Don't confuse the inaugural version of the Wynwood Art Fair with the snootier version for which Basel is famous. It doesn't even look like any of the other satellite tent fairs in Wynwood that sprout up like toadstools from cow patties after a flash summer rain.
No, sir. Instead, the three-day artstravaganza is a fun-first "street happening" designed for the widest demographic appeal, not unlike a county fair. But rather than livestock, sideshow performers, and a roller coaster or log flume ride, heaping servings of interactive contemporary art will bridge every imaginable medium, and it's all for a grand cause -- to raise funds for the Lotus House Women's Shelter.
"Think along the lines of Lincoln Road on the weekend with the fruit and antique stalls," says Anthony Spinello, one of the local dealers who has rented a booth for the fair. "Miami's entire art community is behind it, but the fair has also garnered support from other artists nationwide."
Forget Lincoln Road, though. Here the fairgrounds extend through
Wynwood's eye-popping, mural-covered, urban environment. The fair will
take place on a six-block stretch of the arty nabe on NW 6th Avenue,
winding between 23rd and 29th streets.
Exhibition booths will line the entire area, interspersed with stages
for performances. Ethnic-food vendors will be scattered throughout the
fairgrounds, and strolling buskers, minstrels, and live painting
exhibits will pepper the big show.
"The Wynwood Art Fair is our opportunity to create Miami's own flavor of
what a community-centric art fair can be," says Barry Fellman, director
of the Center for Visual Communication. "This is not another Art Miami
transplanted to Wynwood."
The event was conceived three years ago as a one-night fundraiser
organized by Constance Collins Margulies, president of Lotus House and
director of the Wynwood Art Fair. It was held in her husband Marty
Margulies's sprawling warehouse that holds the couple's sizable
contemporary art collection. Soon it outgrew the space and began
spilling into the streets.
In addition to the city's major museums and cultural institutions,
upward of 20 local galleries and more than a dozen independent art
studios have been booked. Also, 30-plus performers and performance
groups are scheduled to participate, many who flew in from out of town
to support Lotus House.
Niizeki Hiromi promises to leave fairgoers smacking their lips over her
multisensory, interactive "Gum Garden." The New York-based artist will
enable spectators to taste and feel her art and assist her with creating
a work confected by hundreds of colors and flavors of gum chewed by the
Other veteran and nationally renowned artists -- such as Trajal Harrell,
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David Brooks, Sarah Sze, Ellen Fisher, Ben Fain, Frank Van Duerm, and
Rita Ackermann -- will have works featured at the fair.
Look for the full preview in this week's print issue.