HistoryMiami Museum joins forces with Rosie Gordon-Wallace and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator to launch project that opens to public June 5
HistoryMiami Museum and curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) invited the public to celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month by experiencing the community’s newest mural, “This is Miami.” A vibrant and bold 130-foot long panoramic piece, the mural graces the entrance of the Museum and highlights Miami’s link to five Caribbean nations, three talented local artists and a century of Caribbean impact on South Florida. The project, also known as “Esto Es Miami,” “Se Miami,” “C’est Miami” and “Dit is Miami,” reflects the diverse languages found among residents living on the more than 700 islands, islets and reefs that lie in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of the Gulf of Mexico.
“We are honored to be working with Rosie Gordon-Wallace and WALL’N Collective on the launch of this mural. This is part of a newly-established, ongoing mural initiative at the museum to highlight diverse voices from our community,” Executive Director Jorge Zamanillo said. “We wanted to create a vehicle for artists to answer the question “What Makes Miami, Miami?” And this exciting artwork is the first of many to come, all tackling that question through artistic expression.”
Ms. Gordon-Wallace, originally from Jamaica, is best known for curating internationally diverse art exhibitions and being the founder of DVCAI. She selected a trio of Miami’s most talented Caribbean muralists to draw upon their own experiences in Cuba, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago to help inspire the final collection of painted images, woven together in a tapestry of color that will captivate the senses of any visitor. Created by WALL’N Collective, made up of Caribbean artists Asser Saint-Val, Izia Lindsay and Rosa Naday Garmendia, the mural is an answer to the question, “What Makes Miami, Miami?
“I want people to feel the warmth of the Caribbean – to feel viscerally welcome,” said Ms. Gordon-Wallace. “’This is Miami’ offers smiles and nods and recognition that you can find yourself in the artists’ collection of memories. As a curator, this is what inspires me. While you can’t mandate feelings, I don’t think one can walk through the lobby without seeing a vignette that resonates and connects with Miami’s Caribbean culture.” “This is Miami” will remain through the end of 2021. The mural and Museum, located at 101 W. Flagler Street, Miami, is free to the public.
HISTORY OF CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
In 2006, by proclamation, President George Bush announced the formal recognition of Caribbean-American Heritage Month. The campaign to designate June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month was spearheaded by Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder and President of the Institute of Caribbean Studies, to remind people of the impact Caribbean nations and immigrants have had on America’s history, past and present.