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Things you can’t miss at Art Basel Miami Beach 2016

Some 269 of America’s top galleries and art museums will be showing us what they’ve got at annual contemporary art bonanza, Art Basel Miami Beach 2016. Since launching in 2002, Art Basel has become North America’s premier art fair, so expect amazing contemporary paintings, films and videos, sculptures, drawings, photography, digital art and installations from more than 4,000 artists—you might even see them if you can tear yourself away from the parties and buzzing rooftop bars. Take a road trip or book your flight and use our guide for all your art, event, party, eating, drinking and hotel needs.

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What is Art Basel Miami Beach?

Art Basel Miami Beach is an annual art show held at Miami Beach, first staged in 2002. Art Basel, which stages three major fairs each year—in Hong Kong, Basel and Miami Beach—focuses on modern and contemporary art and puts more than 250 galleries and 4,000 artists from across the globe in front of the art world’s top curators, museums and collectors. The weekend of Art Basel has become a major draw for Miami, with parties, satellite fairs and major events being held in conjunction with the show—have fun celebrity-spotting.

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When is Art Basel Miami Beach?

Art Basel Miami Beach is held December 1, 2016, through December 4, 2016.

Where is Art Basel Miami Beach held?

Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 is at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Drive, at Miami Beach. Check out a floorplan of the Convention Center to see who’s showing and where. Several large-scale works, film screenings and performances take place close by at Collins Park and SoundScape Park.

This edition is being billed as an opportunity to reflect on the show’s impact on the city and on Miami’s evolution as an art destination. More than 85 galleries that exhibited at the original 2002 fair will participate this year. The 2016 fair, which runs December 1 to 4, is also slightly larger, with 269 galleries drawn from 29 countries around the world. As always, the show is heavily focused on this hemisphere, with more than 50 percent of galleries owning exhibition space in the Americas.

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Basel has added 21 additional galleries, a noticeable increase from previous years, and Noah Horowitz, the new director of the show, says he’s excited to see “new artists presented in Nova and Positions,” Basel’s sectors for emerging artists. “Artists like Rita Ponce de León and Ishmael Randall Weeks at [Argentine gallery] Ignacio Liprandi and Max Hooper Schneider with [Paris gallery] High Art come to mind in particular in this regard,” he says.

Some 75,000 attendees visited the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach) last year, and organizers expect similar numbers this go-round. Tickets cost $45 for a day pass and $100 for weeklong access.

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If you don’t feel like shelling out that kind of cash, forgo the Renoirs, Picassos, and de Koonings in favor of the innumerable contemporary artists on display at Pulse Miami Beach (4601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach), an art fair offering free admission to Miami residents the mornings of December 3 and 4. Conceived in opposition to the crowded hallways of Basel, Pulse annually takes over Indian Beach State Park, about 25 blocks north of the Basel epicenter. It’s a refreshing antidote to the main fair’s well-dressed commercialism. Now in its 12th year, Pulse will feature 75 galleries offering a friendly atmosphere, along with the chance to experience a show curated toward both new and experienced collectors.

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“Pulse is all about capturing the Zeitgeist of the contemporary art market, but our number one aim is to be the fair that welcomes people,” director Helen Toomer says. “We want people to be able to have meaningful exchanges.”

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