Miami's New Pop-Up Gallery Gives Us Wood (In a Pile)

Categories: Art
Sara Maria Salamone
The centerpiece of Sam Trioli's outdoor pop-up art exhibit in Wynwood might look like a wood pile, but in reality it is... well, a wood pile.

"When you see a wood pile you see pure function," Trioli explained. "It is also a very temporary structure. You build a wood pile and it disappears the next year."

But this sculpture of 250 freshly cut logs is a special kind of wood pile. "It is not just wood dumped out in a lot," Trioli explained. "It stacks perfectly, and in a v-shape."

The display, which includes a minimalist mural painted on a wall adjacent to the wood pile and a trailer displaying Trioli's abstract work on paper, as well as an abbreviated diary of the artist's daily routine for the last two years, is titled "Sagebrush Gulch." It represents the first outdoor exhibit displayed by site95, a recently formed non-profit based in Brooklyn. Meaghan Kent, site95's director and chief curator, said David Lombardi, a Wynwood developer and land owner, donated the lot and a trailer for the organization's use during the month of February. Kent figured that Trioli's work would be a perfect fit for the lot. "I was aware that he was working on a version of the log sculpture and was making these incredible works on paper," she wrote in an e-mail to New Times.

Sara Maria Salamone
What followed was an epic road trip. "Sam Trioli drove a 16-foot Penske [truck rental] from New Boston, New Hampshire, to Northern Virginia to meet me," Kent said. "We then drove to Miami, stopping in Jacksonville and St. Augustine along the way."

It was Trioli's first trip to Florida, let alone Miami. "It was nice to get out of the winter," he said. Trioli even found Florida's bland landscape interesting. "Where I grew up, it was hilly and not flat at all," he said. "It was cool seeing a totally different terrain."

Upon arrival, they had less than a week to set the display up. The wood sculpture itself took two days for Trioli to re-assemble, Kent explained. The mural had to be created on the spot. "O-Gee Paint Company was incredibly generous and helpful, and we were thrilled we were able to make it happen, with the help of some amazing volunteers," she wrote.

Sara Maria Salamone
Although the general theme of the exhibit can be summarized as less is more, producing it in a short period of time was an adventure, Kent says. "There are some images and video on our Tumblr blog," she stated in her e-mail. "The journey was really an amazing part of the project and it felt really important to document it all."

The next adventures of site95 have already been planned out. Broadway will be the scene for a temporary exhibit featuring the work of Christina Petterson of Miami, Russell Maycumber of St. Augustine and Brian Wondergem of Brooklyn. In August, a giant "Dead in August" exhibit and block party will be held in Brooklyn. "I am also in the process of finding a space in Washington, D.C. and hope to do another project in Miami very soon," Kent said.

The Sagebrush Gulch exhibit at 44 NE 29th St., Miami, is open free to the public on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. until February 25. The exhibit will also be open until 7 p.m. during the Second Saturday Art Walk on February 11. For more information, visit

--Erik Bojnansky

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