Season of the Arts

Browse art, grab a brew — gallery nights grow more popular

Visitors attend Art Walk in Wynwood despite rain and confirmation of Zika virus Aug. 13. City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado visited the neighborhood to allay fears of the spread of Zika virus.
Visitors attend Art Walk in Wynwood despite rain and confirmation of Zika virus Aug. 13. City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado visited the neighborhood to allay fears of the spread of Zika virus. FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Art walk lovers are probably most familiar with the long-running Gables Gallery Night, the veteran of the walks, around for nearly 20 years. Right behind it is the Wynwood Art Walk, nearly a decade old.

Throw into the mix the newer, but established Bird Road Arts District plus the up-and-coming Leah Arts District in Hialeah, the Little Havana Art Walk and Little Haiti Arts District and it’s a mixed bag worth exploring. And in Miami Beach, you’ll get to meet the artists up close and personal.

Gables Gallery Night

Why mess with a good thing? That’s what the organizers of Gables Gallery Night must know all too well, given that they’ve never changed the First Friday of every month as their night. The trolley is still the way to go, as it winds through downtown Coral Gables from gallery to gallery. Expect to see mostly Latin American art by several established gallery owners, mainly Virginia Miller Galleries, a mainstay of the area and the one responsible for the Gallery Night phenomenon. First Friday of the month, 7-10 p.m.

Cultural Fridays (Viernes Culturales) and Little Havana Art Walk

Calle Ocho in Little Havana is certainly the place to get a window cafecito, croqueta or pastry (or all three) but it’s also a hot spot for art, music and history. Since 2000, the last Friday of the month has meant Cultural Fridays (Viernes Culturales) when the city of Miami closes down Southwest Eighth Street from 13th to 17th avenues. Galleries are open, bands perform and Miami historian Paul George conducts walking tours. Tacked on to the area’s cultural offerings a few years later was the Little Havana Art Walk on the second Friday of the month. This event focuses solely on exhibitions at galleries, mainly in the Futurama Building at 1637 SW Eighth St. with a few others sprinkled in. The artwork is colorful and includes sculptures, paintings, mixed media and photography.

Bird Road Art Walk

Like Cultural Fridays, the Bird Road Arts District made its debut 16 years ago. A desolate area of mostly warehouse spaces off Bird Road and Southwest 72nd Avenue was designated as the District and the art walks began. Since then, on the third Saturday of the month, galleries, antique shops, home & design stores and even a live theater stage open up for the walk from 7-10 p.m. Grab a brew while you’re checking out the art at Lincoln’s Beard Brewing Co., 7360 SW 41st St.

ArtCenter South Florida’s Studio Crawl

This could almost be called a meet and greet with the artists, because they are in their studios working during the crawl. It’s the perfect opportunity to ask questions and interact one-on-one with the artists. Having survived the drastic changes to Lincoln Road over the years, ArtCenter has been around since 1984, a virtual eternity on South Beach. To this day, they’re still providing an intimate experience for the true art lovers. Studio Crawls are on the first Wednesday of the month from 7-9 p.m., 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach.

Wynwood Art Walk

The murals, hipsters and wanna-be-seens hang out here regularly and are joined by massive crowds on the second Saturday of the month for the Wynwood Art Walk. What began as a mash-up has evolved into a more organized monthly event. Despite being hit with local cases of the Zika virus, Wynwood’s Art Walk drew bustling crowds in the August walk, in the midst of news about the Zika cases.

You can wander around on your own, checking out artists on street corners creating art on a canvas or on a mural on the side of a building. There are plenty of gallery spaces, and a one-hour guided gallery tour ($18) that departs at 7:45 p.m. with a meeting location revealed when your ticket is booked online. The free art walk is 6-10 p.m. mainly along the neighborhood’s main drag — Northwest Second Avenue, between 28th and 22nd streets. The food trucks and other vendors gather along Northwest Fifth Avenue.

Leah Arts District

Who would have thought the next hot spot for art, especially murals, one that’s giving Wynwood a possible challenge, would be Hialeah? But that’s what’s happening in the Leah Arts District. Cheap and available rent helped the district become a reality and it is now a burgeoning area for street artists and a brewery (Unbranded Brewery). At the District’s opening in 2015 it was a who’s who of Miami’s street artists including Kazilla, Atomik, Abstrk and Trek 6, taking to the walls. Now local artists have a place to work and have their art appreciated by the public. Although they have no organized art walk, they host regular block parties. 1501 E. 10th Ave., Hialeah.

Little Haiti/Little River

With Wynwood busting, the new neighborhoods seeing a sprouting of galleries and other spaces are Little Haiti and Little River. Gallery Diet at 6315 NW Second Ave., a one-time fixture in Wynwood, is now in Little Haiti, along with Yeleen Gallery, 294 NW 54th St., and MADE at the Citadel space, 8325 NE Second Ave. A pioneer space of Wynwood, Emerson Dorsch Gallery, is also set to move into Little Haiti at 5900 NW Second Ave. It’s only a matter of time before an art walk develops.