Tropical Storm Chantal might be dead, but Florida hasn't entirely escaped disaster this month. Gov. Rick Scott inked a mostly toothless law making it illegal to sell drug paraphernalia as of July 1. This law isn't new, but it's something that lobbyists have been skirting for years due to technical verbiage.
So with all of this political thunder, along comes Ocean Grown Glass Gallery, selling hand-blown glass pipes smack in the middle of the Wynwood strip, in a shop covered with ocean-blue eyeballs painted by local artist AholSniffsGlue via Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art.
Located at NW 27th Street and Second Avenue, Ocean Grown has locked down some prime real estate during this weekend's Wynwood Art Walk.
Owners/partners Michael Cahen, Jesse De Jesus, and Ozzy Varela are on a mission to educate the public about their wares. This Saturday, July 13, they'll throw a free grand-opening party during art walk with live glass-blowing demos by Preston Hanna of Stone Glass Works (SGW) and Rex of Rx Glass. The guys at Ocean Grown will serve complimentary drinks, have swag giveaways by Puff n Dabs and Concentrate Clothing, and hold a raffle by SGW. Beats will be provided by Jarod Farina. The gallery plans on featuring different artists and events each month.
Partner Michael Cahen says the gallery's "inventory will primarily consist of tobacco-use-only glass pipes, tobacco products, home décor items, various types of glasswork, including jewelry pendants as well as fancy marbles." Work by local artists Bradley Schillenger, known in the industry as "Bchill," and Michael Maytin is on the shelves as well.
Ocean Grown will carry four types of glass: Murano, borosilicate, soft-glass, and Pyrex. And as per the new law, if you make any sort of illegal gesture or reference, expect for your sale to be voided and you'll be asked to leave immediately.
Bottom line: Go to Ocean Grown Glass Gallery and pick up some "artwork" during the Wynwood Art Walk this Saturday, because you'll need it after all the walking and eating you'll do. But be cool, OK?
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Word to the wise: Get to Wynwood early, around 6 p.m., for Art Walk -- because it's an absolute circus when the sun goes down. Parking becomes a nightmare, there are pedestrians by the tens of thousands, and food trucks abound. The art galleries and shops buzz with transients, the restaurants are at capacity, and the bars become a hassle for locals. But we love it. We keep coming back for more.
Call Ocean Grown at 786-294-0492 or visit their Facebook page.
-- Kerry McLaney, founder of Wynwood-based 305 Creative Group (@305creative)