Where Is the Next Wynwood? Miami Gallerists Predict the Next Gritty Art Scene
|Inside Little Haiti's Yo Space.|
Others leaving Wynwood have looked to Little Haiti. It has ample warehouse space, accessibility to all the burgeoning midtown neighborhoods, and the prices (though on the rise) are still manageable. Sure, Little Haiti is still a little sketchy, but no more so than Wynwood. And a handful of galleries have been operating there for awhile, including the community-based Little Haiti Cultural Center, the countercultural Moksha Studios, and the street-themed gallery Yo Space. Little Haiti already has its own cultural walk night: Third Fridays in Little Haiti. And the community has more in the works.
"I've been talking with business owners in the area about getting an art walk started on the last Sunday of the month," explains Yuval Ofir from Yo Space. The new night would take place between NE 54th and 62nd street and NE Second and Fourth avenues. "We're looking at the last Sunday in March, but we might have to push back to April for the first one."
It's a refreshing neighborhood, well-lit and sparse. Construction is finally complete on NE Second Ave., and now, Little Haiti feels accessible. In fact, it almost feels like Wynwood five years ago, raw and teeming.
"Little Haiti is untapped and full of potential, with old architecture and warehouses," explains Ofir. "It's gritty and a little dangerous, but there's a feeling there's a group of people hidden away in its midst just waiting for the right opportunity to band together and shake things up."
One of the biggest critiques of Wynwood has been the failure of business owners to band together. Maybe Little Haiti has the recipe when it comes to merging business owners?
The short-term future of Wynwood is uncertain. How high are property owners willing to raise rent on speculation? Can outsiders moving into Wynwood sustain its artsy energy? One thing is for sure: Wynwood, in the long term, is moving toward monetization and gentrification, and with many business owners leaving, a new, grittier scene is due to emerge. And it shouldn't be a surprise. That's what happened in SoHo in New York and also SOMA in San Francisco. Bring in the artists and the art, build up the neighborhood and make it cool, and then capitalize -- even if it means squeezing some businesses out. Wasn't Coconut Grove once an artist's colony? Wasn't Lincoln Road? Is this not how it works?
Don't be surprised. And don't hate. It's actually all pretty exciting.