The Best of Black Art and Activations During Art Basel Miami

The Best of Black Art and Activations During Art Basel Miami

Thousands of people around the world flocked to Miami, Fla., to celebrate art and culture during the 20th anniversary of Art Basel Miami Beach. Recognized as the biggest festival of modern and contemporary art in North America, the annual event takes place from late November through the first week of December, bringing together seasoned and emerging artists, art dealers, collectors, and gallerists at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Over the years, the multi-day art fair evolved into a cultural phenomenon and gave birth to Miami Art Week, a constellation of music, food, fashion, tech, and celebrity-driven events, exhibitions, activations, and parties spread throughout South Florida. BLACK ENTERPRISE partnered with Nissan USA to explore the art scene from South Beach to the Wynwood district in the 2023 ARIYA, Nissan’s first all-electric SUV crossover distinguished by its luxurious feel, performance, and affordability.

2023 Nissan Ariya
The all-new Nissan ARIYA EV (Courtesy of Nissan)

According to Nissan product specialist Akilah Pearson, the new ARIYA is perfect for navigating vibrant cities like Miami due to its sleek finish, high-tech capabilities, and safety features. That includes a smooth, comfortable ride for up to 304 miles on a fully charged battery. The smart car is powered by Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist, which helps drivers stay centered in their lane and navigate stop-and-go highway traffic by maintaining a set vehicle speed and distance to the vehicle ahead. The ARIYA’s advanced driver assistance technology also gives drivers the option to park or drive on the highway hands-free in certain conditions.

Plus, the ARIYA is great for heavily trafficked environments like South Florida during Miami Art Week. “The vehicle can change lanes for you, keep you in your lane, [and] keep a safe distance [from other cars],” says Pearson. Furthermore, to help prevent accidents, there’s a camera above the steering wheel to alert fatigued drivers—and it will even pull the car over if needed.

Nissan Ariya
2023 Nissan Ariya (Courtesy of Nissan)

“We have something called Nissan 360 Safety Shield that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. It also has piping assists, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, cross-traffic alerts, and rear automatic braking,” says Pearson. “And all those features are coming standard with the base vehicle starting at $43,119,” she adds, noting that the maximum price is $60,190.


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Below is a list of events and brand activations that highlighted Black art, artists, and creatives during Art Basel and Miami Art Week.


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American Express presents The Savor & Soul Brunch


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American Express presented the “Savor & Soul” brunch at the Resy and American Express Design District Pop-Up during Art Week in Miami. The invite-only event included art exhibitions by artists Adrian Brandon, Sabrena Khadija, and Gianni Lee. It also featured a Southern-inspired menu curated by two-time James Beard Award-winning chef Mashama Bailey that included fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, doubled crab croquettes, and smoked salmon. In addition to creating soulful and savory dishes, Bailey wanted the brunch to feel reminiscent of Black American culture.

“I hope that I get to help people feel a little bit at home in the midst of this crazy week while they’re out here enjoying themselves and looking at beautiful art,” says Bailey, who co-owns The Grey in Savannah, GA, and Diner Bar in Austin, TX.


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She said she was overjoyed to partner with American Express to celebrate Black artists and creatives during Miami Art Week. “Artists are the heartbeat of culture, and I think that they help to move the needle with culture. So, it’s exciting for us to be a part of that conversation, even if we’re just feeding those people who do it.”

American Express Savor & Soul
(L-R) Phillip Collins, Sabrena Khadija, Hannah Traore, and Everette Taylor at the American Express SAVOR & SOUL Brunch (Photo: Seth Browarnik/World Red Eye)

The brunch also included a panel discussion titled the “State of Black Art & Creators,” featuring artist Sabrena Khadija, gallerist and collector Hannah Traore, Everette Taylor, the CEO of Kickstarter, and former CMO of Artsy, and Phillip Collins, the founder of Good Black Art.

“It’s been really great to see more and more Black people not feel intimidated by art and wanting to learn more about the space,” Taylor told BE following the panel. “We’re all having a good time together. It’s like a family cookout, a family gathering where everyone is coming back together.”

Cheetos x Rock The Bells present “Yacht Beats And Art”

Whitney House, founder and CEO of The Creative Era (Black Enterprise/Selena Hill)

Cheetos and Rock The Bells celebrated creativity, self-expression, sneaker culture, and hip-hop at “Yacht Beats and Art,” which took place aboard the SeaFair mega yacht. The event featured an AR-powered art gallery, a DJ set by super producer Mannie Fresh, a performance from rap star Flo Milli, and wearable art designed by Whitney House, the founder and CEO of The Creative Era. During the party, the 22-year-old rapper and House, a sneaker designer who hails from Harlem, NY, revealed their custom Cheetos Sneaker collaboration.

“This is actually my first time at Art Basel. I’ve never done Art Basel before, and to be able to present my work is phenomenal. It just feels amazing,” said House.

Nissan Ariya
Whitney House in her design (Photo credit: Brandon Morris)

SCOPE Miami Beach

Miami Art Week
Painting from the Infinite Black collection by Charly Palmer (Courtesy of AW+CO)

SCOPE Miami Beach, a popular art show on South Beach, featured artwork from multiple Black-owned galleries, including the Knowhere Art Gallery. Based in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, the Knowhere Art Gallery exhibition presented a new collection from award-winning fine artist Charly Palmer called “Infinite Black.”

“The Infinite Black collection is inspired by our power and our strength. It’s about the celebration of WE. It is about who we are, what we are, and our past, present, and future,” Palmer said in a news release. Palmer, who illustrated the cover art for John Legend’s Grammy Award-winning album, Bigger Love, added that “Infinite Black” is larger and bolder than some of his previous paintings.

“I hope [it] inspires reflection, conversation, and perhaps a fresh perspective on the boundless possibilities that lie within Blackness,” he said. One of Palmer’s upcoming projects includes designing the 2023 United States Postal Service Black History Month stamp.

Black Art
Artist and photographer Thandiwe Muriu stands in front of her exhibit at SCOPE Miami Art (Black Enterprise/Selena Hill)

Thandiwe Muriu, an artist and photographer from Nairobi, Kenya, was also excited to be one of the 150 select exhibitors at the critically-acclaimed art show, where she showcased her work in celebration of women and their beauty. “It is an affirmation to women that they are beautiful exactly the way they are [and] that natural beauty, diverse beauty is beautiful,” she said about her collection.

Meta x SpringHill

Meta House
Imani Ellis, JN Silva, Reyna Noriega, CJ Vega, and Kameron McCullough speak on a panel at Meta House at Miami Art Week (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Meta).

Meta, the tech juggernaut formerly known as Facebook, transformed Miami’s Soho Pool House and Sacred Space in the Wynwood Art District into a swanky art exhibit called Meta House. The space featured a collective of work from emerging artists and creatives like Reyna Noriega, a Miami-based visual artist and author, who emphasized the need for Black representation at Art Basel and Miami Art Week.

“Art Basel historically—and just the art community in general—has excluded people of color [and] women of color from the conversation [and] from collectors,” she tells BE. Now, however, there’s “more of a push to collect Black art and to support Black and brown artists and women of color,” she says. “I think that that will only help us in telling our stories and shedding light on our culture.”

Doja Cat
Doja Cat performs at Meta House (Photo: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Meta)

Meta House featured performances from rap stars Doja Cat and Glorilla in addition to programming curated by LeBron James’ production company SpringHill, VR art galleries, a VR studio by YONK, interactive AR murals by emerging artist COVL, and Reels workshops over the course of three days.

The red carpet premiere of Prime Video’s Riches

Black art
A view of the art installations during ‘The Crown We Never Take Off’ Art Basel VIP preview presented by Prime Video in Celebration of New Series “RICHES” at Soho Studios in Miami. (Photo: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Prime Video)

Prime Video hosted a red-carpet premiere and activation entitled “The Crown We Never Take Off” in honor of its new series, Riches, starring Deborah Ayorinde, Emmanuel Imani, Nneka Okoye, and Sarah Niles.

The experience incorporated elements from the show while celebrating Black expression and identity across the diaspora through different artistic mediums, including photography, sculpture, painting, music, video, and performance art. ​Curated by Donnamarie Bapiste, the exhibit featured works from artists such as Josef Adamu, Khadija Nia Adell, Daron Bandeira, Ciara Elle Bryan, Shanneil Clarke, Kum Cletus, Morel Doucet, Lewinale Havette, Loni Johnson, Tammie Knight, and Crystal Marshall.

Earn Your Masters


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Earn Your Leisure, a popular financial literacy podcast, and United Masters teamed up for a mini financial empowerment summit for creatives powered by Ally. Held at Freehold Miami in the Wynwood Art District, the educational event included master classes and panel discussions on money management, brand building, content creation, and artist management. The one-day event culminated with a fireside chat between super-producer Timbaland and the founders of Earn Your Leisure, Troy Millings and Rashad Bilal, along with a surprise performance by hip-hop star Pusha T.