South Beach art has never suffered from lack of attention and enthusiasm, but in 2001 it was granted a giant bolt of energy when an annual fair decided to call Miami Beach its home. Art Basel, its’ called, and it’s an internationally-known prestigious art fair that draws crowds from all over the world. A whole series of events and exhibits revolve around Art Basel each year, and it’s a major boon to the South Beach art scene.
As Latin American culture takes hold of the United States and making an impression on South Beach art,artists from Latin American countries are getting more and more attention. This is also good news for the arts community of South Beach Miami, since many of the galleries here feature Latin American artists. In fact, South Beach art is dominated by Latin American artists. Gallery Walk on Lincoln Road, which is South Beach Miami’s pedestrian mall, occurs the second Saturday of each month. Galleries along the Mall open up their doors, serve wine and cheese, and invite passersby in to examine the art on display. In the same vain,Second Thursdays opens up museums and galleries free to the public. Second Thursdays opens up the galleries and museums not only in South Beach, but also all of Miami Beach so you can make a whole day of the event if you like. If you work during the day, it’s a good chance to visit galleries or museums that usually aren’t open at night, because on Second Thursdays they’ll be open for you. Some places will have meet the artist events or other special events like wine and cheese receptions or special performances. It’s one of the most popular South Beach art events.
ArtCenter-South Florida is in the Lincoln Road Mall, in three locations. You get to see artists at work if you visit their Bakehouse Art Complex. ArtCenter-South Florida is really an entire campus, covering over 60,000 square feet. There are artists’ studios (over fifty of them), exhibition galleries, and classrooms for art education programs. The gallery at 800 Lincoln Road is the flagship space, partly responsible for the revival of South Beach arts. Here, they have month-long exhibits by local as well as outside artists. You can also see works in progress here, since studios are open to the public. It’s open every day of the week. The other two locations on Lincoln Road are at 924 Lincoln Rd and 810 Lincoln Rd. All three spaces are open every day, although for limited hours only so check their schedule before making plans to visit.
A pioneer in the South Beach arts scene, Bettcher Gallery is full of contemporary art by artists around the world, including Cuban artists. They are artists from any media, at every level of their career, from emerging to mid-career to established. The Gallery was created in 1995 and opened a second branch in 2000, in Miami proper. The Gallery started out on Lincoln Road, where so many galleries flourish, then moved to Collins Avenue where it’s located inside a Spa/Resort.