On May 3rd and 4th, internationally acclaimed artist, Wyland, partnered with the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce to highlight water conservation through a celebration of arts, culture, and education with local elementary school students on South Beach. Over the course of two days, Wyland painted with 200 students from six of the feeder pattern schools, Hebrew Academy and the FIU College of Architecture + the Arts in front of the 410 Lincoln Road Mall store.
On the first day of the Wyland Mural Art Project, a press conference was held to announce Laguna Beach, California as the winning city for his National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. Miami Beach residents, Miami-Dade Public Schools representatives and visitors all gathered in awe as Wyland and the students painted aquatic animals on the 10 foot tall by 45 foot wide mural. The canvases attracted many spectators to Lincoln Road to admire as the masterpieces unfolded.
Wyland played his Blues Planet music while painting local marine life indigenous to South Florida, a manatee on the first canvas and a wright whale on the second. This project taught the students the importance of the role these mammals play in our delicate eco-system. Before each of the schools painted, Wyland encouraged the students to save the planet by being environmental conscience and to avoid wasting our precious water.
In April as a prelude to this project, each school received a 3 foot rain barrel, which was decorated using Wyland stencils and placed outside to collect water as a conservation exercise for the 4th graders. Since the students had been studying these marine animals, they were thrilled to paint along his side to showcase everything they had learned to promote water conservation worldwide. The children filled the canvas with jelly fish, starfish, sea turtles, and all types of fish. The educational component of this project help students grasp the critical issue for water conservation in a fun filled way. While mixing colors, Wyland said, “Without blue, you can’t be green.”
The Chamber’s Arts and Culture Council partnered with the Wyland Foundation to encourage educational efforts in our community through the arts to highlight water conservation and sustainability. The proceeds from the Wyland Mural Art Project will be divided amongst the following charities: City of Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council, the Miami Beach Chamber’s Education Foundation, and the Wyland Foundation.
The Wyland Mural Art Project sponsors included Aetna, FastCare, FIU College of Architecture + the Arts, Fratelli la Bufala, Gallery Art, Mango’s Tropical Café, Costco, The Sagamore, the South Beach Group, BDI Construction, Moss and Associates, Prestige AV, as well as the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.