Your Party Guide To Miami Art Week 2012 [Updated]

By Tracy Block

With the return of Miami Art Week comes an extended list of themed fiestas, so don’t just limit yourself to just browsing exhibits. Afternoon lounging and nighttime soirees will keep you on your toes during this annual cultural tribute in the heart of the Magic City. Not sure where you fit in? From the Design District to Midtown, and Wynwood to South Beach, let us pave your way.

Sunday, December 2 – mIconic Opening Reception at Yo Space
mIconic is defined as, “Miami’s greatest icons seen through today’s artist’s eyes.” And, what’s a Miami exhibit opening without a big bash behind it. Yo Space is curating this special show, with an opening reception from 8 pm to 11 pm on Sunday night. In addition to viewing works by Eleazar Delgado, Alex Yanes, Ulises Baine, Dorandy Mercado, Kazilla, Vince Herrera, Lorie Setton, Ernesto Kunde, JNGL, James Brutus and others, expect live entertainment from Arboles Libres, along with a DJ set by Miami’s own Jolt Radio.

Monday, December 3 through Sunday, December 9 – Perrier Presents: The Black Lords by Desi Santiago — a BOFFO project at Lords South Beach
SoBe’s swankiest haven on Collins Avenue is hosting Perrier’s very own Miami Art Week soiree. Join us in ogling Perrier Presents: The Black Lords by Desi Santiago, running December 3 through 9 from 11 am to 2 am daily. The “Wicked Wonderland” will showcase a spectacular collection featuring dark accents and tangible materials, from whips to netting. Multi-sensory artistry will take over the space, making The Black Lords one of South Beach’s most sought after sinister playgrounds.

Tuesday, December 4 – MoCa Shakers + Bardot Present Just Blaze vs. Young Guru
One of Miami’s quickest growing bands of cultural young professionals, MoCa Shakers join forces with Bardot for a Midtown showdown of epic proportions. Taking place on the iconic carpet is a hip-hop throwdown to remember. Fort Knocks Entertainment’s own Just Blaze will battle it out against Jay-Z’s infamous engineer Young Guru with a mix of beats and rhymes to quench the hip hop soul.

Wednesday, December 5 – Pop-Up Piano Miami Fundraiser at The Perry
Back and better than ever before, Pop-Up Piano Miami will be hosting a midweek fundraiser at The Perry South Beach Hotel, featuring a special performance by Malaysian singer Yuna, along with other surprise guests to be announced. Cocktails will flow courtesy of Grey Goose, and a silent auction will benefit Friends of the New World Symphony and Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra. Don’t forget to bookmark the schedule of the pop-up piano sites and live performances throughout the week.

Wednesday, December 5 – & Chanel Beachside BBQ
Remember last year during Basel when Paris Hilton, Robert Cavalli, Vito Schnabel, Naomi Campbell and Owen Wilson all kicked off their shoes to dance in the sand at Soho Beach House in honor of’s gallery, museum and content partners? Well, the online art initiative that is is doing it again this time around. This time they’re partnering up with Chanel, so you know it’s going to be extra fancy.

Thursday, December 6 – Bardot + Young Hearts Present Nicolas Jaar
Another Bardot bash to pencil in, nu-disco influencers Young Hearts link up with the folks at Bardot to host a three-hour DJ set by Chilean-born, New York-based Nicolas Jaar. The electro mastermind will hit the decks, permeating the Miami hot spot with his own blend of house, downtempo and jazz-infused bangers.

Thursday, December 6 – The Rubell Family Collection Annual Breakfast
Every year the Rubells, Miami’s foremost art collecting family, throws what many consider the REAL start of Miami Art Week. The artful breakfast that they serve each year in the large courtyard behind their Wynwood collection space is always attended by a healthy mix of beautiful museum executives and celebrities, and the ritualistic food spread that Jennifer Rubell procures is equally as fun and delicious as it is thoughtful performance art.

Thursday, December 6 – Midnight in Miami at Lords South Beach
The official celebration of the creation of Perrier Presents: The Black Lords by Desi Santiago, Thursday night aims to please at SoBe’s sassiest hotel by the sea. The party kicks off at approximately 11:59 pm, so don’t be late for Midnight in Miami. The 21-plus event will be hosted by LadyFag, with beats by Marcelo Burlon. Rub elbows with the who’s who while sipping Tequila Herradura until 3 am.

Thursday, December 6 – SCOPE Miami Official Party with Metric at VH1 Outdoor Lounge
Another marriage of art and music is slated for Thursday at the VH1 Outdoor Lounge at SCOPE Miami. New Wave indie rockers Metric will treat lucky invitees to a live performance, part of VH1’s You Oughta Know Artists on the Rise. Enjoy more tunes courtesy of DJ Mia Moretti and Catlin Moe. The musical movement will be underway from 7 pm to 11 pm.

Friday, December 7 – Chromatics with Prince Rama at Olympia Theater
It’s no surprise the scene purveyors from Sweat Records are behind the debut of the Chromatics in Miami. The electro-pop act will take over the Gusman Center, with support from psy-rockers Prince Rama for the Red Curtain Series event, starting at 8 pm.

Friday, December 7 – Moving the Still Gif Festival Party
With a team behind it like microblog masterminds Tumblr and online art/auction site Paddle8, we know that this festival of animated GIFs is going to be something big. An exhibition of the finalists will be on view down on the beach from December 5 through December 8, but with special guest Djs and a selection panel made up of the likes of Richard Phillips, Ryan Trecartin and Michael Stipe, we’re thinking you probably don’t want to miss their big party on Friday night too.

Friday, December 7 – PULSE Miami 2012 After Party at Shore Club
PULSE will be pumping all week long, but your eyes will be undoubtedly sore by Friday night, so give them a rest and head to Shore Club to exercise your other senses at the PULSE Miami 2012 After Party. In partnership with W and Hipstamatic, the event takes places poolside at the Shore Club from 9 pm to midnight, with performances by SSION. MC Zackary Drucker will head the big night, which is also sponsored by Perrier, Heineken and 42Below.

Saturday, December 8 – Basel Castle (pictured)
An action-packed fusion of both live and performance art takes over the beloved Basel Castle, lead by the team from Miami’s own Overthrow. Music, multimedia and street art culminate under the open roof for a night of all-sensory antics. Get lost in the art of music with this year’s diverse Basel Castle lineup, which includes Purity Ring, Twin Shadow, Trinidad James, Jacuzzi Boys, Teengirl Fantasy, Tamara Sky, Brenmar and more. Last year’s Wynwood event was overflowing with curious attendees, so make sure to RSVP while it’s still early.

Saturday, December 8 – Moksha Art Fair Closing Celebration at Moksha Family Artist Collective
Miami’s Moksha is known for its eclectic representation of all things art. From mind-bending, interactive exhibits to multimedia distortions, the creativity that happens within the Moksha walls is some of the most intriguing, all-sensory art behavior of our time. Join “The Eagle Meets The Condor” showcase on Saturday night for the finale hurrah, an all-night psychedelic party of epic proportions beginning at 8 pm and featuring live music by more than 25 artists and performance acts, including Toubob Krewe, Andreilien (Heyoka), Govinda, 7th World ft. Robert Thomas Jr., Sounduo, Beatmachines, Elastic Bond, The Moksha Roots All Stars, VJ Psyberpixie, Andrew Byrd, Pyro Fusion, Phadroid, Hijak and so much more.

Saturday, December 8 – The Windish Agency Party at Grand Central
Although UR1 Fest has been indefinitely postponed, suave Miami still has its ways of snatching up the artists before they call their MAW visits quits. Thanks to the team at Grand Central, three artists will transplant to the downtown stage, as The Windish Agency Party takes over the warehouse venue. Get loose to beatmaster Flying Lotus, get lost in the hauntings of Zola Jesus and go buck wild with Dan Deacon. This trifecta of sounds is already at the top of many a musical to-do list.

Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 – UR1 Festival
Editor’s Note: UR1 is postponed
A mixture of mainstream musicians, electro hybrids, indie acts and actual artists, UR1 Festival debuts during Miami Art Week 2012, bringing a high-energy brand of live musical performances and art exhibits to downtown Miami’s flagship Bayfront Park. Along with obvious frontrunners, bookmark our favorites: Animal Collective, Flying Lotus, Santigold, Holy Ghost!, Glass Candy, Ghostland Observatory, Penguin Prison, Bob Sinclar, Armand Van Helden, Seth Troxler, Tanlines, The Drums and more. Browse art installations by Russell Young, Ultra Violet, William John Kennedy, David Datuna, Gino Miles, Isaiah Seret, BooksIIII Bischof, Typoe, Locastro and AHOL Sniffs Glue, among others. The two-day shindig is bound to bring the crowds, so if that’s not your style, there’re  plenty of other parties to crash.

Additional reporting by Hillary Daniel