Stunning Art at Shops at Sunset Place

By Andres Tamayo

Stunning Art at Shops at Sunset Place

By Andres Tamayo
Izia Lindsay, UM Department of Art and Art History graduate student, brought the entrance to Sunset Place alive with a tropical-themed art.

Izia Lindsay stands on the platform of the extended cherry-picker, a painter’s mask over his mouth protecting him from the fumes that fill the muggy summer air.  He holds cans of spray paint. With a sweep of his arm, the artist begins to transform the tall pillar into bursts of bright orange and blue, followed by tropical images of flamingos, birds and palm trees.

Welcome to the new entrance to Sunset Place in South Miami.

Lindsay, a muralist and art graduate student at the University of Miami, was commissioned to lead and create a large-scale art installation at Sunset Place to “bring the community together through art.”  The second year student in the Department of Art & Art History was selected after submitting two designs for review.

“They loved it and had me start right away,” Lindsay recalled. Over the span of a week, he painted each pillar from bottom to top with images dear to local Miamians: a sunset, palm tree, and a silhouette of a flamingo.

painted pillars at Sunset Place's entrance
Working overnight for about a week, graduate student Izia
Lindsay painted all seven pillars at Sunset Place's entrance. 
Photos by Karli Evans

“I worked from ten at night to six in the morning for about a week,” Lindsay said with a laugh as he recalled the long nights he spent painting the seven pillars at the entrance of the plaza. Often wearing a University of Miami jersey, Lindsay used the cherry-picker crane to lift him as he painted up and down each pillar.

Lindsay credits the art department and his professor, Carlos Llerena Aguirre, with providing him the opportunity.

“People were constantly taking pictures and asking about the University of Miami Art Department,” Lindsay said. “The support was overwhelming.”

It was the impact Aguirre and Sunset Place were hoping for.

“We’ve said all along that we are going to transform Sunset Place into South Miami’s living room, and there’s no better time than the present to begin,” said Vicki Baisden, general manager of the Shops at Sunset Place. “Our weekly farmers market, new art features and upcoming events will give the community reason to visit and keep coming back for more this summer.”

The partnership came about with Aguirre’s willingness to take on the project with Sunset Place. The installation was such a success that Sunset Place has already asked Lindsay to lead a team of UM students to create another art project at the revitalized shopping mall. 

“I am excited to be have the opportunity to mentor and work with fellow art students on the next art installation,” Lindsay said.  The timetable for the next project is still in the works.

The installation was one of several projects Sunset Place has worked on. High school students were also commissioned to create works of art throughout the shopping mall.

To learn more about the University of Miami Department of Art and Art History, visit http://www.as.miami.edu/art/