By: Shayne Benowitz
Immerse yourself in Miami’s art gallery scene.
One of the things that makes Miami such a dynamic destination for art and culture is its thriving and ever-changing gallery scene. Wynwood is the epicenter with more than 70 galleries in the mural-splashed neighborhood. However, other up-and-coming areas, like Little Haiti and Downtown, are attracting both artist studios and galleries. The scene extends to areas like South Beach, Historic Overtown and Little Havana, as well.
With an emphasis on cutting edge contemporary art by both emerging and established, international and local artists, there are always exciting new exhibits opening at Miami galleries. The monthly Second Saturday Art Walk is held throughout Wynwood and the Design District where galleries keep their doors open late and revelers and art aficionados come out for a party.
Here’s your guide to some of Miami’s top art galleries.
Nina Johnson-Milewski, founder and director of Gallery Diet, is one of Miami’s most ardent arbiters of culture. Her gallery in Wynwood represents dynamic Miami-based artists, like Bakti Baxter and Emmett Moore, as well as international talent, like Fabien Lasserre. She’s also the creator and publisher of the literary magazine Miami Rail (a counterpart to New York’s Brooklyn Rail) and is highly engaged in education, outreach and institutional partnerships through her gallery. While representing a wide spectrum of mediums, Gallery Diet has a focus on design and sculptural work.
Robert Fontaine Gallery
With works ranging from the masters of Pop Art to today’s most provocative urban interventionist artists, Robert Fontaine is drawn to completely original artists who have no reference point to the past. From London’s Nick Gentry who constructs portrait paintings from old floppy discs and x-ray negatives to New Zealand’s Henrietta Harris who paints near-photoreal portraits with surreal flourishes in watercolor, Fontaine has a sharp curatorial eye.
Fredric Snitzer Gallery
One of Miami’s longest standing galleries belongs to Fredric Snitzer who opened the Fredric Snitzer Gallery in the 1970s. Today, it’s one of only two Miami galleries who have shown at Art Basel Miami Beach and Snitzer sits on the selection committee. His impressive roster of artists includes Hernan Bas, Alice Aycock and Maria Martinez-Canas.
Dina Mitrani Gallery
The Dina Mitrani Gallery has its lens focused exclusively on photography. Dina Mitrani, herself, a 20-year veteran of the art world created the space for art enthusiasts to immerse themselves in emerging and established photographers, from Chuck Ramirez to Roberto Huarcaya. Mitrani has also curated art collections for local hotels, like AC Hotel and Hyatt Centric.
One of the most ambitious and recognizable galleries in Miami is Spinello Projects, founded by Anthony Spinello in 2005. With superstar artists like Agustina Woodgate on his roster, he’s the only other Miami gallery to join Fredric Snitzer in the hallowed halls of Art Basel Miami Beach. Spinello Projects encompasses a design house and a platform for “nomadic site-specific and curatorial special projects."
Art Center South Florida
A mainstay on Lincoln Road since 1984, Art Center South Florida is a cultural center and studio space hosting roughly 20 artists in residence. With open studio hours seven days a week, visitors can tour current exhibits and working studios for a glimpse into the life of an artist.
In a similar vein to Art Center South Florida, the Futurama Building in Little Havana is another artist studio exhibition space. With 12 artist studios, their mission is to advance the knowledge and practice of contemporary visual arts and culture in Little Havana. Located on Calle Ocho, a popular time to visit Futurama is during the neighborhood’s Viernes Culturales festivities on the last Friday of the month.
On the cutting edge of Miami’s art scene, Primary Projects was founded by artists BooksIII Bischof and Typoe, as well as Cristina Gonzalez. The multidisciplinary organization thinks beyond the scope of the gallery walls when it comes to conceiving art and providing exhibition space. With artists like Magnus Sodamin and Kenton Parker showing strong during the prime Art Basel season, they’re always a gallery to watch.
Founded in 2002, Alfa Gallery has been recognized as one of the pioneer art galleries that were established in Wynwood and Miami Design District. Later on, the gallery relocated to North Miami, next to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), becoming an integral part of the emerging Miami art scene. Currently, Alfa Gallery is launching a new loft style space at Little River and Brickell, bringing a new vision and art gallery concept. Their team also curates art collections for hospitality and retail customers, luxury condo developments and corporate customers worldwide.
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