Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Creativity and cool comes to Miami Gardens middle school

Pictured are some samples of more than 30 murals painted by street artists: “Little Winner” by Monique Lassooiji, upper left; “Creativity is intelligence having Fun” by Tee Pop, upper center; “Neil deGrasse Tyson” by Claudio Picasso; and “Carol City Middle School” by Jai Artistry on the bottom. On Sept. 14, Carol City Middle School unveiled its mural project to beautify the campus and instill pride in the students and residents of Miami Gardens. The famed street artist, Hec One Love, curated the project.
Pictured are some samples of more than 30 murals painted by street artists: “Little Winner” by Monique Lassooiji, upper left; “Creativity is intelligence having Fun” by Tee Pop, upper center; “Neil deGrasse Tyson” by Claudio Picasso; and “Carol City Middle School” by Jai Artistry on the bottom. On Sept. 14, Carol City Middle School unveiled its mural project to beautify the campus and instill pride in the students and residents of Miami Gardens. The famed street artist, Hec One Love, curated the project. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

This summer, Carol City Middle School, built in 1955, got a 2015-style update.

Starting in June, more than 30 artists and 100 volunteers beautified the Miami Gardens school. New plants were installed and the bare walls became canvases to more than 30 murals, depicting subjects that ranged from the famed black astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to a child reading atop a stack of books by Langston Hughes, Frederick Douglass and Richard Wright.

The evolution is cataloged on the project’s Instagram page — @artinthegardens.

Hec One Love, a street artist famous for his “Loveism” campaign, curated the murals and included one of his own that bears his signature phrase: white block letters on a colorful splattered wall. The mural faces Northwest 37th Avenue near 188th Street.

“People always ask me what it means,” he told the audience of donors, volunteers and artists during Monday’s unveiling. “It’s not about words, it’s about action.”

Love said he hopes the art inspires students to see their school as a luxury, not drudgery.

“It invigorates their whole mindset,” Love said. “It makes it a cool place.”

During Monday’s event, Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade Schools, heaped praise on the artists.

“People call it urban art or street art,” he said. “I actually think it’s the people’s art. It’s the most significant, organic expression of one’s heart, of one’s mind.”

The artists volunteered their time and bought most of their own supplies; the extra costs were made up through donors and a GoFundMe page. As of Monday, the fundraiser had met a little over half of its $5,000 goal.

The Miami Carol City Senior High marching band played Pharrell Williams’ Happy, to the delight of Dr. Wilbert “Tee” Holloway, a school board member. Students dressed in all black shimmied, swayed and jammed out on the auditorium stage, their instruments gleaming under the stage lights.

He likened the effects of the band’s boisterous music to the new murals.

“Art is a component of learning,” Holloway said. “We will not let the arts die in our community.”

After the event, student band members celebrated in true middle school fashion — with pizza and ice cream.

Follow @harrisalexc on Twitter.

Artist lineup and their Instagram handles:

Hec One Love (Curator): @heconelove

Jai Artistry: @jaiartistry1

Aquarela Sabol: @aquarelaart

Hoxxoh: @Hoxxoh

Claudio Picasso: @cpwon

Ruben Ubiera: @urbanruben

Yuhmi Collective: @yuhmicollective

Ernesto Maranje: @ernestomaranje

Nicole Salgar: @nmalgar

Ivan Roque: @alhailtla

Surge: @illsurge

Derek Hunter: @derekhunterart

Santiago Rubino: @santiagorubino

Renda Writer: @rendawriter

Kraveart: @kraveart

Rei Ramirez: @reiramirez21

Claudia La Biance: @claudialabianca

Cristhian Saravia: @golden305

Angelo Campos: @angelocampos1

Tee Pop: @teepopart

Registered Artist: @registered_artist

James Brutus: @jamesbrutusart

PHD: @phdgraphitti

Manuel Zapata: @taco_designs

Eduardo Mendieta: @EM_C

Remoteroc / Sprayskull: @grafftoyz

Monique Lassooij: @molassooij

Nate Dee: @artistnatedee

Wilson Art: @artwilson22

Angie Georgina: @angiegeorgina_art

Dave Lavernia: @davel_art

Brian Butler: @upperhandart

Luis Valle: @el_chan_guri

Gabriel “GG” Gimenez: @ggartwork

Atomik: @atomiko

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