Flying first during Art Basel Miami Beach

2019 is a year of renovations, expansions and upgrades in Miami offering Art Basel Miami Beach visitor’s much-needed highlights in a packed art week schedule.

This past April, PRIMARY debuted their new gallery designed by Terry Riley-led K/R architects. Nestled in Miami’s evolving Little River neighborhood, PRIMARY’S program has expanded their experimental, street art roots—forerunners to the Wynwood art district— to offer elegant exhibition-making in their unique way. This neighborhood is also attracting Oolite Arts, formerly the ArtCenter/South Florida, currently planning their build and move. While this is in the works, Oolite Arts programs their 924 Lincoln Road space with stellar artist studios and exhibitions, including a show by the Detroit-based curator Larry Ossei-Mensah this December.

Cody Hudson, Earth Rise Day Dream. Courtesy of Primary. Photo: Mateo Serna Zapata

The Allapattah neighborhood is a new hot spot. Located south of Wynwood, Hometown BBQ is a must-try before visiting the new Rubell Family Collection warehouse, a 20,000 square foot one-level exhibition space that will feature highlights from their immense collections in December. Miami Produce Market by developer Robert Wennett will convert an Allapattah fruit and vegetable warehouse center covering more than eight acres into a residential, commercial and educational complex designed by architect Bjarke Ingels.

Joep Van Lieshout, Humanoids, 2018. Aluminum. Located at Miami Beach Convention Center Collins Canal Park. Courtesy Miami Beach Art in Public Places.

The newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center, home to the Art Basel Miami Beach fair, has debuted six public art projects by internationally renowned artists—oddly, all part of the “Western” canon. Notable projects include Joep Van Lishout’s “Humanoids” situating the environment as a center-point around which abstracted human forms exist, as well as Franz Ackerman’s “About Sand,” a “mental map” mural reflecting Miami’s vibrancy.

Teresita Fernández, Fire, 2005. Silk yarn, steel armature, epoxy 96 x 144 in. (diameter) 243.8 x 365.8 cm

Leading the way, the Peréz Art Museum Miami will feature a much-awaited mid-career retrospective by Miami born, New York-based artist Teresita Fernández. Widely recognized for her experiential, monumental works, Fernández draws connections between landscape, history, place, and materiality, and makes references to land, geology, and social order.  A noted advocate for the under-representation of Latinx artists and inclusivity, the amalgamation of Fernández’s conceptual, creative, and social sensibility will make a poignant statement within one of Miami’s most visited museums.  

Oolite Arts is conducting an international search for an architect to build a new home in the City of Miami, which will include artist studios, improved exhibition space, classrooms, and a theater. Photo courtesy of Oolite Arts.

Other local favorites include Locust Projects, Fountainhead Residency, Fringe Projects, MDC Museum of Art and Design, NSU Museum Fort Lauderdale, The Wolfsonian, The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Art, MoCA, The Bass, the Lowe, the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, the de la Cruz Collection, and the list goes on. Get ready for take off!


Franz Ackerman About Sand, 2018. Paint. Located at Miami Beach Convention Center Collins South East Corner Exterior Walls. Courtesy Miami Beach Art in Public Places.