Given its abundance of sunshine, affinity for tropical hues, and persistently
warm hot weather, it's like Miami was made for outdoor art. And in keeping with its growing international reputation in this arena, the city is about to see 15 colorful new additions.
Thanks to the Beck's Urban Canvas project, works of art are going up neighborhoods as diverse as Wynwood, Little Haiti, Little Havana, and Hialeah.
The project is incorporating 12 local artists: 2 Alas, Abstrk, Diana Contreras, Don Rimx, Ernesto Maranje, Hoxxoh, Jessy Nite, Jose Mertz, Magnus Sodamin, Trek 6,
Robert William de
"I wanted a wide variety of artists," he explains. "I wanted to get a little bit of everything. I think we got that. Some of these people do sculptures — they don't just paint walls or spray paint."
He also wanted to make sure the roster included a fair balance of male and female artists. "We have unbelievable female artists as much as we have unbelievable male artists," he says. "We need to show little girls that there are girls doing this too, it's not just guys putting up murals on walls."
The murals will be going up in the various neighborhoods throughout the summer and into September. The most significant part of the project, says de
"My piece is going to be a dance inspired by Rumba and El Guaguanco, which is part of the Cuban culture," said artist Don Rimx of his piece, which is going up in Little Havana. "I hope my piece provides a little bit of rhythm to the scenery, joy to the tourists and pride to the Miami residents."
Trek6, whose piece is a hummingbird, says: "My inspiration is the Wynwood Art District and Midtown neighborhoods. The hummingbird is a symbol of adaptability and progress. It can move in all sorts of directions including backward. A lot of cultures interpret that as an ability to look at your past and move towards the future. By adding the hummingbird to an intersection where these neighborhoods connect on 36th Avenue and Biscayne, I am promoting that these neighborhoods look at their past learn from it and move towards a progressive future."
As far as the project being sponsored by a major brand, de los Rios says he wishes more companies took the approach Beck's did in allowing the artists freedom to create, and genuinely showing an interest in Miami's unique culture.
"This is a good step forward because it shows that there are companies out there that respect what these artists do, it’s not just for the sake of, 'hey put a can on a wall.'"
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Beck's Urban Canvas will also be doing pop-up parties at local cultural events in support of the project. On the list are Viernes Culturales in Little Havana, Big Night in Little Haiti, Arts and Entertainment District, the Leah Arts District, and Wynwood Art Walk.