Art Basel: Soul Basel and Art Africa Miami positions Overtown as a hub for art and culture

Historic Overtown proved that all of the Basel action wasn’t limited to only Wynwood, Midtown, and Miami Beach. For the second year now, Soul Basel became the destination for soulful art and culture as part of the Art of Black Miami marketing vehicle to bring awareness to Black art for all perspectives to include African-American, Latin, Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, and African exhibition and programming. Art of Black Miami is presented by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and a collective of curators. Soul Basel kicked off with the fifth installment of the Art Africa Miami Arts Fair, which opened to much fanfare at the Historic Lyric Theater in Overtown to a crowd of more than 200 civic leaders, art enthusiasts, and influencers. Everyone from Commissioner Keon Hardemon and Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar to Senator Dwight Bullard, Dr. Dorothy Fields, and Carole Ann Taylor attended the VIP First Look opening reception. The two-story gallery exhibited contemporary art from the global African Diaspora and is presented by the Urban Collective to celebrate the renaissance of Overtown. The weeklong lineup includes a collection of exhibits, lectures, and live entertainment. Following the Art Africa opening, many of the attendees made their way across the street for another Soul Basel experience at the Ward Rooming House Gallery presented by the Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida. At the Ward Gallery is a daily lineup of live music in a soulful chic outdoor pop up cigar bar with hand rolled cigars by Cuban Crafters, guest DJs each night, and an art, poetry, and live jazz event on Saturday, December 5. On display is the “No More Blues” photographic exhibit by Miami born Haitian-American photographer, Cendino Teme. The exhibit features a compelling compilation of images from the I-95 peaceful protests that took place in and around Wynwood during the 2014 Art Basel. Teme spectacularly captures the zeal, tenacity, and fearlessness of millennials seeking urgent change and action in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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