By staff writer
December 2018 – 2 min. read
December 2018 – Miami is known to many as the “Gateway to Latin America.” While the city has always been regarded as an international hub, its global footprint has grown in recent years, particularly in terms of arts and culture. A key contributor to this is Art Basel Miami Beach, an annual December art show that packs the city with international tourists.
With the 2018 edition of the show happening December 6-9, and Miami Art Week kicking off on December 3 and closing on December 10, Miami residents far and wide are preparing themselves for seven days of nonstop art, events and high-profile parties that bring in influential figures (and street traffic) from around the world.
In 2017, Miami’s Basel saw the likes of Cardi B, Drake and Paris Hilton, with showcased art by Andy Warhol and Basquiat.
The show attracted 82,000 visitors to the city — nearly triple that of the 30,000 seen in 2002, the show’s first year — and showcased 268 galleries with artwork from 32 countries. This year’s show will be just as broad and diverse as that of previous years, and many of the galleries will highlight social, political and cultural issues, with themes such as colonialism and post-colonialism, gender politics, immigration, feminism, climate change and racial inequality.
Since its establishment, the show has spurred the growth of other art fairs and events in Miami, all of which occur during the same week. The effect is what has become known as the “Basel halo.”
When Capital Analytics sat down with Kieran Bowers, president of Swire Properties Inc., he pointed to the fact that Basel, and the dozens of other events under its “halo,” help to stimulate Miami’s tourism industry during a time when most other cities experience a lull in such activity — i.e., post-Thanksgiving through the beginning of December.
“Basel started as a Miami Beach proposition, and now it has broadened to many parts of the city as a celebration of art in general,” Bowers stated. “It’s a huge positive boost for the city in a period where other cities are in a post-holiday lull. There is a large influx of businesspeople and cognoscenti, domestic and international, that brings an outside investment boost to the city’s retail, hotels and restaurants.”
Miami’s arts and tourism industries are now more robust than ever before, and it is events like Art Basel that help ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of these sectors by furthering the city’s exclusivity and global appeal. Given the velocity of Art Basel Miami Beach’s popularity, one can expect this year’s show to be the largest and grandest yet.
For more information about Art Basel Miami Beach, visit www.artbasel.com/miami-beach