"In Miami's Wynwood district, the party has overtaken the art," complains the headline to Rene Rodriguez's story in Saturday's Miami Herald. The piece reports that drunken partiers have "hijacked" the arts scene on Second Saturday Art Walks, with boozed-up kids stumbling into art spaces, damaging the works on display, and urinating in parking lots.
It's an alarming tale -- or at least it was about two years ago.
That's when New Times published a very similar version of Rodriguez' story -- in March of 2011, to be precise. That story also tells the tale of gallerists responding to Wynwood's annoying art crawlers by no longer offering booze and closing early. Art critic Carlos Suarez de Jesus even interviewed with some of the same gallerists, including Janda Wetherington of Pan American Art Projects and Nina Johnson-Milweski of Gallery Diet.
The only breaking news in the Herald's 800-word story, which earned just a quick mention on the way to more stale information, is that a panel discussion is scheduled to address the issue of how changes in Wynwood in recent years, including an expanding nightlife scene, have affected its arts community. But even that panel seems suspect. It's being held at Books & Books in Coral Gables, for starters, far removed from the neighborhood it'll be discussing. The event doesn't get a mention on Books & Books' extensive event calendar. And though we've reached out to both the organizers and Books & Books, no information is available as to who the speakers are or what, specifically, are the planned topics of conversation.
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That's a shame, because forward-looking solutions to the problems with Art Walk in Wynwood would be big news. But for now, it seems like we're stuck rehashing the same problems area gallerists have bemoaned for years.
ARTtuesdays/MIAMI's panel discussion, "What's Next for the Wynwood Art Galleries?" takes place tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Books and Books. Admission is free, but a $10 donation to ARTtuesdays/MIAMI is suggested.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.