Art Basel festival reaches 10th consecutive year

Artists and art lovers alike invaded Miami Beach starting Dec. 1 for one of the most important and heavily visited art exhibitions in world: Art Basel. The annual event ran this year through Dec. 4 and featured art shows, film screenings, musical performances and state-of-the-art architecture and design exhibitions from all over the world.

Art Basel was first held in Miami in 2002, but the idea has been around for some time. The special event first began in Switzerland 41 years ago. But Art Basel Miami Beach has grown to outshine the original in its eight short years of existence, with a constantly growing number of visitors, exhibits and acclaim.

“I’ve heard a lot about Art Basel,” freshman Laura Sarmiento said. “Now that I live in Miami, I’ll finally get to experience it for the first time.”

Art Basel is a great attraction for collectors, dealers, critics and curators, as well as other artists simply looking for inspiration and creativity. Artists of varying mediums are often found among the streets of Art Basel. A sense of unity also can be found every year at the festival.

“At times, the Miami art scene can be really disjointed,” said freshman Katie Condon, who is a photographer. “But when Art Basel comes, Miami feels like more of a community.”

The exhibition has grown in popularity each year, drawing increased attention to the Miami Beach area. According to a press release, in 2009, the festival attracted a record 44,000 visitors and showcased about 250 galleries that exhibited work by more than 2,000 artists.

For more information on events and exhibits as the event nears, visit