The Art of Transit: “Now That’s Moving”
For over 40 years, Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places has been adding color to the vibrant canvas that is our city’s cultural scene. From parks, to unknowing street corners, we’re blessed with the presence of talented artists, both local and internationally renown. The proximity to such talent is always inspiring to us in the A+E, and we can’t help but be moved. But what happens when you combine motion with craft? Little do you know, that nearly every Metrorail and Metromover station is peppered with the creative spice of local artists and expressive initiatives. So let’s breakdown a few of our favorite open-air exhibits you can catch while waiting for the morning train:
We’ll start with the station closest to home; this one’s right in our backyard. Adhering to the name of the station, the students of D.A.S.H collaborated with Noreen Morelli to develop “Visions of Peace”, a rooftop mosaic that represents each of the young minds striving towards their future.
This one’s been around since 1994. Developed by Miami-based ceramicist, Carlos Alves, “Ventana Solar” represents a window to the entire culture of Calle Ocho. With found objects and colorful hues, his three ceramic pieces are embedded into the station like a portal to the past.
Eleventh Street & Freedom Tower
We put these together because the same critically-acclaimed artist, Buster Simpson, created sculptural seating for two stops on the Metromover. After collecting debris from Hurricane Andrew, he inlaid the pieces in a Mangrove-like inspiration to express hope in growth.
The square-tiled ceiling by Connie Lloveras at the Brickell Metromover stops is by far the most reminiscant of the stations in the north and Europe. Through brilliant ceramics, she brought together the community to imprint their hands in a patchwork quilt effect all titled: “Reaching for Miami Skies”.
The visionaries of Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt developed this site-specific entryway for the Riverwalk East-side entrance. The 8-story structure showcases the epic proportions of the transit lines, represented by the letter ‘M’ which can signify anything from the Metromover to Miami itself.
Located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Miami, the Park West station dons the “New Calypso” bluestone carving by Houston Conwill, Estella Conwill Majozo, and Joseph DePace hailing from New York. The artists worked closely with the Black Archives History and Research Foundation to identify historical figures, local literary symbolism, poetic texts, and song fragments to celebrate Miami as a place of spiritual renaissance.
Built in 1983, “Tracks” by Gene Kangas is a series of parallel lines that undulate, intersect, and create wave-like patterns. At first it may seem intimidating, until the life-size silhouettes appear and tend to resonate with the birds perched upon the tracks.
Back in 1984, MDT brought over internationally-celebrated artist and architect, Dale Aldred to implant his light structures into one of the sunniest of stations. In Sun Stations, Eldred created a 3-part solar sculpture which converts South Florida’s brilliant sunlight into unexpected bursts and flickers of pure color.
Anyone who has driven down US-1 and passed 37th Ave., would recognize these colossal zig zags any day. The painted steel “Leaning Arches” of Athena Tacha the steel sheets suggest the forces of rhythm and tension that gave them form.
Executed in brushed stainless steel, this monumental sculpture by Miami-based artist Joan Lehman spans 29 feet and rises 17 feet at its highest point. Sited in 1990, the sculpture has become a landmark for Miami’s Cultural Plaza and the highest trafficked rail station in the city.
They may look like stacked french fries (or at least that’s what we all thought when we were kids), but “Paciencia” by John Henry is over 31 feet tall and was first exhibited at the Chicago Art Fair in 1982, this sculpture was purchased by Art in Public Places and installed later that year.
Thanks to the convenient walkway built to cross over US-1 from the Vizcaya station, commuters can overlook the city and the architecture of some of the most historical structures in the city. “Terror and the Delight of the Sea” is a open-air fountain that uses figures originally commissioned for Vizcaya Museum & Gardens back in 1915.
One of the more clever structures along the stations, “Tetrahelix and son” by Freda Tschumy is meant to be reminiscent of the twisted double helix structure of DNA, playing off of UM’s strong medical fields. It’s 38 feet tall and inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s theories on the triangle as the basis of the universe.