Its safe to say, with the exception of family and friends, art is the greatest passion in my life. Fine or street, museum or gallery, indoor, outdoor, I love it all, which is why a visit to the Wynwood Art District in Miami, Florida was long overdue.
The Wynwood Art District, is not only home to the Wynwood Walls, the famous outdoor street art museum, but the entire area is a colorful riot of murals, galleries, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and hip restaurants.
Beyond officially commissioned or organized works, every available surface is covered in art, the sidewalks, entire buildings, signage… Everything! The neighborhood is a celebration of all things art, and is positively buzzing with a vibe that you can literally see and feel.
Prior to my arrival, I had an idea of what to expect, but was still surprised by all there was to see and experience in this multicolored wonderland, and because my visit took place during Miami Art Week everything was amplified. I spent 8 hours exploring, and still didn’t see it all, but if you’ve never been before here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Location: 2520 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami
What are the Wynwood Walls?
Wynwood Walls is a free “museum of the streets” an outdoor art museum where all the works are created and displayed directly on the walls.
Artist: Martin Whatson
A Brief History
Wynwood Walls was created in 2009, by developer Tony Goldman, in an attempt to revitalize and transform the warehouse district of Wynwood. Mr. Goldman saw artistic potential in the area’s warehouse buildings, many of which were windowless. He beautified them with giant murals and opened a restaurant and bar in the hopes that it would bring foot traffic to the neighborhood. 10 years later Wynwood has been called the hippest neighborhood in America, with millions of people visiting every year. I’d say his idea was a smashing success!
Artist: Kenny Scharf
Also including Wynwood Doors, the Wynwood Garden and Outside The Walls, Wynwood Walls includes works from over 50 artists from around the world. Every year, during Art Week/Art Basel, artists are invited to contribute based on the year’s theme. 2018’s theme was: Beyond Words
Artist: Ron English
Tours aren’t required for a visit to Wynwood, but if you do take one you’ll learn in-depth information about the artists and their process as well as the history of the Wynwood Art District. Choose the Official Early Access Tour and you’ll enter more than an hour before the crowds. This is important if you’re interested in people free photos of the murals.
Artist: Queen Andrea
It’s worth mentioning that many of the murals are temporary, with some lasting longer than others, so repeat visits won’t be a waste of time.
Wynwood Walls, Doors & Gardens as of December 2018:
Artist: Shepard Fairey
Artist: David Choe
Artist: Pixel Pancho
Artist: Tomokatsu Matosyama
My tour guide Sandro.
Artist: Triston Eaton
Artist: Alexis Diaz
Artist: Beau Stanton
Artist: Tatiana Suarez
Artist: Dasic Fernandez
Artist: Audrey Kawasaki
Artist: Ernest Zacharevic
Artist: The London Police
Artist: Logan Hicks
Artist: Eduardo Kobra
Artists: ASHOP Crew
OUTSIDE THE WALLS
Artist: Leon Keer
Artist: James Goldcrown
Location: 143 NW 23rd Street, Miami
If 1-800-Lucky was located in Los Angeles it would absolutely be my favorite restaurant. In fact, if I could eat there whenever I wanted I would be hard pressed to ever cook again. The food was pure deliciousness!
I could try to describe it myself, but I doubt I could do better than Conde Nast Traveler:
A 10,000-square-foot food hall in the style of a hip, Asian market with indoor and outdoor seating and a booming soundtrack of hip hop. Seven vendors hawking pan-Asian dishes from ramen to Vietnamese sandwiches encircle an open dining room that is also flanked by two full bars and a karaoke lounge.
If a hip vibe and delicious food aren’t enough to convince you, I asked three people on the street where to eat and they unanimously said: 1-800-Lucky. Oh, and did I mention that its also a record shop?
You can’t bring home the murals, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to bring home other art treasures. The retail shops and galleries are selling everything from moss statues and paintings to street art inspired clothing and even holiday baubles.
Plant The Future
Location: 224 NE 59th Street, Miami
Intrigued by the mossy wall on the outside we ventured into Plant the Future, which turned out to be part gallery, part installation, part shop, and all kinds of cool.
Location: 181 NW 25th Street, Miami
Wynwd the (un)official visitor center is part shop and part gallery. They feature neighborhood centric items including, paintings, pins, patches, stickers, t-shirts, and hats. I found some fun t-shirts for my boys and some Chris Uphues patches for a project I’m working on.
Miami Art Week/Art Basel events
Art week is a great time to visit Wynwood as there are a lot of special events taking place, many of which are free to attend, including live mural painting festivals, skateboarding exhibitions, and art fairs.
Artist: Andy Seize
Even if you don’t attend one of these events, you’re almost guaranteed to come across a mural in progress. I saw a number of artists at work during my visit, but it was meeting FinDAC, that was the real highlight. I’ve been following his work, and really enjoyed getting a chance to see him at work and to speak with him.
Artist: Fin DAC
Even MORE Amazing Art…
Artist: Queen Andrea
ArtistL Jason Tetlak
So many wonderful things fall under art’s umbrella, and you can find and experience them all in the delightful Wynwood Art District.