The Charest-Weinberg Gallery

By Manuela Gabaldon

South Florida could be described as a region of our country that is in continuous growth and rebirth. Communities throughout South Florida cities seem to pop-up all around us always giving a new and hip place for us to visit or even call home. Some years ago, Key West was considered one of these top destinations for tourist and Florida residents alike. Unfortunately, this rebirth we so love is sometimes the effect of a natural disaster all too familiar to Floridians, the hurricane. The Charest-Weinberg Gallery of Key West fell victim to the effects of hurricane Katrina a few years ago, not so much structurally but as a result of the decline in tourism in the Keys. Owner Eric Charest-Weinberg decided to part with his beloved Key West, a location he speaks of fondly, and move to Miami’s growing art community, our very own Wynwood Art District.

The new Charest-Weinberg Gallery is exactly the type of gallery Wynwood locals and frequent visitors have come to love over the past couple of years. This is a gallery whose mission is not just to sell but to function as a cultural meeting point for art enthusiasts and the casual Gallery Walk pedestrian as well. Currently exhibiting the sculptures of Larry Estridge through April 4th, this new space located at the 250 building of NW 23rd street, is part of a number of gallery-lofts that represent groups of contemporary artists. Weinberg speaks enthusiastically of his participation in the Wynwood Art District and believes in a gallery’s ability to contribute, influence, and help shape the community in which it symbiotically grows. Exhibiting the work of reputable artists like Estridge is as important to Weinberg as showing the work of local up-and-coming artists. He believes that representing these new faces is an essential part to the formation, progress, and evolution of the Wynwood Art District.

Weinberg’s next exciting project is giving the students of the Miami Design District’s Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH) an opportunity to display their work in his space. The best artwork produced by DASH juniors and seniors will form a part of an exhibition at the gallery on March 14th, 2009 during the Wynwood Gallery Walk as a special event.

Weinberg, who began working at galleries at the young age of sixteen and who opened his very own space at the age of eighteen is proud to be working for his passion. “What’s the point?” He says of working hard for something that you don’t believe in or don’t support whole heartedly. He is excited to have brought his space to Wynwood and looks forward to gallery walks and hosting several events to stimulate the art community and keep the Wynwood Art District alive at a time where many galleries have not been able to stay afloat. It is up to the galleries that have been able to keep their doors open and their walls full to maintain an active exchange between artist, art lover, and gallerist.

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