It's been nearly two weeks since Hurricane Irma first made landfall in Florida, but its effects will be felt in the state for months — through Art Basel week, at least. NADA Miami, the art fair that's been held at the Deauville hotel in Miami Beach since 2009, announced yesterday that its 2017 edition will be held at Ice Palace Studios in downtown Miami, in part due to damage inflicted by Irma.
"We have always sought to provide the best conditions for presenting art in a fair environment," explained Heather Hubbs, NADA Executive Director in a statement that blamed the move on an electrical fire at the Deauville which was then worsened by the storm damage.
Run by the nonprofit organization New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), the fair was held annually during Art Basel week at Ice Palace from 2004 to 2008, so organizers will be familiar with the location. Its move to the mainland positions the fair closer to the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art, which plans to open its new Design District museum during Basel. It'll also put exhibitors and attendees closer to its local members: Locust Projects, also in the Design District, and Nina Johnson gallery, in Little Haiti's growing art scene. A statement from the fair promises shuttles will be available to other Basel Week hubs like the Miami Beach Convention Center.
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But the move away from the Deauville could kill some of NADA's unique vibe. The fair has stood out from Basel's crowded landscape of white tented fairs in years past, due in part to its embrace of the Deauville's glittery, retro aesthetic, which amplified NADA's offbeat, hipster style.
Of course, it's not the location, but the art that ultimately defines a fair. Whether at Ice Palace or Deauville, NADA has consistently presented some of Basel Week's most engaging, confounding, and flat-out fun works. There's no reason to think this December will be any different, no matter what venue the fair calls home.