Hailed as the “New South Beach” the Wynwood Art District is on the cutting edge. This Miami Beach Neighborhood is one of the oldest in Miami and has recently been transformed from a poor, industrial neighborhood to a budding artist colony with now over thirty contemporary galleries showcasing works by artists such as Art Basel and Dustin Orlando. The mix of the urban residential community with the modern galleries gives Wynwood certain energy, as if it were on the verge of something great, something radical.
Roving Fridays in Wynwood is a monthly art exhibit, but is much more than the stogy, forty plus crowd and museum setting that comes to mind when you think “art exhibit”. Located in Wynwood at 2632 N. Miami Ave., this is more of a party for the art enthusiast. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the assigned closing time is midnight, but the festivities continued well into the wee morning hours. A five dollar entry fee gets you in the door and access to the open bar, complements of Bacardi.
Producers of Roving Fridays, theyummiest.com and Objex Artspace, say there goal with each of their events is to “merge art, fashion, music, performers, spoken word, and video productions.” An alternative to the traditional art gallery format, it embraces Miami’s budding art scene by incorporating all aspects of art. Not only were paintings hanging on the walls, but live music by Jacobs Ladder and an eight piece Latin rap/reggae band filled the air, all while original clothing by local fashion designers were available for purchase, and an actor dressed as a painting preformed throughout the evening by merely being present. Drawn by the diversity of artistic outlets (and possibly the open bar), the crowd was itself truly diverse. Men pushing babies in strollers, college age students, and middle aged couples were all present, and all enjoying themselves.
Valet parking was provided, which was comforting given the still rough neighborhood. Once inside, the building was divided into two white walled, concrete floored rooms, and a fenced in outside area with the band and bar. The building housed close to one hundred pieces of art, showcasing over twenty different artists. The works were mostly street-style contemporary art. An off-beat, “no rules” mentality characterized the subject, influenced by everything from sex and political expression to surfers and skaters. The gallery was based more on tastes than on sales, with original art pieces ranging from $50 to $1,500. There is certainly not something for everyone, but the artists represented display innovative works based on what it is to be “cutting edge” and “underground”. Most of the artists are young and the work shows immaturity; it is developing art made by developing artists.
Whether you’re going to check out a great new painting or a hot date, Roving Fridays in Wynwood is a great evening out. The art is at least new and daring, making the viewer think twice, and if the art isn’t your interest, there is someone from every walk of life to meet. If you can’t wait a month to check out the Wynwood art scene, check out “Urban Recipes”, a mixed instillation by Joshua Levine, Michael Loveland, and Raymond Saa, presented by Rocket Projects. For directions and information, visit rocket-projects.com. There is more for students to the Miami art scene than meets the eye, check it out.
Jessica Sanders can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.