Free Art Basel 2015 Events You Don't Need A Super VIP Invite To Get Into
Art Basel and Art Miami Week can be overwhelming, to say the least. It’s a week full of non-stop artistic consumption, social outings and celebrity sightings, and much of it doesn’t come cheap.
Fortunately, there are also tons of other events that happen during Basel time—art installations, food and retail pop-ups, musical performances and more—that won’t cost you a thing (at least not for admission).
While you should definitely check out some of the traditional exhibitions and satellite fairs, here are some of our off-the-beaten-path picks that sound like they will be worth your time.
But first things first…
Avoid traffic and parking hassles this year with free shuttle service around Miami and Miami Beach. To make up for the Venetian Causeway’s closure, the cities are offering two Art Basel bus routes, which will run Wednesday through Sunday to destinations around Midtown/Wynwood, South Beach, Middle Beach and North Beach. Trolleys will arrive every 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the stop. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m, except for Sunday, when shuttle service ends at 8 p.m. The route can be seen here.
OK, now on to the fun stuff…
Celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein returns with two Art Basel pop-up eateries at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, The Garden Café by Michelle Bernstein and Michy’s Pop Up. The Garden Café serves breakfast, lunch and gourmet grab n’ go fare starting Nov. 30. Starting Dec. 2 and open until Dec. 6, the Michy’s pop up will offer a dinner menu of Bernstein’s signatures and new favorites inside the Botanical Gardens’ Banyan Room and out on the terrace.
Nov. 30 to Dec. 6; Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach
One of South Beach’s hottest new hotels is also the site of several Art Miami Week events. 1 Hotel South Beach will host a retail pop-up from Dec. 1 through Dec. 5 called the Ethikal Fashion Pop-Up Shop, featuring ethical and eco-conscious brands, such as Victorine, Maiyet, AU and Accompany. While there, guests can also check out the Daniel Mazzone exhibition on display in the hotel’s Terra Gallery. The artist, who has been called “the next Andy Warhol,” will showcase colorful, eye-popping art works: vibrant collages made from original letters, magazine covers and song lyrics that reflect his subjects.
Dec. 1-5, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m; 1 Hotel South Beach, 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
On Faena Beach between 32nd and 36th streets, Art Basel-goers can enjoy two public installations. From Dec. 1 to Dec. 3, American artist Jim Denevan’s Solar Light Geometry—part performance art, part land art—will carve a path through the sand, creating illuminated patterns at night.
From Dec. 3 to Dec. 6, Spanish artist Almudena Lobera will install A Site to Behold, a large red theater curtain placed parallel to the shore that invites tourists and beach walkers to alternate between their roles as “actor” and “spectator.”
Finally from Dec. 3 to Dec. 6, Brazilian-French artist duo assume vivid astro focus (avaf) will create a neo-disco roller rink, where local and international DJs will perform as participants skate and interact with one another. It’s free and open to the public, with roller skates provided.
Dec. 1-6, 32nd to 36th streets along the beach behind Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Experience eight days of beer gardens (they’ve already begun) focused on an in-progress street mural installation. More than 20 artists will transform a block of Wynwood between NW 2nd and 3rd avenues and 28th & 29th streets, as attendees enjoy this outdoor public house serving up craft beers, cocktails and food. Play outdoor games, such as giant jenga, cornhole and bocce ball, while sipping and lounging. Each event offers free beer tastings to a limited number of people who RSVP.
Through Dec. 4, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Smashed Canvas, 244 NW 29th St., Miami
See the Brickell City Centre Climate Ribbon™ from the streets as it is illuminated for the first time during Art Basel. Imagined by designer Hugh Dutton, the 150,000-square-foot glass, steel and fabric structure unites the in-progress urban development project, which spans three blocks. Visible from various vantage points surrounding Brickell City Centre, the Climate Ribbon will become a permanent fixture amid Brickell once it is lit nightly following the project’s completion.
Dec. 1, 7 p.m.; Brickell City Centre Construction Site, 750 S. Miami Ave., Miami
This free Art Basel event will kick off the art fair with four separate live performances, including four Superman-dressed men with skateboards strapped to their backs, and two extremely athletic and muscular men performing a choreographed tractor-tire routine.
Dec. 2, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Collins Park on Collins Avenue between 21st and 22nd streets, Miami Beach
The new events venue and food incubator is hosting several Art Basel events that are free and open to the public. On Dec. 2 from 7 p.m. to midnight, Local Legends at Wynwood Yard will be a fun night with three Miami bands: electronic disco-funk group Psychic Mirrors, hip-hop artists ArtOfficial, and Latin Funk band Spam Allstars. Enjoy Wynwyood Yard’s on-site food trucks—della test kitchen, Vibe305, Arabian Knife and Myumi—and handcrafted drinks by Thyme. On Dec. 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., check out Vinyasa to Vino, as you enjoy a special yoga session with Grip the Mat and complimentary wine tastings. BYOM. (Bring your own mat.)
Dec. 2-5; The Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami
The Salty Donut, a new artisanal donut shop opening in Miami, is popping up during Art Basel in advance of its official opening. Try donuts such as guava and cheese, olive oil and citrus, gluten-free pumpkin with roasted pepitas, and spiked donut holes.
Dec. 3-4, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Dec. 5-6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; The Salty Donut, 29 NW 24th St., Miami
The Miami Street Photography Festival celebrates both emerging and big-name international photographers. Attend galleries of contest entries, view professional collections, and join lectures, workshops and tours. Admission to the museum is free during the festival.
Dec. 3-6, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; HistoryMiami, 101 W Flagler St., Miami
This 4-day arts and entertainment street fair will take over the former site of the Historic RC Cola Plant in Wynwood. Between Dec. 3 and Dec. 6, enjoy free hip-hop concerts including performances from DJ Khaled and Fat Joe; live street art by top graffiti artists from New York City, Miami and around the globe; and more than 20 food trucks. Vendors will also be selling jewelry, clothing, crafts and more. The launch party is Thursday, Dec. 3, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec 3-5, noon to 2 a.m. and Dec. 6 noon to 9 p.m.; Mana Urban Arts Project, 594 NW 23rd St., Miami
Artist Dina Shenhav will create a hunter’s cabin carved from yellow mattress foam to depict masculinity, war, combat and the world of the hunter. Ammunition, fur pelts, guns, knives, rifles and taxidermy deer heads will all be part of the exhibit. Join the artist for a breakfast reception featuring mimosas, coffee, baked goods and more at ArtCenter/South Florida’s Little River location.
Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to noon, ArtCenter/South Florida – Little River District, 7252 NW Miami Ct., Miami
See what it’s like to stare silently into a stranger’s eyes for 60 seconds (or more). Said to have heart- and mind-opening benefits, the Eye Gazing Miami movement, which recently came to Fort Lauderdale, will welcome passersby to join the group during Art Basel.
Dec. 5, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Lincoln Road (across from Pizza Rustica), Miami Beach
Experience Indian culture with Rupee’s Sarees shop. The full day of Bollywood-themed events includes a free yoga session, saree workshop, henna tattoos, and a lineup of Bollywood dance, drum, and belly dance performances.
Dec. 5, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Rupee’s Sarees, 415 NW 27th St., Miami
Join the artists in residence at ArtCenter/South Florida’s Lincoln Road location for an open house exhibition as Art Basel closes out. Enjoy bubbly champagne at this free and open-to-the-public event.
Dec. 6, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; ArtCenter/South Florida, 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
Shop ‘tip you drop at this artisan flea market, where you’ll find handmade crafts and vintage goods from local artisans. But there’s more to do than shop at the Basel Flea—the community-oriented event will include hands-on workshops, mind and body classes, arts and crafts, live demos and more. This third installment of the Miami Flea will also feature a “chill nest,” a Grub Garden offering food curated from some of Miami’s top eateries, and a live art tent with demonstrations and performances.
POSTPONED until: Dec. 13, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; CANVAS, 90 NE 17th St., Miami
(Photo of Miami Flea courtesy Facebook/Arts & Entertainment District)