It's always a good idea to check out the local art scene right? I'm not a big art person but I love experiencing and learning about anything new, and why not, when it's nearly in your backyard (ok, so two hours away). The Wynwood Walls in Miami are fast attracting locals and foreign visitors alike, and you can see why. Apart from the unique "selfie" and "getting the gram" opportunities, each wall has it's own distinct story, just like the underground world it comes from. While I didn't go on a tour of the walls this trip, I have done a walking tour in Bushwick in New York, which gave me a huge appreciation and respect for this art form. I just had to check out Wynwood!
The Wynwood Walls were established in 2009, as part of as renewal of the Miami Warehouse district. The massive warehouse walls with no windows and few doors were seen to be the perfect canvas for murals and artwork - and so the Wynwood Walls were born. Historically, street art (or graffiti, as I do not like to call it), is not a well-respected art form. However, that seems to be changing. More people around the world are having more experiences with the art scene, no matter whether it is in galleries or on the streets. The growth of technology, and accompanying social media platforms, makes sharing these art forms quick and easy, and seems to be allowing for street art to become not only more socially accepted by more youthful populations, but an art form of great interest. Since it's establishment, Wynwood has hosted over 50 different artists from 16 different countries. They have covered over 80 000 feet of walls so far.
I always get incredibly excited when I find a little "Local is Lekker" in my USA backyard. "Local is lekker" is South Africa's way of saying "This is South African, and we are damn proud of it". The above walls are from two homegrown artists, DALeast and Faith47. The piece on the left is just part of DALeast's art, a metal shard animal, coming apart into two pieces. DALeast holds the record of the fastest mural painting at Wynwood - just 30 minutes! Street artists have to be careful about their art work, and often paint quickly in order to avoid arrest (as street art in most places is technically illegal). My host in Bushwick informed me that some artists will leave an indication on their work that they are returning to complete their art, informing others they had to pause midway, as the cops were around the corner. The tiger mural is by South African Faith47, wife to DALeast.
The Wynwood walls span across the neighborhood, including a secluded area with various murals from international artists. As the popularity of Wynwood has increased, artists have begun to paint the outside of the walls, decorating the district with more and more murals and artwork. The Wynwood Walls area now boasts many masterpieces littered across the neighborhood, and offers an awesome afternoon spent checking out a unique and expressive art form. One of the most exciting things about Wynwood is that it is an out-door exhibition that is constantly evolving and changing. Artists from all walks of life and from around the globe are constantly working their creativity onto these walls, resulting in an ever-changing experience. No two trips to Wynwood will be the same!
Wynwood Walls are located at 2520 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami FL 33127 (and are free!)
Accompanying me on my trip to Wynwood, was fellow blogger and friend, Miss GlutenFreeNourishMe, a healthy living and gluten-free advocate. She took some time to do this impressive yoga pose in front of this equally awesome mural for me - I wish I could do this!