By Robbie Nevel
The local art scene, in the geographically clustered area of South Florida, took slightly longer to make it into the mainstream. Having finally done so, a light is shone on the underground talent that worked hard for years to get the scene to where it is.
It also means that events are spreading throughout South Florida along with growing excitement for the arts.
Miami Beach and Downtown Miami have always had their celebrated galleries, but it really started over the past three years when the monthly Wynwood Art Walk, every second Tuesday of the month, caught on and started drawing larger and larger crowds. Galleries opened, costs rose, and the drinking and dining establishments started setting up shop (along with a continued variety of food trucks).
The creative spark would not be content to stay in that one small area for long. The scene began expanding to places far North like Hollywood and as far South as Homestead.
Growing up, no one ever spoke much of Homestead. It was never a place to go hang out. There were farms and a few decent Mexican restaurants and that was about all that I knew until age 28. Then four months ago someone told me about Lucid Gallery at Cauley Square, a quaint “historic railroad village.”
It seemed everyone in the Cutler Bay and Homestead area was too broke and far from Wynwood to get in on that action. Instead, they were going to Lucid Gallery and according to a buddy of mine, he saw many of his old friends from Miami Southridge High School there. A southern based artistic hub was being established. It seems that there was more to the success of the Wynwood Art Walk than just trendiness and those really good (albeit pricey) food trucks. The atmosphere of a creative night out on the town was enough to create a demand.
Although they were allegedly made to move locations by Cauley Square, Lucid Gallery has many followers – many of whom expressed solidarity on their Facebook page. One loyal Lucid-goer wrote, “Where Lucid goes, I follow.” There is, however, still Art Walk Cauley Square on the second Friday of each month.
To the North, a project similar to the Wynwood Walls has been underway for two years but has just started being widely known outside the immediate community. The Downtown Hollywood Mural Project is filling the streets of Hollywood, Florida with the kind of eye-catching street art that has made Miami’s Design District so visually appealing over the past few years.
Our mission is to beautify and add culture the Downtown area one wall at a time.
They keep a strong social media presence thanks to art specialist/project manager, Jill Weisberg, with both their Twitter and Facebook letting interested parties know about upcoming events and artworks. The latest, a futuristic piece by British art group “The London Police,” was given full promotional treatment. All the Mural Project’s pieces can be seen during the Downtown Hollywood Artwalk. The effort is certainly being made by art communities both North and South to get the word out.
If this spread continues, there could be new galleries and projects popping up all over South Florida. How colorful can this part of the world get? Time will certainly tell.