Winning Strategies For Art Basel Miami Beach 

A painting by Barkley Hendricks

I saw a painting by Barkley Hendricks one of my favorite contemporary artists at Art Basel Miami Beach.

With over 200 galleries vying for attention at the Miami Beach Convention Center, it is easy to get lost in the maze of outstanding artwork if one does not have a game plan. When I went to Art Basel again, I came up with a winning strategy. 

A painting by Kehinde Wiley.

A painting by Kehinde Wiley who recently painted the official portrait of Former President Obama.


First a few days before Art Basel, I surveyed a list of artists participating from information on the internet. I then made a list of the artists whose works I admired. 

Second, I went into a different entrance. I entered on Washington Avenue— shorter lines and indoors. Talk about a new approach! 

Third, I charted my course for the day’s venture by pairing my list of artists with their galleries. I received valuable assistance from the knowledgeable staff at the information desk. 

A painting by Pablo Picasso.

I had time to stop by the Salon to look at works by old Masters.


Finally, my visit was more focused and meaningful. I had time to look at other artists not on my list at the Convention Center and the energy to go visit the dozens of pop up galleries in Miami Beach. Simple strategies that work! 

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Free Transportation and Parking for Art Basel Miami Beach 2018

Art and fun in the sun.

Art and fun in the sun awaits at Art Basel Miami Beach.

Parking is always a premium in Miami. During Art Basel the competition and prices for parking will be at an all time high. Save yourself some cash, a headache and a parking ticket, catch one of the free shuttles.

See exciting installations and art at The Bass.

See exciting installations at The Bass.


Art Week Shuttle offers complimentary service that provides free transportation to the Miami Beach Convention Center, Midtown, Wynwood, Design District and more. Visit Art Fairs located throughout the city during  Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami Beach with a breeze.

Enjoy free shuttle service aboard the Miami Beach Trolley. Get four hours of free parking at designated parking garages with a voucher from the trolley driver. 
For information on maps, bus stops, schedules and more visit MiamiBeaches.com

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TGIF: Life Decoded at South Beach 


Celebrating the ease with which I found a parking space at the Miami Beach garage, I was hopeful for a great day. Tourists laughing and chattering against a backdrop of palm trees, were signs of good things to come. This is the South Beach that advertisers promote. Life at its best. But having lived there for 4 years I knew there was a darker side. Skyrocketing homelessness and rampart crime. But just for today, I held those thoughts at bay. 


On the way from the garage, I found myself spellbound by H&Ms window display: Denim Decoded. Using a few bare essentials of clothing they had put together an astonishing look. How clever I thought. If only my life could be so genuine and simple. Life Decoded. Stripped away of all the complexities with only the bare necessities remaining. Simplicity at its best. 


As I stepped into H&M a transformation took place. I was no longer weighed down by the troubles of this world but carefree. Leaving the store my purse was $30 dollars lighter. But it was worth the investment in this new way of being. 


With a new sense of calm and joy, I strolled along a walkway beside the beach. Tents for the wine and food festival blocked the view. But it didn’t matter I knew a few minutes later the ocean would appear. 


At the Bass, I laughed and marveled at the exhibits. The sculptures of “Vocabulary of Solitude” by the Ugo Rondinone brought back to mind my fascination with mannequins on display at H&M. How could these lifeless characters inspire me and an artist? Like Michelangelo releasing the soul of his sculptures from stone, Rondinone had endeavored to do this with polystyrene foam. While at the museum, I met with a friend and asked about the expanded education center. I was excited to hear how the community had embraced the new programs and exhibits.


After I left the museum I headed to the Art Deco District. I was hoping to find a building I had once drawn. No luck. So I decided to sketched the Royal Palm Hotel. 

Now it was time to leave. I placed an order at Pizza Rustica and braced myself for the drive home. Surrounded by a sea of cars I withdrew to a reservoir from my peaceful day. When traffic became a parking lot, my serenity began to dissipate. A few minutes later I got a call about the sudden death of my cousin. Saddened, I thought about my day and all the things I relished. I was glad God had given me a day to enjoy the simple things in my life: art, friends, shopping, dining and the beach. Life decoded. 

Art Deco Weekend fun for kids of all ages


Grab your sunshades and imagination for Art Deco Weekend, Jan. 12-15. 

Deco Kids Club
Stop by Caricatures for Tots at my Splash and Color booth Saturday and Sunda. Buy a limited edition signed copy of my Miami Beach Art Deco coloring book. 

Lively costumed characters, free art activities, kids marketplace, carnival, free kids Art Deco tours and more await children. 

Jazz Age at Art Deco VIP 
Experience the mystique and glamour of the prohibition era. Pay $55 for live jazz and an evening soirée. Listen to Michael Arenella, his Dreamland Orchestra and other jazzy musicians the entire weekend. 

Entertainment 
Miami Beach’s longest running festival has it all. Don’t miss these exciting events: 

Antique Car Show, Bark Deco Dog Show, Guided Tours, Antique and Design Promenade, Films, Classic Car Show and more. 

Visit over 100 pop up shops on Ocean Drive with tantalizing cuisine and unique items while enjoying free street entertainment. 
For more information visit, http://artdecoweekend.com/events/#event-films

The Bass: Talk of the Town

 

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Before renovation, The Bass displays Public Art during Art Basel. 

The Bass solidifies its position as an art leader in Miami by bringing a fresh way of seeing and experiencing art. The grand reopening of The Bass heralds a new age.

After being closed for 2 1/2 years, The Bass opens with much fanfare and anticipation on Sunday. Before its temporary closure, the museum had transformed itself to a hotspot for contemporary art.

Now it artfully and skillfully showcases its old masterpieces alongside contemporary art. Botticelli, Rubens, El Greco and Van Dyke take center near contemporary art and challenges visitors to rethink their perceptions about art.

Instead of discarding the past, The Bass preserves it in a fresh and exciting way. The Art Deco building that houses the Bass is revitalized with new exhibition spaces, expanded lobby and education center, and grand staircase.

Designed by Russell Pancoast in the 1930s, it is one of the oldest buildings in Miami Beach. With the new expansion, the old and new form a fascinating dialogue.

As William Murtugh states “…at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present with a mutual concern for the future.”

The Bass has done that in a bold and brash way.

South Beach Finally Gets It After Raucous Behavior


Splash and Color: Art Deco Coloring Book for Kids of All Ages. A coloring book to engage families with Art Deco. I thought it was a good idea a few years ago.

When I pitched my idea about reaching the family market in South Beach a few years ago, I was met with disdain. My plea fell on deaf ears when I approached the Miami Design Preservation League, Delano and the hotels on Ocean Drive about my coloring book and a Coloring Contest to reach the family market in South Beach. I wasn’t surprised by the lack of enthusiasm or vision. Artists have a tendency to be ahead of the curve.

After years of bad publicity and overly aggressive police behavior to control “raucous” behavior Mayor Levine and the City of Miami Beach are endeavoring to change the Art Deco District’s image. They want to make Ocean Drive better for residents and families. The recent Air and Sea Show is a good start. I hope the business community supports the initiatives to make Ocean Drive a safer and better place for residents and families.
http://splashandcolor.com