Changes are happening in our urban communities where colorful art is helping to make the future bright.
The latest project of the Pinnacle Housing Group Art in Public Places program is a nine-story tall mural, created in a partnership with local artist Kyle Holbrook of Moving Lives of Kids.
It depicts key leaders and positive change makers in historic Liberty City, Miami-Dade County’s first African American suburban neighborhood.
Completed in April, the mural is on the southern facade of Pinnacle Park and is visible from I-95, west of 79th Street. Nearly 150,000 passersby can see it each day. Commuters and the community watched the mural develop in real time.
To preserve the project, Florida International University’s “The Urban Boulevard” digital media class produced a documentary for all to watch. The video at https://youtu.be/yEzfo9lI8Mk shows how art and public murals are bringing positivity to communities.
The initiative was developed and funded by Pinnacle co-founder and community activist Louis Wolfson III.
“Art in Public Places adds uniqueness to communities and is our way of telling the community that we’re here to bring the neighborhood up,” Wolfson said.
“I believe art has the power to reshape communities while providing an intersection between the past, present and future of the neighborhood. Our hope is that this mural speaks to all Liberty City residents and gives them a sense of pride and ownership in the community they call home,” he said.
Muralist Holbrook said he is “grateful for the opportunity to depict the vision of Louis with FIU, to illustrate the people and events that were instrumental in shaping the history of the City of Miami and Liberty City.”
“As an artist, the canvas, location, visibility and architecture is an artist’s dream,” Holbrook said. “This is a true showcase of my passionate work, and greatest of mine to date.
“The bright colors and mix of realistic and abstract images was inspired by my home here in Miami, and I hope that all Miamians are proud of this piece for years to come. I encourage everyone to take some time to observe the detail and small nuances of the piece, as it is powerful and very different from some of the more simple and one image focused pieces in the city,” Holbrook said.
Pinnacle’s Art in Public Places continues to rejuvenate neighborhoods with eye-catching murals across Miami through rising local artists. Recent murals include the Liberty City police station and Miami’s tallest mural at Pinnacle Heights near Miami International Airport.
FIU digital media professor Moses Shumow said his students spend “countless hours studying the past, present and future of Liberty City and affordable housing in Miami as part of a new curriculum.”
“Having the opportunity for my students to capture the work of Kyle and Pinnacle Housing Group as they create this groundbreaking mural is really fantastic,” Shumow said.
“The mural’s focus on the rich cultural legacy of Liberty City and the light that the mural will shine on the history of community fits so nicely with the goals of this class. The students working on this documentary are thrilled.”
Pinnacle’s Wolfson said he believes “art is an integral component of the communities we build, and we couldn’t be happier to partner with these brilliant FIU students as they study the history of Liberty City, the affordable housing crisis in Miami and how this mural will affect the community.”
Pinnacle Park is at 7901 NW Seventh Ave. For more, visit www.pinnaclehousing.com.
UM STUDENT WINS SCHOLAR AWARD
Congratulations to Caitlin Brown, a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Miami. Brown is one of 150 women out of 945 nominees nationwide who will receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the Philanthropic Educational Organization Sisterhood.
The honor is awarded for excellence to women students who will “positively impact society by creating new knowledge and/or making new discoveries with the potential to be someone we read about in the future.”
The P.E.O. Scholar Award program was established in 1991 and is titled “Investing in Journeys to Remarkable.” The P.E.O. Sisterhood was founded in 1869 at Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The philanthropic educational organization is dedicated to bringing increased opportunities for higher education to women.
There are about 6,000 chapters in the United States and Canada, with eight chapters in Miami-Dade County. You can learn more at https://www.peointernational.org/.
MERRICK’S PIZZA ON PAUSE
Thomas Logan is a pizza-maker extraordinaire who has long been involved in our community. He has helped cater, at discounted prices, numerous University of Miami events, and has donated pizzas to local first responders.
“I proudly catered to the University of Miami’s student body, the Lowe Art Museum, and other campus events like ‘Philadthrophy,’ as well as to local fire houses in support of our local heroes,” Logan said.
And now, his small Merrick’s Pizza on Le Jeune Road is undergoing an “intermission,” as he calls it, while he looks for a bigger space where he can provide more than 12 seats.
“It’s been more than a month now since this ‘intermission’ began where Merrick’s Pizza goes dormant until it’s time for it to awaken once more and reach its ‘allegretto,’ something it simply could not achieve at the previous location. Having said that, I’m sure the new tenants will find great success there, just as Whisk did and just as I did,” he said.
Logan wants his customers to know that he will be back.
“The bottom line is Merrick’s Pizza will return. The question is ‘where and when?’ In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the time off and I’m already planning a few things that’d be fun to take on while I search for a lease,” he said. To contact Logan, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have news for this column, please send it to email@example.com.