Sights and Sounds: Miami Art Week 2018

To me, Miami is a near-perfect city with its oceanfront views, vibrant cultural scene, and year-round tropical weather. Its proud Caribbean and Latinx immigrants make for an atmosphere that reminds me of being back home in St. Thomas.

When you throw a week dedicated only to art fairs into the mix, the South Florida hub becomes my type of heaven.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending several events during Miami’s annual Art Week, a 10-day event which includes fairs like the famed Art Basel Miami.

Art Basel is an international art fest that happens in 3 cities across the world: Basel, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and of course, Miami, Florida. As a result, people flock to the city during the annual culture fest in the thousands.

While Art Basel may be the loudest event, the week also encompasses smaller fairs like Art Beat Miami, Basel House Mural Festival, Cake Basel, and many more.

Contrary to popular opinion, these independent shows drew me to the city more than the formal exhibits did.

Throughout the week, I spent a lot of time in away from Miami Beach and exploring Little Haiti, Wynwood, and Brickell. These moments allowed me to make lasting connections and learn about the communities around me.

I consider myself a creative individual yet I was not prepared for the scope of what I witnessed. To say the least, I stood shell-shocked, awestruck, and speechless countless times this week. Below are just a few places and pieces that really moved my spirit.

In the beginning of the week, I headed North to spend time in Little Haiti, attending events hosted by ArtBeatMiami at the Cultural Center.

The fair was focused on highlighting the multifaceted nature of Haitian and Caribbean culture. Several painters, sculptors, musicians, and multimedia artists came together to showcase their amazing work:

Afterward, I hopped down to Wynwood Arts District for several street events.

I began at BaselHouse Mural Festival, a 3 day party where street art, food trucks, numerous independent vendors, bars workshops, DJs, art battles, and more came together to create a truly unforgettable experience:

In my wandering, I stumbled across many people simply painting on buildings and showcasing their skills.

I made a pit stop at CakeBasel, a pop-up exhibit at CAKE Warehouse located in the heart of the city.

Then I swung over to the Wynwood Marketplace for even more creative energy and high vibrations.

My last stop in the ‘Wood was at the Wynwood Yard for their annual Basel at the Yard events. I really enjoyed the Reggae Sunday performances that made my little Caribbean baby heart feel right at home.

Last but certainly not least, I ended up in Brickell, revisiting the Well of Ancient Mysteries, a sanctuary I first had the honor of entering on my Miami visit last month.

This time, I was able to re-connect with Ismael, an indigenous American who lives in and runs the living museum and excavation site. Ismael has dedicated over half a century to preserving the space, citing it as a place that holds sacred fossils and artifacts from the Tequesta tribe.

The best part about this visit? Pieces showcased at the Well were made by women for women! The art inside was all by Burke Keogh, a late environmentalist, local artist, and friend of the space. Her work highlighted the many ways she valued women and feminine energy.

To make things sweeter, I met the other featured artist, Sara-Jane Lynch, who’s paintings were displayed outside the oasis. There was an incredibly warm and comforting feminine energy that surrounded us and the entire property. I felt safe.

The Well truly is a magical gem. Listening to Ishmael, Sara-Jane, and their friend Judina teach me the histories of the space were the highlight of my week. I 1000% recommend checking this place out if you take a trip to Miami.

I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to witness such vulnerability and innovation.

Experiencing, creating, and sharing art is what brings me joy. My hand is on my heart, feeling much love for the beautiful sights, sounds, souls I’ve encountered in this magical city.

I’m curious, do you prefer supporting independent exhibits or formal art fairs/museums? Please leave your comments down below 🙂

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