BEST MARRIAGE PROPOSAL - 2004
George Sanchez Calderon's
Midnight Midtown Midway during Art Basel
Miami artist George Sanchez Calderon's contribution to the Art Basel art fair last December was the carnival he installed one night at the Buena Vista rail yard just south of 36th Street in Wynwood. Beneath circus banners and a Ferris wheel, local musicians, poets, and dancers strutted their stuff, along with the future developers of the 56-acre tract, who helped pay for the bash. Hundreds of revelers were lured over from the Design District by the scent of free booze and flirtation. But Midnight Midtown Midway, as Sanchez dubbed the event, was even more layered than that. He had planned a secret little happening within a happening. "The only people who knew were the fireworks guy, the toothless Ferris wheel operator, and my one buddy who was standing next to him," Sanchez recounts. At 11:30 p.m., as the Ferris wheel seat carrying Sanchez and his girlfriend Judy Perez whizzed through the air, he popped the question. "The Ferris wheel was spinning, so she was confused and convoluted, but when she said Yes, I stuck my hand out, signaled to the guy to stop the Ferris wheel on top. And as we were going up to the top, I pressed fast-dial on my cell phone to the fireworks guy. So the moment the Ferris wheel stopped, on the exact apex, the first fireworks went off."