Once a concrete wasteland of abandoned industrial warehouses, Wynwood Walls has transformed this neighbourhood into an artistic outdoor public space that attracts locals and tourists alike.
There used to be nothing but gray walls in this once derelict Miami neighbourhood. That was before the late developer Tony Goldman had a bright idea. He saw these blank gray walls as canvases, with the opportunity to bring life back to the region. The concept of Wynwood Walls was centered around street art.
Wynwood Walls is a large public space, fenced off from the city streets, where anyone can take a stroll to marvel at these giant works of art. Huge murals are painted across the industrial walls and doors by prominent artists from around the world. These street artists have traveled from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, Ukraine, Greece, Spain, France, Germany, England, Japan, and Singapore. Goldman believed that graffiti and street art was not fully appreciated, and he wanted to bring more attention to the artistic movement. As a developer, he saw the potential to draw citizens from Miami and beyond to this neighbourhood. The art would be at its core; other attractions, such as restaurants and pubs, could be established with the rise in visitors.
After the opening of Wynwood Walls, Goldman further expanded the project by constructing Wynwood Doors. A plot of land next to Wynwood Walls was claimed as the site, formerly a garbage dump. It is now a beautiful park with trees and boulders. Surrounding the park, there are metal roll-down gates that serve as additional canvases for more street art. The gates can be rolled up to reveal more art on the walls behind them, depending on the mood or setting. These roll-down gates are reminiscent of subway cars or trains, which have historically provided great surfaces for graffiti painters to create their art.
Furthermore, the art has expanded outside of the fenced off zone. Dubbed “Outside the Walls”, there are many more buildings throughout the entire neighbourhood that have been decorated with colourful street art. Don’t limit yourself to staying within Wynwood Walls. Be sure to wander around these side streets and alleyways, spotting even more works by talented local graffiti artists. It’s definitely a good idea to leave the car behind – these city blocks are best explored by foot.
This art project has positively impacted the city. Even on a weekday afternoon, these city blocks were bustling with groups of people, eager to catch glimpses of the walls. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars in the area to allow visitors to dine and relax.
Similar to graffiti, the art at Wynwood Walls Miami is not permanent. It is always changing, especially Outside the Walls. In December each year, Art Basel, an annual art fair is held in Miami. During Art Basel, the artists who were commissioned to paint at Wynwood Walls travel here to touch up their current pieces or create brand new ones.
Outside the Walls
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Have you ever visited Wynwood Walls?