News:

Urban Blue Project “South of the Walls” begins in Wynwood

All Photos by Candace West/UrbanBlue Project

All Photos by Candace West/Urban Blue Project

By Hilda S. Mitrani For EyesOnNews.com, Dec 19, 2014 – Miami – Creativity, high energy and a distinctly cosmopolitan vibe were visible at South of the Walls, as more than 20 street artists from Australia, Spain and the USA converged on a Wynwood corner to create their work on portable walls and other media.

The event was the brainchild of Dr. Flor Mayoral, a Coral Gables dermatologist and photographer, and businessman Marcelo Llobell via their new non-profit, Urban Blue Project.

“Our aim is to provide an avenue for art and artists to support change in blighted areas and to expose kids in economically-disadvantaged communities to art,” said Dr. Mayoral.

The participating artists included Abstrk, Antonio de Felipe, Aquarela, Arrive, Artista, Atomik, Didi Contreras, Entes y Pésimo, Gere, Ivan Roque, Jenny Perez, Kazilla, Leza One, Luis Berros, Luis Valle, Makatron, Mas Paz, Nate Dee, Registered Artist, Salvador Gómez and Yuhmi Collective.

De Felipe, who is one of Europe’s top pop artists, painted a stunning red life-size bull with white polka dots in addition to a self-portrait. Other artists were completing work on walls – and starting new ones – during the event, surrounded by a wide audience that seemed to come in waves.

Tsukasa “Sookie” Endo of Gully Art curated the event, which used portable concrete structures called DaWols in lieu of canvases. Dr. Mayoral showed images from a second installation in Wynwood, Silence Project, which features photos of individuals making the gesture for silence with a forefinger to the lips.

ArtBasel devotees were there checking off their lists. Many families came out to enjoy the balmy weather and show their children the colorful designs. Quite a few pampered pooches made the rounds, too, but declined to be interviewed.

Sales from the event benefit UrbanPromise Miami, a non-profit that provides kids in east Little Havana with afterschool and SAT tutoring, counseling, summer camp and supplemental programs. UrbanPromise team leaders and at least a dozen students helped staff the event, selling posters and raffle tickets.

“In east Little Havana, kids are struggling to complete their education in a challenging, urban environment,” said Ana M. Ojeda, Psy.D, who founded the program with Kristy Nuñez, an attorney. “And yet, everyone one of our students to date has gone on to graduate from high school and enroll in college.”

Work from South of the Walls will remain for sale and on display indefinitely at 1731 N. Miami Ave. in Wynwood and other sites in Miami-Dade. For more information, please contact UrbanPromise Miami at 786-334-5858.

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Hilda Sofia Mitrani is a lifelong Floridian who writes about travel, culture, food and sometimes, their connection to history. Proud mom of two kids and a rambunctious Havanese named Mickey.