Miami’s got it all: glitz and glamour, food and drink options galore, and an abundant number of outdoor activities. But what about arts and culture? There's plenty of that, too. In addition to museums like the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, the city offers up a host of art galleries. Read below for some more favorites; big or small, they have what it takes to keep us entertained and in awe of the unique art landscape that exists in the Magic City.
Known as “the Ellis Island of the South,” Miami’s Freedom Tower offered refuge to Cubans seeking political asylum from the Castro regime in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Today, the Freedom Tower stands tall in Downtown Miami, a National Historic Landmark that has since been renovated and repurposed as a premier exhibition space and gallery. The MOAD at Miami Dade College is dedicated to visual art and design, presenting installations like the current Black Power Naps/Siestas Negras, an immersive, multi-sensory installation. The museum has also welcomed exhibits by contemporary Cuban artists as well as artists from all over the world.
If you’ve yet to visit the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Miami’s Design District, now is the time to plan it. Though the museum is usually free for visitors, occasionally popular exhibitions require timed tickets (such as the 21-week run of Yayoi Kusama’s "All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins"). There is a permanent collection as well, plus programs such as dance performances and lectures.
This Wynwood gallery specializes in showcasing artists from all walks of life; it features work by Miami locals and international artists who consider the city their second home, by those who have been in the industry for decades and those who are just starting out.
Lots of the pieces here are graffiti-inspired and pull from pop art influences, but one thing’s for sure: the gallery does a great job of keeping its artists and patrons connected to the local community. You can find the true essence of Miami channeled through the art—colorful, a little wild, and a lot of fun.
With the other flagship location in Los Angeles, the female-founded pop-art gallery opened in Miami's Design District in 2018. It's home to bold art pieces that are also relatable—think neon signs, bright colors, and paintings of Frida Kahlo, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn. Art Angels also has permanent art collections at both the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach and Eden Roc Hotel Miami Beach.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Not so much a gallery (but worth sharing nonetheless), Vizcaya is the former villa and estate of James Deering in Coconut Grove. Now, this National Historic Landmark from 1916 is a joy to visit, whether you stroll through at your own pace or opt for a guided tour in order to learn the true history of the estate and the art within. Exploring all 32 decorated rooms and 10 acres of gardens is certainly worth your while—but there is a café on site should you prefer to sit in the skylight courtyard with a book or a notepad.
Located in the heart of Wynwood, we could argue that this is where Miami’s art scene began. This outdoor art installation includes larger-than-life street murals designed by artists from all over the world. Some are swapped out seasonally, so even if you were here just a few months ago, do check it out because you're bound to see something new. The Walls are free of charge, and are open from 10:30 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 10:30 to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Visit on the second Saturday of every month to experience Wynwood Art Walk, which features music, food vendors, and more.
Located in a cluster of industrial buildings in the up-and-coming Allapattah neighborhood, the Rubell Museum (formerly known as the Rubell Family Collection) features contemporary artwork by both new and established artists like Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and adult tickets are priced at $15 per person. Check the Rubell website for additional ticketing options and discounts.