A post by Rachel Zaretsky on last year’s Miami art fairs

Today’s entry is a guest post by VCS student Rachel Zaretsky, who has put together a report on her visit to last year’s Miami art fairs.


This past December I flew to Miami, Florida during the time of the year Miami Beach’s convention center hosts America’s most prestigious art show. The Art Basel Miami Beach convention center houses nearly 300 highly esteemed galleries from around the world. But along with this event come dozens of satellite fairs setting up in hotels, warehouses, and large tents. There are free screenings of films, public sculptures and performing artists, and parties hosted by contemporary artists.

While there, I aimed to reach my goal of seeing the traveling shows as well as the shows organized by local artists. Being raised in Miami as an art student attending a high school in the Design District, I have taken advantage of all the artwork from around the world in previous years that landed at my footsteps. And so has the growing Miami Arts community. Below are a few images I took while in Miami.

The Miami Design District in Wynwood, where many of the satellite fairs were also located.

Spinello Projects, run by SVA alumnus Anthony Spinello, presented its exhibition in an abandoned Design District schoolhouse.

A painting by local Miami artist Farley Aguilar at the Spinello Projects Scope Art Fair booth.

French duo Abby Double working the Spinello Projects booth at the Scope Art Fair.

A view of the group exhibition “Here Lies George Wildenstein” at Primary Projects in Wynwood.

Cultural Gothic (1992) by Paul McCarthy, in the exhibition “American Exuberance” at the Rubell Family Collection.

Cup of Joe (2011) by Peter Sarkisian, mixed media and video projection, at Bernice Steinbaum Gallery.

Another view of Cup of Joe by Peter Sarkisian.

Ink Blot (2011) by Peter Sarkisian, mixed media and video projection, at Bernice Steinbaum Gallery. (You can see a short video of this piece at this link.)

The SEVEN Miami art fair, which included works by VCS’s very own Amy Wilson and alumna Katie Armstrong.

Two pieces by Amy Wilson, presented by BravinLee programs at SEVEN.

A still shot of an animation by Katie Armstrong at SEVEN, also presented by BravinLee programs.


Not a single bare wall exists in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District–I witnessed live painting by street artists in on the neighborhood’s warehouses, and took the following shots:


Some images that I took at Art Basel Miami Beach, the week’s main event:

The entrance to Art Basel, which is held at the Miami Convention Center in South Beach.

William Kentridge, Drawing for the Refusal of Time (2010-2011), Poster paint, charcoal and colored pencil on brown paper, in the Marian Goodman Gallery booth at Art Basel Miami Beach.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #4 (1977) in the Skarstedt Gallery booth at Art Basel Miami Beach.

Louise Bourgeois, Cell (Twelve Oval Mirrors) (1998), an installation presented by Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel at Art Basel Miami Beach to commemorate Bourgeois’s 100th birthday. Fondation Beyeler also presented the panel discussion Remembering Louise Bourgeois at Art Basel Salon.

I had the pleasure of being present for “The Future of Artistic Practice–The Artist as Poet” discussion held at the Art Basel Miami Beach Convention Center. This link has videos of other interesting discussions held among key figures in the art world.


Throughout my high school education I interned at Locust Projects, the non-profit exhibition space that held the Installation by Ruben Ochoa, “Cores and Cut Outs.” In the exhibition, the artist re-evaluated the term “site specific” by using the actual building materials of the installation space.

(Photos Courtesy of Locust Projects. Photographer: Zack Balber)


For another VCS blog post about the Miami art fairs, check out this piece about alumna Maddy Gentile’s internship with the PULSE Contemporary Art Fair fair in 2009.

Visual & Critical Studies