And no it’s not because the holidays are around the corner.
Art Basel and Miami Art Week are upon us and of course we had to hip you to some of the best events – especially for the diaspora.
While this list is certainly not the definitive guide (you got to know somebody who knows somebody if you want to party like a superstar), it’s a start, one that will surely provide you a snapshot of the best Basel events that will certainly make this year unforgettable. Whether you want to buy some Black art, discover more about hip-hop past and present or just find the best parties, this guide is for you.
By no means is this guide definitive so if I miss anything, feel free to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looks like PRIZM wants to deliver a history lesson.
Just look at its theme – “Civilization is Not Civil” – which the websites further describes as an exploration of “the irony that civilizations are born of not-so-civil acts.”
Civilizations “are rarely built by consent, but instead through acts of overt and/or covert violence, and manipulation,” the website description reads. “Economic systems, policies, and geopolitics play an integral in shaping societies that oppress many but generously serve few.”
This year’s festivities will be broken into four parts – Prizm Panels, Prizm Perform, Prizm Film, Prizm Preview and Prizm Art Fair – all of which will include work from 51 artists and 12 galleries from Africa and the African Diaspora.
Come celebrate the ancestors at the Little Haiti Cultural Center.
Curated by the Miami Herald photographer Carl Juste, “A Call to the Ancestors” teaches visitors about the importance of our individual and collective histories through a combination of photos, essays and visual art. The project centers Lincoln Memorial Park, the final resting place of many Black Miami luminaries which had fallen under disrepair as a result of segregation and neglect.
The exhibit is featured as part of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance 2023 Global Borderless Caribbean Art Basel show in collaboration with Florida International University’s Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab. Featured artists include Morel Doucet, Leonard Pitts, Elisa Turner and Isaiah Smalls (yours truly).
Visit https://haitianculturalartsalliance.org/ for more information.
Between the spread of COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd, the subsequent global uprising for Black lives was a passionate plea for racial equality.
That the protests happened everywhere from Fort Lauderdale to Fresno only fed into the mystique of 2020. At “Defiance: Open Resistance; Bold Disobedience,” visitors will get a chance to relive some of the demonstrations from across the country. Featuring the work of award-winning photographers and curated by Juste, the exhibit reexamines “the aftermath of George Floyd’s death with an in-depth discussion about democracy, civil action, race, and how we — as a community and as a nation — can collectively move forward,” according to the press release.
“Defiance” will be the first exhibition as part of iWitness ArtSpace, a collaborative project between FIU’s Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab and IPC ArtSpace.
Visit https://haitianculturalartsalliance.org/ for more information.
Afro-Futurism Digital Art Exhibition
The Little Haiti Cultural Center will host an Afro-Futurism Digital Art Exhibition that kicks off Dec. 4. A panel discussion about the connection between artificial intelligence and Afro-Futurism will begin the activities while a partnership with the Miami Virtual Museum will “provide a mind-bending virtual reality showcase,” according to LHCC director Qunyatta Warren. There will also be an immersive AI component to the exhibit as well.
Visit https://www.instagram.com/lhccmiami/?hl=en for more information
The annual Jack Daniels-sponsored event features some of the most unique Black art pieces as well as a performance by a renowned musician. Past performers include Ceelo Green, Jazzy Jeff and Mannie Fresh.
Whether you’re a fan of painting, photography or sculptures, “No More Starving Artists” has some for you.
A collaboration between MUSE Art Fair and ATB Fine Art Group, “No More Starving Artists” will be back in Miami Beach for its fifth year. MUSE remains the only fair dedicated to Black, multicultural and women artists in Miami Beach, according to its website.
Discover some of the best artists from the Motherland only at the Afrikin Art Fair.
With this year’s theme being “Celebrating the Beauty and Brilliance of Global Africa,” there will be a heavy focus on the intersection of Afrofuturism and traditional African art.
In addition to the various artworks on display, there will be several panel discussions that examine everything from the erasure of Black history to the emergence of artificial intelligence to navigating cancel culture.
Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/afrikin-art-fair-2023-art-basel-miami-art-week-tickets-706835934307 or AfriKin.art for more information.
There’s a quite an art collection building in Opa-locka.
Presented by Ten North Group, Art of Transformation is a combination of four different exhibits – “Fragmented Worlds/ Coherent Lives,””Cartographies of Displacement,” “Garden of Humanity” and “I’ve Known Rivers” – that includes the work of artists of African descent from around the globe. Another key feature of the Art of Transformation is programming like the “Required Reading Public Art Project,” a combination of panel discussions, public readings and an installation entitled “The Garden of Humanity” all focused on the importance of Black writers amid the string of book bannings around the country.
Each exhibit examines issues through the lens of African and African Diaspora contemporary art.
Date: Dec. 2-Feb. 28, 2024 (“Fragmented Worlds/ Coherent Lives”); Dec. 2-June 30, 2024 (“Garden of Humanity”); Dec. 2- Dec. 10 (“Cartographies of Displacement,””I’ve Known Rivers” and “Required Reading Public Art Project”)
Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Location: 675 Ali Baba Ave, Opa-locka (“Fragmented Worlds/ Coherent Lives” and “Required Reading Public Art Project”); 650 Ali Baba Ave., Opa-locka (“Cartographies of Displacement”); 757 Ali Baba Ave., Opa-locka (“Garden of Humanity”); 490 Opa-locka Blvd., Opa-locka (“I’ve Known Rivers”)
So Youth Concept Gallery transformed the D.A. Dorsey House in Overtown to showcase their talents. The gallery will feature a host of works in the various fields of graffiti, visual art, film, photography and more.
Visit https://www.miamiandbeaches.com/event/save-black-art/28110 for more information
There seems to be recurrent theme this year: virtual reality.
The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora will be right on brand when it launches “This Life: Black Life in the Time of Now” at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2023 at The Urban.
A documentary and digital exhibition, “This Life delves into the intricate tapestry of contemporary Black existence through creative lenses and weaves together the personal narratives of four visual artists, offering an immersive experience that transcends geographical boundaries,” according the press release.
Attendees will be provided VR headsets to see four different artists’ work. Those unable to make it in-person can tune in at https://shorturl.at/jxA49.
Visit https://www.miamimocaad.org/ for more information
Point Comfort Art Fair & Show presented by Hampton Art Lovers:
Hip-hop changed the world.
And as the celebration of the global phenomenon’s 50th birthday continues, Hampton Art Lovers jumped in with its theme of “Before the Culture (BE for the Culture)” which will showcase art influenced by hip-hop.
The exhibit will feature the works of several artists including Rahsaan “Fly Guy” Alexander, Judy Bowman and its cultural ambassador the Honorable George Clinton.
Other exhibits featured in Point Comfort include the Miami-Dade Public Library’s historic collection of Black art entitled “For the People: 700 the Arts,” “Bespoke Motor Gallery: Art Rigs and Rugged Elegance” that focuses on cars and the Indaba Lounge Series, a combination of events including an opening reception, panel discussions and carefully curated DJ sets by Fly Guy and Six Millz.
Come see what Miami youth have cooked up with their cameras at “Our Voice Matters: Our Community, Ourselves,” URGENT, Inc.’s annual art show in Overtown.
Attendees will get a chance to see Miami through the eyes of its children. An opening paint and sip reception will kick off the exhibit on Dec. 7 while a Community Youth Arts Day will bring the show to a close on the 9th.
Date: Dec. 7-9
Time: 5-8 p.m. (Opening Paint & Sip Reception on Dec. 7), noon-3 p.m. (Community Youth Arts Day)
Visit https://www.urgentinc.org/our-voice-matters for more information
SocialXchange’s Alexis Brown has been curating safe spaces for Black Miamians for years.
Basel B.A.E. is no different. Think of a marketplace with work from local artists, installations from up-and-coming clothing brands and a DJ who will surely get you on your feet while you peruse the art.
An esteemed list of hip-hop heads will come together on Dec. 10 to talk about the art of DJing. Panelists include DJ EFN (Drink Champs), Jarobi White (A Tribe Called Quest), K Foxx (99 Jamz) and DJ Nasty305 (99 Jamz).
The moderator will be DJ Tillery James of the DJ Collective with a special presentation by Isaiah Smalls (yours truly).
Parties:: Thank You Its Friday (Dec. 8, 2023 at the Red Rooster Pool Hall), The Shrine (Dec. 9, 2023 at the Red Rooster Pool Hall)
For the second straight year, PS Social will host a Hov-themed celebration featuring live painting, a 10-foot sculpture and a panel discussion centered on Jay-Z’s impact on hip-hop culture. A DJ will also be onsite spinning Hov’s catalog.
Definitely a must for fans of Jay-Z and hip-hop alike.
A new museum that honors hip-hop’s unsung heroes will debut during Miami Art Week.
Created by Museum of Graffiti founders Allison Freidlin and Alan Ket, The Art of Hip-Hop will debut its inaugural exhibition “From the Bronx to the Beach” on Dec. 5. The exhibit will display memorabilia from pioneers including DJ Kool Herc and Uncle Luke as well as photographers and other people responsible for creating the visual identity of hip-hop.
A partnership with StockX will also yield a slew of programming including a panel led by Roc Nation Senior Vice President Lenny Santiago, DJ sets and a sneaker customization station.
The Miami Herald recently wrote about the Grammy Award-winning producer’s latest endeavor: the MuseZeuM, which opened in Dec. 2022.
A gallery without “the old gallery ways,” the MuseZeuM combines Remi’s love of music with his passion for visual art, crafting paintings of legends including Marvin Gaye, Celia Cruz and Slick Rick that double as speakers, also known as an Artboxxx.
In September, Remi unvealed his second wave of portraits, featuring the likes of Nas, Black Thought and Rakim.
The Love of Urban Design, an entertainment company focused on uplifting Black and brown creatives, celebrates 10 years of doing what they call “epic Black art and fashion events during Basel” in 2023.
Between Dec. 2-9, the group will host a combination of fashion shows, artist exhibitions, networking events, pop-up shops and brunch parties. LOUD’s main event will occur Dec. 6 when it hosts the LOUD MAIN EVENT Fashion Show at Bay 13 Brewery in Coral Gables.
Art Beat Miami Art Fair Exhibition has a little bit of everything.
Visual art. Music. Fashion. Food. Parties. The common theme: all are inspired by the Caribbean and African Diaspora.
From Dec. 6-10, Art Beat Miami will deliver a plethora of diverse experiences that will take attendees across the county. It will ultimately culminate with the Art Beat Miami Festival on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Little Haiti Cultural Center.
The skateboarding world had a profound influence on Virgil Abloh, the late multi-hyphenate who passed away in 2021.
In his honor, Virgil Abloh Securities’ launched the Abloh Skateboarding Invitational, a four-day celebration that includes a trick competition, a free skate session and an exhibit featuring the work of renowned skateboarding photographer Atiba Jefferson. There will also be a community service day that includes free skateboarding clinics and workshops for the youth.
Location: 50 NE 40th St., Miami (Atiba Jefferson Exhibition); Lot 11, 301-349 NW Second St., Miami (Invitational Skate Day and Community Service Day)