Street Art Reinvigorates Architecture in Little Haiti

A boxy, sharp-edge tree skeleton crawls down the side of a pale building; its branches are a multi-colored rainbow of pink, purple, and blue hues. If you stare at the mural long enough, it starts to appear animalistic and wild. But a peaceful kind of wild. The roots are hidden underneath a cloud of colors, giving the tree a floating appearance. It is painted on the side of a building after all.

Murals have spilled out of Wynwood and through various parts of downtown and Miami, and now the trend has made its way to the Miami Jewish Health Systems building -- street art has officially infiltrated the healthcare community.

The mural was commissioned by the healthcare provider to both beautify their Douglas Gardens campus and help promote a happier lifestyle for its residents.

See also: New Downtown Miami Whole Foods to Feature Parking Garage With Curated Murals

The mural project was commissioned by the healthcare provider to commemorate the company's 75th anniversary. Miami Jewish has brought on board artists Rey Jaffet, Enrique "Sero" Cruz, and Diego Guzman to transform the bare walls of their facilities to vibrant bursts of color.

Part of what Miami Jewish is known for is its treatment and care of senior citizens, particularly those with memory issues. In order to protect their residents, the campus at Douglas Gardens sits behind large walls that obstruct the view of an otherwise green and serene scene. Now, with the new mural project, artists will focus on painting images of trees and plant life that will allow residents feel like they're looking through walls and into another breath-taking dimension.

"With the help of a couple of young local artists, we are going to paint our bare walls that face north and south on NE Second Avenue to give the community something beautiful to see and celebrate the wisdom and life of those who we serve and live amongst," president and chief executive officer Jeffrey Freimark says. "These murals will create an aesthetic bond between our campus and the community, connecting us to our vibrant neighbors in Little Haiti as well as the nearby Design District, Midtown and Wynwood."

The Miami Jewish murals will be completed by February 28 just in time for their anniversary gala and unveiled during the event.

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Carolina del Busto is a freelance writer for Miami New Times. She nurtured her love of words at Boston College before moving back home to Miami and has been covering arts and culture in the Magic City since 2013.