Miami’s abundant natural beauty and pristine beaches have long made it a destination for those who love the great outdoors, but in recent years, the city has earned a new reputation as a center for everything from big business to the arts. The rebirth of neighborhoods like the Design District, Wynwood, and Brickell has sparked massive change throughout Miami, ushering in a surprising cultural renaissance.
When Art Basel moved its operations to Miami Beach in 2002, it bolstered efforts to turn the city into an international destination for the arts, a mission that had begun decades earlier in the Design District. In intervening years, Art Basel festivities have moved inward from the beach, with some of the celebration’s most influential events taking place in downtown Miami. Galleries in the Design District, Wynwood, and Brickell have become especially integral to the expansion of Art Basel.
The Design District, now a world-renowned arts destination, will soon become the permanent home of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Other acclaimed galleries include Maman Fine Art, Locust Projects, and Galleria Ca’ d’Oro. Groundbreaking installation art in the area includes Zaha Hadid’s “Elastika,” a multilevel installation in the Moore Building that seems to stretch and climb the negative space between the building’s floors, and Xavier Veilhan’s “Le Corbusier,” a larger-than-life bust of the legendary Swiss architect.
In Wynwood, a similar artistic resurgence has occurred with spaces such as the Wynwood Warehouse Project and UNIX galleries becoming hotspots for some of the biggest influencers in the art world. A major push for public art in this neighborhood has led to pieces like John Baldessari’s whimsical photograph “Fun” finding a home on the side of City Garage. Another highlight: the iconic Wynwood Walls project, which has helped elevate the perception of – and discourse surrounding – the notion of graffiti as a true art form.
Brickell’s proximity to the city’s booming art world has transformed it into a hotspot for new businesses and residents who wish to benefit from the exciting revitalization of this unique enclave. The resultant increased demand for housing has led to the development of new luxury condos like Brickell Flatiron, a centrally located tower designed by Ugo Colombo and Luis Revuelta. The unique, curvaceous design of Brickell Flatiron is as much a work of art as what hangs in the galleries and museums that surround it.
Downtown Miami’s thriving art scene is changing the world’s perception of South Florida, one gallery at a time. From Miami Beach to the Design District and from Wynwood to Brickell, Miami is quickly becoming a city known for its focus on the arts.
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