antonia-williams-gary_2_web.jpgMy cup is running over.  It’s only a few days away and I can barely contain my excitement at the bounty of the ‘black art’ experience that will be available at Art Basel Miami 2013.

Without a doubt, the centerpiece in this year’s embarrassing riches of art and, in particular, “black art,” is the new Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), or the people’s museum, which will open on Dec. 3. It will occupy the big new building on Biscayne Bay at 13th Street, also known as Bicentennial Park, in the city of Miami.

The building, already noted for its unique architecture, will also be home to master works from artists throughout the African Diaspora. The opening exhibitions will feature a major installation by Hew Locke, a Caribbean artist of note.

Museum trustees, patrons and staff have made a conscious effort to expand the collection of works by African-American artists and have used a $500,000 gift from George Perez, matched by a $500,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to purchase contemporary works by African-American artists for the museum’s permanent collection.

These works include Big Black, a painting by Faith Ringgold from her Black Light Series #1, shown in Miami in 2011. The series was under wraps for decades before touring. Additionally, photographs of Xaviera Simmons and paintings by Al Loving have also been purchased for PAMM.

These works will be added to PAMM’s existing collection of works by artists such as Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, Rashid Johnson, Leonardo Drew and our very own Purvis Young. For PAMM’s full-schedule during Basel, visit

Besides PAMM, the real action for me will take place in Wynwood, home of several parallel art fairs: Art Miami; SCOPE (be sure to see the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series in partnership with Russell and Danny Simmons of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation); Red Dot (see Cheryl Edwards, native of Richmond Heights), to name a few.  These are ticketed shows.

Wynwood is also the home of two large, private collections that feature a sizable number of black artists: Rubell Family Collection, 95 NW 29th St., and nearby in the Design District, and the de la Cruz Collection, 23 NE 41st St. Admission to both is free. 

While in the Design District, stop by the Haitian Heritage Museum, 4141 NE Second Ave., #105C, to view its exhibit. At the top of my list in Wynwood this year will be Fusion MIA “Fly Beyond,” the inaugural art show created by Michelle Spence-Jones, which promises to take the black art experience to a higher level. 

I know that Fusion MIA, sponsored by Grey Goose, will expand the definition of art.

It is a collaborative that includes several established Wynwood Galleries: N’Namdi Contemporary Gallery, 177 NW 23rd St.; Purvis Young Art Museum, 255 NW 23rd St.; Jakmel Art Gallery, 2703 NW Second Ave., featuring art by gallery owner Papaloko; and, going outside the area to Little Haiti, Global Caribbean V at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, 260 NE 59th Terrace; and Multitudes Contemporary Gallery, curated by Babacar M’Bow, 4470 NE Fourth St. (enter on Northeast 55th Terrace).

The newest collaborator is PRIZM, originated by Mikhaile Solomon, which will be in the lobby of the Marquis Hotel and Condominium, 1100 Biscayne Blvd. 

The complete Fusion MIA “Fly Beyond” line-up will feature pop-up galleries, an art fashion show, lunches, dinners, a “Business of Art” panel, after-hours mixers and, of course art, art, art! For the full itinerary, visit

You’ve got to travel a little north to see Gary Moore’s work at Carol Jazzar Gallery, 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores, but it’ll be worth the trek.

Don’t get tired just yet. Wind down Sunday morning, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 1p.m., for the fourth annual panel discussion and dialogue on “Contemplating the State of African Diaspora Art in the Global Arena” at the University of Miami’s Africans Studies Program, curated by Ludlow Bailey.

This is one of my favorite events and last year’s brunch was the best. It’s free but you need to RSVP to 305-302-9192.

Want to stay in the know? For the second year, Black Art in America, curated by Najee Dorsey, is sponsoring “Do You Basel?” This initiative will keep you in the mix year-round with information on featured artists, art auctions, etc. Become a member and join the “Perkulator Discussion” for free by visiting

Diaspora Vibe, under the direction of Rosie Gordon Wallace, is serving as an information clearing house for all things Art Basel and the Caribbean diaspora. Visit

The official Miami Art Basel exhibition is at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Be sure to check out works for sale by the following African American artists: Jack Shainman; Rosenfeld; Alexander Gallery; Marian Goodman (South African art); Roberts & Tilton; Cohen; and Sikkema Jenkins. Their locations are in the Art Basel catalogue.

Many events are open to the public and a few are by invitation-only but there is something for everyone: masters (contemporary and deceased), street art and all things related to producing, displaying, purchasing and celebrating art, including debate and discussions (is that art?).

Don’t forget the parties. The parties? Just hang out with the artists, they will lead the way.  Like I said, my cup is running over and I am starting to get sated just thinking about Art Basel Miami 2013. Please plan on joining me.

*Antonia Williams-Gary may be reached at