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Emerson Dorsch: Taking Wynwood Beyond the Age of Warehouse Galleries

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The Dorsch art gallery was the first art exhibition space, among droves that would follow suit, to open in Wynwood. Since its 1991 launch, it has been an influential establishment in the burgeoning art district, and this past Friday, it reopened its doors as Emerson Dorsch, with a pair of incredible exhibits by two divergent talents and a gallery experience that is wholly unique in the area.

See also:
- Wynwood's Dorsch Gallery Re-opens as Renovated Emerson Dorsch This Weekend

By 4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, the pressure was still on, but the tension had mostly left the crew working to finish installing the last pieces at the Emerson Dorsch for its opening reception at 6:15 p.m. In the main space, four immense, mirrored sculptures hung from the walls like bisected alien escape pods. This was the focal point of Brookhart Jonquil's, In a Perfect World, and the construction had been completed in only two days with a very minuscule margin of error, since these installations are composed of hundreds of pounds of glass and steel that could rip their way out of the wall if even the slightest miscalculation were made.

"I think it's turned out really well," Tyler Emerson-Dorsch, co-owner of the Emerson Dorsch gallery, told New Times. "The resources and time aspects haven't been easy, but we've seen it through...It's sort of an adventure story."

As we walked through the pristine white space, the air was filled with a sort of ghostly humming that could be likened to the ringing of Tibetan prayer bowls, but with a greater sonic complexity. It was only when we'd reached the Project Room that it became clear what the sound was.

The smaller, more intimate Project Room of the gallery is currently the exhibition space for Rene Barge's, Relay, which features of two pieces constructed out of bendable plywood that Barge has ritualistically shaped with bungie cords and affixed with pink Dynaband. Within the plywood arches are a pair of drivers that Barge has mounted to play ambiant sound that he has arranged and edited to produce the ethereal audio effect.

"These pieces will be reconfigured every Saturday," explained Emerson-Dorsch. "Sometimes they'll be hanging from the ceiling, sometimes they'll be leaned up against a wall, so the sound and presence of Rene's work will continue to change throughout the exhibit."

Rene Barge, the artist, stated, "The piece and myself will evolve with the space as the exhibition progresses until it ends."

Beyond the renovations of the interior space, Emerson Dorsch gallery is now flanked by a peaceful garden that leads up to the gallery's glass frontage. According to Emerson-Dorsch, this particular feature is one of her favorite new characteristics of the remodeled Dorsch Gallery.

"I really love the fact that people can now come off the street and have this tiny transition away from the sort of frantic energy of Wynwood's streets," she told me. "As you come off the street and walk through the garden, you see all the white walls and it kind of quiets your mind...It's not about the garden itself, it's about what the garden allows. It allows a different kind of attention. It really sets up an opportunity to enjoy the art less interrupted."

The gallery is already organizing the next series of exhibitions that they'll be hosting well into Fall, with their next show, Object Implied, featuring artists from Miami, New York, and Los Angeles. And in September, Emerson Dorsch will be featuring the work of Cheryl Pope, who had one of the most talked about shows in Miami in 2011.

During the daylight hours, the entire entranceway fills with natural light and gives the gallery a feeling of warmth and a natural glow that is scarcely to be seen in any other Wynwood gallery. Emerson Dorsch is once again standing as a pioneer in the re-envisioning of Miami's fertile art district.

"I'm really excited about this, to think of how the artists are going to use this space over the years," Emerson Dorsch reflected. "There's an opacity to most Wynwood galleries. Most spaces are still married to what they once were, warehouses, and the fact that they had no windows was handy for the transition into galleries. With this renovation, we're breaking with what this place once was."

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