Lenny Tachmes christened his new space near the Design District the Saturday night before Wilma made landfall. After sinking thousands of dollars into an old Floridian home and retrofitting it into a funky gallery, he was poised to make his art season run.
On Monday he might have felt as if he blew his wad too early.
"Man, the gallery was spared, but an old avocado tree next door smashed my electric gate in back of the property, ruined my car canopy, and smashed the storage shed," Tachmes sniffed. "What's really screwed up is that some people broke into what was left of the shed and made off with all my tools."
The Fredric Snitzer Gallery and others in Wynwood emerged unscathed and had juice the day after the storm. "Our power was restored right away," said Tyler Green, an assistant at the Snitzer gallery. "We're open regular hours." Green also said the neighboring Kevin Bruk Gallery and the nearby Dorsch Gallery were undamaged.
With school postponed and parents desperate to entertain their kids, the University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum saw brisk crowds. The museum is featuring a survey of the five decades comprising Edward Weston's career. "We had no problems and have enjoyed a steady flow of students and pedestrian traffic," said museum director Brian Dursum.
Although North Miami's MoCA has had electricity restored and suffered no damage, it won't reopen until November 18, when it presents a brand-new show by Albert Oehlen, "I Know Whom You Showed Last Summer." Across the street, Genaro Ambrosino barely dodged a bullet. Ambrosino Gallery windows were blown out and the space was flooded, as were several shops on the same block that also reported losing windows and awnings.
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"It's been crazy here," Ambrosino lamented. "Fortunately we only had a couple of artworks fall off the walls, but everything else was safe." A lenticular photograph by Barbara Strasen got nicked and a bit soaked, he mentioned.
Ambrosino also reported that a neighbor returned his gallery's sign, which was found four blocks away. "I never expected this," he added.
Coral Gables galleries experienced a burp in business because of power outage but are otherwise back in full swing. "Wilma hardly affected us," said Gary Nader of Gary Nader Fine Arts. "I have a Cuban Masters show up, and people have been coming in droves."
The Bass Museum and the Wolfsonian also squeaked by without incident and are expected to open for regular hours soon.