The art elite has descended on Miami to observe and celebrate the craft. There’s so much to take in at Art Basel Miami Beach and several other art fairs and shows happening throughout the city, it can be overwhelming to navigate. Take a deep breath and start with these seven Black artists and collectives as you indulge in everything Miami Art Week has to offer.

Devan Shimoyama, Meridians, Art Basel Miami Beach

The Grove by Devan Shimoyama
The Grove, Devan Shimoyama. Image: courtesy Kavi Gupta.

Devan Shimoyama’s large-scale installation The Grove is a selected work appearing at Art Basel Miami Beach’s acclaimed MERIDIANS section, which presents large-scale works of significant importance. His bedazzled monument features shoes covered in crystals, suspended from the interconnected wires of rhinestone-encrusted telephone poles. Glistening with kinetic energy and light, The Grove, proudly presented by Kavi Gupta, suggests a possibility for transformation within a dream space of remembrance, where the coexistence of presence and absence, and beauty and pain, is essential to the memories we construct and the history we co-create. 

Emmanuel Massillon, Galerie Julien Cadet Gallery, Untitled Art Fair  

Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, 2022, by Emmanuel Massillon at Untitled Art 2022. Courtesy Galerie Julien Cadet.
Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, Emmanuel Massillon, 2022. Image: courtesy of Galerie Julien Cadet.

An African-American of Haitian descent, conceptual artist Emmanuel Massillon works in a number of different mediums to explore the complex history of race, identity, and culture, and its relation to people of African descent. Massillon’s upbringing in the inner city of Washington D.C. shapes the unique narrative that he strives to convey through his work, from day-to-day life to politically charged topics. Inspired by many genres of African American music such as Jazz, R&B and rap, Massillon uses bullet shells, dirt, objects and wood found in his environment to represent his cultural history. 

Alexandre Diop, Rubell Museum, Miami Art Week

Le Mensonge d’État [The Lie of the State], Alexandre Diop, 2021. Image: courtesy of Rubell Museum

Alexandre Diop is the artist-in-residence at the Rubell Museum. The Franco-Senegalese artist's work explores the impacts of the diaspora and colonialism, and he uses pyrotechnics to set his work ablaze (literally). Diop builds his captivating artworks from a variety of found materials-commonly found in his everyday surroundings akin to the Italian arte povera movement-such as metal, wood, textile, latex, paper, animal fibers, burned fragments, gouache, glue, oil, pencil, pastel, leather, rope, varnish, nails, plaster, old car parts, rust, books and photographs.

Anthem X at Malin Gallery, Miami Art Week

Out of My Mouth, Helina Metaferia, 2018. Image: courtesy of Helina Metaferia and Malin Gallery.

Curated by artist Jared Owens, a current resident of Silver Art Projects, the exhibition showcases an intergenerational cohort of artists who are united in their desire to amplify voices that counter past societal omissions and negations and inspire new anthems addressing the power of previously obscured histories. The Right of Return USA Fellowship, which exclusively supports formerly incarcerated artists, will receive 10 percent of all proceeds.

Nina Chanel Abney, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami Art Week

Mama Gotta Have A Life Too, Nina Chanel Abney 2022 © Nina Chanel Abney. Image: courtesy of The Institute of Contemporary Art and courtesy of the artist and Pace Prints.

Get ready to take in Nina Chanel Abney’s “Big Butch Energy,” where the artist explores how gender perception and performance is inspired by the legacies of social ritual and visual culture through collegiate Greek life. The installation runs through Mar 12, 2023. 

Christopher Washington, Muse Art Fair

Christopher Washington _ use Art Fair
Christopher Washington at Muse Art Fair. Image: courtesy of Christopher Washington.

Hailing from Bessemer, Alabama, and also known as Sir Chris Da R Tist, Washington is a self-taught artist who began his artistic journey in 2016, after a moment of divine intervention. His work expresses messages of faith, personal experience and social justice. "Every creation is born from a vision, dream or divine inspiration," Washington declares. "Art for me is not a job, hobby or habit—it is who I am."

Michelle Drummond, Muse Art Fair

1. “Navigating The System” - Michelle Drummond
Droplets, Michelle Drummond. Image: Sixto Acosta.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and currently living in Delray Beach, Florida, Michelle Drummond is a self-taught contemporary mixed media fiber artist who creates three-dimensional forms by manipulating multicolored, multi-weighted yarn, glue and acrylic paint on and off canvas and wood panels. Her artwork exudes the true expression of her quest for life and the undeniable influence of her rich Jamaican culture, her experiences living here in the United States and her exploration of other cultures through her travels to bring awareness.