This Saturday, the Wallflower Gallery, located in downtown Miami, will be celebrating its tenth anniversary. Miami can be a hard place for lefties, activists, anarchists, and freaky, crusty artsy types to find a little company; for ten years, the Wallflower Gallery has been a kind of radical refuge.
The place was first owned by local artist David Haskin; eight years ago, it was taken over by "Flash," who continues to oversee events.
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Besides hosting ongoing art shows, during the week the Gallery is home to various meetings, classes, and activities. Emerge Miami – a loose-knit group of Miamian activists and the group that plans Critical Mass rides -- meets there regularly, and the last Sunday of every month the venue hosts a vegetarian "activist potluck." Wallflower Gallery hosts yoga classes, comedy improv classes, independent film screenings, and a "Holistic Happy Hour"’ on Fridays. They’ve also got a remarkably cozy little library in there, replete with a few shelves of zany books – there’s one on pot-growing, and plenty on Vietnam – and a bunch of dusty board games.
Last December, the Gallery closed for a few weeks to begin renovations, and with newly painted walls and newly-varnished furniture, it’s looking good these days. “We’ve been working really hard, and this is, you know, a big day,” Flash told me on the phone.
The lineup for this weekend’s celebration includes a whole slew of bands, musicians, and spoken-word poets: Aurapool, Erica Sommer, Chasing Tales improv comedy troupe, and Beth Schwartz and Linda Reiling on dueling (well, they call it ‘complementary’ keyboards). Promised as well are some films, a yoga session, and “interactive improv,” all for a donation of $5.
The party starts at 1:00 PM and ends twelve hours later, so go -- and let your radical side take over for a while. -- Isaiah Thompson