It takes a lot to justify leaving the house during Miami Art Week. The city can feel like a chaotic game of Sims, and traffic is beyond awful. 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 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. And we’ll continue to update it with cool (and free) stuff that comes across our radar this week.
Oh, one more thing: some of these events do require an RSVP. If that’s the case, we’ve included the RSVP link. We’ve also separated the Miami Beach events from the City of Miami events, in case that helps you make a decision.
Miami Beach Events
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. That programming includes Andrés Reisinger’s “The Smell of Pink” - an immersive installation that “invites audiences into a dream-like experience akin to stepping inside a rose quartz, surrounded by scents inspired by music and nature.” We’re about 45% sure what that means, but it sounds pretty neat. There will also be a few really cool installations on the beach behind the Faena. If you do go check it out, stroll around to make sure you see everything. There will be a lot of public art in and around the various Faena properties, including in the Faena pool.
Speaking of art on the beach, here’s another one to check out. 55 Sunrises, located on the sand at 17th St. in South Beach, is from the artist Sho Shibuya and presented by Saint Laurent. It’s basically an art gallery on the literal beach, and it’s free, so add it to your list of stops if you’re in the area.
The Bass Sculpture Garden
We love walking around The Bass sculpture garden on any day, but it’s a particularly good idea to check it out during Basel. This year they’re adding a sculptural installation by Abraham Cruzvillegas called “Agua Dulce”. The 14,000-square-foot work consists of over 1,000 plants and more than 20 different species of native flora - many of which, according to The Bass, “have medicinal properties and are regularly used by the Seminoles.” Admission to The Bass itself isn’t free, but it’s a great museum worth checking out if you already happen to be in their front yard. Plus, the normal $15 admission fee is waived if you’re a Miami Beach resident, City of Miami Beach employee, or military personal with valid ID.
FriendsWithYou On Española Way
If you’re already walking around South Beach, take a detour to Española Way to check out a public installation from FriendsWithYou. The artists’ famous happy clouds are strung above the east end of Española Way, and are guaranteed to make you 37% happier, which can come in handy if traffic on the MacArthur made you 37% sadder. On the opposite end of Española Way, you’ll find another hanging work - called Milagro! - by Carlos Betancourt.
Skateboarding And Graffiti At The Confidante
Wynwood’s Museum of Graffiti is hosting a free exhibit at the Confidante. The Museum has teamed up with Few and Far, an all-female graffiti collective, and will build a skate ramp in the hotel’s backyard. The ramp will be painted by members of Few and Far, and will also host live skate sessions from 5-8pm Wednesday through Friday. There will also be a new gallery show from Few and Far on display in the Confidante’s first floor lobby.
City Of Miami Events
“Shattered Glass” At The Moore Building
The Design District’s Moore Building is always one of the best free art experiences of Miami Art Week, and this year is no different. From Monday through Sunday, Jeffrey Deitch takes over the space for “Shattered Glass”, an exhibition showcasing emerging BIPOC artists. The art here is always impressive, and the Moore Building, which features an installation from the late Zaha Hadid, is also just a gorgeous space to roam around. The exhibition is open Monday from 5-8pm, Tue-Sat from 10am-8pm, and Sunday from 10am-6pm. And while you’re in the Design District, walk around to see lots more new public art on display throughout the neighborhood.
A Labyrinth In The Design District
A pop-up forest and labyrinth is taking over the Design District’s Jungle Plaza this week. The installation - called “Five Echoes” - is a collaboration between Chanel and the artist Es Devlin (whose Mirror Maze you might have already seen at Superblue). The labyrinth is open to the public, and will consist of five “concentric pathways,” “corridors of striated light,” and some interesting smells, since this whole thing is meant to promote Chanel’s perfume. So essentially, it’s a big, colorful maze you can wander through that will probably also smell good. You can reserve free tickets here, but walk-ins are also welcome. The installation opens this Tuesday and runs through December 21, from noon to 8pm. So, you don’t actually need to leave the house this week to experience it.
Shantell Martin Live Drawing
The wonderful artist Shantell Martin will be doing a live drawing at The Sacred Space in Wynwood on Saturday. Martin is a British visual artist best known for her stream-of-consciousness drawings and light projections. She started her career doing drawings for live DJ sets in Japan and has since collaborated with a bunch of brands from Puma to North Face. There will also be music by Kate Voegele, Julia Michaels, and Miami’s own DJ Irie. The event is free, but you will need to RSVP online.
First Fridays At The ICA
The Design District’s ICA is bringing back its First Fridays series for Miami Art Week. Taking place in the museum’s backyard, the party will include performances from rapper Galcher Lustwerk, Hiro Kone, and Miho Hatori. It should be a good time, but you will need to RSVP in order to attend. You can do that here.
So this one isn’t an event, but a series of works scattered around Miami. SaveArtSpace is an organization that turns advertisement space into public art. For Basel, the SaveArtSpace has teamed up with a whole bunch of artists (including some local favorites) to turn various bus stop ads and billboards into works of public art. You can find the list of artists and where to find their work here.
Miami Mural Festival
The Wynwood Walls are sadly not free this year, but the Miami Mural Festival - happening now through Sunday - is still a good option if you want to see some of Wynwood’s newest murals. You can register for free tickets online and view a map of the murals on display (most of which is concentrated in Mana Wynwood Convention Center). Expect work by artists like Ron English, Case MaClaim, Queen Andrea, Magnus Sodamin, FINOK, and more.
Flagler Street Art Festival
The Flagler Street Art Festival is from the same team behind the Miami Mural Festival - and it’s a similar idea, but located in Downtown. Taking place at 150 E. Flagler Street, there will be an outdoor digital NFT gallery (including a 23-foot digital canvas) and 15 murals to check out. It all takes place Tuesday through Sunday.