By Sandra Schulman
After last year’s cancelation of Art Basel Miami Beach, the return of the fairs and several satellite events is welcome news for the South Florida art scene.
All the big fairs are opening their doors – Art Basel, Art Miami, Context, NADA, Scope and many more. With travel restrictions lifted, expect the art jet set to fly in from around the world. There will be pop-ups, and public art, and more art-related events than any one sane person can attend.
Plan wisely, check the parking and easier, cheaper mass transit — Brightline is back – to make the visits more enjoyable.
In Palm Beach, the fourth edition of New Wave Art Wknd (NWAW) is on again, returning for in-person programming from this Friday through Sunday. Founded by uber-bicoastal local gallerist Sarah Gavlak in 2018, NWAW has built a strong platform to discuss critical issues in contemporary art and championed South Florida’s flourishing art scene in addition to artists from underrepresented communities. This non-commercial art weekend provides an alternative event to explore vanguard ideas concerning the art world here and at large.
This year focuses on the theme “Bridging Communities,” for gallery openings, performances, private collection tours, and open studio visits. NWAW’s events will open with a kick-off event Friday evening with a public panel discussion, live performance, and the unveiling of public artworks by New Wave’s artists-in-residence at Rosemary Square.
On Saturday, NWAW will host its annual anchor event, a patron brunch and panel discussion at Beth Rudin DeWoody’s famed collection in The Bunker Artspace, which will include curator-led tours of the space’s recent reinstallation. The afternoon will continue with an invitation-only performance by Ryan McNamara. The night will conclude with a patron dinner and dancing.
NWAW will close out on Sunday with a patron brunch and private collection tour hosted in the morning by UOVO at the home of advisory board member Burt Minkoff, followed by a public panel discussion at the Norton Museum of Art.
“New Wave Art Wknd started in 2018 as a way to showcase the contemporary art scene in South Florida, and has grown substantially into a dynamic nonprofit organization in just four short years,” Gavlak told Palm Beach ArtsPaper. “For our inaugural year we collaborated with my longtime friend and supporter of the gallery, Beth Rudin DeWoody, to feature the grand opening of her Bunker Artspace. Beth is also a founding board member of NWAW and attendees to New Wave look forward to the incredible new exhibitions that change each year at The Bunker.”
The pandemic provided a new set of challenges, Gavlak says.
“During our 2020 edition, due to the ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19, we were challenged to adapt and host a hybrid program, offering both in-person and digital formats to continue our work. The hybrid approach ended up being a great way for NWAW to expand our audience and reach, generating even more support for the year-round programs we have at New Wave, especially our artist-in-residence program.
“Hybrid programming also allowed us to visit the collections of some incredible patrons of the arts who are not based in Palm Beach, including Valeria Napoleone and Arthur Lewis, both of whom are participating on a panel discussion during this year’s edition.”
Gavlak says the event has grown in unexpected ways.
“Well, in truth, the art scene has grown around us! As I mentioned, New Wave started in 2018 and three years later, due to the pandemic, some great galleries opened pop-ups here. They had been following what we created and understood the mission of building community beyond the island.”
Open House on Saturday will be well-rounded, with Gavlak, Acquavella, White Cube, TW Fine Art, Paula Cooper Gallery, Lehmann Maupin, Ben Brown Fine Arts, Pace Gallery, Lévy Gorvy, and a pop-up exhibition by Christie’s opening their doors to the public.
“We’re happy to share these wonderful programs with all beyond the weekend as well,” Gavlak says “through a new public sculpture initiative in Royal Poinciana Plaza. The initiative will have a soft launch during NWAW and continue new installations in the coming months — expanding the breadth of our offerings and programming throughout the year.”
Multiple public panel discussions featuring luminaries such as Thelma Golden, Kim Dacres, Bev Grant, Veronica Ryan, Valeria Napoleone, Sue Hostetler and Arthur Lewis, among many others, will be held throughout the weekend.
“Our goal has always been to increase access to the arts through honest engagement and support for emerging voices — our patrons, partners and community are instrumental in achieving it. With even more programming in the works, NWAW is shaping up to be a rich weekend of connection and inquiry that we can’t wait to share with the community,” Gavlak said.
Down in Miami, the art fairs run earlier this year and are planning on big crowds.
“Art Week will be centered around the reconnection of international galleries and art collectors after two years,” said Nick Korniloff, executive vice president and director of Art Miami. “Miami has become the most important marketplace for collecting art in conjunction with art fairs globally. We believe this year will prove to be successful, as the tri-county area of South Florida has seen an influx of new residents and businesses, a booming real estate cycle that has provided the opportunity for both proven art collectors and aspiring collectors to call South Florida home and acquire important works of art at this year’s Art Miami and Context fair.”
Does he think it will be as large and well attended?
“There is a strong desire to return to in-person events,” he says, “making it a pivotal and exciting time to continue live art fairs in a safe environment.”
Meanwhile, the luxury high-end shops of the Design District have some art wonders planned, including a physical and virtual site-specific installation named Tomorrow Land; the return of dealer extraordinaire Jeffrey Dietch’s Shattered Glass exhibition; District owner Craig Robins’ Collection, and Climax, by Jean-Thierry Besins.
Tomorrow Land, created by Studio Proba and Enjoy the Weather, features a series of playfully designed sculptures, seating, and ornamentation. Scattered components are woven throughout the District, with interactive, virtual games. Kind of like a treasure hunt.
Shattered Glass, the acclaimed exhibit by emerging artists of color curated by Deitch, will be presented in an expanded version in the Moore Building. The Miami version will include 15 new artists with painting, sculpture, and photographic works in the exhibition all figurative.
The Craig Robins Collection, displayed within the Miami Design District headquarter offices of DACRA, is a private collection of contemporary art and design. This annual re-hanging of Robins’s contemporary art collection highlights the work of American conceptual artist John Baldessari (1931-2020), and features recent acquisitions by Kenturah Davis, Sayre Gomez, Yesiyu Zhao, and more. DACRA Headquarters: 3841 N.E. 2nd Ave.
Over in the big Jungle Plaza by the Fly’s Eye will be a new work by Jean-Thierry Besins. Climax is a 13-foot sculpture made of 1 ton of recycled stainless steel. This giant radiator alludes to the existential threat of death when facing climate change. How cheery! (On view through February 2022)
All of these shows have hours of operation, but the Sagamore Hotel is one of the only venues in Miami Beach where guests can experience museum-quality art free and open 24/7 to the general public. Notable artists on display include: Itzik Mevorach, Erica Calesini and more. On Saturday from 9 am until 1 pm the hotel will host the 20th anniversary of its annual Sagamore Brunch, with art activations, musicians from the South Florida Symphony, gourmet catering, and mixology stations.
And don’t forget the Museum of Graffiti. French graffiti and tattoo artist Fuzi invades the museum on Wednesday to present Defaced, new works on canvas and historic works from his days as a train painter in Paris. Humans vs. animals, vandals vs. police and everything in between come together in this lowbrow art at its finest. (On view till Feb. 1)
Here is a look at key dates and places for other events during Art Week:
Art Basel Miami Beach
At the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive
Tuesday: First Choice VIP cardholders; Wednesday: Preview VIP cardholders
Public days: Thursday and Friday, 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm
One Herald Plaza, 1450 Biscayne Blvd.
Public days: Wednesday to Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday 11 am to 6 pm
NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance)
Wednesday through Saturday at Ice Palace Studios, 1400 N. Miami Ave.