Art in Public Places program takes flight in Coral Gables

John Angée’s sculpture, titled Flight to Freedom, has been installed on the PonceCat Building
John Angée’s sculpture, titled Flight to Freedom, has been installed on the PonceCat Building

The very first artwork to be installed through the City of Coral Gables’ Art in Public Places program is soaring on the PonceCat Building on the corner of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Catalonia Avenue.

Created by Miami artist John Angée, this sculpture, titled Flight to Freedom, symbolizes the flight that so many have had to make from danger or captivity, reminding us of the value of freedom.

This installation is one of many city initiatives to spark cultural creativity. Last year, the city dedicated a trolley route connecting art galleries on the first Friday of each month to enhance the city’s longstanding tradition of Gallery Night. The Gallery Night Trolley also inspired “Gallery Night Live!” held at the Coral Gables Museum plaza, 285 Aragon Ave., where music, art, and wine come together. Also at the Museum Plaza is the new city-sponsored “Jazz in the Gables” series at lunch on Wednesdays from January through April, as well as the extended Farmer’s Market Saturdays in April and May.

Thanks to city funding, the museum plaza soon will receive decorative gates and exterior lighting.

The Coral Gables Museum and Coral Gables Art Cinema on Aragon Avenue, along with Books & Books and the Colombian Consulate, have made Aragon the epicenter of Gables’ cultural activity.

The Coral Gables Art Cinema operates in space owned by the city at 250 Aragon Ave. and already has been recognized as the art house theater with the highest grossing per screen in the state. Attendance at the theater averages from 800 to up to 2,000 people per week.

According to Cary Jones, vice president of national sales for IFC Films, “The Coral Gables Art Cinema has quickly become one of the most important independent film venues in the country.”

A recent addition to the Aragon cultural center is the Societa Dante Alighieri, a non-profit that provides Italian language and other cultural classes and lectures, now located at 300 Aragon Ave. The roster of classes includes wine tasting and Italian cooking, and the city is working with the society to provide quality art classes to the community. Not too far away, the Miracle Theater at 280 Miracle Mile is going to receive a facelift for the marquee thanks to funding recently provided by the city. As part of the new lease agreement with the city, Actors’ Playhouse also provides free tickets for select performances to residents age 60 and older and under 18 years of age accompanied by one parent. Reservations can be made at the Youth Center, 405 University Dr.

For more information, contact the City of Coral Gables Parks and Recreation Division at 305-460-5600.

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