How to Art Basel: Ten Tips for Navigating Miami Art Week From Local Experts
Crowds? Traffic? Must be Basel.
So you think you can Basel? Think again. In the annual arts mayhem that erupts across Miami at this time each year, there's no way to avoid mishaps. You're going to get stuck in traffic. You're going to forget to RSVP for that Vernissage. You're going to drink too much and go home with a Lady Gaga look-alike. It happens.
That being said, there are ways to lessen your chances of falling into Art Basel's most common traps. So we asked ten local arts experts for their advice.
See also: The Ten People You Meet at Art Basel
Antonia Wright, artist
"My favorite thing to do during Basel is to check out the lectures. When you are tired, I recommend grabbing a colada and heading to one of the talks at the Convention Center. I saw Bill Viola speak last year and it knocked my socks off."
Galena Mosovich, local arts writer
"Focus on the art, even if you don't think you understand it. You will one day. It's likely to hit you when you least expect it. See as much as you can and avoid the parties that lack substance."
Myra Wexler, artist
"Make a plan for each day, mapping out the different areas of Miami and what you want to see. Break it down to doable chunks.
"That said, it's impossible to get it all in. Do your research and pick your battles. Start out early. Take public transportation, whenever possible. Traffic and parking will be unbearable....Most of all I wish us all GOOD LUCK in accomplishing or goals during this madness."
Pamela Wasabi, fashion photographer and writer
"If there's one thing every Art Basel sucker needs to experience, it's to get lost! Yes, to let loose of your lover's hand, or group. To turn off your phone, or [maybe] it suddenly ran out of battery accidentally. To jump in the wrong shuttle taking you to an unknown art fair. To buy a ticket alone and enter an unexpected fair or party. To catch yourself staring at a wall for five minutes without moving, blinking or talking. To talk to a stranger famous in their town but unrecognized in our city.To experience, at least for a quick hour, art, culture, and Miami with your very own instincts."
"Check out Tracey Emin's first American museum exhibition, "Angel Without You," opening at MOCA on Tuesday December 3 at 7 pm. If you can't make it (members only), be sure not to miss SZA in concert Friday night, Dec 6, here at the museum. [It's] free for members and $20 for everyone else. Galleries will be open until 10 pm.... Avoid traffic on Alton Road - come to North Miami!"
Ahol Sniffs Glue, artist
"Basel-goers should keep their eyes peeled for Pepe Billete's "Pan Con Pinga" food truck. It will be a mobile master piece serving locals and out of towners. Catch it before the bread runs out!!!"
Nina Johnson-Milewski, director/owner at Gallery Diet
"Spend time visiting galleries and artist studios. It's a great way to take a breather from the general hustle and bustle of the fairs and see something with a singular, dedicated focus."
Dominique Breard, program director at Cannonball
"Off the top of my head, my first suggestion is: get a chauffeur, so you don't have to deal with traffic, parking and the nightmare that is transportation on Basel week!"
Jessy Nite, artist
"RENT A SCOOTER!!! Traffic is the worst, and the scooter is the best way to get around. You can make it to parties on the beach and the mainland in the same night, and you can park almost anywhere.
"So yes...rent a scooter for the week and drive it to my show, 'No Strings Attached,' at 2609 N Miami Ave! (Okay, that last line may be a little much, haha.)"
Domingo Castillo, artist
"One thing Basel-goers can do to make their experience more fulfilling this year would be to buy all the locals mollys and three rounds at any local drinking establishment. if not, then at the very least a round for last call."
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.
Send your story tips to Cultist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.