Part block party, part indoor/outdoor museum, Miami’s Gallery Walk is the once-a-month event not to be missed. Every second Saturday of the month, well over 20 of the Wynwood area art galleries open their doors to the community and make space on their walls for international as well as Miami’s own artists. The galleries themselves make for great eye-candy, combining traditional museum elegance with a cool, relaxed vibe. But the art isn’t confined to the walls within the galleries; actually, the best thing about Gallery Walk is Wynwood’s commitment to the idea that art can be anything: from the delicate painting or the black and white photo, to the sticker-covered garbage container leaning against the mural of a baby painted green to look like the Incredible Hulk. In addition, the galleries and streets buzz with the beats of the various styles of music. As a result, each Gallery Walker is given the opportunity to have his or her own personal and unique experience.
During Gallery Walk, you get the feeling that the space is a character that has invited the city over for dinner, drinks, and good conversation. The best part is that Wynwood doesn’t get all dolled up and formal to impress its guests; it knows that’s just not necessary. Wynwood knows she just needs to mobilize a few more tenders of bar and stock a few hundred extra red plastic cups for her monthly party. She doesn’t even have to worry about where her guests will park. Don’t get me wrong, the streets are crazy packed, but there are still plenty of them; if you’re patient, you’ll find a parking spot, and chances are it’s next to a cool mural or antique car, making it unclear where the art begins and ends. Juxtaposed with the more formally dressed folk looking for a fancy night out is the gold-tooth wearing guy who just wants to have a drink and dance to the music spun by the blonde dreadlocked DJ, or the steel drummer…whomever is closest.
Yet another great thing about Gallery Walk is that it gives the opportunity to many of Miami’s up-and-coming artists, photographers, and musicians to showcase their work to a large and broad audience. This makes for an even more significant experience for both the artist and the audience, especially since the two are given the chance to interact before, during, and after the exhibit.
Miami-based photographer Denise Diaz experienced her first gallery exhibit at the March Gallery Walk. “I was extremely overwhelmed at first because it was my first time in a gallery, but ultimately the interactions with the guests and feedback calmed my nerves and really makes me want to produce more work and exhibit again. It was also pretty wonderful standing back and listening to people interpret my work…”
When the artist, DJ, or musician becomes accessible to the public, it makes them that much more relatable and likeable. This dynamic is at the heart of what Gallery Walk, and Wynwood in general, are all about.