For aficionados of contemporary art, there's no better scene than Miami Beach's Art Basel, which runs this year from Dec. 5 to 8. It's quite a scene, with throngs of people heading to parties, gallery shows, artist talkbacks and other special events at the city's grandest indoor venues as well as at some inventive outdoor installations.
According to Art Basel's website, more than 250 of the world's leading galleries participate, and the festival draws more than 70,000 visitors each year.
There are two other Art Basel festivals, the original in Basel, Switzerland, and one in Hong Kong. What sets the Miami Beach iteration apart is its fusion of Latin American and North American art from around the world.
A dozen of this year's 20 new artists are from Latin America, including artists from Buenos Aires' Barro Arte Contemporaneo. Sure to draw plenty of attention is a new exhibition of large-scale works at the Miami Beach Convention Center that is being curated by Magali Arriola, the director of Museo Tamayo in Mexico City.
Several hotels have Art Basel events this year, including the Nautilus by Arlo, which announced that it will host Arlo Beach Club, one of just two tent events on the beach during Miami Art Week, which begins before Art Basel, on Dec. 3. Guests can expect performances late into the night by some of the area's best DJs and celebrity emcees. The Box, a theater arts group based in New York and London, will perform, among other artists and entertainers. The hotel is also extending a 10% discount on all rooms booked during Miami Art Week. Rooms start at $989 per night.
Other partner hotels offering discounts for Art Basel visitors include the W South Beach, the Standard Spa, the Marseilles Hotel, the Lennox Hotel and the Pestana South Beach. Rates run the gamut, from $349 (the Marseilles) on the low end to more than $1,600 per night (the W South Beach).
Revelers can take in the sound baths at Rakastella on Dec. 7. House and trance music fills the air from 3 p.m. until 7 a.m. with a lineup that includes Jayda G, Palms Trax, Ben UFO, Oona Dahl and KiNK. The party takes place on Virginia Key Beach Park, and tickets start at $40 per person for general admission.
Tickets for Art Basel are best purchased online at the Art Basel website. A one-day ticket costs $65 per person and $45 for students and seniors. Tickets for all four days are available for $145.