By Hilary Saunders
Wynwood has its walls and its doors. It has its kitchen and bar and its brewing company too. And now, ready or not, the Wynwood Walls Garden is ready for neighborhood usage.
Officially opened last month in time for Art Basel Miami Beach and Miami Art Week, the Wynwood Walls Garden represents another project spearheaded by Goldman Properties, the real-estate and urban development company that revitalized/gentrified the area. Goldman Properties commissioned six artists to draw murals on discarded, repurposed shipping containers, which were then stacked on top of each other to create an installation sculpture.
The Wynwood Walls Garden also hosts the new “Walls of Change” exhibit. An additional 14 artists were invited to paint their visions of change on the walls surrounding the garden. Five U.S. muralists — Crash, Cryptik, Hueman, Logan Hicks, and Magnus Sodamin — joined Case (Germany), el Seed (France), Ernest Zacharevic (Singapore), Fafi (France), INTI (Chile), the London Police (UK), Pichi & Avo (Spain), and Alexis Diaz (Puerto Rico). In total, these elements of the outdoor exhibit encompass nearly half an acre just west of the Wynwood Doors (260 NW 26th St.).
Coconut Grove’s award-winning design firm PlusUrbia worked in conjunction with Goldman Properties to conceptualize the space. In particular, the firm contributed to the landscaping and artistic integration. According to Santiago Eliaschev, director of architecture at PlusUrbia, “The idea was to take the Wynwood Walls and Doors concept a step further by merging art and nature. The garden itself was designed around sight lines and vantage points to experience the murals.
“In essence, the garden functions as a stage where the murals are the protagonists. It’s a serene place to relax in the shade, a retreat from the concrete and asphalt.”
According to the Real Deal, the Wynwood Walls Garden could soon be home to a restaurant or other retail space. It wouldn’t be surprising, because Joey’s Italian Café and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar flank the original Wynwood Walls.
In the meantime, though, the space is open to the public, now free from Basel traffic and tourists. “Wynwood is about exploration and discovery as much as it is edgy and unrefined,” Eliaschev adds. “We incorporate all these elements into an urban landscape, an oasis that enhances the way you experience art.
“In whatever way this space is used, we hope people can appreciate and experience how art and architecture and landscape can be combined to create a unique place.”
News link: Miami New Times Arts