We're all used to our neighborhoods changing with the passage of time, but since mega-fair Art Basel began setting up shop once a year in Miami Beach back in 2002, the city has changed exponentially. Each year we see the induction of more satellite fairs, hotels, parties, celebrities-turned-DJs, and, perhaps most importantly for the artists and dealers involved, more money. Even the once-free contemporary fair, NADA, which highlights young galleries, will begin charging admission this year.
This year, it's the small, independent galleries and emerging artists we're most interested in supporting. Luckily, many permanent galleries, as well as pop-ups looking for an affordable space to exhibit for the week, have found a new home in the culturally rich neighborhood of Little Haiti.
The tiny district is already bursting with group shows and unique projects, making it a crucial destination during Miami Art Week and beyond. From Alex Bag's new video work—presented in the back of a van—to a pop-up exhibiting young galleries a la 90s music festival, Little Haiti's lineup is diverse, refreshing, and more than worth the trip. Check out our top picks below, and keep an eye on art happenings throughout the year by checking out the Instagram hashtag #bigthingslittlehaiti.
Richard Kurtz at &Gallery
6306 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33150
A self proclaimed guerrilla artist with an erratic and tactile painting style lodged between Basquiat and Pettibon, Kurtz's small paintings depict colorful boxers, gloves raised and ready, with nearly inspirational quotes scrawled along the canvas. The Miami-based artist will be giving a talk on Wednesday, December 2nd at 4 PM, and based on his work alone, which dips delicately into a realm of psychosis and paranoia, it'll be far from boring.
reDew at Maggie Knox
6308 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33150
This woman artist incubator and residency curated and operated by Sarah MK Moody is putting on a group show exploring that crucial moment of rebirth and resurrection that comes in an artist's practice. The all-female lineup will include live performances in the space throughout the week, exploring those exciting feelings of renewal in a excitingly up-and-coming neighborhood.
Ann Craven at Gallery Diet
6315 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33150
A study in size and space, Ann Craven's paintings were originally done in her hometown in Maine. They depict the quietness and emptiness of the scenery, but are expanded and slightly altered once Craven gets back to her studio in New York. With the contrast between scenery, shown now in a sort-of purgatory of art madness, the paintings provide a welcome calm.
What's Inside Her Never Dies at Yeelen Gallery
294 NW 54th St, Miami, FL 33127. Artist reception Saturday, December 5th
A group show “to pay homage to the beauty and resiliency of the Black woman” brings together an impressive round-up of artists and activists across generations. More than worthy of support, the up-and-coming gallery is already a staple in the Little Haiti community.
Alex Bag at ICA Miami
4040 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137
Performance artist Alex Bag is the ultimate art world existentialist. Revisiting one of her key videos, The Van, wherein the artist plays satirical and art-world characters, for Miami, the video will be projected inside an actual van. It's accompanied by a new piece at ICA’s Atrium Gallery. Get in the van, get meta, get away.
Warped Tour Miami
7400 NE 2nd Ave. Miami, FL 33138
Playing off our nostalgia of a better time, young galleries from New York and Berlin have come together as a collective. Think of a music festival with many open stages than an exhibition of acts, except with really great art. (harbor) will be showing Nancy Drew Carey Gallery, Elizabeth Fery, Hugo Montoya, Siebren Versteeg, and The Sorry Archive, Berlin's GSL Projekt will feature Leah Dixon, Alana Lake, and Josep Maynou, New Release will present the work of Philip Ashley, Kamil Franco, and Esther Ruiz, and STADIUM 2 will showcase an all-new collection from Christian Dietkus Lord. Explore a new type of art fair outside the sardine staging of sterile booths, with a ton of weird events that feel far away from the oppressive crowds. The festival is open Friday and Saturday from 6-9 PM.
What else is worth seeing in Little Haiti? Let us know in the comments below!