The phrase "The Art of Basketball" is redundant. Especially when you're talking about our own Miami Heat, the reigning NBA Champions, and Miami's current favorite sports franchise.
NBA players are called the world's greatest professional athletes for a reason. Whether it's Dwayne Wade two-stepping his way through a double team, or passing an alley-oop to outstretched teammate LeBron James, there is no professional sport as beautiful as basketball.
So it's easy to see why Public Works Department's Billi Kidd was inspired to start "The Art of Basketball" exhibit three years ago. The show returns to Miami during Art Basel again this year with new work -- and because our kickass Heat are the NBA's reigning champs, the 2012 edition is shaping up to be an unmissable event.
PWD, a group dedicated to graffiti and urban artwork, expresses its love of the sport through visual art. They've masterfully captured the sport's tempo and feel, displaying pieces that move with the energy of a close game or show the quiet intensity of complicated players.
The two worlds came together naturally, and over three years the "Art of Basketball" exhibition series has gone from art pieces that merely show admiration for the the sport of basketball, to works incorporating official NBA backboards and showing during the 2011 NBA All-Star Game.
This year's exhibit will be settled between the Wynwood Art District and the American Airlines Arena at 2048 NW Miami Court, showing an unintentional symbolism between the arts and sports worlds.
Previous works featured portraits of Heat players themselves, which was one of the reasons the exhibit captured the attention of stars Wade and Chris Bosh. Bosh in particular is known to be a huge supporter of the arts, and was subject of an NBA TV episode about last year's "Art of Basketball" Art Basel exhibit.
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Through that connection, the two will be hosting a private VIP party Friday, December 7, in the exhibition space. Shake Shack will be catering the event, plus DJ Irie, the Miami Heat's in-house DJ, is spinning. The event is sponsored by Premiere Beverage and Public Works Department, with proceeds going to both Dwyane Wade's Wade's World foundation and Bosh's Team Tomorrow Inc. foundation.
The exhibition itself will be running at the same location December 5 to December 9, from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. All the pieces will be up for purchase, and this year features such prominent artists as URNY, Sofia Maldonado, The Dude Company, Skewville, Shiro, Cern, Rene Gagnon, Joe Iurato, Ewok One 5MH, subject of 2010's documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop Mr. Brainwash, exhibit curator Billi Kid, and more. Visit publicworksdept.com.