Wynwood may get most of the attention, but the Miami-Dade's outdoor art renaissance has made its way into neighborhoods from North Beach to Pinecrest. Now South Miami is the latest to adorn its edifices. The Shops at Sunset Place boasts new, nature-inspired artwork.
The open-air shopping center — home to popular retailers such as Victoria's Secret and Forever 21 — enlisted local students to decorate its walls with a South Florida-inspired scene.
University of Miami grad student and artist Izia Lindsay, known for his colorful murals that depict the natural world, was hired to lead the project. He and several students from South Miami Senior High School turned the exterior of the entry plaza into an abstract landscape.
Lindsay's work has graced walls in Wynwood as well as communities in Barbados, Suriname, Curaçao, and his native Trinidad. "Being from the Caribbean, it was easy for me to interpret a tropical scene," he says of the Sunset Place project. "But for me, inspiration comes from within. My art is a reflection of my surroundings and how exquisite I see life to be."
The murals feature bright blues, greens, purples, and oranges and abstract images reminiscent of palm trees, sunshine, water, and other familiar elements of the Miami landscape.
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Lindsay's goal was to capture the beauty of South Florida, so he took weekends away from school to experience the city's landscape and culture. He used that time to create a rainbow-hued canvas. "The correlation between the landscape and wildlife gives the visual appeal that the space is alive. The bold, vibrant mixture of colors adds movement to the surroundings and allows viewers to be engulfed in the mural."
Working with high-school students was rewarding, he adds. Watching them work brought back memories. "I was elated to see the students working so comfortably at such magnitude."
The space where Lindsay and the other students worked was visible to passersby, so shoppers were able to see the murals evolve.
"I was overwhelmed by the positive reaction and interest people showed towards murals in the community," he says of the live art experience. "People from all walks of life embraced the initiative. I believe that art affects space and has the power to subconsciously affect people’s emotions, so I always try to evoke positive messages through my work."