Art doesn’t just happen on a blank wall. It’s more than teetering through cobblestone streets to ease into hostile white rooms, past unfriendly people with really harsh bangs. Or tip-toeing through stark museum galleries looking at pictures created by people who are supposed to be capable of making you feel something. And Art Basel is embracing that spirit this year. 

This year’s events are a reminder that how you experience art matters. Art Fairs facilitated by domestic and international galleries, and small businesses and corporate entities are flooding attendees with sights, sounds, and smells that impact what their eyes are feasting on. Using AR, QR codes, fantasia-like dreamy effects, and the popularity of NFTs, they are merging mediums seamlessly and erecting a platform for performances by many developing artists.

There are also exhibitions, walking tours and learning opportunities being hosted by local entities like botanical gardens, Zoos, and collectives like Art Of Black Miami that are using scenery to make a statement. Cloaking Art Basel in ascending parasols, and potent history, the latter is adding another layer to the events on this year’s calendar in partnership with organizations like the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

“The entire arts and culture community has their eye on Greater Miami and Miami Beach during the Art Basel and Miami Arts Week season, so we have a unique opportunity to showcase the diversity of our artists, organizations, and galleries celebrating the Black diaspora,” said Connie Kinnard, GMCVB’s Vice President, Multicultural Tourism & Development Department in a statement that was issued to ESSENCE. 

“This year, we want to bring even more awareness to Miami’s heritage communities such as Historic Overtown, Opa-locka, Little Haiti, Little Havana, North Miami, Liberty City, and Miami Beach, to name a few. Our goal is to solidify Art of Black Miami as a platform for emerging, midcareer, and master artists to exhibit and showcase their work.”

See 13 immersive exhibits you can enjoy at this week’s Art Basel, beginning today, below.

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