Miami Art Week is here, and outside the gallery walls, graffiti artists are busy at work painting the streets of Wynwood, Midtown, and the Design District. The biggest mural project of the season, however, is going down at Jose de Diego Middle School, a formerly stark white space craving color and a sustainable arts department for students.
The artworks are the result of a coalition of non-profits, organizations, corporate partners, local businesses, artists, musicians, and JDD staff and administration, brought together by the Wynwood Arts District Association in partnership with WynwoodMap.com. Reimagining Arts Wynwood (the RAW Coalition) will officially launch the long-term fundraising campaign during Art Basel Miami Beach, with a goal of $500,000 to be used to support the creation of strong arts and music programs at JDD.
Wynwoodmap selected international artists -- D*Face (UK), Anthony Lister (Australia), Pixelpancho (Italy), and Pastel FD (Argentina), as well as local artists such as AholSniffsGlue, Hox, Santiago Rubino, Typoe, and Magnus Sodamin -- to make the walls of JDD their canvas. The unveiling of completed and in-progress works kicks off Tuesday, December 2 at the school, located at 3100 NW 5th Ave.
Though JDD is mere blocks from the center of Wynwood, where artists have been out tagging in troves lately, stepping into this still-transforming campus is a refreshing way to take in murals. You can pause, look up, and appreciate the work without threat of Panther Coffee patrons and cars running you over, for one thing.
The sheer size of the walls makes it a special viewing experience, but the community effort behind this endeavor sets it apart from the Art Basel overload going on this week.
Tuesday's program from 6 to 9 p.m. includes the unveiling of the newly painted walls, a reception at the Bakehouse Art Complex, and a live performance by Psychic Mirrors, plus an art auction benefiting the school.
The entire school building will be lit and open to the public for viewing. Try not to resent the fact that you didn't get to go to this place as a kid (we failed).
The future of Wynwood's art scene is a constantly debated subject, especially at this time of year. Whatever the changes ahead, the artistic future at Jose de Diego is certainly looking brighter.