MIAMI, FL - November 18, 2022 - (NOTICIAS NEWSWIRE) – To kick off the Puerto Rican Day celebration in Miami, the Wynwood neighborhood will host a special commendation and unveiling of Cuban-American artist Adrian Avila’s 150-foot by 25-foot mural titled “La Virgen de La Caridad” (“Our Lady of Charity”). The event will take place this Saturday, Nov. 19th, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at Mana Common, 590 NW 23rd Street, in Wynwood.
The words “Peace” and “Liberty” are painted in the shape of gold leaves on this monumental mural depicting a beautiful Virgin Mary whose halo is also a gold leaf. However, Adrian doesn’t stop there. He adds Swarovski crystals in her eyes so that depending on the time of day when viewers glance at her eyes, they will feel that the Virgin is about to cry.
Avila, one of the street artists known to Miami and Wynwood, has for the past decade captured the hearts of visitors and locals with his giant scales, line drawings through the figures, and his meticulous work incorporating oils, crystals, gold leaf, and acrylic to create monumental works on concrete walls. Avila’s greatest muse is women: he photographs diverse-looking models, which he then begins to paint, referencing their uniqueness and power.
“Women are Goddesses and are the true power,” says Avila, “I love to portray them as deities that rise above men and hold all knowledge and wisdom.”
The model for “La Virgen de la Caridad'' is America, a young actress, and fashion model. America advocates for equality, being a strong voice on social media for the LBGTQ community. She uses her/they/them (as America prefers) to shine a light on the injustice and dire situation of Cuba. America is also the daughter of the famous Cuban comedian and actor, Alexis Valdes.
Art lovers worldwide have come to appreciate the wonders of world-class street art. Whereas street art was once frowned upon, back when it was commonly known as graffiti and viewed as a nuisance, it is now commonly commissioned as a desirable art form by collectors. Galleries now create exhibitions around street art. Cities have encouraged the street art form because it has become an attraction as a host of our cities develop their street art trails, where famous street artists visit and leave their mark as a way to breathe new life into forgotten neighborhoods.
Miami has grown in leaps and bounds, and many will say it is the artists that started the buzz. Then gentrification happens, and developers take over. These artists find themselves displaced, but they always find another part of the city that is in dire need of beautification, and the artists soon find concrete canvases to paint new stories and leave their new marks.
Honorable Puerto Rico House Representative Eddie Charbonier Chinea to attend
“In Celebration of Puerto Rico, Nov. 19th is Puerto Rico Day, a federal holiday in Puerto Rico. We are honored that this event has been held in Wynwood,” said Puerto Rico House Representative Eddie Charbonier Chinea. “Wynwood, since in the 1960s until the recent gentrification in the late 2000s, was known as ‘The Little San Juan,’ with Puerto Ricans occupying the area for many decades.”
Rep. Charbonier Chinea will personally attend the ceremonies and join the stage to greet and meet our community. Wynwood was an industrial factory zone; Puerto Ricans found it economical to buy a home for $18,000 to $20,000 and work in the neighborhood. When gentrification came slowly, the Puerto Ricans sold their properties at a profit and moved north or back to Puerto Rico. In 2017, the disastrous Hurricane Maria displaced Puerto Ricans back to Miami and Orlando. With over one million Puerto Ricans in Florida, the Sunshine State has surpassed New York as the state with the largest number of Puerto Ricans. By some reports, Puerto Ricans may have even outnumbered Cubans as the largest Hispanic group in the state as of 2020.
Murals for Humanity founder Susana Baker says: “It was time to recognize the amazing local talent Miami has, with such an influx of diverse nationalities and artists that during the day pose as teachers, architects, or other occupations to sustain their families; while at night turn into the ‘Superheroes of the Street Arts!’ Like local artist Luis Valle, who gave up his full-time career as a gallerist to become a full-time street artist and sustain his family. These artists spend endless hours beautifying our inner cities and creating great messages to empower and evoke conversations; they also send a message to our youth in a creative art form that teaches about a social issue affecting our community or world. It is great when you see visitors analyze the mural, then you see them smiling, feeling nostalgic or even crying, depending on the artist’s message, and then, of course, the selfie, the millions and millions of selfies!”
“It saddens me when I see a developer or art fair have 98% of their artist roster come from another part of the country or world; they forget their backyard, the immense local talent Miami has, I believe no other city has!” Baker continues, “I am so proud that our Honorable Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava will recognize these local street artists who built a new economy in neighborhoods that were run down. How our city has truly grown with beautiful colors, I am so proud she is giving a special proclamation on November 19th as the ‘Unsung Hero Day of Miami’ Muralist artists. It is their day, and all Miami artists can celebrate they have their day written and signed by the most powerful contemporary leader of our time, our Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella!”
Mana Common welcomed this event in Wynwood at 590 NW 23rd Street and commissioned Adrian Avila to do the mural of Our Lady of Charity for the mural festival Mana does annually for Miami Art Week. “It was time to truly recognize the stars of this neighborhood who are without a doubt the Street Artists!” said Moishe Mana, owner of 40 acres in Wynwood. This year’s mural festival is from Nov. 29th through Dec. 4th, 2022. Wynwood will be a visual explosion of street artists from all over the country and the world.
Our Four Urban Legends to receive Proclamations for their achievements in their contributions to community art:
Diana Contreras, on Nov. 19th, will be recognized with a Proclamation. Diana has spent 17 years as a Miami-Dade public school art teacher, but at night she is Superhero Didirocks! She has been part of the beautification of Miami. From Little Haiti to Pinecrest, you can see beautiful girls and women with a pop of hot pink cheeks and animated big almond eyes. For those who don’t know DIDI, she rocks!
Erni Vales, EVL World, is a legend in the graffiti art world, where he is credited with creating 3D graffiti letters, part of the birth and movement of graffiti art and street art from the subway culture of New York. Erni is a Puerto Rican-born urban legend with an array of walls all over the world, and in 2011 came to Wynwood to make Miami his home. He opened a beautiful gallery and art studio on NW 2nd avenue, and on every 2nd Saturday, the famous Wynwood Art Walk, EVL World, was the place to see the 12 new paintings Erni Vales created. Vales vowed that if his dream gallery were opened where he wanted it, he would do a series of 12 original paintings, and his beautiful femme fatal wife, Red, would manage the gallery. Erni Vales will be recognized on Nov. 19th.
Luis Valle, Nicaraguan-born, came to the U.S. at 12, and his family was exiled from the political unrest. His family made Miami their home, where Valle studied. He later earned his Master's in Fine Arts from NYU. Valle returned to Wynwood and made his unforgettable mark in street art with his iconic chakra symbols, a row of illuminating circles for aurora. Combining nature and a man with his famous portraiture of indigenous cultures has become the iconic Luis Valle mark on this city. From Aventura, Doral, to Sunset Place, you can find Luis Valle's colorful murals. Recently honored with the making of 18,000 medallions to be worn around the necks of the runners in Miami Lifetime Marathon 2023.
Thanks to all the graffiti artists and street artists for making Miami Muralist Day a reality so well deserving of this Proclamation: Unsung heroes Miami Muralist Artist Day Nov. 19, 2022.
South Florida Puerto Chamber of Commerce:
The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of South Florida was founded in 1992 with the goals of advancing the interests of the Puerto Rican community of South Florida and promoting increased trade and commerce between the markets of South Florida and Puerto Rico. Today the Chamber is poised to meet the challenges of a post-COVID, internationally connected, and technologically evolving world.
We recognize our business interests span the globe beyond South Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. We offer our members the opportunity to embrace new markets through a comprehensive series of programs and activities that encompass networking, advertising, educational workshops, targeted technical assistance, and charitable involvement. We are pleased to announce that when our new Wynwood headquarters open in Fall 2023, we will be able to offer additional benefits, including retail, conference, and classroom space.
Borniquen Medical Centers:
Borinquen Medical Centers provide a comprehensive range of health and social services to our culturally diverse community in Miami-Dade County. Our quality services are accessible to all people throughout the area through a multi-discipline approach. You cannot miss the main building serving our community for 50 years as the gateway entrance to the Design District and Wynwood, with the beautiful 500 lb. clock, the only clock to be found on a federal building, and a public art contribution donated to the community by the centers and by renowned artist Kourtney Eugene Brown and Borinquen Medical Centers.
Thanks to our Sponsors:
Borinquen Medical Centers, Monfongo’s Restaurant, Bonnie the Colorful Creator, the South Florida Puerto Rican Chamber Murals for Humanity, Mana Common.
Editors Note: All media, please check in at the event with Patrick Laguerre 305-986-7156