Beyond Basel: Downtown Miami Art Week Guide

In addition to avoiding the traffic and the headaches, Miamians know the real Art Basel fun happens on the mainland.  Whether we’re enjoying exhibits around town or popping into parties, there’s so much more to see beyond Basel Miami Beach.  We breakdown the top downtown Miami art week events:

Monday, November 30

Start of Basel than with an exhibit straight from Basel (Switzerland, that is).  The historic downtown Miami Dupont Building will be home to Ping Pong, an exhibit featuring artists from Basel, Miami and Los Angeles.

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Simultaneously, the Artisan Lounge will be hosting an opening reception for “TERRA the Essence of Survival.” The exhibit will explore the beauty and complexities of the environment through paintings, sculptures and photographs inspired by nature.

Limo by Nate Page

Tuesday, December 1

Tuesday marks the first official day of Art Basel and there’s no better way to spend it than on a walking tour of downtown Miami art.  Start your morning off with a little bit of reality-bending art at the Fringe Project: Limo.  Los Angeles artist Nate Page situates a partially buried limousine in a vacant lot to question Miami’s culture of excess.  Then head over to Bayfront Park for a bite to eat at the Spanish market, pop-up La Feria and tour the 15 Botero sculptures.

Head north for an afternoon at another Fringe Project, A Day in the Life of the Coral by David Brooks, at Museum Park.  A series of billboards share the artist’s visits to coral reefs in the waters around Downtown Miami and the impact humans are having on them.

InterContinental Art
InterContinental Hotel

Cap off the day with a short trip on the Metromover to the InterContinental Hotel for drinks at Toro Toro and the “Form and Substance” exhibit.   An interior exhibition of projection mapping, video, light art and a monumental exterior public art installation projected onto the hotel’s 360-foot north facade. Individual artists and collaborative teams from the around the world have been selected to participate.

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Wednesday, December 2

Performance art is the name of the game on Wednesday.  Explore the human relationship with water during “Holoscenes,” a large aquarium in the Kyriakides Plaza on the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus, filled with people going through day-to-day activities under water.

Then head over to Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) for Dimensions, a multi-part composition by Devonté Hynes and sculptural elements with choreography by Ryan McNamara.  The collaborative performance commissioned by PAMM explores the fragmented history of Miami.

Thursday, December 3

Thursday provides an entirely new day of “off-the-beach” Basel fun and you can knock three different art fairs off your list in one spot.  Red Dot Art Fair, Art Spot and Spectrum all find a new home in the Arts and Entertainment district.  The three pop-ups feature either free entrance by pre-registering online.

Friday, December 4

For Friday, we’re going a little rugged with two installation pieces that appeal to the inner Bob Villa.  “Leyden Rodriguez Casanova: Exhuming Obsolence” brings attention to the limited lifespan of mass produced items through salvaged items arranged along wall structures in the Miami Center for Architecture and Design.  The piece explores the relationship between art, architecture and design.

Turning to machinery and art, the Turn-Based Press “Paper Pavement” displays artist Nick Gilmore’s prints using a steam roller and paper on the streets of downtown Miami.  The piece aims to preserve the history of Miami’s urban core as it enters a new chapter in development.

SWAY at the Olympia Theater


Finish off the day on a different note with Dancing With the Stars’ Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, and Valentin Chmerkovskiy as they present Sway: A Dance Trilogy, a compilation of ballroom and Latin dancing.  The intimate performance at the Olympia Theater will  feature ballroom, live theater and well-known dance genres.

Saturday, December 5

Wrap up your week with a step back in history at the Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College.  From 12:30 to 2:00 pm, Steven and William Ladd will be conducting a tour of their hand-sculpted boxes which when opened reveal meticulously constructed environments and when closed and stacked become soaring towers.  The exhibit titled “Mary Queen of the Universe” is sponsored by Terra Group and The Knight Foundation.

Finish up Art Basel festivities with one of the most popular art events in recent years, History of Miami‘s Street Photography Festival. Stop by from 3:00 to 5:00 pm to see world-class photographers, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, photo walks, and portfolio reviews. The festival’s mission is to give exposure to up-and-coming photographers from around the globe and highlight the best in international street photography.

And finally, reward yourself for all of that culture you’ve taken in by rooting for your favorite basketball team during the Miami Heat versus Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday evening at the American Airlines Arena Saturday evening.

Ping Pong (Alfred J. DuPont Building, 169 E Flagler St. Miami, FL 33137)

TERRA The Essence of Survival (The Artisan Lounge, 500 NE 1 Ave., Miami FL 33132)

Fringe Project: Limo by Nate Page (227 NE 2nd Street, Miami, FL 33132)

Botero Monumental Sculture Exhibit (Bayfront Park, 301 N Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132)

Fringe Project: A Day in the Life of Coral (Museum Park, 100 NE 1 Ave., Miami, FL 33130)

Form and Substance (InterContinental Hotel Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131)

Holoscenes (Kyriakides Plaza, MDC Wolfson Campus 400 SE 2 Ave., Miami, FL 33131)

PAMM Presents (1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132) 

RedDot, ArtSpot and Spectrum (1700 NE 2 Avenue, Miami, FL 33132)

Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova: Exhuming Obsolence (MCAD, 100 NE 1 Ave., Miami, FL 33130)

Paper Pavement (DWNTWN Art House, 100 NE 11 Street, Miami, FL 33132)

Sway: A Dance Trilogy (Olympia Theater, 174 E Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33131)

Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College (600 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132) 

Miami Street Photography Festival (101 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33131)

American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132)