The Art Lounge Unleashed a Creative Extravaganza at Art Basel 2023

by Lavish Staff

Mira from Miami

In an electrifying fusion of artistic brilliance and immersive experiences, The Art Lounge took center stage at Art Basel 2023, offering an exhilarating week of festivities that transformed the Surfcomber Hotel into a hub of creativity. Curated by Greg Bean and Keith Botha the dynamic founders from theART-Dept. and the visionary minds at NRVLD – Pavan Bahl and Uzo Udu – this event was nothing short of a breathtaking artistic journey, leaving an indelible mark on Miami’s cultural landscape.

From December 6th to the 10th, the Surfcomber Hotel was not just a venue; it was a canvas reimagined into a vibrant art lounge. TheART-Dept. brought together a diverse array of artistic expressions, featuring installations, brand activations, live paintings, and unconventional art experiences that challenged the norm.

Collaborating with local luminary Mira From Miami, theART-Dept. showcased the talents of over 25 artists, hosting more than 15 art activations with contributions from renowned brands like Barry’s, Baileys, Therabody, Startag, and Playground, all converging at The Surfcomber.


Co-founder Keith Botha emphasized community participation, stating, “The event encouraged attendees to showcase their creativity on multiple walls, embracing the vibrant atmosphere.” The lineup of featured artists was nothing short of extraordinary, including the likes of Lauren Altman, Adam Vlux, Mary Lai, Jenny Chandler, Amy Smith, Luther, and Bijan Machen. Interactive and live experiences from creators like Sheila Darcey, Z HOVAK, Pink Dog, Alex Alpert, MR Motion, Meta Betties, Mira, J.O. Jerusalem, and Kavi added an extra layer of dynamism to the event.

Lauren Altman invited guests into her “weird and wonderful world,” a place where old clothes, paint, beads, and compost converged to remind viewers of the uniqueness of our world. Sheila Darcey’s “Sketchpoetic” daily art readings and flow state creations, along with her Garden of Healing, served as a sanctuary, transforming art into a healing force that guided viewers through a journey of introspection and renewal.

Lauren Altman

The live artistry reached new heights with Mira and Startag’s captivating performance, blending live art, artsy disk golf, and body art to create a fusion of starlight and imagination. Meta Betties presented “Labor Of Materiality,” a profound live performance addressing Reproductive Rights and the autonomy of female-identifying bodies, urging spectators to catalyze change.

Immersed in the captivating realm of live artistry, Mira and Startag wove a spellbinding tapestry of creativity at The Art Lounge. Their dynamic performance seamlessly blended live art, artsy disk golf, and mesmerizing body art, creating a celestial fusion of starlight and imagination. Attendees braced themselves for an experience that transcended boundaries and ignited the spark of inspiration within.

Adding a profound layer to the artistic narrative, Meta Betties took the stage with “Labor Of Materiality,” a live performance that delved into the heart of Reproductive Rights and the autonomy of female-identifying bodies. This impactful presentation served as a catalyst for change, urging spectators to actively engage in the movement. Viewers became participants in an interactive challenge by scanning QR codes, and unlocking the gateway to the Meta Betties Action Center. Here, individuals were implored to sign The Women’s Protection Act of 2023, turning art into a powerful force for social transformation.

Meta Betties

As the designated art and experience curators, theART-Dept. and NRVLD not only showcased a celebration of art and culture but also welcomed the Miami community to participate in an exceptional journey of well-being. Attendees embarked on an immersive journey where every brushstroke, every performance, and every moment converged to create an unforgettable spectacle that transcended the boundaries of traditional art exhibitions.

Keith Botha (left), Greg Bean (right) 

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