Art Basel Kickoff Has Fun Elements, But No Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami wined and dined revelers at the kickoff of Art Basel Miami Beach for the annual Art in America event.

December 22, 2006, 1:47 PM EST

The outdoor sculpture, Paradise, helped partygoers see the salmon ceviche prepared by Catered Creations.

Art in America, Art Basel kick-off Museum of Contemporary Art Tuesday, 12.05.06, 7 PM to 10 PM
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With the Jack Pierson sculpture glowing in the back courtyard and artist Bruce Nauman's wonderfully strange neon figures occupying the indoor exhibition space, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) was ready to kick off Art Basel this year with its Art in America event, even if it was two days in advance.

Sponsored by Turnbury Ltd. and Aventura Mall, the fete had every variety of Bacardi U.S.A. Inc., from apple-flavored to vanilla to just plain rum, which were sloshed out to the numerous guests, many of whom had jetted across the Atlantic for the once-yearly Basel bash.

Catered Creations, headed by Judith Williams, provided the copious amounts of eclectic food. In keeping with the Caribbean theme, clear glass vases were filled with slices of limes and lemons as part of the decor.

One innovative creation was the ceviche made from salmon, sweet potato, tropical juices, and red peppers. Instead of serving it on traditional miso spoons, the ceviche was scooped into ice cream cone cups. There were also Jamaican beef patties, okra, popcorn shrimp, and other ethnically diverse offerings, as well as tables spilling over with an assortment of cheeses.

If the jet setters were hungry after their long trip, they didn't have to worry-the chefs were on high alert (which hadn't been the case with many other museum kick-off parties, where the lucky few may have found peanuts).

Anne Tschida

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