Art Walk in Wynwood, a great experience for art lovers By Betty Alvarez

I have always enjoyed artwalk in the Design District and that is where I usually go when I am in the area. However, I realized that I have not been to a Wynwood Art Walk for as long as I can remember. Therefore, as the date of the Wynwood Art Walk was approaching and two great events were happening in that area, I just had to try it out. This was the beginning of many firsts for me.

To begin, two of the galleries were opening at 5 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m., that gave me more time to scout the area. I parked near a parking lot which was the meeting place of the all-famous food trucks: Ms. Cheezious, The Mexican Gourmet, Daddy’s Grill, Che Grill, Red Koi, Sakaya Kitchen, and many more. It was a food truck lover’s delight. I have heard of the food trucks but never experience eating from one. I tried the pork croquettes from Sakaya kitchen and the Beef soft tacos from The Mexican Gourmet. YUM! It was hot right out of the oven and fresh. You just want to eat it right away. It was a great first time experience. I never knew that the area also had mobile bars and benches which art goers can enjoy their delectable meals. Although I understand that the food trucks have to work in an area where it is feasible for them but I would have liked that the parking lot to be more pedestrian friendly as the ground was not all smooth for walking. I had to walk in the midst of rocks and debris. Apart from that, a very good experience that I want to come back.

One of the first galleries I visited was Miguel Paredes Gallery. This contemporary artist is very gifted in his work. Very modernistic and every artwork is unique in its own way. I never seen anything like it. On this occasion, beverages was sponsored by Chivas and appetizers were from D. Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean. Chivas had two unique drinks: Chivas Smash and Punch. Although both were good, I personally loved the punch topped with an edible flower. Chef Douglas Rodriguez created some scrumptious appetizers such as small Marlin tacos, Tuna Tartar, Chicken Skewers, and the ever popular beef on a stick (it looked liked warm beef popsicle). I so wanted to try the “beef popsicle” but I had to go. That will be my appetizer when I go to the restaurant in the near future.

Gallery 212 was the destination of the launch of the art bus connecting Wynwood and Design District. Mayor Tomas Regalado was the guest of honor in the ribbon cutting ceremony. The Art Bus is a school bus that will take art lovers from Wynwood to Design District without the hassle of going to their cars and going to design district. This is convenient. As I waited for the Mayor and ceremony to begin, I strolled inside the gallery. There were many great works in many mediums but one type of artistic work that caught my eye was Michael Perez’s hand painted wine glasses. These one of a kind wine glasses are the type to have in a girls night. Although the artist told me that the wine glasses were not for drinking use due to the delicate artwork, he will be making wine glasses in a medium that people can drink from them while enjoying the wonderful artwork in them. I truly loved it.

Across the street, Harold Golen Gallery was holding an opening for the launch of Bunny Yeager’s book, Bouffant Beauties which featured her famous photographs of yesteryear’s beauties and centerfolds. As I skimmed through the book, she was incredibly a great photographer especially during the golden epoch era were there were many taboos especially for women.

As the night was heading to a close, I stopped by Cafeina for Miami Magazine’s/One Sotheby Tweet UP event. As this event was winding down, I went in to the gallery where it was suggested to go as there was a new installation. The works were wonderful as it reminded me of Bunny Yeager’s photographic book. As I went outside, the DJ was playing music from the 70’s but as I turned around to face the gallery, I noticed that the video was playing in sync with the music. What a flashback! As I stayed for 30 minutes, music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s played with the video. Definitely a blast from the past.

I visited other galleries in the area earlier that night and every gallery had a story of its own. I never knew how popular Wynwood has become over the years. There were so many people that I could barely walk on the sidewalk. Also, I went back to the food truck area and it was very crowded. People just love Wynwood for its modernistic, independent, futuristic artworks. Being different is to me the overall message that Wynwood wants to disseminate. Saturday, May 14 was a first experience that I want to relive over and over again. Kudos Wynwood as I will be coming back!!

Photographs by Betty Alvarez copyright 2011