HOTBED: Local Art Students to Show Their Chops During Art Basel

Art Basel (and its satellite fairs, public art projects, high profile parties, and general cultural mayhem) is known for bringing the art world's biggest names to Miami. Think Warhol, Banksy, David Lynch. But plenty of lesser-known artists -- and Miami artists in particular -- take advantage of the increased cultural interest around town to put their names out there among the greats.

Take the HOTBED project for example, which will feature four art students hand-picked by local creatives. It's driven by a husband-and-wife filmmaker duo, Bill Bilowit and Grela Orihuela, who call themselves Wet Heat Project.

The idea for HOTBED came to Bilowit and Orihuela after they moved from New York City down to Miami and began to get a taste for the local art scene.

"There's just a freshness and an energy that was warm and open and inviting, and yet the work itself was mature," Bilowit said of Miami's arts scene. "Maybe the art dialogue was still young, because it's such a young city, and it doesn't have the sophistication that New York has, but the work itself certainly had the energy, and the work itself had the sophistication."

The scene wasn't elitist like New York or Los Angeles. Artists weren't jaded. They were excited not about prestige, but about making art and showing it. And most importantly, because the stakes aren't as high as they are in New York, Miami artists could mess around and take chances.

Bilowit and Orihuela just ask that participants in the HOTBED project don't sell their work at Art Basel. HOTBED is about giving young artists the chance to show their work on the international stage, without the added pressure of trying to sell or market their work.

This year, all the projects have one thing in common: They're videos created by students from the New World School of the Arts in Miami. Apart from that, they're distinctly different.

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