Writing on the Walls

It may well be the case that Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood is unique in its existence as a sprawling, open-air canvas perpetually covered with all manner of street art. Yet it remains that the Magic City’s graffiti history goes much deeper than Wynwood’s recent rise. Since people have had words to write, they have been painting, plastering, and piercing them onto the surfaces of their world — sometimes as artists, sometimes as vandals, sometimes as prophets, and sometimes as all three. In this city, they’ve been doing so in force for the past 30-plus years, creating a style of graffiti all their own and a history of art in the streets integral to Miami’s cultural identity. The evolution of that identity will be the topic of conversation at HistoryMiami during the panel discussion Miami Graffiti. The discussion aims to explore the most important and interesting factors that have played roles in the local scene, from painting in abandoned penits to mural commissions in Wynwood. Guest speakers include Alex Vahan from Cushy Gigs, Luis Berros of Free Agents Crew, and Rosa Lowinger, writer, historical conservationist, and curator of the recent exhibit “Concrete Paradise: Miami Marine Stadium” at the Coral Gables Museum. Miami Graffiti begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St., Miami), and entry is free with the price of general admission to the museum. Call 305-375-1492 or visit historymiami.org.
Sat., April 19, 2 p.m., 2014
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Travis Cohen is a writer for Miami New Times and covers subjects ranging from arts and architecture to marijuana and monkeys with herpes. He graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor's degree in English in 2012 and began working with New Times shortly thereafter. He was born and raised in Miami.