Date

Fri Nov, 21

Category

Events

Visitors in Loriel Beltran Exhibition

Miami Art Week Is Just Around the Corner

And we know you’re as excited as we are!

It’s nearly that time of year again, the first weekend in December and a few days before, when a huge chunk of the art world descends upon our city to soak up the fairs, the parties, the great weather, and, not least, some of the best museum exhibitions around. After the cancellations and closings last year, 2021 promises to get us back on track—safely, we hope—as one of the most important cultural hubs in the country.

Art Week has put the spotlight on Miami for nearly two decades. The original fair, Art Miami, launched in 1990, but when Art Basel Miami Beach got to town in 2002, things really took off. Now, visitors from all over the world come to the city every year in early December.

A raft of smaller “satellite” fairs have followed in the larger fairs’ wake, popping up around Miami. Hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs host visitors and sponsor events. And our city’s wealth of museums and galleries also get in on the action, putting their best feet forward and presenting exhibitions and programs designed to attract the international crowd.

MOAD, in close proximity to many of the fairs, takes part too, scheduling groundbreaking exhibitions during Miami Art Week. We are not only, as Thrillist has noted, one of the best museums in Miami, but we’re showcasing art that puts Miami on the map. Our poetic and lyrical exhibition of Hreinn Fridfinnsson, an important Conceptual artist from Iceland, is his very first American museum show. And Jorge Pardo’s dynamic installation Mongrel explores the importance of our city in this major international art star’s life and art.

In typical Miami fashion, Miami Art Week has turned into a citywide party featuring hundreds of events. It’s impossible to attend everything! So, we can help you narrow it down. The bulk of the fairs take place in two neighborhoods, Downtown Miami and Miami Beach, which also happen to be home to several of our city’s best museums. If you want to see some of the very best that Art Week has to offer without too much hassle, keep reading, because we’ve got recommendations for you!

Jorge Pardo Exhibition Opening

Visiting the Best Art Fairs and Best Art Museums in Miami

First and foremost, we suggest that you plan each day of your Miami Art Week itinerary around not only WHAT you want to see, but WHERE what you want to see is located. Traffic is a challenge during this week in particular, so avoid road rage by planning out your strategy in advance.

Although shuttles do run between a few of the fairs—and we’ve definitely taken advantage of them—it’s best to cover one part of town at a time. Tick everything you want to see in one neighborhood off your list to avoid wasting hours sitting in traffic, going back and forth between South Beach and the mainland.

We’re keeping that advice in mind as we break things down for you.

Visitors in Hreinn Fridfinnsson Exhibition

Top 5 Art Fairs and Museums to Visit in Downtown Miami

  1. Art Miami (https://www.artmiami.com/)—The original Miami art fair, Art Miami is heaven for collectors of modern and contemporary art. Showcasing galleries from around the world, the fair always features a wide variety of works by established and up-and-coming artists. A lively fair, it opens on Wednesday, December 1, a day earlier than Art Basel Miami Beach, and that might be a great time to visit.
  2. CONTEXT Art Miami (https://www.contextartmiami.com/)—The sister fair of Art Miami debuted in 2012 and its tent is adjacent to the one for Art Miami, so you’ll definitely want to visit both fairs at the same time. CONTEXT is a little edgier than the older fair, featuring more street art and works by artists who appeal to a younger crowd.
  3. Museum of Art and Design at MDC (that’s us!)—MOAD is located just a few short blocks away from Art Miami and CONTEXT. We are, well, thrilled to have been named one of the best museums in Miami by Thrillist earlier this year and we encourage you to come see for yourself. Stop in during your day in Downtown Miami. You can’t miss us in the historic Freedom Tower, a stunning 1925 Mediterranean Revival skyscraper. MOAD’s exhibitions are always thought-provoking. Right now, in addition to shows by Jorge Pardo and Hreinn Fridfinnsson, we’re showing dazzling new paintings by hometown hero Loriel Beltrán.
  4. NADA Miami 2021 (https://www.newartdealers.org/programs/nada-miami-2021/about)—This much-beloved and long-running non-profit fair will take place at the Ice Palace Studios. Known for showcasing new galleries and emerging artists, this is a great place to uncover (and purchase) contemporary works by new talent.
  5. Pérez Art Museum Miami (https://www.pamm.org/)—PAMM is a great place to wind up your Downtown day. See the art and exhibitions both inside and out at the museum’s Herzog & de Meuron-designed building overlooking Biscayne Bay at the end of the day, because when the sun goes down, PAMM hosts some of the best art-fair parties in town.

Top 5 Art Fairs and Museums to Visit in Miami Beach

  1. Art Basel Miami Beach (https://artbasel.com/miami-beach)—If you’re going to attend just ONE fair during the week, Art Basel Miami Beach is the one. It may be the most important and respected art fair in North America and wandering its aisles can easily fill a day or two. Galleries clamor for a spot at this fair, and visitors can admire (and buy) works by artists ranging from Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder to the hottest young artists in the world today. Or, if you’re interested you might even purchase a banana taped to a wall!
  2. Design Miami (https://shop.designmiami.com/pages/dm21-visitor-info)—Celebrating the decorative arts, this well-respected fair features art-forward furniture that will elevate the look and feel of any home. The best names in the business can be found here. The fair is located right across the street from Art Basel and doesn’t take more than an hour to visit.
  3. Untitled (https://untitledartfairs.com/)—This highly curated fair takes place in a beachfront tent on Ocean Drive. It focuses on quality, rather than quantity, and leans cutting-edge.
  4. Scope (https://scope-art.com/)—Scope is best paired with a visit to Untitled, as they are located right next to one another, but completely different. Featuring emerging contemporary artists from all over the world, Scope is a great place to start your art collection.
  5. The Bass (https://thebass.org/)—The best contemporary art museum on South Beach, The Bass hosts a great party during Miami Art Week, but also presents memorable exhibitions by top-tier artists such as Paola Pivi and Ugo Rondinone.
Visitors in Hreinn Fridfinnsson Exhibition 2

Top 5 Miami Art Week Insider Tips

  1. Wear comfortable shoes! Sneakers are stylish, so embrace the trend as your best bet, and save yourself the literal pain that walking around on concrete floors in uncomfortable shoes for hours may cause.
  2. Bring a sweater or jacket—the A/C in the tents and convention halls can get chilly!
  3. Carpool, take a shuttle or use a rideshare service. As mentioned earlier, traffic is miserable to deal with during Art Week, so do your best to avoid it.
  4. Take a break. Whether you’re all about the parties or the art—or both—take a break to visit the best of everything else Miami has to offer, like the beach or a great restaurant.
  5. If you see something branded as “Art Basel,” don’t believe it. The ONLY official Art Basel is Art Basel Miami Beach, taking place at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Now you’re prepared to conquer Miami Art Week like a pro! Have fun!

Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College