Art Basel for Kids

Curator and Miami mom, Adriana de Moura takes on a tour

Between Adriana de Moura’s starring role on the Real House Wives Miami, her career as a curator, and being a full time mom, every time of year is something of a juggling act. But come the first week of December when Art Basel hits her hometown, she’s a machine; covering as much of the main fair as possible, de Moura also aims this week to hit satellite fairs, lectures, parties, and VIP events, all while including 12 year-old Alex, himself a Basquiat fan. Tackling America’s largest and most prestigious art fair takes expertise, especially with kids in tow. Below, de Moura walks us through her plan of attack—wearing comfortable flats like a pro, of course. —Artie Niederhoffer

Art Basel must be a busy time for you! What are your plans for this year’s fair?
There is so much to see that covering it all is almost a mission impossible. The best strategy is to choose wisely and hit only those events that truly matter to you. In my case, I will start [before the official opening on December 6] on Tuesday, December 4th for Design Miami. After that I will attend the Vanity Fair Party at the MOCA Museum, and after that, the opening night for Gary Nader Gallery. Three events in one night—that’s Art Basel warm-up!

The following morning, I will go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the construction of the Perez Art Museum’s new Herzog & de Meuron-designed facility led by museum director, Thom Collins. Then I will head to the VIP preview opening of Art Basel at the Convention Center. This day is reserved for collectors and dealers only, and I usually spend the whole rest of the day there going through the booths. The main fair opens to the public the next day.

On Friday I will visit the Craig Robbins Collection with some of my clients. Craig Robbins is one of my favorites collectors in town. His contemporary collection represents a wide spectrum of perspectives and disciplines and includes design objects by Zaha Hadid, Gio Ponti, Jean Prouvé, Ron Arad, Marteen Baas, and my favorites the Brazilian Campana Brothers. Later I will head to Design Talks in which artists and designers speak about their latest projects.

What advice do you have for moms navigating the art fair with kids?
The fairs are large and require a lot of walking, so make sure to wear comfortable clothes—and especially shoes. Only novices wear high heels. Remember, the real collectors usually wear sneakers to do all the walking needed to cover everything. It is, after all, an art fair not a fashion show. Make sure to layer clothes as weather in Miami is mild at this time, but the inside of spaces can be very cold.

If you have small kids, a stroller is advised. Also, the Miami Children’s Museum is a good place for Kids ages 4 and up. Here they can engage in unique interactive programming, while you check out the exhibits.

As a curator and mother, how did you begin introducing your son to art?
I always take my son to museums and art fairs with me. However, I usually take him to a less busy day and go to the booths that have art he can relate to. I recommend going to the main fair alone first on Thursday or Friday, then bringing your kids on Sunday afternoon when it’s is less crowded.

Are there artists or media that you found your son Alex was particularly drawn to when he was young?
My son always liked Jean Michel Basquiat. Maybe it’s because I collect him, but I know my son was intrigued by Basquiat’s colors and use of words.