Compiling your list of Art Basel Miami 2017 events can be, to say the least, overwhelming. Spreadsheets, whiteboards, flash cards—however you keep track of all the things to do during Miami Art Week, chances are you get lost in a black hole of evites. Things were hard enough when all we had to keep track of was whatever was happening at the best South Beach clubs in Miami and all the arty things to do in the Design District and Wynwood. And let’s not forget the best Art Basel Miami parties. We should certainly know because we’ve been hard at work trying to make things easy for you by curating the best Art Basel Miami events happening around town in one neat little list. You’re very welcome.
RECOMMENDED: Your guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2017
Best Art Basel Miami 2017 events
The Surf Lodge returns to Art Basel once again, and there’s good reason to have this party at the top of your radar. In the past, Surf Lodge has held events with fashion designer Jeremy Scott, artist Jen Stark and more. Celebrity sightings are all but guaranteed. It’s back at the W South Beach this year in partnership with Reebok. Though specifics have yet to be announced on the Bungalow’s events—which will run from December 6 through December 9—it’s safe to assume it’s going to be memorable (and probably very tough to get into).
PAMM’s annual Basel bash is as fun and grand as you’d expect from Miami’s most popular museum. Expect live music from well-known artists, plenty of booze and some stunning views on PAMM’s back patio. To ensure guaranteed entry, become a PAMM sustaining member today (or be an Art Basel Miami Beach VIP cardholder). Otherwise, you have to wiggle your way onto the guest list.
Shani Crowe is known for exploring the connectivity between people of African descent through intricate works of braided hair. Her art is striking and gorgeous. Her canvases are the scalps of people of color—mainly women. One of her most famous pieces—a soaring halo that took about 50 hours of labor—was worn elegantly by Solange Knowles during her performance on Saturday Night Live. Crowe comes to Little Haiti’s Yeelen Gallery for Basel season. The solo exhibit runs from November 29 to January 13. Crowe herself is attending Yeelen’s annual Basel event, Back to Black, on December 9. Though not open to the public, there will be a limited guest list for a lucky few.
The new slate of murals debuting during Art Basel Miami is one of the most anticipated art events of the year. And 2017 does not disappoint with “humanKIND,” featuring 12 new murals created by visionary artists from around the world. As part of this year’s theme, Seth Globepainter from France, Joe Iurato from the States and Leon Keer from Amsterdam, among others, were tapped to create pieces that inspire compassion, humanity and empathy. Production on the uplifting works begins November 26 and runs through December 4, at which time the public is invited to watch the artists in action. See the finish products unveiled on December 7.
The iconic party planner Susanne Bartsch is taking over El Tucán during Art Basel. Her program, called Bareback Follies, features guest performers like the former Club Kid Amanda Lepore, drag artist Joey Arias, Russia’s Leonid The Magnificent and more. There will be two shows in the classic Cuban venue starting at 8pm and 10:30pm with a full dinner service.
Phillip K Smith III’s expansive work known as The Circle of Land and Sky comes to Miami Beach by way of the Faena Art District. The piece consists of 300 geometric reflectors angled at 10 degrees. As the viewer walks among the hundreds of slender mirrors, set up on Faena Beach (3201 Collins Ave), perception shifts. It’s a way to experience the beach and ocean like never before. The installation is free, open to the public and available 24 hours a day starting December 4.
Tunney takes on American excess with this exhibit, which uses Atlantic City’s famously unsuccessful Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino as a platform to examine American greed gone wrong. Expect massive chandeliers, two-ton elephants and more gaudy relics inside the Wynwood Walls.
Adidas and Juxtapoz Magazine showcase emerging artists from the world of skateboarding. The exhibit takes place at the Historic Walgreens Building, which is actually a vintage Art Deco gem that’s much cooler than it sounds. Exhibiting artists include Lucy Sparrow, Jean Julian, Conor Harrington and Ron English, among others.
The London- and Beirut-based Tania El Khoury is known for creating highly interactive works where audiences collaborate with exhibitions. Her Art Basel Miami show, “Gardens Speak,” which takes place at the Fillmore Miami Beach, uses oral histories to retell the lost stories of 10 Syrian people. A second exhibit, “As Far As My Fingertips Take Me,” will show at the New World Center, where viewers interact with a war refugee via sound and touch through a hole in the wall.
Swedish photographer Jacob Felländer's solo exhibition shows at MOCA to kick off Art Basel week. Viewers access Felländer’s work like never before through the use of virtual reality and other technological innovations like 3D printing. The exhibit runs from December 7 through February 11. A special artist reception—accessible to the public for a $30 admission—takes place on Wednesday, December 6.
Interior design buffs should pay a visit to CASACOR’s Miami urban lifestyle design residence. Taking place from December 1 through December 18, CASACOR takes over three penthouses in Brickell City Centre’s high-luxury condo Rise. Cutting-edge interior design, art and architecture are on display to make you feel, perhaps, just a tinge of guilt about your living room couch that you found on the curb and sprayed down with Fabuloso. Luckily, you can come out of the exhibit with more than just a deep sense of jealousy. Designers are available for brain-picking and interactive demonstrations show you how to craft your own perfect space.
Tattoo artist Thea Duskin, known for her beautiful watercolor tattoos, showcases her skills live at the Aqua Art Fair. But guests have a chance to do more than just watch. Those who arrive early enough (and have $500 to spend) get a shot at getting a small, one-off original tattoo from Duskin herself. First-come, first-served.
Dive deep into an artist’s understanding of cultural boundaries and identity during a conversation with photographer Sheinina Lolita Raj, whose photographs tackle both subjects unflinchingly. In the midst of her collaborative exhibit, “INTERCULTURAL,” Raj and a moderator discuss the motivations behind her work. After the chat, walk through the installation, which features a sonic aspect created by Nelly Furtado.
Families don’t have to forgo the Basel fun just because they couldn’t find a babysitter. Lincoln's Beard Brewing Company is throwing a two-day festival that’s appealing to both kids and parents. Baby Basel features kid-friendly activities such as face-painting and a live performance from “kid-hop” artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. For the parents, there’s no shortage of delicious local beer. Don’t worry about a guest list. Most of the attendees can’t read.
Take a digital trip to Las Vegas during Basel through this virtual reality art gallery organized by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The free Wynwood pop-up enlisted an international collection of artists to help create virtual reality art that aims to blow your mind and give you an itch to book a ticket west towards the bright lights of the Vegas strip.