Art Basel isn’t known for skirting political commentary. The fair is arguably even a barometer for the levels of extremism to which contemporary art is willing to go at any given moment. Last year, it has an amazing success and 2018 doesn’t differ from previous successful years. The week encompassing Art Basel is known as Miami Art Week when dozens of satellite fairs, events, and parties pop up across Miami. As the largest contemporary art fair in North America, nearly 100,000 art collectors and aficionados descend on Miami for Art Basel, which means you’ll need a game plan when it comes to navigating traffic and parking. Read on for insider tips for getting around with ease during one of Miami’s busiest times of the year.Tens of thousands of artists, gallery owners, art collectors, celebrities, and hangers-on will descend on Miami this week for Art Basel Miami Beach, the North American leg of the storied Swiss art fair.

Now in its 16th year, Art Basel Miami is perhaps better known for the party scene it attracts than for the deals that take place there. The fair is “renowned for its sometimes highly decadent parties,” journalist Georgina Adam writes in her book Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market, “with the combination of the tropical climate, Latin-American lustiness, availability of drugs and luxury hotels that seem to invite excess.”

This year’s iteration of Basel Miami kicks off on Thursday, December 6, and lasts until the 9th — but the festivities aren’t limited to this weekend alone. Dozens of satellite fairs happen in the days surrounding the main event. These fairs don’t just capitalize on Basel’s success; they show just how much the fair has transformed both Miami’s local art scene and the global art market as a whole.

Timing is everything — and the word is early

Partiers sleep late, and the international set eats late, creating a time-window for clever attendees. The word to memorize is EARLY. Show up when exhibits open. Walk the beach boardwalk in the cool of the morning, stroll Lincoln Road before 10 am. Brunch/lunch at 11:30 or noon, make dinner reservations for 6 pm, open the clubs by 10 pm, and get to sleep by midnight. Think “early” and you’ll maximize your time, minimize your stress, and score reservations.

Different Art Basels for different markets

Before Art Basel made its way to Miami, there was Basel in Basel.

Founded in 1970 by a trio of Swiss art dealers — Trudi Bruckner, Balz Hilt, and Ernst Beyeler — Art Basel was an attempt to replicate the success of the burgeoning art fair scene. Inspired by the German art fair Kunstmarkt Köln, which was founded in 1967 and is now known as Art Cologne, the Swiss dealers decided to internationalize the art fair scene. Art Basel’s inaugural fair, held in Basel, Switzerland, featured 90 galleries from 10 countries, according to Artspace’s brief history of the fair. Five years later, there were 300 exhibitors from 21 countries.

Since Art Basel’s founding, the galleries that exhibit there have been chosen by a committee of gallerists. During the fair’s first 22 years in existence, the committee was composed of one delegate from each country represented, making for a more democratic — if slightly more bureaucratic — process.

Under the auspices of director Sam Keller, Art Basel expanded to Miami Beach in 2002. And in 2013, Art Basel’s parent company MCH bought Art HK and relaunched it as Art Basel Hong Kong.

The three Basels, which happen in three continents at various times of the year, are designed to cater to a different segment of the art market. Basel in Basel, Adam told me, happens in the summer and is “certainly the leading fair in the world for modern and contemporary art”; it also features a “much less frenetic” scene than its North American counterpart.

Basel Miami occurs every December and is known for luxury, excess, and parties — and for its attendance by wealthy collectors not only from North and South America, but also European collectors looking to escape the cold. Though the event is put on for the benefit of dealers and buyers, anyone can buy a ticket; day passes start at $50.


Art Basel Miami Beach returns to the newly reimagined Miami Beach Convention Center December 6-9, 2018 for its 16th edition. The week surrounding this seminal art fair is known as Miami Art Week when more than 20 satellite fairs descend upon the city. They showcase works by cutting-edge contemporary artists and galleries across the world.

From online presales to buying tickets at the door, here’s your guide to buying tickets to Art Basel, Art Miami, Design Miami, and more satellite art fairs during Miami Art Week 2018. If you’re in town during Art Basel Miami Beach 2018, be sure to add some Miami Art Week satellite fairs to your calendar. Keep the dates and events straight in your calendar with this handy guide to Miami’s Art Basel 2018 dates and events (best events listed below).


Aqua Art Miami

Aqua’s VIP Preview takes place Wednesday, December 5 from 3 to 10 p.m. General Admission days are Thursday from noon to 9 p.m, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

When: Dec. 5-9, 2018
Where: Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Avenue
More info: aquaartmiami.com

Design Miami

Design Miami/ is Art Basel’s official sister fair dedicated to collectible design. Preview Day by invitation only takes place on Tuesday, December 4 from noon to 5 p.m. for collectors and from 5 to 7 p.m. for an opening night preview. The private Vernissage is December 5 from 10 a.m. to noon and the fair opens to the public from noon to 8 p.m. It’s open Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

When: Dec. 4-9, 2018
Where: Meridian Avenue and 19th Street at Miami Beach Convention Center
More info: designmiami.com

Save time (lines can be long on the day of the show) and money by purchasing your tickets online where reduced rate tickets are currently on sale. A wide variety of ticket options are available.

Fridge Art Fair

When: Dec. 2-7, 2018
Where: Invitation only secret location
More info: fridgeartfair.com

Ink Miami Art Fair

When: Dec. 5-9, 2018
Where: Suites of Dorchester, 1850 Collins Avenue on Miami Beach
More info: inkartfair.com

Pulse Miami Beach

Pulse Miami Beach’s VIP Private Preview Brunch takes place on Thursday, December 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the fair opens to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a Young Collectors Cocktails reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The fair is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

When: Dec. 6-9, 2018
Where: Indian Beach Park, 4601 Collins Avenue on Miami Beach
More info: pulseartfair.com

Scope Miami Beach

The Private Platinum First View, by invitation only, takes place on Tuesday, December 4 from noon to 4 p.m. with the VIP and Press Preview from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The fair is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

When: Dec. 4-9, 2018
Where: Scope Miami Beach Pavilion, 801 Ocean Drive on Miami Beach
More info: scope-art.com

Superfine Miami

When: Dec. 5-9, 2018
Where: 1001 Ocean Drive
More info: superfine.world

Untitled, Miami Beach

When: Dec. 5-9, 2018
Where: Ocean Drive and 12th Street on Miami Beach
More info: art-untitled.com


Art Miami

When: Dec. 4-9, 2018
Where: One Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street, Downtown Miami
More info: artmiami.com

Art Beat Miami Art Fair

When: Dec. 5-9, 2018
Where: Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Street, Little Haiti
More info: artbeatmiami.com

Art of Black Miami

When: Throughout Miami Art Week 2018 and year round
Where: Kroma Art Space, 3670 Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove and various locations
More info: artofblackmiami.com

Context Art Miami

When: Dec. 4-9, 2018
Where: One Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street, Downtown Miami
More info: contextartmiami.com

HIVE Village

When: Dec. 6-9, 2018
Where: Mana Wynwood, 2250 NW 2nd Avenue, Wynwood
More info: hivewynwood.com

Miami River Art Fair

When: Dec. 3-5, 2018
Where: James L. Knight International Center, 400 SE 2nd Avenue, Downtown Miami
More info: miamiriverartfair.com

NADA Miami

NADA Miami’s VIP Preview, by invitation only, takes place Thursday, December 6 from 10 a.m. to noon with an Opening Preview, by invitation only, from noon to 2 p.m. The fair opens to the public from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. The fair is open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

When: Dec. 6-9, 2018
Where: Ice Palace Studios, 1400 N. Miami Avenue, Downtown Miami
More info: newartdealers.org

Pinta Miami

When: Dec. 5-9, 2018
Where: Mana Wynwood, 2217 NW 5th Avenue, Wynwood
More info: pintamiami.com

Prizm Art Fair

When: Dec. 3-9, 2018
Where: Alfred I. Dupont Building, 169 E. Flagler Street, Downtown Miami
More info: prizmartfair.com

Red Dot Miami

When: Dec. 5-9, 2018
Where: Mana Wynwood, 2217 NW 5th Avenue, Wynwood
More info: reddotfair.com


When: Dec. 6-9, 2018
Where: 18 NW 14th St., Downtown Miami
More info: satellite-show.com

Spectrum Miami

When: Dec. 5-9, 2017
Where: Mana Wynwood, 2217 NW 5th Avenue, Wynwood
More info: spectrum-miami.com

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