On the edge of Wynwood on Northwest 36th Street, a group of world-famous graffiti artists can be seen painting from dawn to dusk to create Miami's largest mural. Funded by local, affordable, and market-rate housing developer, Pinnacle Housing Group, the mural will cover four stories of Los Sueños, one of its affordable housing communities located at 500 NW 36th St. The initiative is part of Pinnacle's efforts to revitalize the long overlooked neighborhood by incorporating public art.
"Pinnacle puts public art in every community we build," Louis Wolfson III says, who oversees the developer's art in public places program. "We want to revitalize the community together by making people proud of it and instilling a sense of home and pride within it."
Wolfson says sculptures are typically used in Pinnacle developments, but with the development in Wynwood, the group thought it was perfect opportunity to do something different. "It has been an excellent opportunity to bring together some of the best street artists on earth," he says. "It's really an all-star cast of artists. When you drive by this building now, we want it to put a smile on your face. We're trying to say to the greater neighborhood, 'Let's make it beautiful and a better place to work and play.'"
Pinnacle partnered with Moving Lives of Kids, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that focuses on the arts, youth development, and education, to launch the mural, which will be completed December 21.
"We've worked with Pinnacle over the last five years," Kyle Holbrook says, CEO of Moving Lives of Kids. "Usually, it's getting kids involved with the murals, but for this one we got international artists involved. We flew artists from London and Toronto for this."
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Holbrook, along with artists Fanakapan and Captain Kris from London, Paola Delfin from Mexico, Caratoes from Hong Kong, Star Fighter Arrow from LA, Young Jarus from Toronto, and Kuma also from London, will contribute to the mural.
Holbrook says he and the artists are in nonstop painting mode, working most nights to about 4 or 5 a.m. "We're blending the pieces together all on one wall done with all these different artists," he says. "It's more like a collage-type of piece because they're each doing a different piece. It's really a free-flowing organic piece, which is different from typical projects."
Though the mural has no visible theme, the artists want the paintings to represent community. "Community is the catch word we are saying," he says. "We want it to have a positive feeling. Some artists paint dark feelings, but there's a time and place for that and it's not on this wall. We want it to tell stories. Hopefully, everyone sees something different because there are several different stories and perspectives, but the overall message is community."
Compared to most murals in Wynwood, which change every few months, Pinnacle's will be permanent. "This is going to be a landmark forever," Holbrook says. "We want to make this brighten up the area forever."