June 27, 2022
by Meg Daly
We are thrilled to share that The Underline’s Allegory mural was selected as Best Public Art in Miami Dade County by Miami New Times Best of 2022! On a Metrorail maintenance building wall, local artist Edny Jean Joseph created this 70-foot-wide mural in The Underline’s Oolite Room near SW 13th Street (Coral Way). The mural is a representation of our diverse community and celebrates our history through visual arts and storytelling.
Amy Rosenberg, Art and Programming Advisor at Friends of The Underline shares how The Allegory came to be:
Two years ago, I was on yet another Zoom call with Ana Clara Silva, a previous consultant for The Underline’s Public Art & Cultural Master Plan, when I saw the bottom of a tiny work of art over her shoulder. I asked, “Can I get a better look at what’s on your wall?”
Ana Clara brought the computer camera closer to the work of Edny Jean Joseph, a Haitian American artist in his early 20s. The work seemed to vibrate with hope and suffering. At that moment, I knew Edny was going to create the first public artwork on The Underline.
I asked Edny to transform a complicated 70-foot substation wall with a mural. Since he was painting in an active transit corridor, he was not allowed to touch or disrupt the existing windows, doors and a no trespassing sign. Edny managed to create a work of beauty and meaning despite the structural impediments. It was the early days of the pandemic and Edny was going through his own turmoil. Nevertheless, he created imagery that captured the fragility of the moment but also transcended it.
This mural, made possible with the generous support from the visionary philanthropist Louis Wolfson III of Pinnacle, is situated steps away from Southside Elementary and viewed daily by countless children, runners and cyclists. Louis’ support was matched by the John S. and James L Knight Foundation. We are eternally grateful to everyone who helps support the public art program on The Underline.
Amy Rosenberg, Underline Art & Programs
Thank you, Miami, for showing us so much love!
If you want to learn more about The Allegory and see how it was made, visit theunderline.org/art/the-allegory