By Ludlow Bailey/November 30, 2018.

The 17th edition of one of the greatest commercial art fairs on earth opens on Wednesday, December 3, 2018. The leading players in the art world will descend on Miami to partake in an art carnival that has become the winter diversion of choice for the rich and the famous. The mother Avatar of Art Basel Miami Beach at the Convention Center on South Beach has attracted a diverse range of cultural and social activities that include a global African presence that appears to be dominating the most visible trends in the staging of contemporary air fairs.

Art Basel Miami Beach 2018(ABMB) and its sixteen satellite shows will unveil a plethora of contemporary African Diaspora Art and global African cultural activities that will surpass the achievements of the last 17 installation of ABMB.  The significance of the African Diaspora presence has now been recognized by the Greater Miami Convention and Vistor’s Bureau. The Bureau’s Art of Black Miami Campaign seeks to highlight” the abundant artistic diversity found within Miami’s mosaic neighborhoods.” (

The GMCVB web site outlines a range of cultural and art projects of the African Diaspora in the various neighborhoods throughout Miami Dade country ranging from the historic black community of Overtown, Little Haiti, Downtown Miami, North Miami, The Design District, and the Wynwood Arts District.

Although, GMVCB directory is quite comprehensive, there are many other exciting venues and events that will demonstrate the growing contribution of Africana art and culture during ABMB 2018.

The Perez Miami Art Museum (PAMM) will exhibit the work of Jamaican artist, Ebony Patterson. The multi-media masterpiece is a complexed and layered narrative about race, gender and class issues in Jamaica expressed in paintings, video, photography and sculptural installation.  The show is a visual feast and is a must see. The Perez is also host to exhibitions by Black British artist, Hew Locke and African-American artist, Arthur Jafa.(

The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami will present a blockbuster exhibition featuring works from AFRICOBRA, the black artist collective that “defined the visual aesthetic of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. AFRICOBRA means African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. The show officially opens on Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 8:00pm-11:00pm.

Purvis YoungTalking to the System (circa 1975). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Artwork: © Estate of Purvis Young. Photo: Gamma One Conversions.

The Rubell Family collection is known for scoping out young talent, but this year during ABMB the institution is showing more than 100 paintings by Purvis Young (1943–2010). The late artist spent the bulk of his career working in Miami, and the show will take over the entire first floor of the foundation.

December 3, 2018–June 29, 2019; The Rubell Collection is located at 95 NW 29 Street.

Prism Art Fair returns to Art Miami Week at the Dupont Building in downtown with its sixth edition of a very comprehensive contemporary African Diaspora Art Fair. The show opens on December 3, 2018.    

Contemporary African Diaspora Art (CADA) at the mother show on Miami Beach will continue to move center stage in 2018. The Goodman Gallery from South Africa will return to Miami this year.  Other notable galleries with CADA art include Michael Rosenfeld, Sikkema Jenkins, and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, White Cube, Stephan Friedman, James Cohan Gallery, Sean Kelly Gallery, Lehman Maupin, Alexander Gray Associates, and Susanne Vielmeter.

Jack Shainman Gallery continues to be the leading gallery in the CADA sector.  The Gallery will showcase work from Nick Cave, South African Artists, Kay Hassan, Nigerian painters, Toyin Odutola and  Odili Donald, African American Artists, Kerry James Marshall, Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems.

The ninth Annual Art Basel Panel Discussion will also convene on the last day of ABMB, Sunday, December 9, 2018 at FIU @ the Wolfe Center/Ballroom 244 A .The panel will include Nigerian performance artist, Jelili Atiku, African-American Art Advisor, Valerie Cooper,  art writer, Julie Walker, Jamaican-American art historian/curator, Sebastian Grant and Egyptian artist, Shatha Al-Deghaty.

Ludlow Bailey is curator of global African diaspora art and culture. He is also Managing Director of CADA, a multi-media platform designed to promote the art and culture of the African Diaspora. He lives in Miami, FL.