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CONTEXT Art Miami
Photograph: Courtesy CONTEXT Art Miami

The best Art Basel Miami satellite art fairs to see in 2021

These are the fairs you can’t miss during Art Basel Miami 2021, from Scope to NADA and other Miami Art Week highlights

Virginia Gil
Falyn Wood
Edited by
Virginia Gil
Written by
Falyn Wood
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Art Basel Miami Beach’s arrival in 2002 marked the beginning of a new era of cultural tourism in the Magic City, enjoying exponential growth over the last two decades to become the center of gravity for a whole universe of art-themed festivities each first week of December. Call it Miami Art Week, Bah-sel or the worst thing to ever happen to South Beach traffic, it’s undeniable that Art Basel has become embedded in the fabric of Miami, so much so that the namesake fair is hardly the main attraction these days. The parties and the people-watching are a huge part of the allure, but it’s all the other stuff we rely on year after year to keep us excited, inspired and showing up for more. We’re talking about the Art Basel Miami satellite fairs, and though a few have gone on hiatus since the pandemic took hold, most of the strongholds are making a triumphant return in 2021. Here’s our guide to the best Art Basel Miami satellite art fairs to check out this year.

RECOMMENDED: Your guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2021

Art Basel Miami 2021 satellite art fairs

Furthering its mission to platform new artists and new mediums, the 20th-annual SCOPE fair introduces an experiential, multidisciplinary pavilion on the sand: The New Contemporary Presents will display large-scale installations and host musical performances, panel discussions and daily delights, such as guided meditations and morning yoga sessions. By night, the space transforms into a full nightclub with rotating DJs—because, hey, it’s South Beach. Also new this year is the ability to purchase unique and editioned NFT minted artwork VIP tickets curated from the fair’s more than 125 contemporary exhibitors. 801 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Nov 30–Dec 5; $40–$200.

Known for showcasing underexposed artists and their works, New Art Dealers Alliance brings life to Miami Art Week with its young gallerists, such as folks from London’s Edel Assanti and San Juan’s Embajada. The 19th edition of NADA Miami includes 170 exhibitors across three sections: Galleries; NADA Projects, an open, exhibition-like presentation of new art from emerging voices; and the latest addition, Artists’ Book Publishers, presented by Printed Matter and Exile Books. First-timers to watch for include Carla Grunauer (Piedras) and Monsieur Zohore (de Boer), whose presentation includes a beer pong tournament performance entitled “Rush,” which takes aim at the lascivious practices inherited from ancient Greek academic culture (Dec 2, 2pm). Ice Palace Studios, 1400 North Miami Ave. Dec 1–4; $35–$45.

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Art Basel (and many other shows) fork over their prime real estate to established, out-of-our-price-range names. Here, CONTEXT steps in to place emerging and midcareer artists front and center. This year’s lineup of international galleries includes Gallery BK (Seoul, South Korea) and AOA;87 (Bamberg, Germany), among hundreds of artists from 91 galleries from around the world. One Herald Plaza at 14th St. Nov 30–Dec 5; $35–$275.

To celebrate its tenth edition, the 2021 presentation of UNTITLED will feature an expanded curatorial platform featuring four guest curators whose diverse perspectives and regional expertise will help generate a more global and inclusive conversation among exhibitors, artists and viewers. Exhibitors to look out for include local darling Locust Projects, who will kick off Art Week with a screening of Antonia Wright’s And so with ends comes beginnings, a video on sea-level rise on a large floating screen viewable to all from the beach at Lummus Park. Work up an appetite shopping for art? Make your way to fair partner Taquiza for some killer tacos. Ocean Dr and 12th St, Miami Beach. Nov 29–Dec 4; $40.

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The eminent fair for Latin American and Hispanic artists celebrates its 15th edition, featuring new programs, initiatives and international curators who will ensure the visibility of Latin American art in a global context. For 2021, the fair relocates and will be broken into four distinct sections: General, showcasing modern and contemporary art exhibitors; Solo Project, presenting a group of individual projects specially selected by Roc Laseca and Luis Fumero; Pinta Photo, specializing in vintage and contemporary photography; and an educational fourth section which will focus on the history of modern art through interactive installations and performances. 225 NE 34th St. Dec 2–5; $60-$100.

Now in its 17th year, Design Miami returns to Pride Park for its 2021 program, framed around the theme of Human Kind and how design can impact the world for the better. The optimistic curatorial thread weaves together 20 galleries and 16 curio exhibitors inclusive of BIPOC and LGBTQ communities, women, developing nations, displaced populations, disabled bodies and life forms great and small, says new curatorial director Wava Carpenter. The 2021 hybrid in-person and online fair also boasts a robust schedule of design talks and 3D virtual tours, and all exhibited works on the show floor will be available to purchase at designmiami.com for a limited time. Convention Center Drive and 19th St, Miami Beach. Dec 3–9; $29–$112.50.

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Miami’s OG art fair—and the second most attended in the world—returns to its illustrious bayfront location for a 31st edition featuring a huge lineup of 140 galleries from nearly 17 countries and 60 cities. It’s the oldest of its kind in Miami and, as one of the first big fairs to open its doors to visitors, serves as the unofficial kickoff to Miami Art Week. As usual, expect Art Miami to serve up tons of blue-chip pieces from well-known artists like Pablo Picasso, Keith Haring and others. One Herald Plaza, NE 14th St. Nov 30–Dec 5; $35–$275.

Every single room of a boutique South Beach hotel is transformed into gallery spaces for the 16th annual Aqua fair, which brings an intimate and true local vibe to Miami Art Week. Make your way through mini-galleries made up of international exhibitors, featuring hundreds of artists from Miami and around the globe, and gather in the breezy hotel courtyard to discuss your favorites. The full program and exhibitors list has yet to be announced, but performance art is a huge part of the fair that’s previously featured live tattooing among its exhibitions. Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. Dec 1–5; $20–$100 (free for children 12 and under).

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The hip art fair for independent career artists, studios and younger galleries shares space with sister fair Red Dot at Mana Wynwood, which will showcase works from over 65 international galleries and 500 contemporary artists. Two of the longest-running fairs during Miami Art Week, Spectrum and Red Dot together cover more than 100,000 square feet of indoor exhibition space. Spectrum’s curatorial theme for 2021 is [DOUBLE TAKE], asking the viewer to slow down and take a closer look at the array of site-specific exhibitions and curated programming. Meanwhile, Red Dot, a prestigious gallery-only fair now in its 16th year, presents [REVEAL] as its theme. Expect works that challenge conventional notions of how the world works, humanity and art itself. Mana Wynwood Convention Center, 2217 NW 5th Avenue. Dec 1–5; $20–$75 (free for children 15 and under).

Fridge returns to Miami in 2021 with its original slogan in tow: “Can you fit into the fridge?” At Fridge’s inaugural 2013 NYC iteration, this was a literal dare; organizers carved out tiny spaces within the intimate and pioneering LES gallery onetwentyeight for a small group of exhibiting artists, and the rest was history. Today, Fridge remains dedicated to presenting eclectic, anti-commercial art in tandem with the Frieze Week in NYC and Art Basel Miami. This year in Miami, Fridge is hosted by Esquina de Abuela, an urban community center in Allapattah founded by Fabian Martinez where local and international artists live and work free of charge. In honor of Fridge co-founder and Miami director Cara Hunter Viera’s passing in 2020, Fridge presents an inspired, pet-friendly art fair (strong hints suggest man’s best friend will be incorporated into the actual artworks). 2705 NW 22nd Ave, Nov 29–Dec 4.

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The art fair, back for its sixth edition, brings art to life—literally. Satellite focuses on performance, time-based media and installations that provide mind-expanding experiences. Visitors can expect more than 30 live engagements, including an interactive "Official Billy Joel Piano Man Karaoke bar," which we can bet will be as fun as it sounds. 1655 Meridian Ave. Nov 30–Dec 4; $32.

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