynwood Yard is offering itself up as the perfect Basel antidote: lowkey and local. Recommended by Lolo Reskin.
- Sango at The Ground – Soulelection Records fave Sango stops in from Seattle. Recommended by Lolo Reskin.
Saturday, Dec. 9
- Wu-Tang Clan – Props to III Points for landing legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan for their other Art Basel show. There are still some general admission and VIP tickets left, so get on it. Recommended by Alex Mitow (and us!).
- OUTShine @ Superfine! • A Queer Art Film Series – Come on out for a series of short films about the intersection between LGBT themes and the contemporary art world in the back garden of Superfine! Our own Chris Adamo will be part of the convo happening in between the films. (The New Tropic partner event)
- Haute to Death at the Anderson – Detroit-based Haute to Death is down for their third Basel at The Anderson. Close out your Saturday night here.
- Basel at the Yard: Locos Por Hippies – The Wynwood Yard’s Basel at the Yard celebration tonight is as local as it gets: Electric Kif, Locos por Juana, and Magic City Hippies will all be gracing the stage. If you’re feeling the Miami love, this is where you want to be.
- Baby Basel – Having youngsters to look after doesn’t have to exclude you from Basel partying. Lincoln’s Beard Brewing is bringing in entertainers for the kiddos so you can kick back with a beer as well.
- Back to Black at Yeelen Gallery: Yeelen Gallery in Little Haiti has become a fixture on the Miami art scene, and this Miami Art Week, they’re exhibiting work from NYC-based photographer Wyatt Gallery. Come scope out his work at their Saturday night party, which will include an open bar.
- Artists’ Influencers Talk: Black representation, the roles of music, news media, television and the Internet – Recommended by Dejha Carrington. “Arthur Jafa has become the go-to video artist and filmmaker for Jay Z and the Knowles Sisters, while Jason Moran is an award-winning jazz composer and pianist. Albeit from different mediums, their artistic practice is fluid, multidisciplinary and intersectional.”
- Opening Reception for Baby, I Want Yew To Know All Tha Folks I Am – Recommended by Dejha Carrington. “I first learned about Christina’s work at Studio Museum in Harlem and simply want to know more,” writes Dehja.
- Daikaiju + Rat Bastard at Kill Your Idol – No cover, cheap drinks, great music at this South Beach fave. Recommended by Lolo Reskin.
Sunday, Dec. 10
- Basel BBQ with Ahol at the Freehand – Chill out poolside listening to music while Ahol Sniffs Glue live paints a mural in the courtyard.
- Lazy Sunday BBQ at The Standard: Not much sounds more appealing at the end of a crazy couple days of partying than The Standard, “lazy,” and BBQ, amirite?
- #OurBasel with Smoke Signals: Smoke Signals’ monthly backyard gathering in Little Haiti showcasing local creatives is a favorite of The New Tropic, so we’re stoked for their Basel party, which will cap Miami Art Week. You’ll get the address when you buy tickets.
- Miami Street Photography Festival – photographers and aspiring photographers will love this annual show hosted by HistoryMiami. The week is full of talks with leading street and documentary photographers, and you can even take a Leica camera out for a spin in the morning. Details on that and all the events here.
- Back to Black: No On/Off Ramps: Art Africa 2017 is going down in Historic Overtown, once dubbed the “Harlem of the South.” This year will focus on contemporary art from the African diaspora. Tickets and detailed schedule here.
- Fair. – Recommended by Dejha Carrington. An all-new all-woman art fair where admission is free and nothing is for sale.
- New Art Dealers Alliance Fair – Recommended by Dejha Carrington. “Think lesser known galleries, artist-run spaces, and dope merch,” she writes.
- Scope Contemporary Art Fair and Untitled fair – Recommended by Dejha Carrington. She writes, “Both art fairs are conveniently situated around 12th street and Ocean… Stuff a beach towel in your artsy tote and head to the water after hopping between fairs.”
- 777 International Mall Project – Megadeveloper Moishe Mana is making inroads into Downtown too – he bought out the old 777 International Mall building at 141 East Flagler Street, cleared out all those random luggage and “cash for gold” stores, and has handed it over to a bunch of local artists for Miami Art Week. Pop in for Prizm Art Fair (one of our faves every year, run by Miami native Mikhaile Solomon), a “booktanica” run by Jai-Alai Books, Dale Zine, and the work of more than 30 Puerto Rican artists, some of whom were displaced by Hurricane Maria. Editor’s note: This event listing was updated after publication.
- Museum of Ice Cream – If you’re jealous of the whimsical photos your friends in New York and L.A. have posted from their own Museum of Ice Cream, now’s your chance – the Miami location opens during Basel week. Check it out at the Faena.
- Basel House Mural Festival – Street art and music meet at the Basel House Mural Festival, Wynwood’s first official mural festival, at the R.C. Cola Plant from Dec. 8 to 10. There will be live painting and music, DJs, mural tours, workshops, food trucks, and more all three days.
- SCOPE – Recommended by Alex Mitow. “For over the top excitement in contemporary art, we always love visiting SCOPE. Not everything is going to fit in your house, but you’ll definitely be dazzled.”
- UNTITLED – Recommended by Alex Mitow. “UNTITLED has carved a niche for itself as a curated fair chock full of international galleries, though its ambiance may be a bit museum-like for some and its price range higher than what most of us are looking to spend.”
- PULSE – Recommended by Alex Mitow. ”PULSE has emerged into a Miami Beach favorite, and with a new director (Katelijne de Backer, formerly of The Armory Show and Art New York) I’m really excited to see what new direction they take this year.”
- LUSH – Recommended by Alex Mitow. “On the underground tip, we’re definitely planning to pop up to Little River for LUSH, the much-anticipated sequel to artist and curator Stuart Sheldon’s Fancy Nasty from 2015.”