Arguably, the most wonderful time of the year in Miami isn’t Christmas—it’s Art Week. Whether you’re a visitor, a snowbird or an aspiring homeowner, here are the essentials about the 2022 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach and Art Week more generally.
1. HISTORY & TERMINOLOGY. Art Basel and Art Week are not the same thing. Though the two terms are used synonymously, Art Basel refers to the enormous art show at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Drive), as well as a smattering of Art Basel-branded events around town. Art Basel Miami Beach debuted in 2002 under the direction of Sam Keller, and because the event skipped 2020 due to the coronavirus, 2023 marks its 21 st year. Due to the success of Art Basel Miami Beach—with its sister shows in Hong Kong and Basel, Switzerland—an annual industry grew up around it during the first week of every December. This is what we refer to as Art Week, with its range of venues and parties across Miami Beach and Miami’s neighborhoods on the mainland.
2. THE ANCHOR. We must pay homage to what started it all: Art Basel Miami Beach is miraculous—an art pop-up the size and scope of a museum. It’s an ephemeral wonder that serves as Art Week’s anchor. More than 200 galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia make up the list of participants in the Miami Beach show. VIP days are Tues., Nov. 29 and Wed., Nov. 30. Public days: Thurs., Dec. 1 through Sat., Dec. 3. Ticket prices start at $70 ($55 for students and seniors). The Convention Center itself, which dates from 1958, is mighty impressive: With 500,000 square feet of exhibition space, the venue underwent a stunning $620 million renovation, completed in 2018.
3. THE BEST NEIGHBORHOODS. For Art Basel lovers, Miami Beach and South Beach are the top places to live. Since 80,000 people from around the globe converge on the area—and that’s just the headcount at the Convention Center—traffic can be a challenge.
But imagine living a 10-minute walk or bike ride away from the main show? Getting there might be chaos to everyone else, but it’s convenient to you. Moreover, you can see most of what Art Week has to offer without even leaving the island. In addition to Art Basel Miami Beach, several pop-up galleries appear on the beach itself. For example, Untitled Art, the leading independent art fair that is a staple of Art Week, takes place under a white tent on the sands of South Beach, as does the popular Scope. If you want to venture off Miami Beach, be patient and plan carefully to experience such popular shows as Spectrum Miami in Wynwood.
4. DON’T FORGET DESIGN. Art Week can be so frantic, that, in trying to get to the next venue, visitors may overlook Design Miami, which is located adjacent to the Convention Center. That would be a mistake, because Design Miami—founded in 2005 by entrepreneur, real estate developer, and art and design collector Craig Robins—is both inspiring and highly manageable. The tightly curated show features some of the world’s best furniture, lighting, ceramics and other collectibles.