Artist-Designed Crosswalks Coming to Wynwood

Categories: Around Town, Art

carlos_cruz-diez_crosswalk_art_basel_2010.jpg
Cruz-Diez's crosswalk installation at Art Basel in 2010.
Finally, a development in Wynwood that's both cultural and growth-oriented: Wynwood Ways, a project of the Miami Biennale and Wynwood Arts District Association (WADA), is bringing over a dozen crosswalks designed by artists to the streets of Miami's most buzzed-about arts neighborhood.

A public art installation/crosswalk, designed by Venezuelan kinetic artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, will be unveiled in a ceremony on Monday, the first of 15 planned by Wynwood Ways. Eventually the project will include better lighting, and more measures to improve Wynwood's cleanliness and safety, said Miami Biennale Vice President Ariana Testamarck Orellana.

"The neighborhood has been changing for the better," Testamarck said. "Wynwood Ways is a part of all that. The first stage is the crosswalks."

See also:
- Where Is the Next Wynwood? Miami Gallerists Predict the Next Gritty Art Scene

The crosswalks are designed to correct the "auto-centric" layout of the former industrial district. As more pedestrians take to the streets, Testamarck said, the community needs to provide better and safer ways for those people to get around. "I'm in the area. It's really hard to try to get across the street in high traffic," particularly along North Miami Avenue, she explains.

The first crosswalk, however, is planned for the front of the Wynwood Walls. Cruz-Diez, whose work has also been installed at Marlins Stadium and at the Miami Beach Convention Center during Art Basel, will dedicate his kinetic design to the late developer Tony Goldman. And that's not the only goodwill the artist is bringing to the community.

"What is very nice about his work is that he has been able to master a way of changing a little bit of how people feel.... When people ... go through the crosswalk, it changes the energy, changes the sensation, to a more optimistic one -- to have a good day," Testamarck says. "We hope that anybody that includes any work [in the Wynwood Ways project] creates a prositive reaction on the people that are circulating in the area."

carlos_cruz-diez_crosswalk_brazil_1986.jpg
A beachy Cruz-Diez design in Brazil in 1986.
The site of the next crosswalk will be at 28th Street and N. Miami Avenue, near newly opened restaurants Pride & Joy and Bloom. The designing artist hasn't yet been chosen; Testamarck says there's a possibility of holding a contest to pick the winner. But be warned, prospective artists: Though the project is funded by the Knight Foundation and the Miami Foundation, the city has final approval over the designs, and imposes safety guidelines including certain banned colors and requirements for certain types of paint.

"Those are all details that we are going to take into account in order to set a set of rules," Testamarck says.

The first crosswalk will be unveiled in a ceremony this Monday, February 4. Visit miamibiennale.org.

Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.

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12 comments
maldonadomila
maldonadomila

A very complex team work, that hopefully will expand into future crossways. greatful to all the people that have worked to make it possible.

Milagros Maldonado

Miami Biennale

President

Romi Art
Romi Art

I think all the crosswalks in Wynwood should look like huge colored pencils.

Peter Arzeno
Peter Arzeno

Tribute to Japanese crosswalks with Miami color?

Sergio Alejandro
Sergio Alejandro

Charles, same could be said for the graffiti in Wynwood. If motorists are easily distracted they shouldn't pass through there haha.

Charles Villard
Charles Villard

This'll just distract motorists and end up looking nasty from the multitude of oil, coolant, skid marks, and more crap that comes off of cars as they cruise the asphalt. Waste of time and effort.

Craig Chester
Craig Chester

Such a cool project but i'm telling you, I'll believe it when I see it. Miami-Dade County manages N. Miami Ave and NW 2nd Ave (as opposed to the city of Miami) and have been denying great pedestrian and bike projects the City wants to do left and right because of their auto-centric mindset. Would not be surprised if they somehow kill this project at the last minute also. Anyone have any quotes from MD-County public works?

Angela Fernandez
Angela Fernandez

YES! at the end of our street John Fernandez! love this!

Myra Wexler
Myra Wexler

LOVE this. Thank you Miami Biennale. Education through art. and the others involved in making this decision. IMPROVEMENT to the WynHOOD, always welcomed!!!

Lisa Concepcion
Lisa Concepcion

yes but people will still drive for shit in this town and will plow through killing someone and then speed away #MiamiDriversSuck

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