Wynwood Art Fair a Smash with Young, Old, and Four-legged Art Fans

Categories: Art, Last Night
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Carlos Suarez De Jesus
Motica floats with FriendsWithYou.
The first ever Wynwood Art Fair this past weekend reminded me of one of the early incarnations of the Coconut Grove Art Festival. But rather than stalls filled with ceramics, macramé, and watercolor landscapes, this eye-popping affair boasted bleeding-edge art everywhere.

The weather was postcard-perfect and on Sunday, young families pushing strollers and walking their dogs flocked to the stretch of NW 6th Avenue between 23rd and 29th streets in droves.

There were processions of zany, mask-clad performance artists blowing kazoos, vaudeville street dancers, and a percussion-led, giant balloon parade by Miami's own FriendsWithYou.

When they marched past me in full regalia, drums pounding, I got caught up in the spirited hijinks and joined the conga line carrying my three-pound sidechick, Motica, aloft as we boogied down the street with the crowd.

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Anthony Spinello
Kids playing on Agustina Woodgate's Hopscotch
The atmosphere was energetic and the sense of community was palpable. The event transcended the audience one typically encounters during the Second Saturday art crawl and drew both art lovers and the curious to the fundraiser benefitting the Lotus House Woman's Shelter in Wynwood. It was a smashing success.

Kids and adults alike skipped for blocks over Agustina Woodgate's winding game of hopscotch that by Sunday afternoon numbered over a thousand squares.

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Gorilla Tacktics
Pummel that kid.
Another attraction that drew attention from families was a hilariously subversive installation by Gorilla Tacticks. The collaborative of New World grads, created an 8-foot-square plywood box with scenes of elementary school life painted on each of the four panels inside.

One interior wall depicted a student getting an F on his test, another his teacher pointing at the classroom door and sending the poor tyke to detention. The characters had holes in their heads and kids outside the wooden box stood upon milk crates and mugged at each other from across the walls. The most popular perch was the scene depicting four schoolyard bullies delivering a thrashing to the kid who failed the test. Groups of giggling children and their parents lined up to take pictures of them whacking the poor boob.

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Carol Jazzar
Alvaro Ilizarbe racks our brains
Another magnet for the sandbox set was Carol Jazzar's dizzying booth plastered in geometric amoeba shapes and arranged in a labyrinthine maze, which tykes ran around and around in until they emerged addled by contemporary art.

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Kerry McLaney
Spinello's sewing circle at WAF
Most of the dealers and cultural organizations that took booths at the fair donated 100 percent of the funds they raised to Lotus House like Anthony Spinello who had a pop-up space in which he and volunteers sewed limited edition poetry labels into clothes as part of Agustina Woodgate's "Tagging Project."

Other spaces like Little Havana's Cremata Fine Arts, which hung their booth with works for sale by Humberto Castro and Guillermo Portieles, where left scratching their heads when no sales materialized over the weekend during which they missed the boat and spirit of the affair.

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