Civic Imagination

Street Art Movement in Miami

Wynwood, Miami at one time was known as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Miami. Drugs, crime, and a general sense of foreboding clung to the streets and warehouses. In 2009, developer Tony Goldman decided he was going to do something to transform this dangerous neighborhood. He arrived at an idea to turn the warehouse buildings into giant canvases and bring the greatest street art ever seen in one place. He called this, Wynwood Walls. His goal was to create a center where people could gravitate, explore, and develop the area’s pedestrian potential. The Wynwood Walls, became a major art statement with Tony’s commitment to graffiti and street art. Tony believed that street art was a genre that was under appreciated and not respected historically. He wanted to give the street art movement attention and respect.

The Wynwood Walls has brought the world’s most renowned street artists to Miami. This project evolved into the whole neighborhood as a museum in the streets. This district also contains over 70 galleries, museums, and art collections. Wynwood now features beautiful street art on literally every surface possible, including the sidewalks.

I first learned about Wynwood when I moved to Miami from Illinois. This neighborhood quickly became my favorite place in Miami. My friends and I love to explore the area, go out and enjoy the beautiful street art. I love this area because it has a happy, and relaxed vibe. Whenever my friends from Illinois visit me, I always bring them to Wynwood and tell the story of how this neighborhood transformed. Each friend that I have brought here told me that Wynwood was their favorite thing about Miami as well. I am so in love with this area of Miami, that in my MFA program I filmed and developed a 360 documentary of the walls with a tour guide. This area was perfect for a 360 documentary because it has art everywhere you look. I also developed a self guided virtual reality tour that shows off the street art. For this project, I shot several 360 photos, and developed a mobile app that is compatible with Google Cardboard.

Not only that, but I actively participate in the technology district at the LAB Miami, as well as the makerspace, Moonlighter. The LAB Miami is a place where innovators can get together and share ideas and learn from other techies. Moonlighter is a center that focuses on the maker movement. It is similar to the LAB Miami, but it focuses on physical computing.

This story is very inspiring because the neighborhood of Wynwood was originally the roughest area of Miami. It's transformation into a happy, beautiful, outdoor art museum forced the gangs and crime out of the area. Not only that, but the street art genre is extremely underrated and under appreciated. This district celebrates this as a genre and gives these talented artists recognition. 

art, street art, graffiti, transformation, movement, Miami

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