This Saturday, the Wallflower Gallery, located in downtown Miami, will be celebrating its tenth anniversary. Miami can be a hard place for lefties, activists, anarchists, and freaky, crusty artsy types to find a little company; for ten years, the Wallflower Gallery has been a kind of radical refuge.
The place was first owned by local artist David Haskin; eight years ago, it was taken over by "Flash," who continues to oversee events.
Besides hosting ongoing art shows, during the week the Gallery is home to various meetings, classes, and activities. Emerge Miami – a loose-knit group of Miamian activists and the group that plans Critical Mass rides -- meets there regularly, and the last Sunday of every month the venue hosts a vegetarian "activist potluck." Wallflower Gallery hosts yoga classes, comedy improv classes, independent film screenings, and a "Holistic Happy Hour"’ on Fridays. They’ve also got a remarkably cozy little library in there, replete with a few shelves of zany books – there’s one on pot-growing, and plenty on Vietnam – and a bunch of dusty board games.
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Last December, the Gallery closed for a few weeks to begin renovations, and with newly painted walls and newly-varnished furniture, it’s looking good these days. “We’ve been working really hard, and this is, you know, a big day,” Flash told me on the phone.
The lineup for this weekend’s celebration includes a whole slew of bands, musicians, and spoken-word poets: Aurapool, Erica Sommer, Chasing Tales improv comedy troupe, and Beth Schwartz and Linda Reiling on dueling (well, they call it ‘complementary’ keyboards). Promised as well are some films, a yoga session, and “interactive improv,” all for a donation of $5.
The party starts at 1:00 PM and ends twelve hours later, so go -- and let your radical side take over for a while. -- Isaiah Thompson