Our Handy Guide to the 12 Key Art Fairs During Art Basel Miami Beach Week 2018

Our compendium of the fairs setting up shop in and around Miami Beach during this year's Art Basel.

Courtesy of Art Basel Miami Beach.

It’s that time of year. The globetrotting art industry is getting ready to head for warmer climes as the 17th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach gets underway next week, December 6 through 9. There are a few changes to the programming this year, with fewer satellite fairs—though still an unwieldy amount—and the main fair’s decision to ditch its outdoor sculpture and film program in favor of an indoor performance. The staggering number of fairs, parties, and other events can seem impossible to navigate, so we’ve prepared a handy cheat sheet for where you need to be, when, and why.


©Art Basel.

What: More than 200 galleries will be at the newly renovated convention center this year to display works by an eye-watering 4,000 artists from around the globe. The show is organized around six main sections: Galleries, Nova, Positions, Editions, Kabinett, and Survey. The big news this year is the demise of the Public Art Program (the free outdoor sculpture installations) and the film program at the Miami Beach SoundScape Park, which are being replaced by a live performance by conceptual artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, whose work Autorreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist… was on view at The Kitchen in New York earlier this year.

Where: Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive

When: Private partyy (invitation only) Wednesday, December 5, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Vernissage (invitation only) December 6, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; public days, December 6, 3 p.m.–8 p.m.; December 7 & 8, noon–8 p.m.; December 9, noon–6 p.m.

Day ticket: $50; multi-day: $130


Table and chairs by Christopher Schanck at Friedman Benda's booth at Design Miami. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

Table and chairs by Christopher Schanck at Friedman Benda’s booth at Design Miami. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

What: The collectible design fair that accompanies Art Basel at each of its global outposts, Design Miami brings together curated exhibitions alongside artist-made objects and furniture, plus partnerships with various institutions.

Where: Meridian Avenue and 19th Street, Miami Beach; adjacent to Miami Beach Convention Center

When: Opening night preview: 5–7 p.m.; Vernissage, Wednesday, December 5: 10 a.m.–noon; December 5: noon–8 p.m.; December 6: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; December 7: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; December 8: noon–8 p.m.; December 9: noon–6 p.m.

Day ticket: $32; Combination ticket (one day access to Design Miami and Art Basel): $85



Courtesy of Art Miami.

What: For its 29th edition, Art Miami is once again appearing at its new site in downtown Miami on the waterfront of 1 Miami Herald Plaza, kicking off the weekend with an invitation-only VIP preview on December 4. This year’s special events include an exhibition curated by actress Brooke Shields, a trustee of the New York Academy of Art, along with academy president David Kratz, comprised of work created by the school’s alumni.

Where: 1 Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street On Biscayne Bay

When: VIP Preview: Tuesday: 5:30–10 p.m.; Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Day ticket (includes admission to Art Miami & CONTEXT): $55; Multi-day: $100


Courtesy of CONTEXT Art Miami.

What: CONTEXT is posted up right next door to its sister fair, Art Miami, at 1 Herald Plaza. Launched in 2012, the event hosts 95 international galleries, and last year welcomed more than 80,000 visitors over the course of the six-day event. Of the many exhibitors, one to look forward to is Rhodes Contemporary’s show of British artist Lucy Sparrow, best known for her ersatz bodega installations that feature products made entirely of felt. This year’s plushy presentation is called “Triple Art Bypass” and will approximate a medical facility.

Where: 1 Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street On Biscayne Bay

When: VIP Preview: Tuesday: 5:30–10 p.m.; Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Day ticket (includes admission to Art Miami & CONTEXT): $55; Multi-day: $100


The Aqua Hotel.

What: The third leg of the Art Miami trio is the Aqua fair, held at its namesake hotel, which oozes classic South Beach vibes. The hotel itself is set in the heart of South Beach, though somewhat away from the main drag of other art fairs, making the crowds less intense and the environment more intimate.

Where: Aqua Hotel at 1530 Collins Avenue

When: VIP preview (access for Aqua, Art MIami, and CONTEXT): Wednesday, 3–10 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday: 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Day ticket: $25; Multi-day: $100


Screenshot of the Virtual Gallery created by AICAN. Courtesy of AICAN.

What: For its 18th edition, Scope Art Fair is welcoming a whopping 140 exhibitors from around the world. This year, SCOPE is getting in on AI-fever, debuting works by “the most autonomous AI artist in existence, AICAN” who will collaborate with (IRL) artists Tim Bengel and Devin Gharakhanian. This project is just the latest capitalizing on the buzz of Christie’s first ever sale of an AI portrait at auction and the new frontier of artificial intelligence in the art world.

Where: SCOPE Miami Beach Pavilion is located at 801 Ocean Drive.

When: Tuesday–Sunday, noon–8 p.m.

Day ticket: $40; Multi-day: $105


Xandro Vallès and Gema Perales, Aggtelek (2018), presented by Ponce + Robles in the Countries Project for Spain.

What: This will be the 12th edition of the event that bills itself a “Latin American art fair with a global perspective.” The Crossing Cultures platform includes a main section with more than 80 galleries from Latin America, Europe, and the US. The Countries section is dedicated specifically to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Spain, plus there’s an array of various other exhibiting platforms. The Proyecto Visible will feature four emerging Latin American artists selected by curator Jesús Fuenmayor.

Where: Mana Wynwood at 2217 NW Fifth Avenue; preview (invitation only):

When: Tuesday: 6–9 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday: noon–8 p.m.; Sunday: noon–7 p.m.

Tickets: Pre-sale online through November 30 are $25; General admission are $30



NADA Miami 2017, with Exhibition A and Orient NY Swim at Ice Palace Film Studios.

What: The New Art Dealers Alliance fair in Miami is the premiere non-profit art fair, and constantly generates buzz with emerging galleries and artists. NADA’s Special Projects this year includes a new work by Tyree Guyton, who in 1986 founded the Heidelberg Project, an art-as-activism mission to revamp one of Detroit’s most run-down areas with colorful art interventions and community-based projects.

Where: Ice Palace Studios at 1400 North Miami Avenue.

When: VIP Preview (invitation only) Thursday: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; Thursday: 2–7 p.m.; Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Day ticket: $20; run-of-show: $40



Special Projects: Lucy + Jorge Orta, “Antarctic Village – No Borders, Dome Dwelling” at UNTITLED. Photograph by Casey Kelbaugh.

What: Another perennial favorite on the fair circuit, the seventh edition of UNTITLED welcomes 46 new exhibitors to the slate of 133 international galleries. The special projects series is again selected by director Omar Lopez-Chahoud and guest curator AGUAS. Highlights to look out for include the joint project by Tomas Vu and Rirkrit Tiravanija, Do We Dream Under the Same Sky? which features an ongoing series of performances and installations, as well as Miami-based artist Felice Grodin’s Mezzbug, a digital project that uses virtual interaction and augmented reality.

Where: Ocean Drive and 12th Street, South Beach, Miami

When: VIP and press preview (invitation only): Tuesday: 1–8 p.m.; Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday,: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Day ticket: $31.50


Dave Pollot, Mellow Yellow (2016). Courtesy of the artist and Superfine!

What: With 45 booths on display, the “finest fair” kicks off its super-charged week with an “ethereal twilight vernissage” on December 6 where you can start off a truly Miami-style visit with complimentary cotton candy-flavored champagne while performance artists entertain guests.

Where: Art Deco Welcome Center: 1001 Ocean Drive

When: Thursday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.

Twilight Vernissage All-Access: $50; Thursday/Friday day pass: $10.50; Saturday/Sunday day pass: $12.61


Courtesy of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair.What: PULSE’s 14th edition will once again host traditional booth-style exhibitors, along with dedicated programming. This is the second year the fair is directed by Katelijne De Backer, who is welcoming more than 70 exhibitors, 26 of whom are newcomers to the fair. The two beachside pavilions will be divided into multi-artist booths and solo presentations, all of which are eligible for the coveted PULSE prize.

Where: Indian Beach Park at 4601 Collins Avenue;

When: Private preview brunch (invitation only); Thursday, December 6: 10 a.m.–1 p.m.; Thursday, December 6: 1–5 p.m.; Friday, December 7 & Saturday, December 8: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday, December 9: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Day ticket: $27.24; Multi-day ticket: $42.99



Fairgoers at Spectrum Miami, 2017.

What: This year, Red Dot has moved back to the Wynwood arts district, where it will take over Mana Wynwood along with Spectrum Miami for the first time since 2015. The curatorial themes for the shows this year are “Illuminate” at Red Dot, and “Allure” at Spectrum. The joint opening night preview party will have cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a DJ.

Where: Mana Wynwood at 2217 NW Fifth Avenue (at NW 22nd Street)

When: Opening night preview party: Wednesday: 6–10 p.m.; Thursday: 1–9 p.m.; Friday: 1–10 p.m.; Saturday: 1–9 p.m.; Sunday: noon–5 p.m.

Day ticket: $25; Opening night plus five-day pass: $75


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