Does Atlanta’s Living Walls project offer an organic alternative to the developer-led transformation of Wynwood? — photo by Camila Álvarez
Camila Álvarez is a Colombian artist and a student at FIU who is working on a thesis about the social construction of place. Her research brought her to Atlanta to learn about a street-art initiative called Living Walls.
I’ve walked countless times along N.W. Second Ave, through the heart of Wynwood as most of Miami knows it, to delight in its colorful walls, its gourmet coffee, and its hipster watering holes. And something always seems off. There’s a synthetic feel that always leads me to look one block east, one block west, and remember that, for all its delights, Wynwood is just another poor Miami neighborhood, and that its rebirth as an Art District didn’t happen, as most Miamians seem to believe, spontaneously.
As many in Miami have heard by now, visionary developer and passionate preservationist Tony Goldman died on Tuesday of heart failure at the age of 68. “His company, Goldman Properties, transformed Miami Beach from a moth-eaten retirement enclave and narcotics war zone into a celebrity playground, and Wynwood from a gritty warehouse district and homeless encampment into a vibrant arts center where monthly gallery walks draw thousands,” according to the Miami Herald.