Art Basel Miami Beach

Arts for a Better World: Science Experiments, Recycled-Garbage Sculptures, and Surrealist Graffiti

There are a lot of things that are awesome about Art Basel week, only one of which is actually Art Basel. In between staring at five-digit price-tags for paintings we'll never buy and making awkward conversation with socialites, we'll be headed to Arts for a Better World -- a 40,000 square foot exhibit at Wynwood's Soho Studios.

Here, you can create your own crazy installations out of reusable materials, witness scientific experiments translated onto canvas, and support charities looking to erase the line between creative expression and action.

Over 40 artists from all over the world were selected by curators to

present their work at AFABW. Several Americans made the list, including

animal portrait artist Joe Zammit-Lucia and Miami-based surrealist

graffiti artist Brandon Opalka.

There will also be a tribute to Haiti from a consortium of Haitian and

Haitian-American artists. Asser Saint-Val will present paintings

inspired by scientific and sociological studies involving melanin, the

biological pigment that determines skin color. "The ambiguous forms are a

metaphor for the mystery of melanin, and they are anchored by the

presence of arms and legs in motion," he says about paintings made with

pastels, acrylic, and water color in addition to coffee, flour, tea

grains, and food coloring.

Another Haitian artist, Lika, will present a

collection she began to work on just four hours before the Earthquake

hit. "Somewhere between our material world and the invisible realm,

souls of the dead and the living took a glimpse at each other, searching

to continue their path," she said about the moment.

Save the Children, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, and will benefit from five percent of all sales of artwork, and

they will each present their own exhibitions. The Red Cross's "Our World

at War" exhibit will feature photojournalistic work from Haiti,

Colombia, and other countries that were taken during times of conflict.

Save the Children will present Mozambique artwork by preschoolers

orphaned and affected by AIDS to commemorate World AIDS Day on December


There will also be an interactive component--workshops, children's

events, and 442 pounds of reusable materials, which attendees can shape

into a sustainable public art sculpture. On Sunday (family day), the

first 500 children who arrive at AFABW will receive free healthy lunches

from the on-premise café and admission to an art workshop with

Panamanian artist Olga Sinclair.

Arts for a Better World will be open Wednesday, December 1 through

Saturday, December 4 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 5 from

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Soho Studios (2136 NW First Ave., Wynwood).

Admission costs $10 for adults. Persons under 18, members of the armed

forces, and Art Basel VIP pass holders receive free entry. Call

754-423-3226 or visit