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Art Basel May Have Been Canceled But Miami Art Week Lives On

MIAMI (CBSMiami) –  If it hadn't been canceled due to COVID-19, Art Basel would be taking place this week in Miami Beach, but that hasn't stopped art from overflowing all over South Florida.

The Miami Design District is a neighborhood devoted to design, public art installations and luxury shopping.

It is also where Art Week is in full swing.

At Design Miami, which was located outside the Miami Beach Convention Center for years, is now back at The Moore Building.

Craig Robins is co-founder of Design Miami and CEO of The Miami Design District.

"Design Miami came back to its birth place inside the Moore Building back with Zaha Hadid's Elastica. It's a wonderful show," said Robins. "I mean everything is different now, but what we're doing is we're learning you can still do things in a socially responsible way, It's down-scaled and not oriented towards crowds. There's lots of social distancing but you can still do business and we're working very hard to find that balance."

Over 139 pieces will be exhibited from across America, plus more.

"It features design. So you will see a lot of his furniture design, but there's ceramic jewelry, different kinds of design related products that are there. What's unusual about it and what is innovative is that everything is either historical or a limited addition. It's not mass produced so by definition that makes it collectible," said Robins.

Outside is the annual Design Commission, where an emerging artist is chosen to reimagine the neighborhood's public streets through immersive and interactive concepts.

This year it's by GT2P, which stand for Great Things to People.

"They put a really beautiful installation and there are these umbrellas floating around the neighborhood with trees. They're abstract conceptual umbrellas and then this amazing swing set. As you swing on it, the upper levels of the structure moves, so it's almost like an interactive kinetic piece. It's been so much fun," Robins said.

What's also fun is Jeffrey Deitch's gallery presentation of artist Kenny Scharf's face project called Moodz.

Each of Scharf's 101 colorful circular paintings of faces has a different expression.

Then there's Louis Vuitton.

"So this is the craziest. Inspired by their men's show in Shanghai the Director of LV has worked on this outdoor men's pop up which is opening on Friday. It is super socially distanced. It's on a 35,000 square-foot lot but it's actually going to be a store. Just go and check it out. It will be a really great experience," he explained.

There even artsy masks by artist Harmony Korine.

Yes, art is alive and working to thrive now more than ever.

"I have a very positive outlook at this extremely difficult time. But what I see is that finding this balance between social distancing following protocols. We have University of Miami Health help us design safety protocols to still being in business. That's the key to the future and it's going to lead us to the next stage which is which is bringing life back to normal and I can't wait," Robins said.

Art Week and Design Miami is officially on through this Sunday, but many of the free galleries and outdoor exhibitions will be on through the end of January.


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