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Umbrella Sky was so 2018. Now, the Gables is searching for its next selfie sensation

Umbrella Sky in Coral Gables

More than 720 bright umbrellas will sway gently over the newly transformed Giralda Plaza through September 17, 2018, the pedestrian promenade located at the 100 block of Giralda Avenue.
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More than 720 bright umbrellas will sway gently over the newly transformed Giralda Plaza through September 17, 2018, the pedestrian promenade located at the 100 block of Giralda Avenue.

If anything about Coral Gables caught the masses’ attention last year it was Umbrella Sky.

The Umbrella Sky art installation above Giralda Plaza enraptured Gables folk and outsiders alike who momentarily put aside their parking woes and the construction obstacles to head out to the pedestrian promenade to pose for pictures under the gaily colored canopy of 720 umbrellas from July to September.

Thank you, Portugal-based creative agency Sextafeira for that installation.

And now, the City of Coral Gables is hot to cover Giralda Plaza with art again.

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Pedestrians take pictures and point in admiration at the Umbrella Sky art installation above the Giralda Plaza promenade during the summer of 2018. Coral Gables is searching for another artist to try and recapture the magic of that public art installation. Howard Cohen hcohen@miamiherald.com


We’ll overlook that Sextafeira’s Umbrella Sky sequel, the Sunlit Sky installation, a shower of gold and silver metallic strips blowing in the wind above Giralda Plaza, wasn’t quite the same selfie sensation.

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That’d be churlish. We’re all for looking up and ooohhing and ahhhing all over again this summer in the downtown Gables. We can’t wait to have smart phone cameras in hand so we can make like director Alfonso Cuarón to order our significant others to ‘move just this bit to the right’ or ‘tilt your head this way’ to show off the best angle of whatever goes up in the Giralda sky.

The Gables’ Historical Resources and Cultural Arts Department, which manages the city’s Art in Public Places Program, and the Economic Development Department, team to search for an artist who has “the best idea for a public art installation” to once again go overhead on Giralda Plaza. The winning proposal will be on display this summer for three months, starting in June and running into August.

The winning choice will be expected to match Umbrella Sky’s “global recognition and social engagement.” (Accent on bringing business to downtown Gables.)

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Umbrella Sky was a sensation by night, too, at Giralda Plaza in downtown Coral Gables in the summer of 2018. Howard Cohen hcohen@miamiherald.com

According to a Gables spokeswoman, the budget for the entire project is $150,000, plus additional costs if the city has to provide an attachment system. The budget is all-inclusive of artwork creation, fabrication, installation, and other related costs.

The City Beautiful (except for those nasty old garages on Andalusia Avenue near the Miracle Theatre and the Publix off LeJeune) is looking for art that is “environmentally sustainable in materials and theme.”

Got what it takes? Submit your concept sketches for the temporary art installation through an online request-for-proposal by March 15. For qualifying artist criteria, details on the selection process, and other project requirements, visit www.CoralGables.com/GiraldaSky.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.


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