...not so fast, amigos. We actually announce all our Best of Miami winners next week. And even though the reader's poll is long closed, we couldn't help get in on the speculation game. Which white cube will reign as Miami's best art gallery for 2011? Certainly the hundreds of you that jam up NW Second Avenue for Art Walk are bound to have an opinion, right?
Will it be Butter Gallery? Where it's so popular, they have to do crowd control at the door? Or David Castillo Gallery, where I Am Your Grandma first screened? Or perhaps it's Gallery I/D where the tender, sleeping soldier photos by Tim Hetherington exhibited months before he was killed on the battlefield? To be honest, we have no clue which gallery won. The New Times jefes keep the list of winners in a sealed vault, right next to our overtime pay and self-respect. Check the cut for the galleries that won the past five years and weigh in with your best 2011 guess in the comments.
Here are the 2006-2010 winners and blurbs from the Best of Miami archives.
2010: Spinello Gallery
"Anthony Spinello's rise on the local art scene has been meteoric. Just a little more than three years ago, he was organizing tiny yet well-curated shows shoehorned into the even tinier living room of his Wynwood walk-up apartment. Spinello quickly became a staple on the art fair circuit and opened a short-lived space in Wynwood, where his shows were always edgy and popular with the Second Saturday crowds. Spinello recently doubled the size of his space, and his stable boasts some of South Florida's top young talent, including Lee Materrazi, Christina Pettersson, Santiago Rubino, Manny Prieres, and Agustina Woodgate." -- From the 2010 Best of Miami Issue
2009: Gallery Diet
"As far as local dealers go, Nina Johnson has earned her spurs on the local scene as a tireless dynamo and community activist. Her gallery has become a favorite hub for art lovers searching for provocative exhibitions that linger in the mind long after one leaves her lively, shape-shifting space. Since opening its doors in November 2007, Diet has become known for its modest yet focused stable of emerging and mid-career artists as well as an invitational program for international artists. Johnson has also organized lectures by visiting curators and critics, and publishes an electronic newsletter featuring reviews and interviews written by local artists on Miami's booming scene. Her shows are impeccably curated and often among the most discussed after the monthly Wynwood crawls." -- From the 2009 Best of Miami Issue
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2008: David Castillo Gallery
"David Castillo's work ethic would have put the Puritans to shame. The young dealer often clocks 14-hour days, out-hustling competitors and regularly organizing gallery and museum shows for his modest stable of emerging and midcareer artists. The Yale grad has been in the business 13 years, successfully trafficking in the secondary modern art market with the museum trade. But it's in his pristine Wynwood gallery where Castillo is leaving heavy footprints on the local scene. From Pepe Mar's impish cut-up three-dimensional collages, riffing on pop culture artifice, to Andrew Guenther's psychedelic lobster-clawed space aliens, to Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova's brainy excavations of contemporary domestic life, Castillo's shows have been consummately curated and first-rate." -- From the 2008 Best of Miami Issue
2007: Kevin Bruk Gallery
"Located on a strip arguably housing some of the city's most stellar art spaces, this gallery stands out for the consistent quality of its exhibitions this past year. Kevin Bruk has been hitting back-to-back homers during a season in which one almost needed a scorecard to keep track of his stats. During Art Basel, the dealer made a run with Fabian Marcaccio's richly textured wall-swallowing works riffing on the Iraq War, including an imposing, larger-than-life, gun-toting soldier fashioned from canvas and paint that anchored the show. After the New Year, Su-en Wong cleaned up with a series of skull-swelling shots, in which she painted multiple versions of herself, often nude or in schoolgirl regalia, to pulverize Western stereotypes of Asian women as submissive sex objects." -- From the 2007 Best of Miami Issue
"It's difficult to believe 15 years have slipped by since Brook Dorsch hung his shingle over a drug store on the corner of Coral Way and Cuban Memorial Boulevard and rolled the dice on running an art space out of his tiny second-floor crib. One of the first DIY alternative joints at a time when the stodgy Gables scene reigned supreme, Dorsch shook Miami up with edgy offerings that introduced talented young locals to the public, clearing his living room of furniture and running a bar out of the hall between his kitchen and bathroom for his early openings. The risk-taker was also among the first to plant a flag in Wynwood in 2000 and has never looked back since opening his capacious digs." -- From the 2006 Best of Miami Issue