Art Basel Miami Beach came and brought cool and unique experiences for locals and tourists to enjoy. All the parties and pop-ups brought people from out of their homes to enjoy drinks, the visuals and the crowd around them. When I was out with the company, I saw things that made me made shook my head and say “Yow! That’s it!” and other things that made me say, “Yow! What’s the point?.” 

Friday night I saw a Kettle One hot air balloon rising from Wynwood from my car on I-95 highway. On South Beach, I was eating on Washington Avenue at a pizza spot when I saw a guy walking with a giant spider made out of cans on his back. Of course, I have to mention the infamous banana duct-taped on a wall that sold for $120,000. Art Basel can bring out the weirdest ideas in the name of art. However, you have to commend the experimentation. 

This season, businesses had the opportunity to execute something different to attract a crowd. A co-working space in Miami Gardens hosted a painting event for business owners to network with one another. And, a sneaker owned by one of the best basketball players on the court opened a new location in Wynwood.  

 Networking in the Paint

The Oasis in Miami Gardens recently hosted The Art of Business: Holiday Paint and Sip. This event was an opportunity for local business owners to connect in the format of painting with a twist.

“This was a different experience for people to come out, let their hair down and have a good time. I heard people were talking about collaborations and that this is what we have been missing in the culture in South Florida,” said Danny Felton, CEO, and president of the Oasis. The Art of Business: Holiday Paint and Sip happened on Friday, Dec. 6. Over 125 people came to the event and 60 participated in the festivities. 

Felton assembled all Black business to supply the event. Paint With Faith is a Black-owned mobile paint company that supplied the art equipment. The food was catered by Jackson’s Soul Food and local poetMarianne “May Reign” Ritchey delivered a spoken word performance to get the crowd in the right spirit.

“One of the pieces I did is called ‘Black Girl Magic.’ It talked about the amazing survival embodied by the Black woman. There were so many beautiful queens there that night I wanted to empower them as these words empowered me,” said Ritchey.

Felton allowed vendors from Miami Gardens to sell their products at the event. He selected businesses that were based in the arts to have their opportunity to earn customers there.

Slay Glam Life is a Black-owned business, which sell soaps. Ollie Wheeler III is an author of a children’s book, which was for sale at the event. Ritchey is an entrepreneur who sells candles and wellness items for her business, Moonflower Essentials. Felton and his team also gave a donation of $250 each to American Senior High’s Women of Tomorrow club and Miami Norland Middle School of the Performing Arts. Miami Norland Middle had student pieces hanging in a gallery at the event.

Unknwn Launches in Wynwood

LeBron James has grown to be more than just a basketball player. One of his business ventures local sneakerheads are familiar with is his designer streetwear store, Unknwn. During Art Basel, James and his team decided to open a second Miami-Dade location in Wynwood. The grand opening had food, basketball and celebrity appearances. The grand opening of Unknwn Wynwood, located at 261 NW 26 St., happened on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

The new location has a basketball court built within the facility. James co-founded Unknwn with Jaron Kanfer and Frankie Walker Jr. The first location opened at Aventura Mall in 2011. Unknwn has been a spot where you can purchase high-profile sneakers and rare clothing from designer brands.

At the grand opening, over 100 people came for the celebration. Some of the guests at the opening included rap artist Flo Rida, music producer Timbaland and model/actor Tyson Beckford. Attendees enjoyed drinks and jammed to music on the built-in basketball court. Kanfer and Walker hosted an Art Basel closing celebration Sunday night and had rap artist Y&G perform for the crowd.

Art Basel delivered picture-worthy moments that gathered people together and exposed them to distinct visual concepts. I hope you got a chance to have your evening out with friends and art. Share with me your pictures, stories, and events

Let us all experiment with the unknown in this whirl. 




Miami Times Contributor

Clayton Gutzmore is a freelance journalist from South Florida. He has bylines in The Miami Times, The Atlanta Voice,The Miami Herald and Variety Magazine. Clayton has a background of covering business, entertainment and local community news.

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