For art lovers, the most anticipated week of the year is about to begin.
Art Basel Miami Beach, the four-day contemporary art fair held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, has spawned a weeklong smorgasbord with more than two dozen satellite fairs, public art installations and many more exhibitions from the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables. It’s far more than even the biggest appetite can consume.
That’s where we come in. Let our experts be your docents.
“It’s impossible to see it all,” said Kendall Hamersly, senior editor for features. “We can help ensure you see the best of it.”
We begin today, with a front-page story by Lydia Martin that explores a city in the midst of a cultural awakening, and our 11th annual Art Basel magazine. The 74-page insider’s guide, put together by visual arts editor Jane Wooldridge and beautifully designed by Juan Lopez and Ana Lense Larrauri, includes everything from a day-by-day breakdown of the best of the week to practical advice on navigating the sprawling exhibits and tips on where to get a bite to eat.
Those survival tips, suggested by a reader last year and collected from reporters, come “from the massive experience of sore feet and long days where you forget to eat lunch,” Wooldridge said.
Over the next seven days, we’ll provide continuous coverage both in print and online, including a look into the business of art in Business Monday, an updated daily calendar and a critic’s art pick beginning on Wednesday.
On MiamiHerald.com, we’ll file up-to-the-minute reports on traffic and buzz-worthy art, as well as videos of interactive art. Check out Miami.com for a regularly updated blog on Art Basel comings and goings, highlights and celebrity sightings. Our team of reporters and editors also will be on Twitter using #artbasel2012.
While Art Basel Miami Beach has been a constant, it has given way to dozens of satellite fairs in Wynwood and Midtown that are nearly as much a destination as the key exhibit. South Florida also has changed. When Art Basel first came to Miami Beach, the region was on the cusp of an arts revival that is on full display now with the Adrienne Arsht Center, the Frank Gehry-designed New World Symphony, the Frost Science Museum and the Miami Art Museum going up along Biscayne Boulevard — and the recent announcement that YoungArts will move to the Bacardi campus just north of the Arsht.
The Miami Herald has chronicled that evolution as part of our continued commitment to document and celebrate the cultural coming-of-age for our community. It’s a key component of our mission to provide the best local reporting.
Wooldridge, who has attended every Art Basel Miami Beach since its inception, marvels at the change. “It’s not that there wasn’t an arts community here, because there was,” she said. “But Art Basel is a prism that helps to highlight Miami as a place where art, and the arts, are increasingly valued. The whole thing has created a dynamic for art lovers that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”