MIAMI (CBS4) – While Second Saturday Art Nights in Wynwood are drawing huge crowds, it’s also drawing a huge outcry from some art shop owners who say it’s becoming more about partying and people watching than generating art sales.
“I come more for the party,” reveler Lindsey Perdeck told CBS4’s Brian Andrews.
A recent meeting of Wynwood Arts supporters at Books and Brooks in Coral Gables put new focus on the obvious problems.
“What we are seeing are the growing pains and the success of growing pains,” said supporter Sean McCormick.
Art Shop Owner Alette Simmons said she’s seeing more teenagers walking around than people seriously interested in buying art.
“You cannot keep your place open until midnight running electricity and you’re really just holding a party for the neighborhood at no pay,” she said.
Wynwood art shop owners say rents are going up, there are constant problems with traffic and parking, and there are new issues with vandalism and security problems.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” said street artist Alexis Rias. “You get people here partying and you also get people who wouldn’t be exposed to this regularly.”
Rochi Llanez runs a Wynwood Gallery. She said things aren’t as bad as some are making it out to be.
“These are growing pains and I think it’s fabulous,” said Llanez. “It’s not just collectors we want in our gallery, we want everybody.”
Gallery Owner Michael Perez said he doesn’t care if the art walk is attracting teenagers.
“I think that they’re all going to grow up one day and become big art collectors.Within the mix there are very big art collectors, and they buy. We sell small things, inexpensive things, but it all adds up in this economy.”