Jada and David Parrish
What is Art Basel and Miami Art Week? How to Prepare and What to Expect! - Jada And David Parrish

What is Art Basel and Miami Art Week? How to Prepare and What to Expect!

Blog by Jada Parrish | Article | 11/17/22

If you are at all interested in art or design, you've probably at least heard of Art Basel. It's a name that gets mentioned and thrown around a lot, but unless you have a vested interest in the art world you might not understand exactly what it is. We went to Art Basel and Miami Art Week for the first time last year, and I honestly had no idea what I was walking into or what I was about to experience. So I'm going to break it all down for you and transform you from an Art Basel novice to someone who can confidently speak about it.

What is Art Basel and Miami Art Week? How to Prepare and What to Expect! - Jada And David Parrish


What is Miami Art Week?

The entire city of Miami explodes with art at the very end of November/beginning of December each year. There are so many exhibitions and fairs highlighting art and design all across Miami, and this explosion of exhibitions is referred to as Miami Art Week. Some of the fairs take place in Miami Beach and the rest take place in the city of Miami.

Each of the art fairs has a unique feel and energy to them. Some are held in hotels or conference centers and others take place inside tents along the beach. All the fairs start on different days with most opening on November 29th and running through December 4th. Admission to the fairs ranges in price from $10 - $70.

Art Basel Miami Beach | Aqua Art Miami | Design Miami | Ink Miami
Satellite Art Show | Scope Miami Beach | Untitled, Miami Beach


Art Miami | Context Art Miami | Fridge Art Fair | Miami River Art Fair | NADA Miami
Pinta Miami | Prizm | Red Dot Miami | Spectrum Miami


What is Art Basel?

It's a very prestigious art fair. It was started in the 1970s by three gallerists in Basel, Switzerland. Since then it has grown to include fairs in Miami Beach, which began in 2002, as well as in Hong Kong, which started in 2008.

If you are American, the Art Basel you've probably heard the most about is Art Basel Miami Beach. Art Basel is the largest show in Miami Beach to date with 283 premiere galleries exhibiting and is the main attraction of Miami Art Week. You can expect to see the biggest names in the art world at the Art Basel Miami Beach fair. It's divided into several sectors: galleries, positions, nova, survey, and edition. This year is the 20th-anniversary edition of the Miami Beach art Basel.

A day ticket to Art Basel costs $70 per person, but they offer student discounts and special dates for Miami locals. Tickets are available online and at the fair, although I would recommend purchasing tickets in advance. The public days for 2022 are: Thursday, December 1 (11am - 7pm), Friday, December 2nd (11am - 7pm), and Saturday, December 3rd 11am - 6pm).

What is Art Basel and Miami Art Week? How to Prepare and What to Expect! - Jada And David Parrish


What to expect at Art Basel and Miami Art Week?

  • Expect a sensory overload! There will be thousands of wild pieces of art in all directions. You will see art that inspires, surprises, and makes you question what art is. 
  • Expect to be on your feet a lot. The fairs themselves are large, but you will likely be walking to and from multiple fairs in a day.
  • Miami Art Week and Art Basel are about luxury, so expect to party and indulge a little. There are multiple VIP events taking place. Within each show, there is usually a bar with food and drinks so that you can fully enjoy yourself while soaking in copious amounts of art.
  • Expect to spend a decent amount of time at each show. Like I said before, these shows are pretty large. I'd reserve an hour minimum for each one of the smaller shows and at least 2-3 hours for Art Basel.
  • You can buy tickets online or at the fairs.
  •  Photos are allowed at all of the shows and it is totally acceptable to take photos of and with your favorite art.
  • Galleries typically run the booths, but the artists whose work they are showing are usually present at the shows. Feel free to talk, ask questions, and collect cards.
  • Hotels triple their prices during Miami Art Week so be prepared to pay a pretty penny for a mediocre hotel room.


How to prepare:

  • Book your hotel early!
  • Buy tickets for the shows online.
  • Be ready to take photos, socialize, and connect.
  • Dress stylishly, but make sure to wear comfy shoes.
  • Be ready for long days on your feet! 


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Jada + David Parrish are mixed media artists whose work explores the connection between painting, sculpture, motion, and photography.