(Photo courtesy of NBC South Florida)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — The absence of hurricanes so far in 2013 bodes well for a sensational Art Basel Season.

If you plan to attend, make sure you come prepared for a visual feast and a plethora of social and cultural activities.  The 12th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) opened today (Wednesday, December 4th) at the Miami Beach Convention Center, having firmly established itself as the premiere art fair for Modern and Contemporary Art in the Americas. 

Although there are still no black-owned galleries represented in the main show (Miami Beach Convention Center), the African Diaspora audience has increased significantly over the last five years. Art Basel Salon Conversations (a signature feature of ABMB) now consistently incorporate the perspectives of the global African Diaspora. Last year’s Salon Conversations included contributions from Hank Willis and Adam Pendelton. This year’s Salon will feature African American artist Rashaad Newsome, speaking on “Post Black Art.”

The Art Basel Season will also include several satellite events that will highlight the work of African Diaspora Artists or will focus on issues relating to the production of Africana Art. There will be sixteen additional Art Fairs that will include the work of African Diaspora Art. http://artcollecting.com/miami_art_fairs.htm

The official opening of Art Basel Miami Beach on Wednesday centered on the much anticipated opening of the new 220 million dollar Perez Miami Art Museum (PAMM) www.Perezmiamiartmuseum.org and the highly coveted Vernissage (6pm -9pm, private invitation only) of ABMB (www.artbasel.com).  Tickets for the PAMM opening are free for Dade County Residence. Invitations for the Vernissage are challenging to come by, but are generally available through the participating galleries or through the major sponsors of Art Basel.

The opening show at PAMM features the work of African-Caribbean (London based), Hew Locke. The provocative installation piece, entitled “For those in Peril on the Sea” will include the construction of several different types of boats hanging from the ceiling in PAMM’s commanding lobby. “With its significant links to the South Florida community, this installation, part of Perez Art Museum Miami’s permanent collection promises a powerful initial experience.”

African Diaspora Art is in some ways very understated at the main show, but can be seen at some of the leading galleries at the Miami Beach Conference Center. These galleries include Jack Shainman, Michael Rosenfeld, Sikkema Jenskins, Fred Snitzer, Goodman Gallery, Metro Pictures, James Cohan Gallery, Alexander Gray and Associates,Sean Kelly Gallery, Stephen Friedman,Victoria Miro, Rhona Hoffman among others.

NBC6: Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 Parties

Artists to locate in the main show include, inter-alia Yinka Shonibare, Jack Whitten, Mel Edwards, Mikalene Thomas, Lynette Boayke, Hank Willis, Wangechu Mutu, Jean Michel Basquiat, Carrie  Mae Weems, Kerry James Marshall, Nick Cave, Lorna Simpson, Julie Mehretu, El Anatsui, Toyin Odulata, Leonardo Drew, David Hammons, Romare Bearden, Theaster Gates, Chris Ofili, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, Derrick Adams, Gary Simmons,Barkley L. Hendricks among many others. (See Art Basel 2013 Catalogue)

Other African centered events on the official Art Basel Calendar include:

Thursday, December 5, 2013 – Rashaad Newsome, African American (NY based), Art Basel Salon “Beyond Post Black” 5:00pm-6:00 pm.  Location: Hall C in the Miami Beach Convention Center www.artbasel.com/miami

Friday, December 6, 2013 – Yinka Shonibare (Nigerian), “Farewell to the Past” 9:00pm – 10:00pm. Location: Soundscape Park 500 17th Street. (www.artbasel.com/Miamibeach/Film).

Saturday, December 7, 2013 – “The Black Male Revisited” hosted by Dr. Egwu. 2:00pm-6:00pm. Location: 9806 NE 2nd Ave, Miami Shores at The Miami Theatre Center”. The conversation with Cosmo Whyte, Dr. Campbell, and Octavio Campos as panelists will be moderated by Dr. Egwu, with an introduction by Octavio Campos.

Sunday, December 8, 2013 – 4th Annual Art Basel Panel discussion on Contemporary African Diaspora Art. Location: University of Miami/CAS Gallery. Panelists  include Lowery Stokes Sims, Chief Curator, Museum of Art and Design, NY. (See below). Time: 10:30am-1:00pm.

Noteworthy Satellite Events:

1.    December 3 – 7, 2013.

Fusion Miami Fair – “Fly Beyond” & Grey Goose presents, a Showcase of Galleries celebrating emerging and Master Artists of the African, Caribbean and Latin Diasporas, Location: Wynwood District. Art Basel Miami. The inaugural Fusion MIA Fair “Fly Beyond” and Grey Goose are combining efforts as the premier, first-time, one-of-a kind soiree during Art Basel in the heart of Wynwood.(www.fusionmia.com)

2. December 4, 2013

The Future of Black Art in America hosted by ‘Black Art in America’ on at Townhouse Miami. (150 20th Street, Miami Beach). www.blackartinamerica.com. Time: 3:00pm.

 3.  December 5, 2013.

Reception and performance (Sketch for an Opera) Intethe by South African Artist: Nicholas Hlobo with Papaloko and Loray Mistik at Locust Projects on. www.locusprojects.org). Time:7:00pm- 10:00pm.

4.  December 2 – 8, 2013

Art Installation “The Arrest: Hands up, Hands out” by Christopher Cozier (Trinidad), curated by Lowery Stokes Sims @ the B bar/The Betsy Hotel.  www.betsyhotel.com

5.  December 6 – January 26, 2013.

Global Caribbean V:  Global Caribbean V will be exhibiting the works of Caribbean Diaspora artists who live and work exclusively in Miami @ the Little Haiti Cultural Center, 260 NE 59thTerrace, Miami, 33137. The exhibit runs from Dec. 6 through Jan. 26, 2014. The featured artists include: Glexis Novoa (Cuba); Noelle Theard (Haiti); Rodney Jackson (Jamaica); Fabian Pena (Cuba); and Misael Soto (Puerto Rico). www.theglobalcaribbean.org

6. December 2 – 8, 2013

Bombay Sapphire: Russell and Danny Simmons – Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation will host their 3rd appearance at Basel Miami Beach. Semi- Final artists will appear at Scope during Art Basel 2013.  www.sapphireartisanseries.com

7. December 3 – 8, 2013

Kroma:  The Celebrity Art Series 11: “Black: The Art of Color” featuring the art of Danny Simmons @ 3670 Grand Ave Coconut Grove, FL 33133. Contact: Que Simmons -305 934-8680.

8. December 2 – 8, 2013

“Against the Grain, Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design:” Curated by Lowery Stokes Sims @ The NSU Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale.  www.moafl.org/museum

9.  December 8, 2013

Africana Studies program at the University of Miami with Edmond Abaka & Curator, Ludlow Bailey presents the 4th annual Art Basel Panel discussion on Contemporary African Diaspora Art.  Panelists, include Lowery Stokes Sims, Chief Curator, Museum of Art and Design, James Battle, Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, Roger Tucker 111, (Art Broker), Bayunga (Congolese Artist), Christopher Cozier (Trinidadian artist) and Joy-Ann Reid (The Grio.Com/MSNBC)  Time: 10:30am-1:00pm.

www.asmarfineart.com

10. December 2 – 8, 2013

African American Artist, Gary Moore @ Carol Jazaar Contemporay.  www.cjazzart.com

11. December 2 – 8, 2013

N’Nmadi Contemporary:  Will exhibit works by Robert Cole Scott, Al Loving, Ed Clark, Nanette Carter, Frank Bowling, Hugo McCloud and Vincente Pimente. The Gallery is located in the heart of the Windwood District at 177 NW 23rd Street. www.nnamdicontemporary.com

12. December 5 – 8, 2013

Miami native and FIU-trained architect Mikhaile Solomon is the originator of Prizm, a cutting edge fair that will highlight fine contemporary arts from the African Diaspora.  More than artists will be associated with Prizm, located in the lobby of the Marquis Residences, a 67 story luxury condominium at 1100 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132. Contact 954 3726241 www.prizmartfair.com

13. December 4-8,2013

Rituales en Haiti: Photography by Cristina Garcia Rodero @ Miami Dade Community College Museum of  Art and Design, 600 Biscayne Blvd. Miami FL 33132   Time: 12:00pm-7:00pm.  www.mdcmoad.org

Ludlow E. Bailey is a cultural curator, writer and an international art broker. [email protected]