The Miami neighborhood known as the Bird Road Art District is suddenly popular again; an industrial area near Tropical Park, just minutes from upscale Coral Gables and trendy South Miami. The Bird Road Art District or (BRAD) as coined by the organizers of the Bird Road Art Walk is dotted with warehouses that are ideal for artist studios, performance spaces and other creative endeavors. Since the beginning of the Bird Road Art Walk in 2010, many in Miami’s art community have taken notice of this growing movement and have settled in the Bird Road Art District where they have found the magical combination of affordable rent, big work spaces and a definite artistic vibe.
Now, on any given weekend, it’s possible to attend an art happening, enjoy spoken word and music at SpeakFridays, or late night ceramics at Anhinga Clay Studios. Workshops and art classes are offered throughout the week, year round at the venerable Miami Art Club and Romero-Hidalgo Artists’ Studios.
The confluence of happenings has drawn the attention of Frommer’s Travel Guide, local museums and corporate firms, some of which have arranged for private tours of the artists’ studios. “It seems that people really enjoy visiting the studios, meeting the artists and seeing where the art is actually created says MANO (MANO Fine Art Project Space), an artist and founding member of the monthly Bird Road Art Walk.
“While there isn’t a unifying esthetic, there is a general culture that is relaxed and feels more intimate and sincere” says Cuqui Beguiristain (MANO Fine Art Project Space) member of the steering committee, “the Bird Road Art Walk continues to be organized and funded by the participating artist; so it is important that we can rely on each other” to that end artists meet in alternating spaces to network, compare notes and strategize.
“Most of the exhibiting spaces are artists-owned and serve as gathering places for local artists” adds Robert Fernandez, member of the steering committee “as one of the few non-artist in the group I think that in addition to the opportunities that this provides for visiting artists to be part of the Bird Road Art Walk, it also adds to the overall feel and direction of the district.
On the third Saturday of every month artists open their doors for the Bird Road Art Walk. Visitors have the opportunity to meet artists working in diverse genres such as mixed media artists Jane Harris and photographer and twenty five year resident of the area, Sandy Levy.
Venues such as: Arte Venezolano en Miami, HARRISART, MANO Fine Art Project Space, Miguel Rodez Art Projects and White’s Art Gallery always host exciting new exhibits. To cap the art walk the Cuban Soul Foundation invites everyone to end the evening with a live concert at La Madrugera de Miami. To celebrate the art walks 4th anniversary SpeakFridays, Miami’s Most Diverse Open Mic will kick off a new music platform that will on Sat October 18th (& every 3rd Saturday) to coincide with the art walk.
The Bird Road Art Walk has also inspired the sprouting of murals throughout the district primarily along SW 75 Ave & SW 74 Ave. Mix Media artist, Nestor Arenas (Nestor Arenas ART Studio) heads up the effort, coordinating with area businesses and landlords to bring in local muralist and graffiti artists such as Abdon Romero, Chris Riggs and Cle Ver among others and the popular all girl mural “Wall 2 Wall Women” along SW 74 Ave that was coordinated by guest artist, Diana Contreras and .
As the Bird Road Art Walk celebrates its 4th anniversary, on October 18th the artists revel in how this cultural event has grown and vow to remain steadfast in their focus on ART.