Art During Basel

Your unofficial guide to all that's hanging

Get ready. Year two, round two. Today through Sunday, only in Miami! Okay, so you think you don't really like art. At some of the Art Basel events you might not even run into it, at least in a traditional sense. Over on Miami Beach, art from the world's top galleries will be formally housed in the convention center; you have to pay to see it there. But literally on the beach you can see work from alternative galleries in twenty shipping containers on the sand. In the Townhouse Hotel, rooms of art. In the Art Video Lounge, at ArtCenter/South Florida Gallery ... you get the point. That's official Basel. Across the causeways in Miami there's more. Tonight Art Loves Design: the evening of myriad openings, performance art, street theater, whatever in the Design District that was last year's highlight. Head south to the events in Wynwood, the so-called "up and coming" arts district. There you can take trolleys to galleries, and pick up breakfasts for the next several days. The Miami night will be topped off with the latest circus from George Sanchez-Calderon, who will throw a big arty party complete with Ferris wheel at midnight. Friday, it's over to Coral Gables, maybe to Fred Snitzer, Diana Lowenstein, Cernuda Arte, the Museum of Science. Or take a dance break at the Hadley Park Black Box Theater for the Black Burlesque show. Saturday check in with some of the private local collectors, who will be hosting tours, or head to Little Havana for a mixed media show, or visit all that stuff you couldn't get to the first time. It's all good. It's all cheap. It's all in this guide.

KEVIN BRUK GALLERY

Not everything is super high-concept installation art. For instance there is something called painting at the new show at Kevin Bruk Gallery, with -- you guessed it -- "New Paintings" from Alexander Ross and "Jump" from Doug Wada. Ross, though, gets to his paintings through three-dimensional models that he creates, then photographs, and then paints, changing 3-D back into 2-D. Wada's work is described as photorealism, and he tries to make the images he shoots as "real" as possible, in some cases hanging the work as it might appear in real life (his hydrant with cone site on the floor). Bruk this year will also be in the actual Art Positions main show, one of only a few local galleries, with a group show at Booth P3. The gallery show opens on Thursday, December 4, at 7:00 p.m., 3900B NE 1st Ave. in the Design District; 305-576-2000.

THE TOWNHOUSE HOTEL

Seeing art in a hotel room is not just a hip disguise -- it does make work seem more personal. This Art Basel the Big Hotel Show will be scopeMiami at the Townhouse on Miami Beach. The rooms will be filled with art from emerging and alternative artists from across the globe, spilling out into the hallways, elevators, and rooftop. Better yet, some of the art will be within your purchasing range. Cool. One of the rooms will house pieces from our own Wynwood-based Rocket Projects. And finally, what self-respecting hotel/motel show would be complete without performances and DJs -- from the Paper Dolls to performance artist Zhu Ming, and a party within the party called Culture on the Verge. Bidding for the art starts at noon on December 4 and goes on till 4:00 p.m. Sunday at the Townhouse Hotel, 150 20th St., Miami Beach.

ON WALLS IN TOWN

Guerrilla tactics took on a life of their own last Basel; this time will likely be no different. Jay Ore, for instance, will be projecting his image "Miami: How You've Grown" on whatever buildings and bare walls he can. He describes his project as having "no funding, no affiliation, no permission." So when you're out and about, don't forget to keep your eyes open even after you leave a space -- some of the most interesting art will be fleetingly visible outdoors. At various locations throughout Miami, December 3 through 7.

MADONNA BUILDING

Could it be, an art museum in a suitcase. High Art -- Sergio Vega JEMA Museumwill at once be the smallest museum and at one point, the highest. JEMA is the John Erickson Museum of Art, and it really is a suitcase, and it will be flown in on December 4 at 3:00 p.m. This piece of "airplane performance" art will, according to the artist, explore issues related to High Art through "the testimonies" of parrots from Brazil. Yep, you read it right. Check it out at the opening reception at 8:30 on Thursday, December 4, or anytime till January 10 at the Madonna Building in the Design District, 3900 N. Miami Ave.; 352-367-3150.

THE FREEDOM TOWER

Last year George Sanchez-Calderon helped throw what was arguably Miami's best party, the one in Overtown that started at midnight, next to Sanchez's lit-up model of the Corbusier house, to the sounds of DJ Le Spam. He is bringing his house back, but this time he's creating a circus. This artistic carnival will include highlights of local art and collectors, a 50-foot Ferris wheel, a "Vegas-style" show, and fireworks. Our curious George will also continue his "Numbers" project on the outside of the Freedom Tower. The Circus Midway installation will go up on December 4 in the Buena Vista yard in downtown Miami; 786-290-7330.

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