The cycle of gentrification is hard to break: A not-so-hip neighborhood with cheap rent attracts artists. Their galleries increase both the hipness of the neighborhood and demand for its real estate. Before long, the rent is not so cheap anymore, and artists move on to another undiscovered neighborhood. But Locust Projects has not merely survived the development of its surroundings — it's also thriving. One of a dwindling number of Design District galleries, Locust boasts a uniquely experimental process that brings in exciting talent to create one-of-a kind shows in its ever-evolving space. In the past year, the gallery has commissioned and presented work by artists such as Philadelphia's Jennifer Levonian and Eva Wylie and Chicago's Bethany Collins. The gallery has highlighted local talent as well, like the Miami-born Cristine Brache. And though its surroundings have grown fancy and staid, Locust has maintained its alternative, independent spirit. To celebrate its 20th birthday last September, the space staged the exhibit "20/20: Twenty Artists/Twenty Hours," which was exactly what it sounds like: a marathon art show in which 20 artists or collectives presented newly commissioned works, one per hour. As the geographic center of Miami's arts scene continues to shift, Locust's lasting reign over the corner of NW 39th Street and North Miami Avenue is a welcome constant. The gallery's hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Readers' choice: Avant Gallery