Arts and Entertainment Guide
Four Broward-Based Artists Will Showcase Their Work At Art Basel
For the past 15 years, Miami Beach has played host to Art Basel, making the first week of December synonymous with culture, parties and international art. Apart from the main spectacle at the Convention Center, several satellite shows cater to different niches and offer exposure for local talent.
Creating art wasn’t part of Carmen Smith’s life plan.
In school she was part of the pre-veterinary program and then earned a degree in Russian studies. Smith was going to be a linguistics professor.
“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I didn’t know there were careers in art, and that they could be fruitful,” she says.
As a child, Smith spent time with her mom, an art teacher, sketching naturescapes. But it wasn’t until college that art became a permanent part of Smith’s life.
While studying abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Smith visited the Hermitage Museum often to get away from the cold and grab a coffee. Immediately upon returning to the States, she signed up for art classes, and in 2002, she enrolled at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts where she acquired a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
Then it took 10 years for the now 40-year-old to finally become a full-time artist.
“The best part of being an artist is creating something that didn’t exist in the universe,” she says. “I feel like I’m doing something meaningful.”
Smith’s Hollywood studio is filled with paintings she describes as American modernism and tropical minimalism. But one thing that hangs on her wall that isn’t a painting is a Post-it note with a quote: “Do the work.”
“Sometimes as an artist you don’t know all the answers,” she says. “It reminds me to just pick up the paint brush, to just do it. It’s as simple as that.”
Last year she showcased her work at Spectrum Miami, one of Miami Art Week’s satellite shows. This year, she will be showing at Superfine!, a boutique contemporary art fair in Wynwood. Look out for her at booth No. 5.
Erin Bassett has been working her whole life to get to this moment.
A native South Floridian, Bassett, 39, picked up her first pencil when she was 3, finished her first watercolor piece (gladiolas still hanging in her parents’ house) when she was 8 and never looked back.
Now this December she will make her Miami Art Week debut with her exhibition at Spectrum Miami, a contemporary art show in Midtown Miami. Look out for her at booth S-1102.
“I’m excited to meet future clients,” she says. “I want to interact with people and see if my work speaks to them enough to have it in their space.”
Bassett’s inspiration comes from the land and seascapes of South Florida. She then transforms her vision by using the Japanese shibori technique of folding and binding cloth to sculpt fabric into intricate textile art pieces.
She’s proud to say she does more than just wall art, creating custom work and installations that her clients can’t just go out and buy.
“The best part of being an artist is creative expression—taking what’s in my head (something bizarre) and putting it out into the world,” she says.
Next year she hopes to have the opportunity to show at more art fairs and has her eyes set on Artexpo New York in April.
Passion is something Bassett has never lacked, but the business side of her work needed a little help, so she decided to take part in the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute presented by the Broward Cultural Division and ArtServe. During the program’s final art show, DBA Chrysalis Show, Bassett was scouted by Spectrum Miami and invited to apply to the show.
“Being a part of the show feels surreal, but it also feels right and what I’ve been training for this whole time,” she says.
Growing up in Coral Springs, Angela Yang felt shy. But while her peers didn’t know it, and her family of doctors and lawyers didn’t understand it, Yang felt the need to create.
“Art is a salvation to me,” she says. “It’s a compulsion to create, I just have to do it.”
Yang has always been an artist, completing her first acrylic when she was 4 years old. She incorporated her passion at Florida State University when she received bachelor’s degrees in psychology, English and studio art.
During Miami Art Week, Yang will be showing at Superfine! in booth No. 4. Her oil and acrylic paintings usually have some psychological aspects to them, and recently she’s been expanding to video installations.
“I know Superfine! is going to be challenging, but I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” she says. “I’m looking forward to talking to people about my work and seeing how it impacts them.”
She was drawn to the fair’s focus on new collectors and helping those novel enthusiasts get a proper introduction to the art world. For Yang, she is excited to experience other artists’ works, to see how they think and express themselves.
Yang finds her inspiration in nature to everyday interactions with people. So, when she’s not working in her Fort Lauderdale studio located at the Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, she’s out exploring new restaurants and breweries.
"I’m looking forward to talking to people about my work and seeing how it impacts them."
David Muir is all about living life to the fullest, and it shows through the vivid and captivating photos he takes.
As an artist who’s originally from Jamaica, Muir is energized to be part of this year’s “Let There Be Reggae” exhibition premiering during Miami Art Week on Dec. 7 at Mana Wynwood.
The art show is a tribute to the culture, love and music of Jamaica—specifically reggae and dancehall music. Depicting the story of the music’s foundation in the 1970s to now, the three-day show will give attendees a snapshot and flavor of the reggae and dancehall music scene with exhibitions of concert memorabilia, costumes and vinyl records brought in from the Caribbean island as well as live performances and photography exhibits, like Muir’s.
“I’m excited to expose reggae to people who aren’t familiar with it,” he says.
Muir was drawn to this show because of his personal tie to music. His photos will feature performers on stage, but in a previous life, the 48-year-old photographer was once in front of the camera as a world-traveling DJ who transitioned into a music producer, manager and concert promoter.
Photography had always been a hobby for him, never thinking it could sustain him completely. But deep down, he felt it was his calling, and he knew he had to let go of the fear.
Ten years ago, he did just that and has since had countless photography exhibits and even launched a coffee table book, Pieces of Jamaica.
When explaining where he gets his inspiration, Muir laughs and says he sees something spectacular every day that inspires him since there’s so much beauty in the world.
“Inspiration is easy,” he says. “It’s getting the courage to execute your vision that’s the hard part.”
Don’t want to make the drive to Miami? Here’s what’s happening nearby:
Choose954 Local Artist Discovery Series
Dec. 6, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Live Art Popup with a local artist painting in front of an audience.
YOLO, 333 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Donna Haynes Exhibition
Dec. 4, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“The Memory Collection” is a series of artworks that are created through laser cut ideations of memories from objects related to universal stories of life.
FAR Gallery, 521 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Henning Haupt Exhibition
Dec. 4, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Reception and book launch for “The Journey of Magenta” installation.
the Projects of FATVillage, 523 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale
The Studio - Art Basel Edition
Dec. 6, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
A live DJ will provide beats while local artists paint large and live.
W Fort Lauderdale’s Living Room,
401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale