A few months ago, I made a little journey to the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami as part of a tour through a valuable art district in south Florida. Coming from north Florida and Jacksonville, I heard of the Wynwood neighborhood in months prior but seeing something in person often far supersedes reading about or seeing photos of a place.
What I saw with my eyes at Wynwood left a distinct impact on me as a real estate professional. Art tends to do that: some art, at certain times and in certain ways with different people. In northeast Florida we have visual art in various places. We take pride in the beauty of how our downtown bridges light up the night sky over the St. Johns River. But in Wynwood, large displays of colorful creativity abound, some of which span several vertical stories up the sides of buildings.
Without getting into the details behind how the Wynwood neighborhood took form as well as its history, I think that I was so inspired and impressed by the artwork displayed everywhere there that I began to wonder about the possibility of a similar art district coming to north Florida and Jacksonville. What would it look like? How would people in Jacksonville react? Where would the neighborhood take form, would it be downtown or elsewhere like near the beaches?
As a real estate professional, I am impressed not only by urban landscapes but also by natural landscapes such as oceans, waterways, piers, deserts, mountains, canyons, and colored skies. I believe that not all land is made to be built upon, just like every designed building does not need to be the same size, shape, color, etc. Perhaps visual art is needed to be displayed in densely populated parts of a city to remind us that we are all part of humanity and that each person is unique and brings their perspective to the world with distinction. Generalities and finding common ground among such a diverse population is sometimes difficult, but visual art reminds me of such diversity and such talent that few people might notice or see at any point in time. At Wynwood, I began to wonder more about the possibilities for a growing and changing city of the future. I began to understand that human beings need to feel noticed and seen, regardless of their profession or their economic status. I only hope to be inspired by such artists in my daily encounters with others in the real estate industry. The power of art and creativity can sustain communities and can inspire others to recognize talent. There is so much talent out there!