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Art Concierge » Public Art

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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.


  1. Artist: Carlos Alves
    Title: Save Our Oceans, 1999
    Medium: Ceramic tiles
    Location: City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Drive, First Floor View on map
  2. Artist: Carlos Alves
    Title: Save Our Reefs, 1992
    Medium: Ceramic tiles
    Location: Lincoln Road and Lenox Avenue vie View on map
  3. Artist: Alberto Cimolai
    Title: Art Bridge, 2000
    Medium: Tromp L’oeil
    Location: Bridge connecting Sunset Island 1 and 2  View on map
  4. Artist: Franz Franc
    Title: Collins Park Tile Project, 2010
    Medium: Ceramic tiles
    Location: Collins Park sidewalk along Park Avenue between 21st and 22nd Street View on map
  5. Artist: Dan Graham
    Title: Morris’, 2009
    Medium: Glass and steel
    Location: 1100 Block Lincoln Road View on Map
  6. 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 View on Map
  7. Artist: Ellen Lanyon
    Title: Miami Metamorphosis, 1992
    Medium: Acrylic on canvas
    Location: Miami Beach Police Station, 1200 Washington Avenue, First Floor Lobby View on Map
  8. Artist: Roy Lichtenstein
    Title: Mermaid, 1979
    Medium: Steel, concrete and pool
    Location: Lawn Fillmore Theater, N.W. corner Washington Avenue and 17th Street View on Map
  9. Artist: Connie Lloveras
    Title: Circle, 2004
    Medium: Clay tiles
    Location: North Shore Youth Center, 501 72nd Street View on Map View on Map
  10. Artist: Pierre Marcel
    Title: Arts, 2000
    Medium: Graphic printed on vinyl
    Location: West wall Fillmore Theater View on Map
  11. Artist: Jim Morrison
    Title: Celebration of Lights, 1996
    Medium: LED lights
    Location: Miami Beach Gateway Entrance at the Julia Tuttle Causeway View on Map
  12. Artist: Garren Owens
    Title: Urban Deco, 2007
    Medium: Cast iron
    Location: Citywide View on Map
  13. Artist: Charles O. Perry
    Title: Untitled, 1977
    Medium: Steel
    Location: Scott Rakow Youth Center, 2700 Sheridan Avenue View on Map
  14. 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. View on Map
  15. Artist: Brian Tolle
    Title: Tempest, 2010
    Medium: Powder coated alluminum, fiberglass, LED lights
    Location: Collins Park, 2100 Collins Avenue View on Map
  16. Artist: Wendy Wischer
    Title: Liquid Measures, 2010
    Medium: Hand cut blue mirror water glass tiles
    Location: Third Street and Washington Avenue  View on Map
  17. Artist: Carlos Zapata
    Title: Wing, 1999
    Medium: Stainless steel, glass, with concrete fountain and pool
    Location: Lincoln Road and Washington Avenue  View on Map
  1. Artist: Kevin Arrow
    Title: Beatles Mandela
    Medium: Ceramic Tiles
    Location: Bandshell Park, Collins Avenue and 73rd Street  View on Map
  2. Artist: Tobias Rehberger
    Title: obstinate lighthouse, 2011
    Medium: Aluminum, frosted glass, LED lights
    Location: South Pointe Park, 1 Washington Avenue  View on Map


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