Wynwood is an area in Miami that has seen a marked development since the beginning of the 21st Century as a center for the visual and culinary arts. With the fairly recent residential development in the area, Wynwood is well on it’s way to become a major venue in the Southeastern United States for art, fashion and food.
One of the groundbreakers of the art and fashion scene in Wynwood is the Rubell Family Collection (RFC). Started in an abandoned Drug Enforcement Agency evidence collection facility in 1993, this 40,000 square foot space is one of the largest privately owned modern art collections that is publicly accessible. In 2018, RFC will be moving to a 2.5 acre campus with a lecture hall, tropical sculpture garden, a restaurant and 100,000 square feet of exhibition space.
The Rubells are an interesting family and are pioneers of the Miami art scene. Don and Mera Rubell, a physician and teacher, respectively, have been collectors of art since the mid-1960’s in New York City. In the 1980’s the Rubells began acquiring many artworks of a then unknown artist, Keith Harring. Partially through their relationship with Harring, the couple has branched out to become one of the more influential art collectors in the world.
Don’s brother Steve was a co-founder of the infamous late 1970’s disco, Studio 54. After Steve Rubell and his business partner Ian Schrager were jailed for tax evasion, they poured their energy and resources into hotels. Following Steve’s death in 1989, Schrager continued to develop very high profile hotels both in Miami and worldwide, some of them in partnership with the Rubell family which has also aided their acquisition of art.
The Rubells have also been instrumental in the development of Art Basel in Miami. Art Basel is an international art fair held and started in Geneva, Switzerland in 1970 expanding to Miami, Florida in 2002 and Hong Kong in 2013.
There were two separate exhibitions that day, New Shamans, a compilation of contemporary Brazilian artists, and High Anxiety, a collection of social and political concerns expressed through art. There were also some interesting exhibits in their permanent collection including Cady Noland’s This Piece has no Title. This was an art installation of hundreds of Budweiser beer cans in an industrial setting which was a commentary on cultural excess.
We ventured across the street to The Wynwood Yard (WY). WY is about a half-square block outdoor area that has been open since the Fall of 2015. WY hosts a number of food startups, and promotes cultural, musical and ancillary fitness events.
Food trucks are a part of the culinary scene at WY, and included a number of interesting purveyors. House of Mac featured 13 different mac ‘n’ cheese offerings, Kuenko, a collection of Spanish and Japanese fusion rice bowls, Brazilian Fire, serving grilled kebabs and other Brazilian fare and Mr. Bing, an imported Taiwanese hybrid of ice cream and shaved ice with a variety of toppings.
My dining companion and I, not wanting to spoil out appetite for later, finished with just a couple of items from The Lone Wolf Truck. They specialize in Mexican and Asian-Mexican fusion cuisine. We sampled the chicken tacos which were very good. Even better were the enfrijoladas, which were served with a base of corn tortillas, black bean sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese, chicken and pico de gallo. A bargain at $4 and $10.00, respectively.
95 NW 29 St.
Miami, FL 33127
Admission $10.00, Students and seniors $5.00
56-82 NW 29 St.
Miami, FL 33127
General Hours and Vendor Hours; The Wynwood Yard