After its first three years in Miami Beach and a stint in downtown last year, Satellite Miami Art Fair is moving to Wynwood for its fifth edition.
“We had thought about maybe not doing Miami this year,” the fair’s creative director Brian Whiteley admits by phone from his residence in New York. “But based on a lot of local support and people wanting us to come back, we worked out a great deal with this new location. It was one of those situations where we couldn’t say no.”
The new spot, located at 2210 NW Miami Ct., sits within two blocks from Wynwood Walls and Panther Coffee.
“Last year, we were outside in a large parking lot with shipping containers and large installations. That had its own set of challenges, but this year we have a structure that can provide sanctuary from the elements,” Whiteley says with a chuckle.
Artist applications are now being accepted: From fine art to performance, installation, tech, and sensory-based activations, all disciplines are welcome. “We typically reserve about 30 percent of the fair for local Miami artists,” the creative director says, “and it’s something we want to flesh out even more this year.”
As has been the case in previous iterations, the fair will once again cap its artist participation around 40. The indoor warehouse space will house 25 to 30 artists, whereas another ten will activate the outdoors. In addition, Whiteley and his team are planning for some unique programming and live music.
When Satellite came onto the scene in 2015, Whiteley remembers having to clear debris and dead birds from an abandoned motel in South Beach to set up one of four gallery spaces. Every year since has been an uphill climb, he says, and it’s refreshing to be heading into 2019 with unprecedented support.
“There’s some proof in that what we’ve been doing is something desirable... We’re excited to not have to clean up a bunch of garbage to just exhibit some art,” he says with a laugh.
The art fair is known for its cooky large-scale installations. Satellite made headlines for a giant milk fountain in 2016 and generated even more buzz for a colossal inflatable Donald Trump rat in 2018. So what could be in store for 2019? “We will definitely be doing some large-scale projects that are definitely just as exciting,” Whiteley says, though he’s not yet able to confirm details because he’s still finalizing some partnerships.
One tidbit he can reveal is the subject matter for one of the murals: a cease-and-desist order from Art Basel Miami Beach.
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In the beginning, Satellite’s official hashtag was #NotBasel for many reasons. “We’re an inclusive event — we don’t try to charge exhibitors much money. We’re artist-run instead of driven by collectors or corporate monies,” Whiteley explains. “We felt like we were the antithesis to Art Basel’s glitz, glam, and über-commercialism.”
Satellite garnered the attention of Art Basel organizers in 2018, and Whiteley received a cease-and-desist order from the international art fair. “They said the hashtag might be confusing to people who are trying to attend Art Basel... It’s insanity!" Whiteley says. "So one thing is for sure: We’re going to blow up the cease-and-desist letter and be posting it as murals at the fair.”
Although Satellite won't be using the #NotBasel hashtag this year, Whiteley quips, "we encourage everyone else to."
Satellite Miami. 6 p.m. Thursday, December 5, and Friday, December 6, and 1 p.m. Saturday, December 7, and Sunday, December 8, at 2210 NW Miami Ct., Miami; satellite-show.com.