We Built This City

Another project by Behar, this one in collaboration with artist Rosario Marquardt, points to the exhibition's potential. Their red M, an Art in Public Places project for the Riverwalk Metromover station, constitutes one of the few pieces in the show displayed in an integral way, including a pastel drawing of what it will look like on-site, a finished scale model, and a sketchbook study; additionally, the accompanying label provides an explanation of the project's concept and physical details.

To witness the sheer amount of innovative architecture and public art that now exists -- or might exist -- in Miami is exciting, and residents should feel a sort of cultural pride in the fact that there are enough important projects represented at the COCA to fill several exhibitions. This particular one would have worked better if Dunlop had not tried to cover so much ground. In the end, "Art + Architecture" amounts to little more than a gallery graze, an unguided tour of the urban landscape.

Art news you can use:
* Oscar Thomas painted the commanding Overtown mural on the wall of the Lyric Theater, recently unveiled in honor of Black History Month. The mural features realistic portraits of prominent community members A Black Archives founder Dorothy Fields; D.A. Dorsey, Miami's first black millionaire A as well as Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, Jr., Billie Holiday, and a scene showing black settlers working on the railroad.

* The historic wall and ceiling murals inside the Miami Beach post office on Washington Avenue are being restored by Rustin Levenson Painting Conversation Studio, a New York-based firm. The paintings, created by Charles Hardman in 1940, depict historical scenes of South Florida, topped by a celestial dome inside the cupola.

* New World School of the Arts professors Susan Banks and Jack Lembeck have created Landmind, a laboratory for student-initiated environmental public art projects in downtown Miami. Their first project was a mural, designed by student Miguel Luciano, on an abandoned building on NE Third Avenue; an Earth Day mural and an environmental project at Bayside are scheduled for the future. For information about sponsoring or participating in Landmind's activities, call Banks or Lembeck at 237-3593.

* Pat Ross Marx, Art in Public Places' Education and Community Outreach Director, gives tours of the program's Metromover projects to school and community groups. She can be reached at 375-5362.

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