One hardly remembers the last time we enjoyed art in person, either at an art gallery or simply taking selfies at local community murals since COVID-19 started to spread in the country.
The art scene might change in the near future but if you want to see new art in real life, take a detour to the northern neighborhood of our city, Northwood Village, where newly painted shipping containers stand out defying the difficult times we are living and sending a message of love and hope.
The new art (completed in late March) is part of an Art in Public Places (AiPP) program that allowed local artists Eduardo Mendieta (Emo) and Hector Diaz to create the “Origami Chain Link Fence Sculptures and Murals”, as well as the “Frame Your Neighborhood(s)” exhibitions.
It is something new and different and bringing new energy to the burgeoning community as the city gets ready to slowly reopen public spaces again and services.
The Origami Chain Link Fence sculptures and murals are installed at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and 24th Street and feature three large origami-inspired structures made from aluminum chain link fencing along with dedicated murals on some existing large storage containers.
Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes of animals and objects. These are large scale industrial versions in the shapes of a paper crane, a boat, and an airplane.
In graffiti lettering, the crane has the word “Peace,” the boat has the word “Love,” and the airplane the word “Dream.” The murals on the containers feature graffiti artwork with the words “Help” and “Care” on a notebook paper design. Each of these structures is made of chain link fence materials, with fence weave used as the actual artistic detailing providing color and further dimension.
According to Art in Public Places Program Coordinator Sybille Welter, Mendieta’s theme developed from the evolving meaning of the phrase “mend fences.” It can be understood to mean taking care of one’s own interests but also to mean to rebuild relationships.
“My hope is that when people see the exhibit they have a positive experience. My larger aspirations are that I will be able to produce more origami style sculptures and exhibit them throughout Florida and other parts of the country,” Mendieta says.
This new art is part of an ongoing series of temporary installations throughout the city.
In this difficult time, we need to be generous, more loving, creative, and as unafraid as possible. As we adapt to a new normal, this artwork sends a message we can all appreciate.