In 2009, the late Tony Goldman, renowned community-revitalizer and place-maker, conceived of the Wynwood Walls. He was looking for something big to transform the warehouse district of Wynwood in Miami, and he arrived at a simple idea:“Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.”
Starting with the 25th–26th Street complex consisting of six separate buildings, Tony’s goal was to develop the area’s pedestrian potential by creating a center to which people could gravitate towards and explore. The Wynwood Walls became a major art statement with his commitment to graffiti and street art, a genre that he believed was under appreciated and not respected historically. Since its inception, the Wynwood Walls program has seen over 50 artists representing 16 countries and has covered over 80,000 square feet of walls. As a result the area, which was once a sketchy ghetto, is now home to an array or art galleries, shops, restaurants and bars, putting Wynwood on the list of America’s hippest neighborhoods.
Wynwood Walls is located at 220 NW 26th St., Miami. For more information visit www.thewynwoodwalls.com.
I was staying with my husband at the Miami Beach EDITION for a conference, and as part of the event, they set up a tour of the Wynwood Walls for us, led by Peter Tunney, and his (very nice) Gallery Manager Ashley Turchin. We had a choice of several activities and I’m really glad I chose this one because it was the coolest thing I did all week – and probably the coolest thing I have ever done in Miami.
On the bus ride to Wynwood, which is about 20 minutes from South Beach, Peter entertained us with crazy stories of his life as a famous artist, his friendship with visionary Tony Goldman, and how the project came to be. Peter Tunney is a renowned artist who has a 5,000-square-foot space located in Graffiti Park at the Walls. Upon arrival at his kick-ass gallery, we were offered fresh pressed juice, cigars, and more wild stories.
After we explored Peter’s studio and all his amazing art, he informed us that it was time for “the tour.” He then led us out back to where the “lady bugs cars,” brought up from Burning Man, are kept. We each picked a bug, got the tunes blasting, and set out to explore the amazing art walls. If I had to describe this experience in one sentence I’d say, “Alice it’s like no Wonderland you’ve seen.” It’s a magical, artsy world that is edgy, real and full of passion. Tony Goldman dreamed this place up and worked hard to see it come to fruition, and now artists like Peter Tunney keep the spirit of it alive and flourishing.
If you are interested in making an appointment to visit Peter’s studio, contact [email protected] You may even get a lady buggy ride, (though not guaranteed). The Peter Tunney Experience, 220 NW 26th Street (Inside the Wynwood Walls), Miami, FL 33127