Stepping away from the sun and surf along Miami’s famous beaches may be difficult, but you can’t visit this city without exploring the thriving art scene that attracts visitors from around the world. Major events like the annual Art Basel Miami Beach are an obvious highlight, but the city’s non-traditional art scene is also turning heads as it flourishes in many of Miami’s distinct neighborhoods.
The once industrial neighborhood of Wynwood has become the center of Miami’s indie art scene, with warehouses converted into galleries and an artsy, creative vibe that permeates the entire district. That spirit is most evident in the splashy murals known as Wynwood Walls, an ongoing art project featuring some of the top urban artists from around the globe, including famed graffiti muralists Lady Aiko, Kenny Scharf, and Shepard Fairey.
Since launching in 2009, more than 80,000 square feet of outdoor wall space has served as the canvas for 50-plus guest artists, with new murals added each year. View the walls anytime or during ArtWalk on the second Saturday night of each month, when the district’s many art galleries and studios open their doors for the public to check out new works.
The Little Haiti neighborhood has long been a vibrant commercial and social center for Miami’s sizable Haitian community. It’s also the latest art destination in the city, with a host of new galleries and art studios, and a refocused energy and appreciation for the street art that’s a signature of the district. The recent Little Haiti Mural Project showcases the works of local artists, including Lordgyn Gino Belizaire and Nate Dee, in wall murals spread across the facades of 20 buildings.
Besides the colorful Caribbean Marketplace, a cultural anchor of the community for years, Yo Space and Moksha Family Arts Collective hold regular events. The offerings include art exhibits, live painting, music, and multi-media shows.
The aroma of Cuban coffee and the clatter of dominoes are a part of life in Miami’s Little Havana, but the many fabulous painted and mosaic tile murals depicting Cuban icons such as Celia Cruz and Jose Marti are equally impressive. Visit on the last Friday of each month for Cultural Fridays (or Viernes Culturales), when the main thoroughfare of SW 8th Street (Calle Ocho) is blocked off, and the neighborhood’s 20 art galleries open their doors to the public. Music and dance performances are part of the community event.
You can get a little bit of everything at the Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center, which features local art, live music, and a rum bar. It also houses one of the largest privately-owned Cuban art collections in the world.
To learn more about other cultural treasures around the country, look for travel ideas on our Facebook page.