Each year as the first week of December gets closer, the art crowd is already skipping over Thanksgiving in favor of planning another event–Art Basel Miami. Back for its 14th year, the art show has morphed into more of a three-ring circus, where art blends seamlessly into events with top chefs, designer brands and celebrity hosts. Invites may be flooding your inbox, but we've done a bit of the heavy lifting narrowing down the must-visit events of the week to 10 of our top picks.
The Art Basel Miami show opens to the public on December 3 — Photo courtesy of Art Basel
Art Basel Show at Miami Beach Convention Center
With the overload of parties, events and satellite shows each year, it's easy to forget what started all of the Art Basel madness–the show itself. The North American outpost of Art Basel brings together over 250 galleries and 4,000 modern and contemporary artists from around the globe to Miami Beach for a week of exhibition and events. For the public who are more observers than collectors, the fair opens up for general admission December 3-6.
First Look at Warhol Pieces
The SLS South Beach is transforming into an art gallery with installations scattered not only throughout the public spaces, but also in the rooms. Among the highlights is Spanish artist Africa Aycart's portraits at The Bazaar by José Andrés, where the artist and chef will co-host an invite-only cocktail reception on Tuesday, December 1. Just above The Bazaar, a collection of never-seen-before Andy Warhol pieces will be on display at Sam's Lounge.
New Wynwood Walls Murals
If you don't have tickets to the main shows, there's plenty of free art to see and the Wynwood Walls are just the place to get your fix. Started in 2012, the living gallery is adding 14 new murals to its street art collection as part of this year's program, Walls of Change. While you can catch the free art on display at any time, artists will be signing prints of their work at the Wynwood Walls Gallery Thursday, December 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Squeeze in a workout at the SoulCycle pop-up studio at 1 Hotel South Beach — Photo courtesy of SoulCycle
SoulCycle Pop Up at 1 Hotel South Beach
The spin studio with a celeb cult following is heading to the beach during Art Basel with a pop-up studio at 1 Hotel South Beach December 1-4. Giving guests a preview of Miami Beach's first SoulCycle, which will make its permanent home at the hotel in January, the classes will take on a Basel theme with art by Los Angeles-based artist Gregory Siff and a limited edition legging collaboration with the artist himself.
Parisian nightclub Le Baron is back at FDR — Photo courtesy of FDR at Delano
Le Baron at FDR
The Parisian boîte de nuit is back this year and unlike years past where you had to play the game to find Le Baron, you'll know exactly where the club is at. But this doesn't mean it'll be any easier getting past the bouncer at its FDR home for the week, starting Wednesday, December 2 at 11 p.m.
Paris Hilton at Wall
Paris Hilton is returning to Wall at W South Beach this year, spinning alongside local DJ Mr. Mauricio on December 4. The Belvedere Vodka event kicks off at 11 p.m. but don't expect things to get started until much later, when the SKAM Records artist takes over the floor spinning singles like her summer hit "High Off My Love."
Broken Shaker is hosting a week of pop-up events, including a Wild Belle DJ set — Photo courtesy of Broken Shaker/Adrian Gaut
Wild Belle DJ Set at Broken Shaker
Broken Shaker is playing host to a Chicago art and music takeover on Saturday, December 5, with the Windy City's indie duo Wild Belle manning the music from 4 to 8 p.m. While listening to the beats, stroll through the bar and hostel's garden (with one of their infamous craft cocktails in hand) checking out Chicago artist Don't Fret's sculptures and installations on display.
Michelle Bernstein Pop-Ups at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Take a breather from events and stop for a bite at one of the two Michelle Bernstein pop-ups at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Celebrating her third year of Art Basel pop-ups, Bernstein's Garden Café and Michy's Pop Up will be open November 30-December 6, conveniently located across from the convention center in the heart of the Art Basel action.
Burberry Fashion Show at Spectrum Art Fair
One of the many satellite fairs, contemporary art fair Spectrum Miami is kicking off Art Basel week with a Burberry fashion show and Art Hearts runway presentation on Wednesday, December 2. If you can’t score an invite to the VIP event, which also features a performance by Island Def Jam artist Cris Cab, you can still catch the fair's collection of artwork by emerging artists in the Arts & Entertainment District from December 2-6.
Beck's Haus Takeover in Wynwood
Free events (that are also open to the public) are hard to come by, but Beck's is joining the Basel lineup this year with a takeover at Brick House in Wynwood. Catch free performances and artwork by the likes of Physic Mirrors' Micky Degrand, Ynot and Patrick Walsh December 3-6 from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m.