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Art Week begins with Wynwood Preview

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While Art Basel Miami Beach and just about everyone else was still busy tucking in loose ends, the Wynwood Arts District launched the 2013 Art Week in Miami with a leisurely preview party for a few thousand close friends on Monday evening, December 2.

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Some of the muralists whose work adorns building walls throughout Wynwood still were putting the finishing touches on their creations. Lars Pedersen from Copenhagen, Denmark, said he comes to Wynwood every year. “It’s an international convention for muralists from all over the world,” he explained. “We get together, talk about our work, and learn from each other about the latest styles and techniques.”

Most of the galleries were open, attracting strollers along NW 2nd Avenue (Wynwood’s main thoroughfare) and the adjacent side streets. Also active was NW 3rd Avenue, where art galleries are beginning to move into the garment district that extends east from NW 5th Avenue.

Dr. Milagros Bello recently relocated her Curator’s Voice Art Projects gallery to a 32,000-square-foot building surrounded by shoe warehouses at 299 NW 25th St. Her Art Week show, Digressions and Detours, features works by 22 contemporary artists. Notable among them is Pepe Calderín, whose Urban Series, 2013, employs computer elements stacked to resemble high-rise buildings. Arranged in series, they evoke mental images of the skyline of New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai – or downtown Miami.

“Pepe Calderín recreates commanding skyscrapers of imaginary cities,” she explained. “The buildings are constructed with collected computer discarded fragments as old potent icons of modernity in the decline of power and technology.”

Inside the Zebra

Another focal point of the preview was The Wynwood Building, at 2750 NW 3rd Ave., a zebra-striped 44,000-square-foot office building that houses galleries and other creative businesses. Monday evening, a band played and cocktails were served in the central Common Corridor as visitors roamed and wandered. Among its tenants:

Blue, an architecture and design firm. Blue displayed a selection of lithographs by Cuban master Wilfredo Lam.

• The showroom and office of Imoderni, LLC, an exclusive manufacturers’ agent and importer for many Italian furniture, textile, and object companies. “We’re not a gallery, not a dealer,” explained Neil Somerfield, founder and managing member. “People can order through the dealers we work with, or in some cases through us directly.”

University of Miami Wynwood Art Gallery, www.miami.edu/art recently relocated from a cramped storefront on NW 2nd Avenue. Its Art Week exhibition, the 6th Annual Cane Fair, featured artwork by UM’s Master of Fine Arts graduates.

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