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Day 1: A New Orleans Artist En Route: Reports from Art Basel Week, Miami

South Beach, Miami, FL.

For the past fourteen years the art world has descended upon Miami Beach at the beginning of December. At the core of this annual migration is Art Basel Miami Beach – a sprawling art fair that occupies most of the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The ABMI is populated with some of the best known galleries in the world and showcases the work of many best-known artists in the world. From this auspicious nexus, a whole network of other venues has grown and developed.

This year there are twenty or so additional fairs participating. These fairs range from small, intimate hotel gatherings to massive, beachfront tent affairs.

With New Orleans always on the mind, I’m here in South Beach, Miami seeking out artists, galleries, events and figures that relate to New Orleans. Embracing the New Orleans community style, I’m going to be sharing what I discover throughout the week at NoLaVie.

Today, Scope Art Fair had its press and VIP opening in their beachfront tent at 9th Street in Miami. I knew there were several ties to New Orleans that would be featured here, and I was right.

I started out at Callan Contemporary’s booth. This Julia Street based gallery – headed up by Steven and Borislava Callan – has been participating in Scope for several years. New Orleans’ artists make up at least half of what Steven and Borislava are sharing with the Miami onlookers. Among others, they’re featuring works from: Raine Bedsole, Sibylle Perretti, Bradley Sabin, and Lafayette based Shawne Major.

Moving right along, I found that Red Truck Gallery is back at Scope this year. The Royal Street based space has hung another signature show of chaotic, sensory overload, folk-meets-surrealist artwork in a space that feels more “New Orleans” than anything else perusers are going to see in Miami. At least, that they’re going to see this week.

New York based Elizabeth Houston Gallery is featuring a wonderful, large-scale piece from Stephanie Patton. Stephanie is based in Lafayette but is a founding and continuing member of the St. Claude Arts District gallery The Front.

The Bombay Sapphire sponsored Artisan Series also features not one, but two New Orleans based artists. Aaron Belka and Peter Barnitz are having their works shown at the Bombay booth and are both in the running for a solo show at Scope New York, 2016.

And at Untitled Projects, an LA based gallery that was founded in New Orleans, the works of Dan Tague and me, Alex Podesta, are front and center.

As I walk through the booths and art in Miami, I’m constantly reminded that New Orleans is always with us wherever we go, so check back tomorrow for further Miami Basel updates. In the meantime, here’s photos and links so you can see what I’m seeing and experience (well, somewhat) what I’m experiencing.




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