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How to do Art Basel in Miami

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By Sean McGregor

Going to Miami for Art Basel week can be a lot to embrace and can be somewhat confusing for first timers.

Art Basel is a for-profit, privately owned and managed international art fair staged annually in Basel (Switzerland), Miami Beach, and Hong Kong, selling established and emerging artists. In South Florida, it is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center between Dec. 6-9, hosting some of the world’s best, most famous, and most expensive artists in different galleries from around the world. It is certainly a sight to see.

The Bellissima team worked an art installation at last year’s Art Basel.

In addition to Art Basel, there are many other, smaller art fairs occurring across Miami during this week, filled with every kind of art imaginable. In fact, to see all of it, visitors should plan to spend several days attending some of these different fairs. Most of these fairs are in the Wynwood and Midtown areas of Miami, though they tend to be scattered all around Miami and Miami Beach.

Anyone can attend these fairs and most tickets can be purchased online in advance. A simple Google search will bring up some of the most popular fairs. Admission tickets range anywhere from $20 and higher for VIP, depending on the fair.

Our recommendation: treat yourself to a VIP ticket for at least one or two fairs. Covering these fairs requires a lot of walking, and the VIP area will offer a place to relax, people watch, and enjoy some food and drinks while taking in all of the incredible art.

Most of the major fairs close between 8 and 9 p.m., but the fun certainly doesn’t stop there. Walk the streets of Wynwood and take in all kinds of interesting art. Almost every single building in Wynwood is covered in some sort of exterior mural. These walls are constantly changing, and the lucky might even come across famous artists, such as Alec Monopoly (who is there quite often), painting one of these giant murals.

Behind these walls are even more galleries where everything from smaller, local artists to big name artists can be found. Keep exploring and each corner will lead to some of the most interesting art ever seen, loads of the coolest underground bars and clubs, and much, much more. In fact, there’s so much to see in Wynwood, a person could spend an entire day just walking its vibrant and art-filled streets.

Wynwood is the heart of Miami’s Art District. Everything in Wynwood revolves around art, so Basel week is a giant celebration. So much so that parking lots turn into outdoor nightclubs sponsored by major liquor companies with headlining artists that are some of the biggest names in their respective genres. There are outdoor bars and plenty of food trucks everywhere. It’s more like a giant block party, filled with some of the most interesting people from all over the world.

If that isn’t enough, Miami’s hottest nightclubs will host some of the year’s craziest parties during this week. VIP sections will be packed with celebrities, artists, rappers, and all kinds of people from all over. All are here to celebrate one thing: Art.

Art Basel week and everything that surrounds it should certainly be on everyone’s social to-do list for early December. Plan to spend a few days in the area; It will certainly be worth it.

For a full list of all the art fairs, visit art-collecting.com/miami_art_fairs.htm. See you down there.

Sean McGregor is social media specialist and project coordinator at Bellissima Luxury & Fine Art Services. Bellissima manages installations, storage and transport of fine art objects on yachts as well. Comments are welcome below.

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