Orlando, Florida

In December of 2019 I participated in Art Basel! I was excited to have been invited by the Art Basel Miami Gallery to join several other African/American, Caribbean and Latin American artists to show their works.

Art Basel Miami Gallery is located in the neighborhood known as Little Haiti, rich in Haitian culture and language. I met so many incredible young artists who painted on a variety of substrates and various mixed media. There were gatherings, interviews and camaraderie, food and fun!

Though I wanted to get to many of the other galleries around Miami Beach I didn’t make it that far because of the crowds, traffic and my not knowing where the heck I was all the time! I did get to see much of Little Haiti and other satellite exhibits. All the while there was something I kept wondering, Why isn’t Art Basel more inclusive of other, not so prominent, local galleries? It seems ironic that art fairs/artists come from everywhere outside of Miami yet Art Basel rarely includes galleries or artists local to Miami.

There are many established Black, Caribbean & Latin American cultured/owned galleries that spend 2/3 of the year raising money to be able to showcase the work of these local artists. Yet little, if any, publicity is given by Art Basel and/or the mainstream galleries.

Mention of Black Art or any initiative to highlight artists of color or art exhibits in Miami’s heritage neighborhoods was relegated to the last page (back of the bus) of fair brochures or omitted entirely.

Unfortunately most of the artists included in the Black art fairs were not represented at the main Miami Beach Art fairs. The vast majority of Black contemporary artists occupied venues on the periphery of the main fairs with little to no publicity.

These satellite galleries create spaces that value community more than capital. This presents the question of how to sustain these vital spaces for future shows?

I loved every moment of being present at Art Basel Miami! Though I didn’t get to view some of the million dollar plus paintings on display at Art Basel (Miami Beach) I wouldn’t exchange my experience of viewing the art by local, relatively unknown artists I did see!

Creativity abounded everywhere!

It was my first time traveling to Miami and I am thankful to and grateful for Intentional Creativity Teacher Marcela Segal opening her home to me as her guest! It was a week of true excitement and exploration!

Phyllis A. Taylor is an Artist and Intentional Creativity Teacher based in Orlando, Florida. She teaches an array of class offerings to seniors and women’s groups, as well as co-creating workshops with other teachers in Intentional Creativity and Expressive Arts. Visit her website to learn more! www.pannetartstudio