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"Baron at the Crossroad" by Hank Willis Thomas (Source: Jack Shainman Gallery.)

MIAMI — The eleventh edition of Art Basel Miami Beach 2012 commences on Thursday, December 6, 2012.

This year’s Art Basel is poised to maintain its reputation as “the most prominent and influential art show in the Americas.”

The main show will include 300 galleries along with 16 satellite shows throughout the Miami Dade Area.

The African Diaspora cultural presence during the Art Basel Art Festival has noticeably increased over the last 5 years.  This year, there are several galleries in the main show that will be exhibiting the work of African descended artist.  Jack Shainman, Michael Rosenfeld, Sikkema Jenskins, Fred Snitzer, Goodman Gallery, Metro Pictures, Tony Shafrazi, Pace Gallery, Nahem, Mitchell-Innes &Nash,Miro, Mathes, Rhona Hoffman, Alexander Gray, James Cohan Gallery, David Castillo and  John Bergruen.

Jack Shainman’s gallery continues to take the lead in showcasing the art of the African Diaspora at the main show. Mr. Shaiman’s 2012 inventory will include the work of African American artists, Kerry James Marshall, Nick Cave and Carrie Mae Weems, Ghanaian artists Lynette Boayke and El Anatsui.

Art Basel 2012 will feature several satellite events that will highlight the work of Africans in the Diaspora. These will include:-

  1. Art Africa, organized by Miami Black Architect, Neil Hall and the Urban Collective will stage the second edition of Art Africa (artists of African Descent) in the historic neighborhood of Overtown. The show’s vernissage will occur on Friday, December 7, 2012. (see www.artafricamiami.com)
  2. The Bombay Sapphire, Russell and Danny Simmons Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation will host their second appearance at Basel Miami Beach. Semi- Final artists will appear at Scope during Art Basel 2012. (see www.sapphireartisanseries.com)
  3. The Little Haiti Cultural Center will feature Global Caribbean IV and Pieces of Jamaica. Artist and Curator, Edouard Duval Carrie will present the fourth installation of Global Caribbean entitled French West Indies and Guyana. The exhibition will focus on contemporary art by fourteen artists from the French Caribbean. (See www.theglobalcaribbean.org)
  4. Black Art in America will host a series of events during Art Basel. The most notable of which will occur on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the Wolfsonian at 10:30am and will feature a discussion on the art of collecting by African American art collector Patric McCoy. (see  www.blackartinamerica.com)
  5. Curator, Ludlow Bailey and the African Studies Program at the University of Miami will present “The Third Annual Art Basel Panel Discussion on Contemporary African Diaspora Art at the CAS Gallery at UM on Sunday, December 9, 2012 from 10:30am-1:00pm. The panel will include the Chief Curator of the Visual Arts Collection and Galleries at the forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture, African-Caribbean Paris based gallerist, Laurence Choko, world renowned artist,  Fred Eversely and  Juanita Hardy, Executive Director of DC based Millennium Artist Salon. (see www.asmarfineart.com and www.as.miami.edu/africanastudies )
  6. Kanye West and Lenny Kravitz will perform at the UR1 Music & Art Festival at Bayfront Park on December 8th and 9th. This is the first music festival to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach.
  7. N’Namdi Contemporary (one of nation’s premiere black owned galleries) debuts in the new Wynwood Art District in Miami.  The gallery will show case works by Nanette Carter, Robert Colescott and  Rashid Johnson. www.nnconetmporary.com

Ludlow Bailey is a cultural writer, curator and an international art broker, based in St. Thomas, USVI.