Miami's Public Art Proposal Draws Plenty of Critics

Per The Real Deal, the city of Miami is close to passing an ordinance requiring developers to incorporate public art into their projects. 

Miami loves its public art — just look at the murals in Wynwood — but the proposed requirement is drawing critics who fear the ordinance would negatively affect young, emerging artists.

The rule would require any development costing over $3 million to include public art and as the cost of the project increases, the developers must allot more of the budget to an installation or pay a tax. Developers that renovate interiors or remodel an existing property at a cost of $3 million or more would also have to participate in the public art program, the ordinance says. Doral, Miami Beach, and Coral Gables have similar requirements currently.

However, The Real Deal points out that the proposed ordinance would allow the city to contract with an independent art appraiser to appraise the art before approving it. This would undervalue street artists and other emerging artists who are not represented by galleries. 

This part of the ordinance is a sticking point for stakeholders in Wynwood, which already has public art on buildings. The proposed legislation would allow Wynwood to set its own regulations for public art, but in the meantime, the art would be subject to review by the new Art in Public Places Board and its independent appraisers.

“The top level concern is that when you read the legislation, none or very few of the artists engaged to do our building murals would meet the definition of a fine artist,” David Polinsky, a developer who sits on the Wynwood Business Improvement District board, said. “Many street artists have opted out of the gallery scene and are not represented in galleries. So it is almost impossible to appraise their work.”

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