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Jessica Goldman Srebnick: A Custodian of Art

Painting the town with a Miami art icon and the curator of Wynwood Walls.

A 48-foot subway car recently made a thousand-mile journey down from West Virginia. Its final destination? Wynwood Walls where will be layered with colorful murals by renowned artists inside and out. Why, you ask? Well, with Wynwood Walls curator Jessica Goldman Srebnick at its helm, the question these days is really, “why not?” The New York City native moved to Miami in 1997 and what a colorful journey it’s been since. Her career has led her to be the co-chair of Goldman Properties and CEO and founder of Goldman Global Arts. And, yes, she’s also the badass wife and mom of three boys who brought Miami’s favorite street art museum to life in 2009 and is keeping it oh-so-fresh today.

That subway car made its thunderous debut during Miami Art Week in December. It was a private party affair with a performance by mega-DJ Fatboy Slim, with notable tastemakers and featured artists in attendance like Greg Mike, Shok1 and Mojo. The artistic theme for Wynwood Walls ’24 was “Power of Purpose.” And, in a recent chat with SFBW, it’s clear Goldman Srebnick has found an incredible purpose for herself in the Miami art realm.

“I believe we all should be ambassadors for the cities where we live and the cities that we love,” she says. “And for me, that’s Miami. I’ve loved this city since I was a teenager and I believe in this city. As far as the arts are concerned, I think Art Basel was incredibly catalytic in bringing the attention of the arts world here, and every year we just continue to grow.”

Goldman Srebnick is the daughter of the late developer and restaurateur Tony Goldman. Under the Goldman Properties name, he is widely credited for redeveloping South Beach and helping preserve its art deco icons starting in the mid-1980s. In the mid-2000s, he began purchasing and redeveloping property in Wynwood. Eventually, Goldman Srebnick joined the family business and was charged with opening a hotel at Collins Avenue and Eighth Street.

“My dad put me on that project, and it’s now called The Tony Hotel, named after my father,” she says. “I moved here to oversee that. I knew one person who lived here, just one friend, and I really started to make a life for myself here. And then, I met my husband and that solidified that this was where I wanted to be and the life that I wanted to live.”

Father portrait

As for her “aha” moment in which art became her passion, she credits her parents who admired and collected art themselves. She says artists were always around her New York City home growing up, be it painters, musicians, chefs or actors. “We were always surrounded by creative people because we just love the way they think. … It’s always so entrepreneurial and out of the box.”

Goldman Srebnick worked with her father for 15 years before his passing in 2012. Thereafter, she took over many of the day-to-day leadership responsibilities, including the curation of Wynwood Walls.

“I have to tell you, it really is a crowning jewel for us,” she says. “Not just to the neighborhood, but to our organization and to me personally. The beauty of what we’re doing here at Wynwood Walls is when we invite artists to come paint, they are bringing their gifts and their talents and their magic to the walls of our city. And then, they leave that here for us to enjoy. It’s not putting it in a tent and then packing it up and going home, really, it’s here to stay. And then, as you see the neighborhood of Wynwood continue to evolve, it’s going from a horizontal neighborhood to a vertical neighborhood, with art climbing the walls of eight-story buildings. And I mean, that’s just spectacular and beautiful.”

Beyond Wynwood Walls, Goldman Srebnick sparks art and activism in unexpected places. Fun fact: Her first project under the Goldman Global Arts umbrella was at Hard Rock Stadium, which in 2016 brought poppin’ murals from the London Police and Jen Stark to its walls.

She says her newest project involves curating the art and design of an entire cruise ship. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Aqua ship – with an ancient goddess artistic flair from artist Allison Hueman and a theme of “Where the Sky Meets the Sea” – will debut in 2025. Also, the Wynwood Walls Foundation is bringing art opportunities to local nonprofits, including art therapy at Lotus House Women’s Shelter and art programming to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“I’ve become so comfortable in what we do, and I feel like we have the ability to really fly,” she says. “I’ve taken my passion and turned it into a business. I like to believe that I’m a curator of culture by this point. … It’s all about improving the quality of life for other people. The world is a really tough place and certainly at the moment. If we can bring joy, inclusivity and beauty, that’s what I love to do and count me in.”

Photo credits: Nick Garcia

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