Art Basel is here. This means a whole week's worth of art exhibits and galleries are going on in all parts of South Florida. Art is both universally understood but interpreted differently among people. Art makes us feel; it can bring us back to a moment in life or it can provide a vision of a future we desire. The last piece of art that made me feel something was a quote from former President Barack Obama I saw at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. On a black background and white text, it reads, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for. We are the ones that we seek.”

I took a picture of it and made it my phone screen saver for months. That piece of art is a reminder that I am in control of my life and, if I want change, it needs to come from me and not some external force. This week’s Social Whirl goes over more art that should make you feel. A culinary art exhibit is hosting its last showing and I have a few Art Basel event recommendations that you should check out.

Caribbean Culinary Museum Serves Last Plate

A collection of significant culinary artifacts has been assembled into one exhibition called the Caribbean Culinary Museum and Theater project. This exhibit was created by Calibe Thompson and David I. Muir, the two creatives behind the media company, Island Syndicate. The duo has collected historic cooking utensils and tools from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and other islands to show the history of the Caribbean region through its shared food cultures. This project reveals how the islands are unique and connected at the same time.

“I’ve had people from Russia, South America and Africa say they remember a piece from their childhood growing up,” said Thompson, curator of the exhibit. This project is helping people to see how connected we really are, whether we are from the same place or the opposite side of the world.”

Some of the artifacts in the museum include a three-legged dutch pot, an ice shaver and a Laye, which is from Haitian and it is used to take husks off grains and peanuts.

The Caribbean Culinary Museum and Theater project is a traveling exhibition. It has been on display in Lauderhill, Fort Lauderdale, Tamarac, Pompano and Miramar. Over 28,000 people have seen it. The culinary exhibit is making its last stop of the year at the Broward County West Regional Library in Plantation. It will be on display until Jan. 14, 2020. An opening reception was held on Monday, Dec. 2 to celebrate the end of the tour.

“It's quite a feat to move it from one location to the next. We are going to park it for a moment until we find a location that can host us for a year or two. Then we are going to search for a permanent home where we can build up a destination museum that talks about Caribbean culture in South Florida,” said Thompson. When the permanent home is found the culinary museum will open again.

From what I’ve seen in the gallery, there are items my grandmother definitely had in her possession. My grandparents used to reside in the countryside of Jamaica. The city was called Windsor Castle and it was located in the parish of Portland. When my family visited, we had some good, country cooking. Some of the pieces in the culinary exhibit were tools in my grandmother's arsenal.

Art Basel Events You Should Know About

When this time of the year comes around, there is a flood of events that will drown your radar. Popular brands and people will have activations and pop-up shops fighting for your attention. Here are a few events on my radar during art Basel you should make time for during this year’s season.

Basel B.A.E. (Black Art Experience)

SocialXchange, the company behind the De La Soul Day parties, is hosting its third annual Basel B.A.E. This is an exhibition comprised of Black artists who are alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) or members of the Black Greek Letter Organizations. The event is taking place Friday, Dec. 6 at R House in Wynwood and admission starts at $15.

Some participating artists include Andre Dawson, a Florida Memorial University graduate and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Melissa Mitchell, a Florida A&M University graduate, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and chief artistic designer of Abeille Creations. The event will have a live band performing throughout the night. Register at Baselbae.eventbrite.com

The Art of Conversation Soul Basel

Headliner Market Group is organizing the Art of Conversation Soul Basel. This event is taking place Friday, Dec. 6 at the Lyric Theater in Overtown. The Art of Conversation Soul Basel will highlight the work of artist Robert Young. His work has been featured on Pan American Games and El Clasíco Miami. Guests will enjoy live music from artists Case and Kindred The Family Soul. Last year, celebrities such as Little Duval and Jidenna made appearances. Previous years Trey Songs and Tyson Beckford stopped by. The event is free with RSVP to Artofconversation2019.eventbrite.com

There are plenty of other events going on throughout the weekend. I hope you get your fill of art that will move you. Share with me your pictures, stories, and events Moregutz@gmail.com

Let us all appreciate art in this whirl.

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