Since it debuted in 2002 (following a planned launch in 2001 that was scrapped after 9/11), Art Basel Miami Beach has become a global phenomenon. A spin-off of one of the worldâs biggest art fairs, Art Basel, held yearly in the Swiss city of the same name, Miami Basel mixes art world commerce and networking with the see-and-be-seen mania of South Beach.
Hundreds of galleries from the US, Asia, Europe, and Latin America exhibit in the main fair, anchored at the Miami Beach Convention Center, as well as a host of satellite fairs and events that have sprung up in hotels, warehouses, and tents around the area. Last year, the event drew a crowd of 36,000.
This year, four groups from Tampa will be in town to strut their stuffâa reflection both of Miami Baselâs importance as an art event and Tampaâs growing strength as an arts community.
Graphicstudio represents at Ink Miami, a special fair devoted to printed works on paper.
Flight 19/Experimental Skeleton, the collaborative group led by Joe Griffith, works with Locust Projects of Miami to showcase work by Negativland at SCOPE.
Bleu Acier, Erika Greenberg-Schneiderâs print studio and contemporary art gallery, sets up shop at the Bridge Art Fair.
And the Tampa Museum of Art throws a bash to celebrate local artist Jeff Whippleâs multimedia installation at South Seas Hotel in the center of all the action on SoBeâs Collins Avenue.
Stay tuned as I try to take it all inâfrom drunken hipsters in stilettos to $70,000 paintings. Between the obligatory fruity cocktails, of course.