With Art Basel Miami Beach fast approaching (December 6-9), we round up the best places for admirers and collectors to immerse themselves in the local art scene. Plus, where to eat, stay, and shop in the Magic City.
Written by Christina Gonzales
Art Basel Miami Beach is regarded as one of the premier art shows in the world. But it can be daunting, especially for a new collector, given its calibre of artists and blue chip prices. If you’re looking for an introductory taste of art while in town, there are a number of satellite fairs to check out during the same week. These smaller offshoots of Art will take you on a tour of the city.
Design Miami, December 4-9
For interior design buffs, there’s Design Miami, where the world’s top galleries present museum-quality exhibitions, 20th and 21st century furniture, lighting, and objets d’art. Plus, lectures and panels from luminaries in the world of architecture.
PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, December 6-9
Contemporary art lovers rejoice: PULSE’s massive pop-up structure is back in 2018 showcasing 70 galleries from all over the world. From new media art to large-scale sculptures, this art show offers an all-encompassing experience.
SCOPE Miami Beach, December 4-9
SCOPE Miami is known for its ability to entertain. With works from some 25 countries around the globe, an estimated 60,000 people visit the pavillion over the course of six days. Like pop art and street art? This one’s for you.
Aqua Art Miami, December 6-9
Now in its 14th year, Aqua Art Miami turns Aqua Hotel’s rooms and courtyards into gallery spaces. Known for propping up young, emerging, and mid-career artists, Aqua Art Miami is an intimate gathering for collectors, curators, and art lovers.
NADA Art Fair, December 6-9
For everything on the cusp, NADA’s mandate is to display new and underexposed art not part of the current “art establishment.” It’s also one of the only American art fairs to be produced by a non-profit organization. At NADA, you’ll find out what some of the world’s strongest – and youngest – galleries are showcasing.
Where to stay: Bal Harbour
Miami Beach hotels are priced at a premium during Art Basel, and most of them have five-night minimum stays. For those looking for uber-luxe properties on a more quiet tip of the city, there’s Bal Harbour, which houses five-star hotels like the Ritz Carlton and the St. Regis. Both face Bal Harbour beach and are a short distance from Bal Harbour shops, a luxurious outdoor mall with boutiques like Intermix and designers like Aquazzura, Prada, and Tom Ford.
Where to eat
A trip to Miami wouldn’t be the same without a trip to Joe’s Stone Crab, which you can visit between art fair jaunts. Soho House’s Cecconi’s is open to non-members and their Sunday Feast brunch is a must for all seafood lovers. For another dose of art, head to Pao at the glorious Faena Hotel and check out artist Damien Hirst’s gilded unicorn in the dining room and his ‘Gone but not Forgotten’ golden mammoth at the back of the property.
Where to shop
Located in the Buena Vista neighbourhood, Miami’s Design District is a playground for luxury shoppers. The tree-lined streets house every luxe clothing and accessory designer from Isabel Marant, to Celine, to TAG Heuer.