South Florida's hippest art event, Art Basel, returns once again to Miami Beach next month, bringing together 267 of the world's leading galleries to celebrate established and emerging artists. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and films will fill the Miami Beach Convention Center from December 3 – 6. Around 70,000 art enthusiasts are expected to attend.
Though this huge art phenomenon will supply plenty of visual stimuli, a few dozen satellite art events are also slated to take place in the Magic City that week, each with quite a distinct flavor from Art Basel.
If you're venturing to Miami Beach next month, here's a small sampling of the side events you definitely should not miss:
INK Miami Art Fair
December 2-6, Suite of Dorchester, 1850 Collins Ave
Those with a taste for contemporary works on paper couldn't find a better showcase than INK, sponsored by the International Fine Print Dealers Association. It's held just a few blocks from Art Basel, so there's no reason not to pop over there if you're attending the larger fair.
There will be plenty to feast your eyes on here: lithographs by Faith Ringgold and Maria Tomesula, etchings by Emmi Whitehorse and Enrique Chagoya, and a polymer etching with chine collè by Carrie Mae Weems, to name just a few.
Fridge Art Fair
December 3 – 6, Miami Beach Holiday Inn, 333 Collins Ave
Bigger isn't always better. That's what Fridge Art Fair aims to prove. This offbeat, accessible event was founded by Eric Ginsberg, who wanted to loosen things up a bit. "The art world can be so stiff. People should not be afraid to go and see art, and it should not cost a fortune. Let's have fun, life is short!" he writes on the Fridge Art Fair website.
In addition to Ginsberg's own unique pet portraits, the exhibit will include works by students in Virginia Erdie's youth art program. A specially curated collaboration with Art Shape Mammoth will feature large-scale sculpture performances.
NYC's drag star Sweetie will make an appearance at the opening benefit on Thursday, December 3, with proceeds going to the LGBT Visitor Center of Miami Beach. Tickets start at $35.
Fridge strives for an inclusive art world, so general admission tickets are affordable at just $10 for adults and free for kids.
TIZITA Ethiopia Fine Art Exhibition
December 5, All Soul's Episcopal Church Center, 4025 Pine Tree Dr
How would this exhibition, which showcases the work of Ethiopian and African Diaspora artists, best be described? "Profound, unexpected, edgy and introspective" are just a few adjectives organizers have chosen.
The works in this exhibition "range from abstract to figurative and mixed to multimedia; expressing an important nostalgic yet contemporary narrative which is contemplative and complex," according to the fair's website. Both well-known and up-and-coming artists will be featured, including Mathias Lulu, Daniel Taye, Merdi Tafesse and Birhan Tonge.
This fair runs for one day only between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., so don't miss your small window of opportunity to experience this distinctive and culturally rich display.
Editor's note: as this exhibition is closed, you can learn more about this artist here.
UNTITLED Art Fair
December 2 – 6, 2015, Pavilion at Ocean Drive and 13th Street
What's in a name? The UNTITLED Art Fair aims to put the focus right on the work of "the most impactful living artists at the forefront of contemporary art." Several international galleries are collaborating to present the work of mid-career and emerging contemporary artists from the international art world.
Artist talks, performance pieces and musical guests are also slated for the event, which will be held in a beachfront pavilion on Ocean Drive, one of the most enviable locations in town.
The show opens with a VIP preview on Tuesday night, and will be open to the general public from Wednesday to Sunday.
Omar Lopez-Chahoud, artistic director, says on the UNTITLED website that the fair is meant to provide "an alternative viewing experience from the traditional art fair" that offers collectors "a sense of discovery, diversity and quality with an international perspective."