Do you like art with your booze? Apparently, after far too many free glasses of liquor, a few drunken spectators roamed into an art gallery during the Wynwood Art Walk and proceeded to touch, destroy and even climb on pieces of art worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Many of the galleries used free booze and late hours to coax a younger crowd to the art walk, which takes place the second Saturday of each month. Eventually, it turned into a “Saturday circus.”
Many years before the Wynwood district became popular, most of the art galleries in Miami resided in Miami Beach. However, as real estate increased, gallery owners began to move into what is now known as the Design District. When “Second Saturdays” began, the galleries only operated for a few hours during the evening. As time progressed, owners wanted to attract a younger audience and began to open their galleries at 6 p.m. and close as late as midnight.
Since Wynwood is still a developing area, only a few restaurants are open and most do not stay open the entire evening. Thus, a variety of Miami food trucks were called upon, catering to the drunken hipster crowd that lingered.
Because of the drunken shenanigans that have recently occurred, many gallery owners began to complain. Most argue that the new, younger audience is at the event solely for the free alcohol, rather than to look at the art. While this may be true, others argue that the young crowd adds a new energy to Wynwood that was not present before.
After a majority of complaining owners made their opinions public, last month’s event on March 8 was the first “Second Saturday” during which galleries opened and closed earlier. Some have even ceased the generous flow of free alcohol, in hopes of keeping a controlled crowd who appreciates the art, rather than drunkenly destroying it.
Although this may be a temporary solution to the “circus” that the art walks have unknowingly created, who knows how long it will last.
Carey Goldenberg may be contacted at email@example.com.