The first of four planned ‘Paint the Town’ events to take place every year wrapped up on Saturday. The event, which is part of a four-year studio collaboration between Taliesin and Globe-Miami, left Miami awash in color after this last weekend when over 100 local volunteers, service organizations and community groups joined in painting, brush removal and beautification projects led by Taliesin staff.
The two-day event targeted 18 sites along the Miami/Hwy 60 corridor and involved over 100 community volunteers and Taliesin staff and students.
“When we first discussed this idea with the Advisory Board, it was in March and we thought we might be able to tackle two buildings and get 15 high school students to participate,” says Jason Donofrio, the Director of Development for Taliesin. “We were blown away by the community’s response once we posted the event.”
“We went from 15 to 150 volunteers in just 4 weeks, with offers coming in almost immediately to bring teams of volunteers or donate equipment, water or food,” Donofrio says and added,” The community support was just tremendous.”
Molly Cornwell, the Events Coordinator for the Taliesin Advisory Board, worked closely with instructors Cristina Murphy and Andrea Bertassi to not only identify buildings – but develop paint palettes, a materials list for the two day event and manage the logistics of keeping that many people supplied with all needed materials and happily engaged in a project.
The buildings selected were all part of the Hwy 60 corridor which is one of the key focus areas identified in the four-year studio project. As the entrance to the entire corridor, the Miami/Hwy 60 is critical in building first impressions. Owners were contacted and permission received, to work on each of the sites, and the team collaborated with local resident Rick Benning, to create large scale renditions of each building showing the color palettes.
“We researched the historic colors and then did our own interpretation of those for this project,” explains Murphy.
A majority of all of Taliesins’ staff and student body spent at least one day one the job, even though they were preparing for finals on Monday including Dean Aaron Betsky and his partner, artist Peter Haberkom, who spent the day in Miami painting, alongside other volunteers,
“You don’t see that everyday,” said one local volunteer, pointing to the Dean and four Taliesin faculty working alongside several local volunteers on a large mural.
Miami Genesis, through an ongoing grant from Freeport McMoRan, was also on board for the weekend where they tackled the large-scale Santa Ana building on the corner of Live Oak and Miami Ave.
All in all, the following projects were completed during the two day event:
1: The market at Reppy and Live Oak.
2: Completing the unpainted wall on the Schwartz Lumber property.
3: The Gem and Mineral Society Building.
4: The adjacent sides of two buildings at the corner of Adonis/Keystone and Live Oak
5: Brush removal and massive vegetation clean up of the empty lot between these buildings
6: The temporary facade of the Tourist Hotel
7. The front of the massive impact building at Miami Ave. and Live Oak
8. The concrete block wall – ‘Garys’ Wall’ at Miami Ave. and Live Oak
9. The restoration of the “Antiques” sign and post at Miami Ave. and Live Oak.
10. Repainted curbs
11. Brush and Trash removal throughout the Hwy 60 corridor section of Miami.
12. The Santa Ana building – Miami Genesis
13. The Cantina at the corner of Miami Ave and Live Oak- Pending. Miami Genesis
Taliesin underwrote the cost for the event which came in at just under $10,000 including over $4,500 in paint, $1,000 in materials, equipment rental, insurance, food, lodging and travel expenses.
“Much of what we purchased this year, in terms of supplies like poles, rollers, brushes etc, is a one time expense,” explained Cornwell. “Going forward we won’t have to purchase those next year. We own them.”
Cornwell went on to explain that while the event focused on Miami this year, it will move to Globe next year. When it comes to coordinating a project of this scope it just made sense to concentrate it in one area and not spread out the volunteers and management team.
“We can see this growing every year,” says Cornwell, who added that the late Kip Culver had first envisioned a project of this kind and wanted to involve muralists and artists from here and around the state to come and participate. Proceeds from the sale of T-Shirts from this year’s event will go towards a mural project in the future. T-Shirts may be purchased through the White Porch Gifts & Antiques or by contacting Molly Cornwell on Facebook.
“Based on the response to this first effort, we can’t wait to unveil the plans for next year’s event,” Molly said.
For a complete list of those who participated please visit the Taliesin4GlobeMiamiStudio Facebook page, or click HERE !
Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.