This summer, a new arts district located in Hialeah at East 15th Street and 10th Avenue known as The Leah Arts District was unveiled with a social media fueled, fun-filled block party hashtagged #HialeahNow. Local PR entrepreneur Jenny Lee Molina, best known for the Cuban-themed social media campaign (#305cafecito) that introduced the official Miami coffee break time: 3:05 P.M., helped organized the event. On a packed afternoon in May, various popular local street artists like Diana "Didi" Contreras @didirock, Nicole Salgar @nmsalgar, and Trek6 @trek6 painted murals on warehouses as Klangbox played in the background and food truck Burger Beast provided mouth-watering carnivorous conveniences.
The district began when Hialeah councilman Paul Hernandez introduced an ordinance for an Artist Live/Work Overlay District in the city. He was looking to draw more arts to the neighborhood in order to see it progress, similar what transpired in Wynwood. But the progress in Wynwood has brought obstacles as well. Drawbacks seem to arise in popular art hoods. First, there are struggling artists living in the vicinity because it's pretty cheap. They unite to make awesome art inspired by the area, and it becomes hot. Finally, everyone wants to go see the hot art, and it gets expensive to be inspired. In some ways, the traffic of masses cheapen it and make it less enjoyable. But worse, artists relocate because prices are less economical. This is one of the reasons many artists are seeking new territories like the Leah Arts District to explore.
I had the chance to visit the Leah Arts District last weekend. The thrift, antique stores stood out as the most artsy places in the mainly industrial area, good places to find unique, creative home items or collectibles. We finally found the location of the murals in the midst of warehouses through the GPS location for Leah Arts District, 1501 East 10th Avenue. It didn't look like much except for a few masterpieces hidden within the rows of white and gray boxes. I recommend everyone going to check them out in this offbeat part of town. One good thing about Hialeah is that it's close to everything. Now there's a free art show and a chance to get a new view on art — from the outside, in your car under the sunset.
Now, a few more murals have been commissioned by beer conglomerate Becks in Hialeah as well as Little Havana, Little Haiti and Wynwood. #BecksUrbanCanvas, curated by Robert de Los Rios of WynwoodMap.com, will include a slightly proportionate amount of male and female artists, atypical of most Miami exhibits. The murals from Alas, Abstrk, Diana Contreras, Don Rimx, Ernesto Maranje, Hoxxoh, Jessy Nite, Jose Mertz, Magnus Sodamin, Trek 6, Typoe, and Tatiana Suarez will go up from late summer to September. And, keep a lookout for the upcoming parties sponsored by Becks Urban Canvas at Viernes Culturales in Little Havana, Big Night in Little Haiti, Arts and Entertainment District, the Leah Arts District, and Wynwood Art Walk.
For more information visit facebook.com/leahartsdistrict or becksurbancanvas.com