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Creative Outlets, Creative Spaces at Miami Ironside

By Courtney Clark

Miami's West Belle Meade is fortunate to have Ironside, a business district that has been contributing to the community for several years. With 65 spaces, Ironside is a melting pot of working spaces for architects, designers, and more.

Ofer Mizrahi is the visionary behind Miami Ironside. Established in 2008, the district is modeled after Brera Design District Milano, a brand located in Italy that aims to promote design culture. According to Ironside's website, its mission is similar: to seek out artists and designers that align with the vision and passion with which the district was created.

Ironside provides a public platform for artist creativity. Beyond the four art galleries in the district, there is an "ongoing effort to promote?international talents." One such example is the Berlin Wall Installation, an exhibit that was created in 2013 by French street artist Thierry Noir. The brightly-colored paintings are surrounded by lush greenery in a bold representation of Ironside's creative community. Another international artist, Parisian poet Fred le Chevalier, was recently profiled at the Art Lexing. According to Ironside, his poetic illustrations "have ushered in an iconic wave of Neo-Street Art."

Yet the district also showcases local artists, such as Gabriel Gimenez, better known as GG. GG, "one of the youngest self-made artists residing in Miami," has shown his work at national and international fairs, all the while maintaining inspiration from his personal life and events that affect his environment.

The district as a whole calls itself an "urban oasis" with bamboo gardens and rainbow eucalyptus and palm trees, foliage that is rooted in sustainable design and infrastructure. On the outside, the greenery effortlessly blends with rustic wood, modern steel, and glass storefronts. Inside, the spaces house more than just the normal art galleries. The showrooms are also used by boutique retailers, creative services, and cafes. Shoppers can visit Vibe Consignment, Imperio JP, and THE FIND, before refueling at the Limited Edition Caffe or F27 Nitrogen Ice Cream.

Aside from the showrooms available, Ironside also engages the Upper East Side community with year-round activities. Two famous events are Campus Collective nights and the monthly CounterCultural Club Night. Campus Collective keeps the district open late with music, live art, and surprises. According to Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Williams, the CounterCultural entertainment celebrates "themes of cultural, cross-cultural and geographic exchanges, arts, design, performance and cinema."

Additionally, Ironside has recently garnered community partnerships. In 2015 the district established partnerships with FIU CARTA, MOCA North Miami, MAISON&OBJET Americas, and more. MAISON&OBJET Americas is currently in the midst of planning surprise activities for Ironside, to be revealed in May of 2016.

Ironside continues to draw attention from the MiMo Biscayne Corridor area. With showrooms to intrigue multiple artistic personality types, the district is hugely successful- and only continues to grow.

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