New park mural fools the eye to please it

By Gary Alan Ruse

Julian Perez, Planning and Zoning director, (left) is pictured with program coordinator Efren Nuñez in front of the mural.

An imaginative piece of artwork commissioned for Coral Reef Park’s new concession stand was completed last week. Titled Optical Illusion, the mosaic mural by Miami artist Nora Maria Cervino attempts to create the illusion that a small section of wall in front of the concession stand isn’t there by depicting the objects behind it.

Julian Perez, director of Planning and Zoning for the Village of Palmetto Bay, is pleased with the result.

“This is one of our first Art in Public Places projects,” Perez said. “We’re very happy with it. It goes along with this new facility and it’s very nice. It’s not your typical mural. “In addition to giving credit to the artist and her work, we should also give credit to the advisory board for having a sense of vision in reviewing the proposals. They were all very good proposals, and they were able to isolate this one as the most appropriate one.”

The artist is Cuban born and attended the Superior Institute of Art in Havana. She is known for her unique paintings, mosaics, drawings, and photographs.

Efren Nunez, the program coordinator for the village, also was happy with the artwork.

“This is a wonderful piece that blends in seamlessly with the architecture of the concession stand,” Nunez said. “The artist worked on this mosaic for about a month, 13 hours a day. I think it will be here for a long time, and hopefully a lot of residents will come and enjoy it. There’s also a smaller mosaic on the south façade of the building just to give it a little pizzazz on that side since it was pretty much a blank wall.”

The village council unanimously adopted the Art in Public Places program on Mar. 5, 2007, the first of its kind in Miami-Dade County. The Art in Public Places Advisory Board is composed of five members with diverse backgrounds in architecture, fine arts, urban planning, landscape architecture, product design, history of art or architecture and interior design. Each member must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in his or her field and be appointed by the village council.

“The Art in Public Places Board reviewed a series of proposals and they felt that this was the piece that would be the best for this particular structure,” Nunez said. “It was designed specifically for this structure. There are bits of marble chess pieces and glass, but the majority of the work is made from leftover construction tiles. The artist was aware that the building is a ‘green’ building and I think she wanted to complement that by recycling materials.

“This is one of several pieces that we’re going to be seeing throughout the village in the next year or so. There are already two more on the way and hopefully a third one for the new village hall,” Nunez added.

Coral Reef Park is located at 7895 SW 152 St.

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