Touring Miami’s up-and-coming Wynwood neighborhood gave PSFK a beautiful insight into a deliberately evolving district
Miami is in a state of metamorphosis; to see it in action, take a step away from downtown, recuse yourself from Miami Beach, and instead head to Wynwood, the city’s unique take on the gentrifying neighborhood.
Replete with street art from amateur to renowned artists, there isn’t a single element of this place that doesn’t feel cutting-edge and unrestrained. Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of visiting the area with local Marco Botero, who showed us around and made sure we took note of every splendid detail.
Wynwood feels like a young upstart trying to make a reputation for itself in a big-name world; it’s trying to carve out a permanent niche in a city of temporary visitors and high rollers. The neighborhood addresses a question this city has long tried to answer: what elements of this place make people want to stay?
Art is a start, and good street art certainly appeals to the recent college grads looking for a new home.
To imbue a sense of culture and permanence into this community, the city of Miami has commissioned many, many artists to help personalize the neighborhood. Street art has long since evolved past its rustic origins and, as artists realize the value of their work, turned into a valuable commodity.
Every year Wynwood puts on one of the world’s premier street art festivals, ArtBasel, where the area’s growing number of galleries showcase pieces from the field’s best and brightest. This is also where the medium’s impermanence rears its head, as many of the previous year’s installations through the neighborhood are replaced with the next’s.
One element that remains preserved by Basel are the Wynwood Walls, which feature pieces from Shepard Fairey, Fafi, and Faile amongst others. The Shepard piece, one of the area’s keystones, includes a tribute to Tony Goldman, an early investor in Wynwood and New York’s West Village, who recognized that where there is art, there is culture and community.
Today the neighborhood has all the hallmarks of a gentrification, from luxury stores to startup incubators like The Lab. Our impromptu tour was a fantastic insight in a similar, yet different, process that has happened, and is happening, in cities across the world; we can’t wait to see what this means for Miami as a whole.