"What's Next For Wynwood" Panel Devolves Into Petty Fighting and Personal Attacks

Categories: Art, Culture
As the panel continued, however, that initial optimism dissipated into rising tensions. An audience member told the panel, "[Property] owners need to get together. They're all cats. They're just going in their own direction. We need to create commonality and give a voice to infrastructure."

Joseph Furst speaking
That brought the possibility of creating a BID back into question, an idea supported by WADA and Tony Goldman's legacy. Joseph Furst, managing director of Goldman Properties, was awkwardly singled out from the audience by Kohen and asked to speak on behalf of the late Goldman, Wynwood's beloved art crusader.

"Tony Goldman's legacy is what we're going to deliver in Wynwood, so when I sit around and listen to people talk so poorly about the neighborhood we're trying so hard to revitalize -- we have people coming from all over the world as a world-class destination for art, culture, food, and beverage to take in public art in a way they can't any where else in the world -- it's a little bit disheartening," Furst said, after expressing discomfort for being singled out.

The panel went back and forth about local government's lack of involvement, infrastructure landscaping, and questions of intent arose. Snitzer voiced concerns about the BID trying to gentrify Wynwood without paying attention to issues like the homeless and lack of order in the surrounding areas. Lombardi, visibly frustrated, said the BID would help fix those problems, but Snitzer wouldn't know it because he's never attended a single BID meeting. In addition to this, he addressed Snitzer's complaints about graffiti taggers, telling him Wynwood's "not for the faint of heart.

"The problem is the galleries don't communicate with each other ... There is an elitist, nauseating mentality that doesn't promote business. There's the 80-20 rule: 20 percent of these galleries are doing 80 percent of the business ... They don't work together and cross pollinate," Lombardi said, singling out Snitzer.

Nina Fuentes, of Hardcore Art Contemporary Space, spoke from the audience to defend Wynwood's galleries in regard to Lombardi's comments. In addition to providing a laundry list of her gallery's active participation in the community, she said, "We are always there, we only close once a week in the summer and one week in December." When she told Lombardi she never received any kind of phone call or news about his complaints from tourists about galleries being closed, he responded with a belittling mimic of her Latin accent: "It's not my yob, honey, to drive traffic." Under breathe oohs were heard from the crowd.

The confrontation is just another example of lack of communication and hostility between those who hold stakes in Wynwood and should be working with each other but aren't.

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The problem with Wynwood Art scene is that it dropped into as "a scene" without ever developing an infrastructure. It never had a chance to develop roots when it gentrified the community overnight. That is why everything is unorganized. The corporate graffiti everywhere is a long term problem because it gives a false sense of "anything goes" atmosphere. Who takes an environment like that seriously in any community be it art or music? No one has paid attention to the fact that Wynwood is a glass celling fragile at the core because there is no permanent or stable  infrastructure. No one wants artists in LIttle Haiti or anywhere because they help gentrify communities without realizing this. 

Fred Snitzer is unethical and will swing which ever way is most convenient for him. He hasn't been around for that many years without crossing so many people. 

Carlos Franco
Carlos Franco

From rearding this article it seems like most things in miami , everyone has an opinion but no one person has seem to come with ideas on how to communicate with each other and begin working towards solutions. They do not even have a plan about how to keep wynwood grow as a area that also has retail and restaurants but they do not talk about creating spaces for artist to have studios at reasonable prices before having them moving elsewhere to be able to create their own works. Fred Snitzer is one of miami most prominent gallerist but yet he has recently moved away from his long time wynwood space because of cost( correct me if im wrong) but shouldnt that be a warning sign that needs to be looked at more closely as trying to prevent the exodus of galleries. Dont no get me wrong many galleries are not looking to leave but they should look at creating wynwood as a Art district in the fullest of the word that it provides activities for art lover outside of art walk. those are my two cents on the issue


I was waiting to hear about the artists' perspective but I guess that "what's next for Wynwood" is an arts community without artists.  Not that long ago, many artists used to live and work in Wynwood, before it became a real estate goldmine for developers. The artists have found somewhere else to live and work (Little Haiti, Overtown, etc.), and have moved on. While I don't agree with everything he says, I think Snitzer is right on the money here.  And Lombardi?  I have never heard one nice word about this guy from anyone.  

jjcolagrande topcommenter

1st off, well-written article, Briana . . .

Second, this ain't happening overnight; and there's plenty of time...

Hank Justice
Hank Justice

It is funny. Also noticed you guys misspelled "areas" on page 2, paragraph 4, line 4

Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

      Who are these people who make up the "ARTtuesdays/Miami" panel and who decided they have any say on what people can do on their own property?

D.f. Basora
D.f. Basora

Miami community "leadership" at its finest. It is really getting pathetic in this town. And given how sad it's been that's saying something


I am a local artist(Roosevelt Clark Art Sales.com), but I must admit that I have not visited the Wynwood Art District .  If anyone out there can advise me on how I can become involved in the Wynwood art community, I would be most appreciative. I have an online gallery (see address above), my telephone number is: 786-315-0599. Thanks.

Asüka Bazüka
Asüka Bazüka

What's next? Outrageously priced cost of living, that the artists (who made it COOL) can't afford. *le sigh*

cpchester topcommenter

@jjcolagrande Agree - sounds like growing pains typical of an evolving neighborhood

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