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Wynwood Arts District

I had the pleasure of being a “snowbird” and escaping the cold to fly south for the winter to Miami, Florida. Originally invited for a family wedding, my husband and I used the time away from home as an excuse to explore the lesser known places in the 305. Everyone knows about the beaches, but what about the art?

Wynwood Art District, Street art and Graffiti in Miami

Miami is having a contemporary, cultural renaissance! The constantly shifting roster of visual arts organizations in the coastal town provides tons of vacation stimulation. It’s not just the historic, Deco District anymore.  I recommend visiting the Rubell Family Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) at North Miami, de la Cruz CollectionPAMM | Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Lowe Art Museum.

Wynwood Art District, Street art and Graffiti in Miami

My favorite neighborhood and cultural space is The Wynwood Art District. This warehouse laden landscape is home to over 70 galleries, museums and collections. Originally part of a textile manufacturing region, the area is flurried with abandoned factories and lofts turned exhibition spaces. The paved streets are still packed with garbage bins, discarded signs, and broken windows but that only adds to the character. In this way, the neighborhood reminds me of SoHo’s gentrification cycle.

Wynwood Art District, Street art and Graffiti in Miami

The outdoor, expansive murals are vivid, vibrant and awe-inspiring. This is where graffiti masterpieces go on display. Conceived in 2009, a special area known as Wynwood Walls has brought the world’s greatest artists working in the graffiti and street art genre to Miami. While I was visiting, I was lucky enough to see some artists in action. It’s not rare to see walls fenced off so that a new mural can pop up over the course of a few days!

Wynwood Art District, Street art and Graffiti in Miami

A lot of the art is inside buildings, and hidden just beyond unmarked doors, but most of it can be seen from the car, or by walking through the district – smack-dab on the wall themselves. For example, I discovered these hidden sewer Ninja Turtles just by looking downward! Sometimes the art is even on rooftops. It’s like a giant I Spy. You can treat yourself to the works of Kashink, Chor Boogie, Trek6, Os Gemeos, How & Nosm, FAILE, Invader, Liqen, Nunca, Shepard Fairey, and Miss Van.

Wynwood Art District, Street art and Graffiti in Miami

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Pistachio (or, Crack that Nut)

When I worked at Friendly’s Olde Ice Cream Shoppe as a teenager the store had two specials for retired individuals or members of the AARP. In the mornings, they could get breakfast for nary $2.99 including unlimited coffee, two eggs, and a side. In the evenings before 6:00 pm, as part of the Early Bird Special, the customers could choose from a list of entrees that came with a one scoop sundae. Invariably, the customers ALWAYS ordered pistachio ice cream. Once a person turns a certain age, clearly, this flavor will definitely become ones favorite. I must have served over 2,000 scoops of this green treat.

Image Via Oh Joy! And what a joy it is!

Image via Cook Your Dream.

Image via The Girl Who Ate Everything. Why not use this cranberry-pistachio cookie to inspire your next room palette?

For the longest time this bold yet subdued green reminded me of granny squares and a retirement home in Miami – YET – it’s official, it’s cool again, it’s actually even, dare I say, YOUNG!

According to the article, The History and Agriculture of the Pistachio Nut, “Archaeologists have found evidence from excavations at Jarmo in northeastern Iraq that pistachio nuts were a common food as early as 6750 BCE.

It is even rumored that the pistachio nuts were creeping down the walls of the great wonder, The Hanging Garden of Babylon.

Jason Oliver Nixon & John Loecke via Domino Magazine (RIP), October 2008.

The Pistachio Tree meets the Mint Herb in this fifties, retro inspired kitchen (Here).

I know this monochromatic wonder is a LOT, but I feel as though I am sitting in a field of verdant grasses! Via Bright Bazaar and the U.K. based Ideal Home magazine.

Jonathan Adler always hits the nail on the head with modern design mixed with traditional and antique finds. Hello white lacquer table.

Wallpaper via Fern Living, image by Betsy Maddox.

Domino Magazine strikes again!

Image via Live Like You.

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SAMO©

Did you know that the word “graffiti” is actually the plural for the term? If one is talking about a singular piece, it is referred to as graffito. This makes sense when I think about the famous contemporary artist Speedy Graphito. Graffiti has been around since the Greco-Roman days. I was once on a dig in Israel when the conservator pointed out an area in a cave wherein a young Greek whippersnapper painted his name in “modern greek letters” across the wall of a family’s living room. Vandalism has been around for a long time. Graffiti and graffito are from the Italian word graffiato (“scratched”).  The greek letters I saw in the cave in Israel were indeed chiseled or scratched.

Graffiti by Miss Van and Ciou in Barcelona, Spain

After hours of searching, I still cannot find this artist (but maybe that’s the point). Notice the panda’s hat is tagged in a tribute to famous graffiti artist/collective Space Invader.

This piece is entitled ‘Riot… My Way’ by D*Face, a London based artist – I love the pun in the name.

Jean Michel Basquiat‘s tag as a teenager, created with friends Al Diaz and Shannon Dawson. Standing for “Same Old Shit” appeared in New York City from 1977 to early 1980.

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