Stiletto-wearing ladies and dapper gents mingle through the streets to the sound of DJs and steel-drum melodies – sort of feels like South Beach, but where’s the beach? Welcome to the Miami Design District, a different type of party locale that hosts the Art+Design Night every second Saturday of the month; the next one takes place on June 9. This up-and-coming neighborhood buzzing with high-end stores like Christian Louboutin and soon-to-open Cartier, transforms into an 18-square-block art arena that entertains locals and tourists as they hobnob among 15 galleries where the artwork shines and the wine flows freely. Keep reading for the perfect plan of attack to this free, fashionable event in downtown Miami that draws up to 1,000 people each month.Make sure to peruse the private collection of the de la Cruz family . The three-floor space features work from more than 70 artists, including Ana Mendieta, a renowned Cuban artist lauded for embracing the power of the feminine body. While you’re there, stop by the Project Room to see Brookhart Jonquil’s “Inverted Night,” a retrospective painting that uses mirrors to play with the light and create a unique interpretation of the night sky. At Markowitz Fine Art you can compare the quintessential Andy Warhol Campbell’s soup silkscreen to the modern-day soda can interpretations of Claude Charlier. For some added flair, check out Primary Projects , founded by two graffiti artists, which will be exhibiting work from almost 50 emerging artists.
Even if your pockets aren’t deep enough to purchase museum-worthy art, you can still go home with SoBe-worthy designs from newcomer The District Factory (located on 3900 NE 1st Ave.), an artist showcase and hip party that launched in April and plays homage to Warhol’s New York City studio, The Factory. From jewelry to duds, the space is packed with goodies made by local artisans. We’re especially enamored with vibrant tribal-inspired accessories by Lisu Vega and cheeky tanks from Heartbreak.
With all this action, you’ll be hungry and fortunately, there’s plenty to choose from in the neighborhood. For a quick bite, nosh on the $6 Gangsta Banh Mi with pickled veggies and cracklins from the ever popular pop-up Phuc Yea! (pronounced fook – yey’), which you’ll only find at Art+Design Night. Wash down your Vietnamese treats with a tumbler of House of Monkeys mango punch or a cucumber-sake cooler. Want to rest your feet (and people watch)? Then kick back at The Federal or Michael’s Genuine – both offer outdoor seating. Come August, newcomer MC Kitchen will be dishing out house-made meats and cheeses for a perfect post-gallery hopping night cap.