The Free Miami Art Week Events That Might Be Worth The Traffic
Because if you’re going to suffer Basel traffic, it better be worth it.
It takes a lot to justify leaving the house during Art Basel. And yet, there are actually some really cool things to see and do. What a dilemma. That’s why we made this guide. It’s a collection of public art, exhibitions, and events that are free and actually sound kind of cool. Now, obviously, we haven’t experienced them all because our time machine is broken, but this is our best educated guess at an entirely free Miami Art Week itinerary. We’ll continue to update it with cool (and free) stuff that comes across our radar.
Where To Eat, Drink, And Party During Art Basel In Miami
photo credit: Courtesy Faena
Free Public Art In The Faena District
The Faena Hotel in Mid-Beach always has cool public art on display during Basel. You can see an entire list of the week’s programming here. But one of the bigger ones taking place is Morning Glory by Paula de Solminihac. The huge piece consists of wooden decks arranged to resemble flowers and will be built right on the sand of the beach behind the Faena, where you can walk right up and interact with it.
Taking place at the Miami Beach dive bar Beaches, this exhibition comes from curatorial collective GoodToKnow.FYI in partnership with Daata.Art. It will feature video and digital works by a list of artists including Chloe Wise. The opening reception is on Wednesday, November 30th and Beta Fish will be open through December 4th (very late according to their Instagram).
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No Vacancy is a series of art installations at different Miami Beach hotels. The series consists of work from mostly local artists and is presented by the City of Miami Beach. Here's a map and guide to the participating artists and the hotels where you can find their work.
Jeffrey Deitch and Gagosian usually put on a free show in the Design District’s Moore Building. But this year, the collaborative exhibition moves from the Moore Building to the Buick Building (only a block away) for this year’s free show: “100 Years.” It's open to the public from November 28 through December 4 till 8pm (and 6pm Sunday).
The non-profit Art In Common is launching their exhibition Boil Toil + Trouble during Miami Art Week. The show will take place at 50 NE 40th Street from November 29 through December 11, and the theme of the exhibition is water. It will feature a list of prominent artists and special commissions, including works by Marina Abramovic, Maya Lin, Niki de Saint Phalle, Bruce Nauman, and Superflex.
The artists FriendsWithYou, who hung some adorable little cloud sculptures above Española Way last year, are back with another piece of public art in Miami Beach. This year, FriendsWithYou will debut a 50-foot-tall orange fellow they’re calling Starchild. The work will be up by Monday, November 28, at Henry Liebman Square (41st Street & Pine Tree Drive). Add it to your list of stops if and when you get up the courage to cross the causeway.
Loop will be an exhibition happening in Overtown from November 28 through December 3. Presented by Harlem's Claire Oliver Gallery (and taking place in and around Claire Oliver Gallery’s space at 919 NW 2nd Ave), Loop will consist of works by various artists as well as a free concert from Mumu Fresh on Tuesday, November 29. You can RSVP to that concert here.
The exhibition hosted at Mana Common lets its guests enter a “Web3 Metropolis” in Downtown to view works by numerous artists including photographer Andres Serrano. While the showcase is free to view, there’ll also be opportunities to bid on various NFTs. RSVP for a free ticket here.
The W South Beach is hosting an immersive Art-Meets-Web3 Bungalow presented by Surface and Polygon. It’s open from November 29 through December 1 (11am-3pm daily), with interactive art programmed by MokiBaby and activations with Recur, OffLimits, Prism Collective, and Spatial Labs. Even though the series of Salon talks are invite-only, anyone can walk in and check out the bungalow with registration (plus you can claim a digital collectible).
Last year Saint Laurent set up a free art gallery on the beach, and they're doing the same thing this year too. Inside will be a gallery curated by Madonna and Anthony Vaccarello that'll consist of images from Madonna's 1992 book Sex. It's open to the public from November 29 to December 4 (3pm-9pm), and is located at 17th St.
Let this serve as your annual reminder that the Design District’s ICA is free as long as you book an advanced ticket online. This is even true during Miami Art Week, and this year the ICA debuts a new set of exhibitions on November 28. If you’re a local, you should still plan to visit outside of Miami Art Week to avoid the crowds. Make sure to check out the Nina Chanel Abney: Big Butch Energy exhibit, which will feature work that “explores how gender perception and performance is inspired by the legacies of social ritual and visual culture.”
From November 30 through December 2, Art Basel Miami Beach and Ruinart will have a free lounge area at the beachfront between 21st and 22nd St. Jeppe Hein’s installation, Right Here, Right Now, will have meditative sound baths and sounds like it'll be a good place to stop and rest if you’re fair hopping and your feet feel like they’re about to explode. Space inside is limited, but it’s open to the public on a first come, first served basis.
Drone art has become a recurring theme at Basel in the last few years. This year, you can expect a drone show from Drift called Franchise Freedom. It's happening directly over the Miami Beach Convention Center on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7pm. It'll last for about 15 minutes, so set an alarm if you're in the area.
YoungArts Gallery, housed inside that very cool building on Biscayne and NE 21st St you've probably driven by a hundred times, has a free exhibition open to the public now through Saturday from 10am–6pm. The show, Sunshine, features work by Miami native Mark Fleuridor. You can read more details about it over at YoungArts website.
Last year, FriendsWithYou hung little cloud dudes above Española Way. This year, Haitian-born artist Eduoard Duval Carrie debuts Trapeze Contortionists. The public installation features silhouettes of 15 figures of dancers cut from lightweight aluminum hanging above the east end of Española Way. So keep an eye out if you're passing by.