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Art Concierge » Art in Public Places

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Art in Public Places

Written by judyholm on . Posted in Public Art

Art in Public Places – A Venerable Public Treasure Chest

(excerpts from article that appeared in the Miami Beach News 5/3/12)

 Throughout civilization, works of art and architecture have been commissioned and created that memorialize both a time in history and a style and taste of local cultures.  Italy is an astounding example of a country deeply infused with centuries of public art. From the art of Ancient Rome that proliferated from 750 BC to approximately 400 AD, to such works as Michelangelo’s  David  and the Trevi Fountain, Italy is indelibly enriched.   David, created between 1501 and 1504 and originally commissioned for a different purpose, which was ultimately installed in a public square in Florence; and the Trevi Fountain in Rome (1732-1762, commissioned by Pope Urban Vlll), both exemplify the visual treasure chest of Italy.

Miami Beach is a city that is highly committed to art and its future, as demonstrated through its “Art in Public Places” program.  Officially established in 1984, there were already several important works of art on display in the city.  Mermaid, created in 1979 by Roy Lichtenstein (yes, “that Lichtenstein “), is a highly visible and recognizable work of art located at Washington and 17th Street.  Today, there are nineteen unique and original works of art dotting the city like jewels of a crown.

The Resources for Public Art

In general, public art is installed with the authorization and collaboration of the government. In different municipalities, the government actively encourages the creation of public art by implementing a policy based on a percentage of different funds, often hovering around 1% of given real estate development costs.

The City of Miami Art in Public Places Ordinance, has established, 1.5 percent of the cost of city-owned construction projects is set aside for “works of art in public places other than museums which enrich the public environment.” Additionally, the 1.5 percents funding also included renovations of City building requiring compliance with the Florida Building Code fifty percent (50%) rule or, renovation having a value equal to or greater than $500,000, or addition to any city-owned building, facility, or other city-owned property. The definition of city construction project is also deemed to include construction projects that are developed by persons or entities other than the city, but which require the participation of the city as a party to a development agreement or ground lease. Additionally, Construction cost means “hard costs” associated with construction of a city construction project.  .


The Selection Process

The Art in Public Places program is under the direction of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Development for City of Miami Beach.

In addition to the City of Miami Beach staff resources, seven Miami Beach residents are appointed by the City commission to the Art in Public Places Committee. Each of these individuals is selected based on their competence and experiences in art history, architectural history, sculpture, painting, artistic structure design and other areas of specialization.

Educating the Miami Beach Students – ARTventure

Students and teachers throughout Miami Beach now have access to a program that is helping to bring Art in Public Places into the classroom.  As part of the Education Compact, the City has developed the Backyard ARTventure program designed to enhance awareness and appreciation for public artwork throughout the City.  A map and interactive brochure highlight the locations and information on each work of public art throughout Miami Beach (a downloadable version is available on the City of Miami Beach website http://www.miamibeachfl.gov/tcd/aipp).

The Future Looks Golden

The most recent addition to the portfolio of art work in this program was unveiled during Art Basel Miami Beach, December 1, 2011.  This project bears indication of continued great works for the program’s future.  Not only is the obstinate lighthouse a monumental, fifty-five feet tall art work, a stunning addition to the pristine South Park, but the caliber of the artist is world class, and highly regarded by critics across the globe.  The winner of the 2009 Venice Biennale’s highest honor, the Golden Lion, Tobias Rehberger and his obstinate lighthouse represents Miami Beach’s serious commitment to significant public art – as is so well deserved for our beautiful city.


  Artist: Carlos Alves
Title:  Save Our Oceans, 1999
Medium:  Ceramic tiles
Location: City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Drive, First Floor

Artist: Carlos Alves
Title:  Save Our Reefs, 1992
Medium:  Ceramic tiles
Location: Lincoln Road and Lenox Avenue

  Artist: Alberto Cimolai
Title:  Art Bridge, 2000
Medium:  Tromp L’oeil
Location: Bridge connecting Sunset Island 1 and 2

 Artist: Franz Franc
Title:  Collins Park Tile Project, 2010
Medium:  Ceramic tiles
Location:  Collins Park sidewalk along Park Avenue between 21st and 22nd Street

 Artist: Dan Graham
Title: Morris’, 2009
Medium: Glass and steel
Location:  1100 Block Lincoln Road

Artist: Roberto Juarez
Title:  Bringing the Beach Inside, 1992
Medium:  Acrylic, peat moss, sand on linen
Location: Miami Beach City Hall, 4th Floor, City Manager’s Office

 Artist: Ellen Lanyon
Title:  Miami Metamorphosis, 1992
Medium:  Acrylic on canvas
Location:  Miami Beach Police Station, 1200 Washington Avenue, First Floor Lobby

Artist: Roy Lichtenstein
Title:  Mermaid, 1979
Medium: Steel, concrete and pool
Location:  Lawn Fillmore Theater, N.W. corner Washington Avenue and 17th Street

Artist: Connie Lloveras
Title: Circle, 2004
Medium:  Clay tiles
Location: North Shore Youth Center, 501 72nd Street

Artist: Pierre Marcel
Title:  Arts, 2000
Medium:  Graphic printed on vinyl
Location:  West wall Fillmore Theater

Artist: Jim Morrison
Title:  Celebration of Lights, 1996
Medium: LED lights
Location:  Miami Beach Gateway Entrance at the Julia Tuttle Causeway

Artist: Garren Owens
Title:  Urban Deco, 2007
Medium:  Cast iron
Location: Citywide

Artist: Charles O. Perry
Title:  Untitled, 1977
Medium:  Steel
Location: Scott Rakow Youth Center, 2700 Sheridan Avenue

Artist: Judy Pfaff
Title:  aq’ua vi’tae, 1994
Medium:  Steel, glass, stainless cable, woven cloth (steel, copper), automobile lacquer
Location: East Atrium Miami Beach Convention Center, Entrance Wash. Ave. and 19th St.

Artist: Brian Tolle
Title:  Tempest, 2010
Medium:  Powder coated alluminum, fiberglass, LED lights
Location:  Collins Park, 2100 Collins Avenue

Artist:  Wendy Wischer
Title: Liquid Measures, 2010
Medium:  Hand cut blue mirror water glass tiles
Location:  Third Street and Washington Avenue

Artist: Carlos Zapata 
Title: Wing, 1999
Medium: Stainless steel, glass, with concrete fountain and pool
Location:  Lincoln Road and Washington Avenue

Artist: Kevin Arrow
Title:  Beatles Mandela
Medium: Ceramic Tiles
Location:  Bandshell Park, Collins Avenue and 73rd Street

Artist: Tobias Rehberger
Title: obstinate lighthouse, 2011
Medium: Aluminum, frosted glass, LED lights
Location: South Pointe Park, 1 Washington Avenue


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