Wynwood, one of Miami’s most decadent neighborhoods back in 2000, is now a world art destination. The transformation had been credited to developer Tony Goldman. His idea was to buy some buildings, put up restaurants and create an outdoor street art museum. But before Goldman there was a group of art dealers and collectors working in the area with established galleries, collections and non-profits : Bernice Steinbaum, Dot Fifty One, Alejandra Von Hartzs, Hardcore Art contemporary, Rubell Collection and Locus Projects as well as many others. They created WADA (Wynwood Art District). Even though Goldman’s ideas had been wonderful for all the community. He started in the summer of 2007 submitting a project to Miami City with the same name as WADA, this event united the community to fight for their ideals. Goldman was forced to change the name of his project to WYNWOOD WALLS.
Goldman saw the walls of Wynwood as canvas. The art scene began organically with a smattering of galleries and graffiti, Goldman helped it along by bringing in restaurants and a closed-off art graffiti park for artists to showcase their work. The neighborhood with more than 50 galleries and dozens of murals in addition to those at Wynwood Walls.
Wynwood Walls began in 2008 with a restaurant, Joey’s Italian Café. Goldman’s used food and beverage as a catalyst for the community growth. His plan was to create an art and culture destination for Miami and he did. But sadly Wynwood Walls became Wynwood Art districts’ worst enemy a shortly before Tony Goldman passed away in 2012.
Goldman’s original ideas were torn apart by special interest groups such as Lombardy properties, Walmart project, the Art Fairs, City of Miami, produce the biggest gentrification in Wynwood. Simultaneously, in only 5 years occurred the biggest real estate development in Florida. As a result of this situation Wynwood is one of the most expensive places to rent per square foot for galleries and arts spaces. City of Miami has heavy regulations and permits are difficult to obtain. Traffic and parking has become a big issue during Art Walk and especially Art Basel. Every year it is more difficult for gallery owners to survive and turn a profit. Artist studios have been moving to downtown because the rent prices are more affordable. What will be the future of Wynwood without galleries or artist studios? We will keep the Walls? What happen if Wall Mart establishes in Wynwood? To be continued…