Culture + Style

Don’t Know Monet From Manet? Tackle Miami’s Art Basel for Beginners

The ultimate art extravaganza is Miami’s annual Art Basel celebration. (Photo: Alamy)

The artsy chaos of Art Basel erupts in Miami every December, with smaller art festivals, shows, and parties dotting the landscape from Wynwood and Midtown to South Beach and North Beach. There are swarms of people floating around wearing insanely expensive couture and sipping chilled white wine, as well as pockets of hipster artists looking, well, hip (and bearded).

The main Basel show is held at the Convention Center, but other events scattered throughout the city give you the chance to check out various galleries and the famed Wynwood Walls — a haven of street art, and allow you to see some street artists at work on their creations, which is a fascinating experience.

Art Basel
You’ll find art displayed in galleries and shows (left) and in open-air parks (right). (Photos: Valerie Conners (left), Alamy (right))

Yes, like many art-centric events, Basel is a great chance to score free wine at art shows (though attending them for the booze is a pretty amateur move). But really the festival offers both novices and art experts a wonderful opportunity to chat with up-and-coming artists, connect with them about their vision and inspiration, and generally make your world a little bit larger.

As an added perk, it’s deeply heartening to see the volume of incredible art that’s currently getting made — and hopefully bought — sustaining creatives from around the world.

Insider Tip: Start your Art Basel research a few weeks in advance. Download the Eventbrite app to your phone, if you haven’t already, and keep an eye out for discounted or free shows and exhibitions. Tickets to events sell out quickly, and can be pretty pricey, so scoring cheap tickets is a huge win.

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