For up-and-coming artists, there is no better place to find yourself than at Art Basel. The annual event, which began in the Swiss city of Basel in 1970 and came to Miami’s shores in 2002, is the largest international gathering of artists each winter. And for artists on the make, it’s basically the Promised Land.
This year, five lucky artists were fortunate enough to have their work shown at Art Basel as a part of SoBe’s Artist in Residency Team (A.R.T.). This diverse group included Los Angeles-based photographer Jora Frantzis, Belgium-born muralist “Chase,” Vine video personality Elton Castee, photographer Melly Lee, and illustrator Nick Sawyers.
The work each artist presented was as eclectic as the artists themselves, ranging from Nick Sawyers’ surreal illustrations, to Elton Lee’s multi-medium visual and performance pieces, and Jora Frantzis’ always compelling photos (one of which you can see on display at the top of this page).
The showcase was the culmination of the A.R.T. experience, an eight-week program where SoBe invited five artists from different disciplines, whose work embodied the SoBe mantra of “Ride the Wild,” to come partake in the unique project. In doing so, the artists were provided with everything they needed to simply create freely, from production space and tools to mentor meetings, media opportunities, and more.
If there is one thing aspiring artists need above all else, it’s support, and that is exactly what the SoBe A.R.T. experience gave each one of these five artists. While their careers are still only in their relative infancy, they’ve now got a big leg up, and are sure to return to Art Basel many more times in the years to come.