From the Museum of Graffiti to the Bass Museum, Miami is a haven for art lovers

The Pérez Art Museum Miami is a prime example of representing not only contemporary art but reflecting the city’s plurality of communities.
The Pérez Art Museum Miami is a prime example of representing not only contemporary art but reflecting the city’s plurality of communities. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian

It’s no secret that Miami has evolved into a leading city in the art community. A big part of Miami’s emergence into the forefront of the art scene is Wynwood, one of the most artistic neighborhoods in America.

Wynwood, once an industrial warehouse and urban district, is now a neighborhood dedicated to murals, street art and galleries. Developed by Tony Goldman in 2009, the Wynwood Walls are a staple example of bringing graffiti art to the public. The “Walls,” now the central point of the new arts district, has become an international tourist destination.

The neighborhood exhibits over 50 international artists showcasing street and graffiti art on over 80,000 square feet of building exteriors. Goldman Global Arts, an art dealer with a gallery in the district, curates the constantly changing murals of the Wynwood Walls featuring the work of Shepard Fairey, Phase 2, Kenny Scharf and more.

What makes this neighborhood more exciting is the world’s first ever museum solely dedicated to the evolution of graffiti art. The Museum of Graffiti, located on NW 25th street, is an experience that includes indoor exhibition space, eleven exterior murals, a fine art gallery and a world-class gift shop dedicated to the world’s most talented graffiti artists. Founded by Alan Ket and Allison Freidin, the museum focuses on graffiti’s evolution from underground train and subway cars into a respected art movement.

Wynwood is not just a home for the graffiti world but a central hub for galleries and private art collections. Oliver Cole Gallery, located on 3rd Ave, is dedicated to bringing the best in modern and contemporary works of art to the community. Oliver Cole, the founder and chief curator, has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. With a stunning 1,800 square foot space, extensive website and 52,000 followers on Instagram, the gallery is committed to a dazzling experience not just in person but virtually.

With galleries of this regard lining the streets of Wynwood, other art collections have followed, including the Rubell Family. The Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Art Foundation debuted in 1993, pioneering a new model for sharing private collections with the world. Different exhibitions and art from their 7,200 works by more than 1,000 artists are showcased at their collection that is open to the public for tickets.

Outside of Wynwood, Artechouse showcases a new type of art driven by technology. Artechouse, located on Collins Ave in Miami Beach, debuted in 2018. It is the nation’s first innovative art destination dedicated to the intersection of art, science and technology. A fully immersive experience with projections, this museum redefines the way we are visually stimulated by art.

For those seeking a traditional museum, Miami has established itself as home to some of the best, like the Perez Art Museum and the older Bass Museum. In 2013, the new Jorge M. Pérez Art Museum opened its doors to the public. Having existed for over 35 years prior, the museum reopened in a new space located between Biscayne Bay and American Airlines Arena. The museum is a prime example of representing not only contemporary art but reflecting the city’s plurality of communities. With stunning ocean views, the museum is a seaside oasis featuring a bayfront restaurant.

The Bass Museum is one of Miami’s older staples. Although the programming of the museum is dedicated to contemporary art, it is rich in history. The Bass, founded by the private donation of John and Johanna Bass, presents mid-career and established artists reflecting the spirit and international character of Miami Beach. Including aspects of design, fashion and architecture into its programming, the museum aims to expand its definition of contemporary art.

Whether you’re an art connoisseur or new to the art scene, Miami’s rich culture has something for everyone. Be sure to visit some of these incredible galleries and museums this semester.