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Illuminate Coral Gables, A New Public Art Initiative, on View Feb 12-March 15, 2021



The City of Coral Gables is turning on the lights. Illuminate Coral Gables (ICG), a new public art initiative focusing on the intentional use of light and technology to transform public art by day into magical and mysterious work at night, will be on view Feb 12-March 15, 2021. Curated by chief curator Lance M. Fung with Catherine Cathers, Jennifer Easton and Rosie Gordon-Wallace, ICG, has been created for specific outdoor locations throughout Coral Gables. An illustrious Arts Advisory Committee of David Chang, Carol Damian, and Jill Johnson Deupi has been instrumental in shaping the outcome. ICG’s eight projects include video projections, sculpture and art installations by a stellar group of local, national and international artists including Kiki Smith and Cai Guo-Qiang. Seven of the artworks are new site-specific commissions. ICG is a project of the Coral Gables Community Foundation.

Blue Night, sponsored by the City of Coral Gables is Smith’s project, which will be installed in Giralda Plaza, is a continuation of her interest in constellations. Forty-two suspended mirrored renderings of animal constellations from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres will reflect light through transparent blue plexiglass with holographic vinyl stars denoting the constellations. An Augmented Reality (AR) component will enable viewers to see ghosted constellation images and asterism on their devices throughout the day and night. A free downloadable artist coloring book will be available.


Cai Guo-Qiang’s Fireflies is being exhibited in South Florida for the first time. This project was commissioned by the Association for Public Art (APA) with Fung Collaboratives and was first presented in Philadelphia in 2017. The project was curated by Lance M. Fung. Major support was received from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the John and James L. Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. This interactive and mesmerizing public artwork will meander through downtown adding color and joy through handmade Chinese silk lanterns.

“It’s such an honor to be working with an amazing group of artists to bring relevant, thought- provoking and meaningful art to the general public through ICG,” said Fung. “The commitment, vision and passion of these creatives are only matched by my dedicated and professional colleagues on the ICG team.” Participating Artists:

  • Cai Guo-Qiang

  • Carlos Estevez

  • David Gumbs

  • Ruben Millares

  • Joseph Mills

  • Jonathan Perez and FIU student artists including: Jennifer Hudock, Heather Kostrna, Maria Daniela Maldonado, L’nique Noel, Tara Remmen, Ari Temkin and Emily Silverio-Williams

  • Sandra Ramos

  • Kiki Smith

  • Antonia Wright

  • Visit: www.illuminatecoralgables.org for artist bios.


ICG’s educational component, through a partnership with Florida International University’s Art and Art History Department will include a projection mapped video and sound-based work by professor Jonathan Perez with six undergraduate and graduate students that focuses on the intersection of the natural and built environment of South Florida and the City of Coral Gables. The project will cover the west side of the Coral Gables Museum during the month-long exhibit.

Artist Carlos Estevez has created an educational tool and interactive artwork in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Through a demonstration video, Estevez hopes to inspire and help second through twelfth grade students, and their families, to make kites that are based on identity, self-portraiture and inclusivity. This video will be available worldwide as a free workshop in hopes that children and adults from around the world will participate.

By initiating ICG, the Coral Gables Community Foundation is using art and culture as a beacon of resiliency, community strength and support for the City’s residents and visitors for its vital small business community while realizing a museum quality exhibition. Envisioned as a new and annual public art benchmark, ICG organizers recognize that residents and visitors will be able to experience high quality art on their daily journey. Once the pandemic struck, it was clear that ICG was the perfect exhibition for tough times because it is free and can be safely navigated outdoors by foot, bicycle or vehicle. Measures to ensure safety and social distancing will be used such as hand sanitizing stations and social distancing markers. Facial coverings will be required.


For more info visit www.illuminatecoralgables.org


By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Coral Gables Community Foundation