Mark Dahle's tips for visiting Art Miami
and Context Dec. 6-10, 2017

Art Miami

Claudio Gallina, Cuaderno escolar rescatado e intervenido, at Art Miami.

If you want to see contemporary art, the best spot in the world is Art Week in Miami in early December.

Two "can't miss" shows during the event are Art Miami and Context. These two shows have consistently exhibited interesting art you won't see anywhere else.

This year they've moved to a new location - One Herald Plaza at NE 14th St in downtown Miami.

Art Miami and Context are open to the public Wednesday through Saturday,  11 am to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $50, $35 for students and seniors.

Graciela Sacco at Art Miami

Graciela Sacco, El reportero de la serie Tension Admisible, Osborne Samuel at Art Miami.

At the fair: Bring a pen and be sure to pick up a map as you enter. The layout may not look confusing, but if you want to see everything (and you do!) you'll need to keep track of where you've been. If you don't mark your progress through the exhibits, you'll accidentally miss some great art.

Since you've got your pen and a map, you'll be able to make a note if an artwork attracts your attention. But most of these notes should be in the form of cell phone pictures. Right after taking a picture of the artwork, take a picture of the gallery and artist's name so you can look them up later on Art Miami's website. If you don't, sometime about the fifth art fair your brain will turn to mush and you'll just have a hazy recollection of how nice it all was.

That may happen anyway. If it does, come to San Diego in January for my annual one-hour summary of all the highlights from Miami Art Week. Four days of walking, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., condensed into one beautiful hour. (Sign Up to get a reminder.)

Plan on spending three or four hours at Art Miami and Context (or more, if you stop frequently to ask questions).

Art Miami

Kelly Reerntsen Making the Cut and Throw Back, David Klein Gallery at Art Miami.

Afterwards: When you're finally ready to leave, grab an art newspaper by the entrance. It will give you something to read while you're traveling to your next venue.

Other fairs near Art Miami and Context in 2017 are NADA at 1400 N Miami Ave and Spectrum and Red Dot at 1700 NE 2nd Ave. The Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is at 1103 Biscayne Blvd. Miami River, a small art fair at 400 SE 2nd Ave, is open early in the week, with its last day Wednesday, 10-6.

To maximize your time, plan to see all the art fairs in the downtown area before you leave or you will lose a lot of time stuck in traffic.

Traffic: There is a shuttle bus between Art Miami/Context, Aqua and Art Basel Miami Beach. Traffic will be slow between downtown and Miami Beach no matter how you travel. The shuttle gives you time to catch up on the art news you picked up at Art Miami.

Just in case, I recommend loading Lyft or Uber aps on your phone before you arrive. The advantage of those services is you can walk a block or two away from gridlocked traffic and get picked up somewhere traffic is flowing. That won't be the case with cabs.

at Art Miami

Ben Aronson at Art Miami.

If you want to take a city bus, you'll have to flag it down or it will drive past, even if you're standing at a bus stop.

No matter what type of transportation you choose, it will be a slow trip to Miami Beach and maybe even to Wynwood. So bring an art newspaper and enjoy your break.

More: For a complete discussion of all the other art fairs in Miami this same weekend plus more great tips on hotels and transportation, don't miss our article on Miami Art Week.

Gao Rong, Mailbox

Gao Rong, Mailbox, foam, cloth and embroidery, Eli Klein at Art Miami.

at Art Miami

Jim Dine, Hand Colored Tools, Pace Prints at Art Miami.

Eli Klein at Art Miami

Liu Bolin, Hiding in New York, No. 3 - Magazine rack, Eli Klein at Art Miami. (To find the artist, start at the bottom. Find his shoes in the middle of the photograph and go from there.)

Susan Grossman, 7th Avenue.

Susan Grossman, 7th Avenue, Jerald Melberg at Art Miami.

Tianhong Shang at Art Miami.

Tianhong Shang at Art Miami.

Harding Meyer, Untitled

Harding Meyer, Untitled, at Art Miami.

Chester Arnold, Collection,

Chester Arnold, Collection, Catharine Clark Gallery at Art Miami.

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