Art Basel is upon us and it’s safe to say there is something for everyone to enjoy; but black artists want to make sure their faces are represented among the multitude of those whose works will be shown. They’ve created spaces where people can view, dine and enjoy Basel. Art of Black, Prizm Art Fair, KROMA Art Gallery and Art Africa present a diversity of events that reflect some of the best black artistry around. There are also some mainstream events that are worthy of your time. If you’re a lover of all things art, fascinated with creatives borne of the African Diaspora, here’s how you can get your Black Basel on:
Art Africa Miami Arts Fair 2016 – AFROTOPIA: For the art-lover in you is a not-to-be-missed cultural excursion held each year in Historic Overtown. Committed to doing its part in transforming the heritage neighborhood once known as the “Harlem of the South, the fair will present a mix of exhibits, conversations, interactive labs, receptions and more. It will take place at the newly renovated and historic Clyde Killens Pool Hall. For more information, visit www.artafricamiamifair.com.
Prizm Art Fair 2016: The “Prizm” exhibit is curated by Mikhaile Solomon. It presents the work of international emerging artists with a select focus on solo presentations by artists from the Global African Diaspora. The “Indivisible: Spirits in the Material World” exhibit is curated by William Cordova and brings together a group of cultural practitioners whose work evolved and is in concert with non-profit art institutions. The “Callipygous Complex” exhibit is presented by Kirsten Magwood and features an eclectic selection of works that explore race, class and gender. For more information, visit www.prizmartfair.com.
Art of Black Miami: The Multicultural Tourism
Development Department of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau presents the 2nd annual Art of Black Miami to shine a spotlight on Miami’s mosaic and artists’ heritage neighborhoods. Heritage communities participating in Art of Black Miami include but are not limited to Little
Haiti, Coconut Grove, Liberty City, Opa-Locka, Historic Overtown, Wynwood, MiMo District, Downtown and other areas. To learn more, visit www.artofblackmiami.com
Event Breakout by Day:
11 a.m. – Visions of Our 44th President Exhibition: An exhibition of realistic, life-sized busts designed, painted, and/or embellished by 44 contemporary African American artists commemorating the historical significance of Barack Obama’s presidency at the Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex in Overtown. Tickets start at $15.
5:30-6:15 p.m. – Talk: Neil Hall – ART + COMMUNITY: an introspective discussion on the importance of an ongoing commitment to the Historic Overtown neighborhood through the activation of art and culture. [Complimentary snacks will be served.] 6-6:30 p.m. – Prizm Perform – Nyugen Smith: A Letter Home: Hoping To Reach You Soon, Part 2: A thirty-minute performance that aims to bring together three generations of Haitians to tell a story of belonging, longing, achievement and their contributions to global culture.
6:45-7:15 p.m. – AYANA EVANS Gurl I’d Drink Your Bath Water: Ayana delivers a layered performance that is part social commentary, part autobiographical. An interactive performance piece, “Gurl, I’ll Drink Your Bathwater,” was originally created in 2015 for Performance Anxiety in New York, NY. The title is based on the black American old school saying, “You’re so fine, I’d drink your bathwater.”
8 p.m. – Shantell Martin and Kendrick Lamar: Lamar is one of hip-hop’s finest, while Martin is an acclaimed international visual artist who draws on everything. Together, they will create a memorable experience for Basel-goers. The event is exclusive for AMEX card members and will take place at the Faena Art Dome in South Beach Miami. Tickets are $65. There is a 2-ticket limit per purchase. You must be 21+ to attend.
12-12:45 p.m. – Prizm Panel: Contemporary Black Artist Movements: Artists Jamea Richmond-Edwards and Amber Robles-Gordon, Co- Founders of Delusions of Grandeur artist collective will speak of the relevancy, evolution and power of artist collectives and artistic movements. 2- 2:45 p.m. – CARIBBEAN CANON: A Caribbean Art Education Initiative with Daniela Fifi, Stephanie Cunningham & Erin Hylton: This presentation aims to address the lacuna present within Caribbean art education through presenting an online platform that will provide information and resources to regional and global audiences.
2:30-4:20 p.m. – Art of Black Miami Art Talk Series #2: Panelists will include art curators, directors, entrepreneurs, and professionals in the art industry discussing the challenges they face with funding and building art infrastructures, as well as creative solutions and collaborative approaches to sustainability.
3-3:45 p.m. – OASA DUVERNEY Presented by Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation: Oasa discusses her exhibition, “The View from Nowhere,” a showcase of social justice-driven large-scale drawings and mixed media works created to give a “visual voice” for those who continue to be silenced.
4-6 p.m. – Art Africa: Art + Youth: Youth Art Insiders; An Afterschool Interactive VIRTUAL REALITY Workshop with the youth from Overtown Youth Center and Urgent, Inc. powered by Code Fever. [Complimentary snacks will be served.] 7 p.m. – 3rd Annual Art of Conversation: Supermodel Tyson Beckford will be the special guest at this networking event for Generation X and Millennial influencers to connect over their appreciation for the arts. The event will feature a special Sip & Swirl component where guests will have the opportunity to not only admire art but create their own masterpieces.
12 p.m. – AFROTOPIA, Curatorial Lecture by: Babacar MBow: Discusses the failures and dissolutions of integration in the African Diaspora and independence on the continent and in the Caribbean, the quartering and ambiguity of consciousness torn between cultures, the shadows of the Police killing and clarity of Black Lives Matter; as well as the poetry of the real grasped through hip-hop.
1:30 p.m. “Intersections – Aesthetic Collisions between BLACK Culture + Environmental DESIGN” Talk by: Jack Travis, FAIA, NOMA: Travis is on a mission to show that just as there is a black sound in music, black look in art, black movement in dance and black rhythm in poetry, a black architecture does exist, but, under so many layers of denial and oppression that it remains “hidden in plain view.
3 p.m. – Art Collecting 101 – Can I be an Art Collector? WHO, WHAT, HOW do I start??? Talk by: Bahia Ramos & Patricia J. Saunders: Don’t miss this fun and engaging discourse on the Who, What & How’s of affordable art collecting. We got you covered with a Miami duo that are both avid collectors and connoisseurs of art & culture.
4:30 p.m. – 13th Documentary: Let’s Watch It Together: Join Art Africa for a family gathering to watch Ava Duvernay’s highly acclaimed documentary, 13th, which draws a direct line from slavery to America’s mass incarceration.
6 p.m. – KROMA Spectra: 3 the Art Way: Art, Food, Music & Theater: Paul Campbell, A. J. Brown & Mark Cameron showcase their talents from their various professions as visual artists. From 8-12 p.m. there will be a DJ set and cuisine sampling. Visit kromamiami.com for more information.
***Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. There are many events taking place during Art Basel that cater to black audiences. Information from artafricamiamifair.com, prizmartfair.com, kromamiami.com and artofblack- miami.com were included in this report. Please visit each site for more detailed information. Background photo courtesy of TJ Thomas.