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Friends of The Underline Announces Winner of Hammock Playground Art Murals Open Call Supported by Hearst Foundations Grant

May 20, 2024
by Meg Daly

Artist draft rendering of mural subject to change


Miami, Florida – Today, Friends of The Underline (FUL) announced the selected artist from its recent open call: We Are Nice’n Easy, a collaborative venture by artists Allison Matherly and Jeffrey Noble. Supported by a grant from the Hearst Foundations, the selected artists will paint two temporary murals in the newly inaugurated Hammock Playground, an immersive, nature-inspired playground situated adjacent to Simpson Park. These vibrant installations will be unveiled this summer.

Thanks to the enthusiastic response from the art community, FUL received over 50 competitive applications from talented South Florida-based artists. The selection process was conducted by the Underline Art Advisory Council (UAAC), pursuant to a collaboration with the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Miami-Dade Art in Public Places. We Are Nice’n Easy proposed “Hide and Seek,” a mesmerizing mural featuring collaged images of iconic South Florida fauna such as sea turtles, dolphins, and alligators, transformed into whimsical floats for pools. These beloved symbols are juxtaposed against an undulating pattern that both alters the color scheme and distorts the representational imagery.

These captivating murals represent a significant stride towards realizing The Underline’s vision of a 10-mile public art destination, urban trail, and linear park. FUL also will  organize community events and activities to activate the murals and the newly unveiled Hammock Playground, emphasizing the “Power of Art and Play” to foster community engagement, particularly among families.

“Hearst Foundations is proud to support this investment in local artists at Hammock Playground in Brickell. These artworks celebrate South Florida’s natural beauty and encourage community engagement through art and play.” – Donna Kalajian Lagani, VP Eastern Director, Hearst Foundations.  

The Hammock playground also includes a new sculpture by internationally renowned artist Jeppe Hein, “Modified Social Bench”, 2019, installed in spring 2024. This artwork was donated to the collection of Miami-Dade Art in Public Places by The Underline, made possible through a donation from Friends of The Underline on behalf of major gifts from the Lynn & Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Also on site is “Leaning Arches” (1994) a monumental CorTen steel sculpture by heralded environmental artist Athena Tacha, relocated to this site as part of the playground design in 2020. This artwork is part of the collection of the Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places program, made possible with the support of the Art in Public Places Trust, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.