Life in Color

Andy Sweet was murdered in 1982 at the age of 29. At the time of his death, Sweet was a lauded photographer who had built a name for himself exploring South Beach. Lens in hand and bent on documenting the area’s famous colors, he created works capturing some of the first images to truly depict the vivid hues and vibrant tones now so thoroughly associated with Miami Beach. After his death, much of his color work was damaged or lost, but as photography technology has progressed, so have the processes of photographic restoration. Now, the Andy Sweet Photo Legacy — the nonprofit dedicated to preserving, restoring, and extolling the slain artist’s work — will show several of Sweet’s prints brought back to their former glory. The exhibition will feature a lecture by Gary Monroe, the photographer and Miami Beach native who collaborated with Sweet when he was shooting South Beach in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The work captures a period in this city’s history when South Beach was still basically a retirement community. These photographs are important because they stand as one of the early forays into color art photography, illustrate an essential aspect of Miami Beach’s history and identity, and represent a talented artist’s work that was once lost and now revived. “The Andy Sweet Photo Legacy Project” lecture/exhibit, sponsored by the Miami Design Preservation League and the Florida Humanities Council, will be held at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach) Thursday at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Call 305-763-8026 or visit
Thu., March 20, 7 p.m., 2014
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Travis Cohen is a writer for Miami New Times and covers subjects ranging from arts and architecture to marijuana and monkeys with herpes. He graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor's degree in English in 2012 and began working with New Times shortly thereafter. He was born and raised in Miami.