Sunday, October 10, 2010

Still Falling Hard for Art in Miami

Last night was the gallery walk in Wynwood, plus my birthday, so it was a double treat! As I live and breathe, I am still quite nuts about this very special art community in Miami.

The evening began when Eric and I had a wonderful dinner at Fratelli Lyon in the Design District to celebrate. I had been there before, but he had not. My fave dessert wine coupled with the salad with arugula, melon, and candied figs was an absolute delight. Yes, I am guilty as charged of having an incurable sweet tooth.

On this balmy night in Miami, when the humidity had finally lifted, it was more apparent than ever to me that engaged, artcentric folks can take part in how Miami is a nexus for new ideas. I discovered new ideas that I woke up this morning still thinking about and wanted to rush to my desk to write this blog.

Our first stop was to see the show by Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza at Gallery Diet.

Outside the gallery was a small group of people laboring away at typewriters. Typewriters in this digital age! Did that bring back memories! Gean explained to me that this was a group in Miami who would write a poem for anyone for $5.00. Gean, perhaps you can post a comment on this blog to explain more about the group...

Inside Gallery Diet was a cluster of palms and quite intriguing artwork by Gean and Ernesto that seemed to mingle concepts about contemporary art and urban design. I picked up the the gallery's newsletter to read more about it and found the artists' essay, "Notes on the Pre-City." After reading this essay, I don't think I will ever look at plant nurseries, as I drive by them on the road in Miami, the same way. What does it mean to live in a place surrounded by mini-jungles and maxi-plant-manicure-centers?!

Across the street we stopped in at Artformz to wish Alette Simmons-Jimenez and her artist friends a wonderful trip to Valencia and Barcelona in Spain. Alette promised she'd tell me all about it when she comes back, and I can't wait to hear.

Eric and I made our way on to David Castillo Gallery, where I was so glad to catch Pepe Mar's show, with its own lavishly-colored mini jungles of sculpture, and then it was up the street to Alejandra von Hartz Gallery, where I was simply dazzled by the very fab color combinations in the show "Color Climate: Matthew Deleget / David E. Peterson." Alexandra explained to me how Deleget takes inspiration from the salsa musicians Fania All-Stars, and that each painting pays hommage to a specific musician. Since I was in a birthday party mood, I loved learning about this info.

Well, I realize that what I am writing now is not really "proper" art criticism, but that does not bother me....well, maybe not too much...

After all, to paraphrase Cyndi Lauper, birthday girls just want to have fun!


  1. Elisa - great post birthday post !! Thanks for coming in and sorry there were so many people we didn't get to sing to you as promised.

    I agree the community is just getting better. It is a great time to be a part of Wynwood. The energy permeates the night air - (and some of the day times too - when weather doesn't melt it away). You can actually feel it on your skin.

    We are lucky to work in that almost ideal/surreal, magical space that exists when artists and artcentric people collide. Unique things are happening at every turn of the dusty streets. We are here now, right before all the restaurants and concept stores start to move in. Right before the rents go up and the artists move on.


  2. I'm filling in for Gean re: the typewriter poets. The group is called the Miami Poetry Collective ( We were founded in 2008 by poet and FIU professor Campbell McGrath, and our mission is more or less to make poetry happen in Miami. An archive of the group's first two years of existence is coming out on Thursday thanks to Tigertail Productions, as part of a reading and book launch at Books & Books Coral Gables. It starts at 8pm, and we'd love to see you there.

    Scott Cunningham
    Director, University of Wynwood (

  3. Thank you, Elisa! And Happy Birthday again!
    It was great to see you both.