Get ready, Miami: We're about to get Art Basel all up in us in the coming days, and it’s going to be glorious. The main event doesn't kick off until December 7, but art lovers in the know will be taking advantage of all of the fair's satellite spoils as early as this Thursday. The fringe events going down before the madness descends upon our fair city are the beautiful calm before the storm and an excellent way to get a jump on Miami Art Week without all the traffic and jockeying for position at the champagne kiosk. Here are five supercool arts events to get your Art Week experience rolling.
1. Raw Pop-Up Exhibit. Presented by Young Artist Initiative, Raw is a ten-day, multisensory, three-floor, immersive pop-up experience at the Historic Post Office Building in downtown Miami. Raw brings together 15 visual artists working in various media, plus 15 musicians, all of whom will create and coexist in an organic, interactive space. Among the art on display will be an exploration of the “ephemeral possibilities of sensory experience” — basically asking visitors to forget their art exhibit hangups and interact with their surroundings. Three floors will be filled with 20 multisensory installations and works from artists such as Anja Marais, Sterotank, Arantxa Aruajo, Soraya Abu Naba’a, and Allison Berkoy. Thursday, November 30, through Saturday, December 9, at the Historic Post Office Building, 300 NE First Ave., Miami; youngartistinitiative.com. Tickets cost $10 to $100.
2. Knight Arts Challenge Winners/Bringing Art to Life. In August, the Knight Foundation announced its tenth-anniversary Knight Arts Challenge finalists — more than 100 artists vying for a share of $2.5 million in funding. Next Monday, December 4, the Foundation will announce the winners and follow that up with a gala in Knight Plaza, between Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Frost Museum of Science. The shindig, which is free to the public with RSVP, will offer live musical performances by Spam Allstars, Locos por Juana, and Afrobeta. There will also be pop-up performances by local dance companies, as well as choral groups and a literary alley. 7 to 10 p.m. at 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; knightfoundation.org/10. Admission is free.
3. Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty. Sculptor Patrick Dougherty is best known for his Stickwork series, in which he twists tree saplings into large-scale shapes. He's also the featured artist at Pinecrest Gardens' Botanical Stage this year. Dougherty has built his Stickwork sculptures branch by branch throughout the month with help from 100 community volunteers. Over the course of 30 years, Dougherty has built more than 250 sculptures that have graced some of the most prestigious museums and galleries on four continents. This Thursday, November 30, Pinecrest Gardens will open his latest exhibit to the public, letting attendees explore the mastery behind Dougherty’s work during a reveal ceremony and opening arts party. As part of the opening-night festivities, guests also can enjoy exhibitions by the park’s first artist-in-residence, Xavier Cortada, and hARTvest Project founder Carola Bravo. 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, November 30, and on view through December 20 at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Rd., Pinecrest; pinecrestgardens.org. Admission to opening night and to Pinecrest Gardens' Cultural Marketplace December 3 is free; otherwise, admission costs $5.
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4. "IRL (In Real Life): From Celluloid to Cellular, Recasting the Classics Through Graphic Design." Produced by award-winning design and marketing studio Jacober Creative, this exhibit at the Miami Beach Cinematheque in Old City Hall will offer 3D graphic design renderings and interpretations of 12 classic American films, including Barbarella, The Birds, Carrie, and West Side Story. The exhibition originally grew out of a project called #JacoberSummerSeries, in which the Jacober team was challenged to create a weekly Instagram post relating 12 summer-popcorn flicks, leading to some vibrant and inventive pieces. 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, December 5, and on view through December 31 at Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-4567; mbcinema.com. Admission is free.
5. "Urban Legends" at the Sagamore. "Urban Legends" is a curated selling exhibition showing the works of emerging urban artists alongside iconic figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Banksy. The exhibit pays homage to the culture and history of urban street art, which allows artists to communicate directly with the public. Guests visiting "Urban Legends" are encouraged to peruse the art at their leisure or make an appointment for a private tour with the Sagamore's resident art adviser. Most pieces will be available for purchase. Tuesday, December 4, through January 4, 2018, at the Sagamore, 1671 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-535-8088; sagamorehotel.com. Admission is free.