December 3-6, 2015

Artists and art lovers from across the country and around the world are less than a week away from arriving in Miami Beach for one of the biggest events Miami Beach celebrates each year: Art-Basil_copy1Art Basel Miami Beach. Over 75,000 people will be in the Miami area for the annual event, starting this year on Thursday, December 3 and running through Sunday, December 6.

The original Art Basel exposition started in Switzerland in 1970. Miami Beach has played host to an American version of Art Basel every year since 2002, and this year is the fourteenth annual celebration of art to be held by Art Basel in South Florida. This year, 267 art galleries and museums are presenting portions of their collections for perusal, and in some cases, purchase.

Art galleries and museums in Miami’s Design District and Wynwood Arts District will have open houses for the four days of Art Basel. There are also large-scale shows; one will be held at the Art-Basil_copy2Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Drive). Public artwork installations can be seen in the open air at Collins Park (2100 Collins Avenue), and other works can be seen at SoundScape Park (500 17th Street). The public installation will stay in Collins Park through February 1, 2016.

The Art Basel Miami Beach centerpiece show, covering over 300,000 square feet at the Miami Art-Basil_copy3Beach Convention Center, will be open to the public starting at 3 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, with closing time at 8 p.m. The Convention Center will reopen on Friday, December 4 at noon and close at 8 p.m.; the same hours apply for Saturday, December 5. The final day of Art Basel is Sunday, December 6; public viewing hours are from noon to 6 p.m. Collins Park will open their outside installation at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2. There will be guided tours every afternoon at 2 p.m. starting Thursday, December 3.

The special Wednesday night viewing of the public art installation features works by a number of well-known artists from all over the world, and can be seen for the entire run of the Art Basel weekend. Here are some names you should watch out for at Collins Park during Art Basel:

Xavier Cha, Ryan Gander, Pope.L and Yan Xing – These four performance artists, from the United States, United Kingdom and China, will be seen throughout the evening and are on the opening night’s special performance program.

Jacob Kassay and Sam Falls – These artists, with their respective works “Untitled” and “Healing Pavilion,” will bring art-lovers into the art pieces themselves as the pieces of art they are going to display are part-art and part-conversation piece, complete with seating.

James Capper – The man-operated kinetic machine “Mountaineer Prototype” will be remotely operated and will interact with various guests along the park’s paths.

Olaf Bruening, Athena Papadopoulos and Hank Willis Thomas – These artists’ works focus on identity in a world where it is easy for others to make such important decisions without your knowledge or consent.

Marianne Vitale – An homage to America’s now-defunct tradition of metal-working and big industry, “Ace of Spades” is a 27-foot long sculpture completely sourced from a Pennsylvania scrap yard.

Sylvie Fleury and Michael Sailstorfer – These artists remark on commercialism in life today, with Ms. Fleury showcasing the name of a fragrance in neon lights, and Mr. Sailstorfer exhibiting a series of potted beer garden lights.

In addition to art created by the aforementioned artists, galleries from all over the world will present their works in “sectors” at the Convention Center, such as “nova” (art created in the last three years only), “positions” (a large platform allowing solo artists to pursue projects that showcase the world’s diversity), “edition” (collaborations between many well-known artists), and “survey” (art education projects).

To attend the art show at the Miami Beach Convention Center, as well as some other events, you must purchase tickets. Free events will be noted throughout this article. A one-day admission ticket costs $47 and an all-inclusive pass costs $100. You can buy the tickets at the venue, online at artbasel.com/miami-beach, or in advance at the Colony Theatre box office (1040 Lincoln Road).

For more information on Art Basel Miami Beach, visit artbasel.com. Follow them on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) @artbasel.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.