The local’s guide to Art Basel 2015

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Pink snail exhibit at last year's Art Basel (Courtesy of Ines Hegedus-Garcia /Flickr Creative Commons)

For the next week, the art world turns its pensive gaze to our Magic City, as artists and connoisseurs from all over the world convene for philosophizing and partying. It’s time for Art Basel 2015. Here’s our essential guide to seeing it like a local.

Pregame: Nov. 30 – Dec. 3
Basel like a local: Dec. 4 – Dec. 6
Postgame: Dec. 7, onward
Freebies to watch for

Art Week officially kicks off Dec. 1 with preview parties and gallery openings across Miami-Dade. Art Basel itself opens over the weekend at the Miami Beach Convention Center, as do more than 30 satellite fairs. With all of Miami-Dade as a playground, there’s much more to do and see than just the official parties.

Start the week off with a pre-game by checking out our top picks before Basel officially opens. Then, spend your weekend visiting some uniquely local events planned and curated by Miami’s own artists and cultural visionaries, from a panel on solar energy in Hialeah to an outdoor art exhibit in the yard of Little Haiti’s beloved Chef Creole. There’s so much happening after the week is over, as well, so we’ve got you covered with the best places to post-game like a local.

Here’s a pro-tip: ditch your car and use public transport or take a Lyft, and use code “new tropic” if it’s your first time for a free ride (disclosure: Lyft is a sponsor of The New Tropic). Parking and traffic will be rough, but there will be trolleys and shuttle buses to help get you around.

Pre-game: Nov. 30 – Dec.3


Art Beat Miami Preview Party
The Northeast Second Avenue Partnership is launching Art Beat, a satellite fair showcasing Haitian and Caribbean artists. This exclusive preview of the pop-up gallery will be hosted by Grammy-nominated Haitian singer Melky Jean with a live performance by Miami soul singer La Vie.
When: Dec. 1st, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Where: The Caribbean Market Place at the Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center 212 N.E. 59th Terrace, Miami, FL 33137
Cost: Free with RSVP

Hialeah hosts an unique collision of art and science with world-renowned artist Xavier Cortada’s interactive piece on sea level rise and global climate change. The project launches with an opening party on November 30, and will remain open until after Basel weekend. The 10-day piece will include a series of performances and discussions with scientists and community leaders. Cortada will also be creating a solar panel-based painting on-site.
When:  Opening party November 30 at 7pm; exhibit Dec. 1-Dec. 11, Daily at 10 a.m.
Where: Milander Center for Arts and Entertainment, 4800 Palm Ave., Hialeah, FL 33012

Institute of Contemporary Art Miami opening and after-party
The gallery’s Miami Art Week opening night will include a solo exhibition dedicated to video and performance artist Alex Bag and an exhibit by artist Shannon Ebner. The after-party is where the real fun is, though, with performances by recording artist Shamir, and Miami favorite poorgrrrl.
When: Dec. 1, from 10 p.m-1 a.m.
Where: Miami Design District, 4040 N.E. 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137
Cost: Free with RSVP

Brew l Basel
Wynwood brewing and Dark Matter Collective present a pre-Basel party with live bands, DJs, comics, poets, live art, graffiti, and beer from Wynwood Brewing. Be the art you wish to see in this world with UV face painting by Denyss Carmona.
Where: Wynwood Brewing, 565 N.W. 24th St, Miami, FL 33127
When: Dec. 2 at 8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Kreyol Basel
We’re crazy excited to host this vibrant exhibit and party by local Haitian-American street photographers, curated by Fondasyon Zaka and Yasmine Samimy. There’s live music every night from the likes of Kazoots and Empress Addi, plus spoken word performances and Haitian-inspired food and drink. 
Where: The New Tropic, 7230 NW Miami Ct #5, Miami FL 33150
When: Dec. 3-5 from 6p.m. to 10p.m.
Cost: Free with RSVP

Basel like you live here: Dec. 4–6


kind asia: Cultural Arts for Peace and Healing
Throughout the week, there will be a number of live paintings, an art exhibit, henna tattoos, and individual blessings from monks. Meanwhile, throughout the week Tibetian monks be will constructing a sand mandala in Wynwood. You will also receive a kind asia gift bag.
When: Dec. 2 – Dec. 5, from 1 p.m.-10 p.m. // Dec. 6, from 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
Where: The Bodhi Tree House, 2200 N.W. 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
Cost: Suggested $10 donation

Tirandonos pa’l Solar Celebration
“Tirandonos pa’l Solar,” will feature SOLAR, a triptych on three solar panels to engage Floridians in conversations surrounding solar energy.
When: Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.
Where: Milander Center for Arts and Entertainment, 4800 Palm Ave., Hialeah, FL 33012
Cost: Free

Opa-locka’s Art of Transformation VIP Basel Party
Hosted by the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation, the art piece “Through the Lives of Others,” seeks to challenge blackness as something more complicated than race alone. Cocktails will be served.
When: Dec. 4, from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where: The Arc, 675 Ali Baba Ave., Opa-locka, Florida 33054
Cost: Free with RSVP

Prizm Block Party
The Prizm Block Party is a mid-day social complete with cocktails, music, light bites and networking with friends in art. There will also be a DJ, panel talk, a performance piece, a breakdance showcase, and a domino tournament.
When: Dec. 5, from 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
Where:  7300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138
Cost: $10

Superfine! House of Art & Design
In its inaugural year, Superfine! is a week-long design showcase exploring the intersection of design and and visual art. The event is designed to be an immersive experience, encouraging interaction with visitors. Afrobeta and Baio of Vampire Weekend will be performing  under a massive chandelier.
When: Dec. 2- 6
Where: The Citadel, 8300 NE 2nd Ave.
Cost: $5-$65

Now or Neverland at Chef Creole
Located in the backyard of this Little Haiti favorite, a 4-day pop-up explores how urban landscapes have shaped the minds of 47 artists. Enjoy this uniquely local event in partnership with the Miami Urban Contemporary Experience and Art Central Miami.
When: Dec. 3-6
Where: Chef Creole Performance Park, 200 N.W. 54th St.
Cost: Free for locals on Thursday, Dec. 3 // $10 for Dec. 4-6

Post-game: Dec. 7, onwards


Closing event: Maggie Knox presents redew
The last night of a group show exhibiting works of rising female artists from Miami and abroad.  Stay tuned to and Maggie Knox on social platforms for activity announcements such as live music, readings, talks, crystal healing, tarot reading, numerology and more
When: The full show runs from Nov. 30-Dec. 11, with the closing event on Dec. 11
Where: 6308 N.W. 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33150
Cost: Free

Buskerfest Miami Street Performance Festival
Intentionally programmed the week after Basel, Buskerfest hopes to gather locals to celebrate local musicians, artists and culture at a free festival full of music, games, and activities. And The New Tropic will be there, too!
When: Dec. 11, 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
Where:  Inner Loop stops of the Metromover and select satellite locations, including Miami Center for Architecture and Design and Bayfront Park.
Cost: Free

Art on edible ice cream
Inspired by the sunset, American artist Spencer Finch creates “edible monochromes” by distilling the colors of the sun onto soft-serve ice cream cones.
When: Dec. 1-5, from 1 p.m.-8 p.m.
Where: The solar-powered truck will be parked at 3401 NE 1st Ave., Miami, FL 33137

Smashed Canvas
An entire block in Wynwood will be painted by 20 muralists over the course of 10 days, complete with free beer and live art. A different beer company sponsors each day, starting with Funky Buddha and ending with Lagunitas. RSVP to each day on the website for free beer.
When: Nov. 27-Dec. 5
Where: The entire block between NW 2nd & 3rd Avenue and 28th & 29th Street in Wynwood

Prism’s Wynwood Yard
There’s so much awesome stuff happening at the Yard, from free yoga classes to dope concerts. Let’s pray to the rain gods the clouds don’t ruin our day on Friday, because BØRNS is going to be performing, artists will be painting, music will be blasting, and the food will keep flowing.
When: Dec. 4th 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. // 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
Where: The Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami, FL 33127

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