The Miami Art Scene: Part 3 – Art Festivals & Events
There is no shortage of art related events in Miami. You can find everything from small niche fairs to the giant Art Basel fair and its related satellite fairs and events. Universities, hotels, art districts, and other institutions also hold mini events to coincide with these mega-events. VIP receptions and gallery preview parties also are a regular occurrence. There are endless options for art lovers to explore, and in Miami, art is a year-round event.
Below, I am going to showcase a few of the better-known events. I am providing links to each fair's website rather than listing hours and admission prices since they are subject to change from year to year. In addition, the pandemic caused some fair closings and date changes.
Remember this is Part 3 of a series on the Miami Art Scene including museums, galleries, and events.
For over 30 years, Art Miami has showcased contemporary art in one of the largest and most respected art fairs in the United States. Artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries from a slate of international galleries are on display.
Held every year in December during Art Week, Art Miami has two sister fairs:
CONTEXT Art Miami focuses on emerging and mid-career artists. The works featured are created specifically for the fair.
Aqua Art Miami is a unique fair held in a South Beach hotel. This fair takes up rooms on the first floor, second floor, lobby, and sundeck of the Aqua Hotel at 1530 Collins Avenue. The fair was voted Best Art Fair by The Miami New Times in 2018.
Design Miami/ opened its doors in 2005. The fair holds biannual events in Miami and Basel, Switzerland. They celebrate and inform on the collectability of contemporary design. The Miami fair is held in the first week of December during Miami Art Week. They present one-of-a-kind, limited-edition design objects, including contemporary furniture, lighting, ceramics, and art pieces curated from the most respected galleries and design studios globally.
Not just a marketplace for collectable design, Design Miami/ presents exhibits, panels, and lectures from globally recognized curators, critics, designers, and artists. Design Miami/ also has a blog spotlighting design and coverage of fair events on their website under the sections The Forum/ and Design Talk/.
Images from Design Miami/ showing exhibits from Galleries and Curios sections of the fair. Use your arrows or mouse to navigate. Images Courtesy of Design Miami/ - ©James Harris Photography
Returning in the first week of December for its 20th year, SCOPE brings its pavilion to the sands of South Beach. Sitting between the beachfront and Ocean Drive's Art Deco hotels, SCOPE brings 140 exhibitors to showcase contemporary art.
To complement its regular presentation, SCOPE is introducing a new program with the addition of "The New Contemporary," an experiential, multidisciplinary program with daily programming featuring large scale installations, music performances, and panel discussions during the day. Then, after-hours, there is a premium nightlife experience with world-class music talent.
Guests are encouraged to attend morning wellness programming and guided meditation, against the backdrop of beautiful South Beach. The afternoons bring talks with topics ranging from Art & Technology to Discovering Under-Represented Artists to NFTs.
For more information visit their website at: SCOPE
Art Basel Miami Beach is the premier modern and contemporary art fair in North America. The fair started in 1970 in Basel, Switzerland and today three fairs are staged in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach. The Miami fair is held in December during Miami Art Week.
Art Basel Miami Beach attracts over 90,000 visitors from over 80 countries to view exhibits from 289 international galleries. The galleries showcase works by over 4,000 artists.
Art collectors, publishers, editors, critics, and celebrities descend on Miami during what has become known as Miami Art Week. The Art Week ecosystem now includes many satellite fairs, invitation only VIP parties, private dinners, hotel events, museum events and lectures, and art district events all over Miami and Miami Beach.
Arriving for Art Basel are representatives from over 400 museums and institutions such as Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museo de Arte de Lima; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires; Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium; National Gallery Singapore; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Serpentine Galleries, London; and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Art Basel Miami Beach is divided up into the following sections:
Galleries (works from leading galleries)
Nova (works created within the last three years)
Positions (dedicated to emerging artists)
Survey (historical works)
Edition (editioned works, prints, and multiples)
Meridians (large-scale artworks)
Kabinett (curated exhibitions including thematic, art-historical, and solo presentations)
Conversations (moderated panels)
The fair is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Invitation only VIP days can bring brisk sales in the millions for sought-after works. Pricing varies but $200,000 to $2,000,000 are a good middle of the road for the fair. Works with asking prices surpassing that range are common as are works in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.
Celebrities in the art community and outside are plentiful during the preview days. Notable celebrities and high-net-worth collectors are here adding to their collections and to the glamour of the event. They can be found browsing at favorite gallery booths and are a fixture of the many private celebrations around town. Past celebrity art lovers have included Leonardo Dicaprio, Pharrell Williams, Eva Longoria, Tommy Hilfiger, Lenny Kravitz, Martha Stewart, Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny, Sean Penn, Zoe Saldana . . . I think you get the idea. The fair's popularity extends from celebrities to artists, from collectors to investors, and even people who just want to see beautiful works of art.
Coconut Grove Art Festival
The Coconut Grove Arts Festival has been around since 1963. Those early years didn't hint at what this outdoor art festival would become. Today the festival is attended by over 120,000 visitors making it one of the largest outdoor art festivals in the country. It is held yearly in Coconut Grove on President's Day weekend for three days.
Art in a vast variety of mediums is represented including mixed media, clay, digital art, glass, sculpture, wood, jewelry, photography, prints, watercolor and more. Over 350 artists are showcased. Educational activities are available for kids and there are more than 50 food vendors at the festival.
The Art Wynwood fair takes place in February at the same location as Art Miami and Context Art Miami. The fair has been held over the President's Day weekend since 2012. The show is held in collaboration with the Miami International Boat Show. The yachts on display are in a marina that is adjacent to the art show.
The fair is visited by around 25,000 art lovers. Art works from over 180 artists from 50 international galleries are exhibited.
For more information visit their website at: Art Wynwood
The Beaux Arts Festival of Art
The Beaux Arts Festival of Art has been celebrating art and supporting the Lowe Art Museum of the University of Miami for over 70 years. The festival offers over 200 exhibitors, a student art showcase, a summer camp, music, food vendors, and a fundraising ball. Artists present works in a variety of mediums including oil/acrylics, watercolor, mixed media, photography, ceramics, wood, digital art, graphics/drawing, glass, and jewelry. The festival is held in mid-January.
For more information visit their website at: Beaux Arts Festival of Art
INK Miami is a small art fair that takes place in December during Miami Art Week. The fair's focus is contemporary works on paper. Exhibitors are selected from the membership of the International Fine Print Dealers Association The fair is held at the Suites of Dorchester Hotel on 1850 Collins Avenue.
For more information visit their website at: INK Miami
NADA Art Fair
NADA Miami Art Fair is held in December during Miami Art Week. Of course, you are shocked . . . another fair during art week?!? Well, yes and it's another good one. NADA was founded in 2002 by the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA). The focus for NADA is to provide artists who are not usually granted access with a platform and to make art more available to the general public.
The membership of the Alliance includes international artists, art professionals, and galleries. Membership is by invitation only. The fair is held in the Ice Palace Studios located at 1400 North Miami Avenue.
For more information visit their website at: NADA Art Fair
UNTITLED, Miami Beach
Since 2012, UNTITLED, Miami Beach curators have emphasized innovation and experimentation to break free from the standard fair model. To this end, the fair selects a new curatorial team each year. The fair takes place during art week each December at Ocean Drive and 13th at the shores of South Beach. Each year 40,000 attendees visit to see what the fair has brought together.
For more information visit their website at: Untitled
Pinta Miami takes place during art week in December. Presenting works by 300 Latin American artists from over 70 galleries, the fair is divided into multiple sections: the Main section, Solo-Duo as the name implies exhibitions dedicated to one or two artists, Next for emerging artists, Editions for emerging artists.
For more information visit their website at: Pinta Art Fair
PRIZM Art Fair
PRIZM was started in 2013 by Mikhaile Solomon. After surveying the landscape, she found that traditional platforms were not representing the African diaspora. There was a large segment of talent that simply was not gaining access. That was the catalyst behind her decision to launch PRIZM.
Today the fair, which takes place during Art Week in December, has works ranging from global to local with the fair shining a spotlight on over 100 artists.
For more information visit their website at: Prizm
The Miami Mega Festival of the Arts
The fair is several fairs in one with an arts section and takes place in January yearly. The fair covers Art/Craft; Beer, Wine, Spirits Fest; Kids Fest; Fashion Fest; Dog & Peet Fest; and Entertainment. The art section showcases over 200 arts & crafts exhibitors.
The art is more the individual artists and not galleries such as some of the Art Week fairs mention in this post. Exhibitors display their works in booths that line the street. Think of it as a fun outing for the family. This is an outdoor fair and is free except for the Beer and Spirits section.
For more information visit their website at: Miami Mega Festival of the Arts
South Miami Rotary Art Festival
The fair is held outdoors annually at the end of February on 4 blocks of Sunset Drive in South Miami. There are over 150 artists displaying artworks in booths lining the street (which is closed off to traffic for the fair).
The art displayed falls into a variety of mediums such as paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography, mixed-media, and more. The fair is almost 40 years old and continues to draw a great crowd. There is music and food available as well.
For more information visit their website at: South Miami Rotary Arts Festival
Chamber South’s Annual South Miami Art Festival
Over 100 artists exhibit representing media such as ceramics, textiles, glass, jewelry, metalwork, two-dimensional mixed media, three-dimensional mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture, and more.
The festival, now over 50 years old, attracts over 50,000 visitors. There is also music and food at the event. The festival takes place in November each year.
For more information visit their website at: South Miami Arts Festival
Red Dot Miami - SPECTRUM Miami
Red Dot is another fair taking place at the beginning of December during Art Week. The fair is held in the heart of the Wynwood Art District in the Mana Wynwood complex. The fair presents 70 galleries and site-specific installations.
Its sister fair, Spectrum, displays works by over 150 individual emerging artists and newer galleries. Presented in Mana Wynwood as well, this combination provides visitors a chance to see emerging artists and works from established galleries under one roof.
For more information visit their website at: Red Dot Miami and Spectrum Miami
Carnaval on the Mile
Carnaval on the Mile is held for two days in early March. Miracle Mile in Coral Gables is closed to traffic for the event. Over 80 artist's booths line the center of the mile. There are 3 music stages. Food is also available throughout the event. One stage, called the Kid's Nook, provides musical performances by local school age performers. The Kid's Nook area also has face painting, cotton candy, ice cream, and more available for kids. Admission is free.
For more information visit their website at: Carnaval on the Mile
Remember: All dates, times, and other information presented are valid as of the date the post is written. We always recommend that before you attend any of the art fairs or festivals, that you visit an event's website or call directly for current information. Location hours, exhibits, opening & closing dates, VIP previews, public days, etc. can change. Some fairs' traditional schedules have been disrupted by the recent pandemic.