South Miami Commissioner Josh Liebman with the Mayor of Medellin Daniel Quintero to discuss the sister city projects.
Three additional sculptures by Colombian artists are now installed at Dante Fascell Park on Red Road in South Miami. A formal installation ceremony will take place in early spring.
The Colombian Sculpture Garden is a project of the City of South Miami and its Sister City of Medellin, Colombia. South Miami City Commissioner Josh Liebman has fostered the development of the sister city program and has spearheaded the sculpture garden project as a singular exhibit of its kind.
South Miami Mayor Sally B. Philips noted that “The Columbia Sculpture Garden at Dante Fascell Park is Commissioner Josh Liebman’s one-man creation. It is a credit to his abilities to befriend, influence and inspire that he was able to bring to his neighborhood park a collection of art that he curated, raised funds for, and procured. By so doing, he pleased his constituents and put South Miami on the art-world map.“
The program was formerly announced at a ceremony in September 2019 when Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez visited Dante Fascell Park for a special program announcing the sculpture garden. Commissioner Josh Liebman proudly notes that this is the first time an international or domestic president has visited South Miami, and is a testament to the importance of project.
FIRST THREE SCULPTURES
In early 2020, the first three sculptures were unveiled. The Colombia Sculpture Garden showcases sculpture generously donated by the artists: Dr. Santiago Medina, Luis Jimenez, and Carlos Silva. Created specifically for the park, the sculpture garden is curated by Dr. Medina, native of Medellín, who is renowned for his dual careers as a medical practitioner and sculptor. Dr. Medina’s work entitled Amistad (Friendship) is made of Italian stainless steel and measures 10 feet in height. It has a high-quality reflective mirror finish with several of the surfaces rendered in matte steel and red paint.
FERIA DE LOS FLORES
The official unveiling of the new sculptures will take place later in the spring. As part of the city’s festivities will be a mini flower festival. The Feria de Los Flores is a major annual week-long celebration in Medellin. Flower producers and local Colombian business people will create something special for their sister city.
Luis Jimenez is known for his sculptures of the iconic 1960s peace symbol. For the park he has designed one of painted aluminum titled Colombian Peace using the colors of the flag of Colombia: yellow, blue and red.
Colombian Carlos (Charly) Silva works in metal both as an artist and entrepreneur. His pieces are welded, bolted metal with bits of color to enhance the abstract and asymmetric. The sculpture he donated is named Liberty.
At the opening ceremony, then city mayor Philip Stoddard exclaimed that “Dante Fascell Park is a story of transformation. It has become the crown jewel in the City’s park system.
NEW WORKS TO BE DEDICATED
The city has now acquired three additional pieces for the garden.
Two of the pieces are by Edgar Negret (1912-2012). He is a Geometric abstraction sculptor who works primarily with metal. The artist is known for his industrial sculptures that represent nature. Negret grew up in a military family in Popayán, Colombia, and later moved to California to attend the Escuela de Bellas Artes. While studying there, he corresponded with sculptor Jorge de Oteiza (Spanish, 1908–2003), who was living in Popayán at the time. Oteiza became the primary influence on Negret’s art practice. Like many other South American Constructivist artists, he was influenced by the Modern Art movements happening in Europe and the United States. In 1949, Negret temporarily lived in New York and studied at the Clay Club Center (presently known as SculptureCenter). While there, he began working with metal and met artists like Louise Nevelson (American, 1899–1988) and Ellsworth Kelly (American, b.1923). In 1957, Negret was invited in to participate in the São Paolo Biennial, where he exhibited Aparatos Mágicos (Magical Apparatuses). This series became known as the definitive representation of Negret’s work; the works consisited of fictional mechanical items that are meant to be artifacts of Modernism. Negret believes mechanical forms free of function become magical. The artist’s recent works have involved themes of pre-Columbian symbolism, which is paralleled with the late 20th-century rise of Colombian pride in its indigenous cultures. In 1968, he was awarded the David E. Bright International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennial. The former home of Negret’s family was converted into a museum on March 30, 1985. La Casa Museo Negret in Popayán houses Negret’s sculptures and decorative art items belonging to the family. (Source: Artnet)