You can see what a potent combination smart marketing and high-quality art can be in the Wynwood Arts District and the Design District, where the monthly art walk has become a phenomenon.
With more than 50 galleries and celebrated private-collection museums, Wynwood has established itself as Miami’s epicenter of the cutting edge and avant-garde. By exposing this bold new era of eye candy to a larger audience, the art walk has helped catapulted the neighborhood to a higher level of legitimacy.
Just to the north, the Design District Art Walk has a different tone. The area has evolved into a mecca for high-end design, fashion and dining, and the de la Cruz Collection contemporary art space, added to the mix three years ago, has become a must-see on Art + Design Night.
In Wynwood, many of the galleries open early on art-walk day to accommodate visitors who want to focus on the art. The Wynwood Arts District Association is working with the city of Miami to eliminate illegal street vending and other unregulated activity on the district’s narrow sidewalks that detract from art-walk experience.
“Between now and December, we’ll learn how to control something of this magnitude,” says Nina Johnson-Milewski, owner of Gallery Diet and WADA board member. “If we do it right, the other neighborhoods that have recently started art walks will have a successful and safe model to follow. We don’t want anyone to have to go through the same growing pains that we’ve had to go through for the past six years.”
Despite those pains, Johnson-Milewski is a champion of the monthly event. She sees it as a public service to open her gallery doors to everyone on those busy nights.
“Not everything can be about sales,” she says. “It’s one of the advantages and one of the pressures of owning a gallery.”