ARTLURKER

A Miami based contemporary art newsletter / blog

Seeds of Change: Miami’s Upper Eastside Garden

Martin Oppel’s mural in progress (now complete).

On Saturday Miami’s Upper East Side Garden enjoyed its second anniversary. Those who attended the event were treated to performances by Debbie D and a live show with Matt & Kim organized by Sweat Records to celebrate the design of its new native Florida garden by Edwina von Gal and the unveiling of a new mural by Miami artist Martin Oppel.

Aside from being a welcoming tropical oasis and weekend hang out, Upper Eastside Garden exists to create affordable vehicles for artistic expression, facilitate greater accessibility to the arts and sciences and promote new ways of thinking about art through interdisciplinary programming. In addition to operating the City of Miami’s only miniature golf course, the garden which has been growing for two years, features outdoor sculptures by Miami artists, a rotating mural project, weekly film series and regular live musical performances.

Detail of Miniature Golf Course/Sculpture Park.

Having recently received a 25,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, The Upper Eastside Garden has transformed from a modest garden center and discreet mini golf and evening events venue to the nexus of a flourishing community and botanical park featuring a native Florida garden designed by Edwina von Gal, a renowned New York landscape designer who recently worked on the Parque Botánico in Panama with architect Frank Gehry. With exciting educational and ecological programming and a sculptural installation that is redesigned monthly by kids one would scarcely believe that they were on Biscayne Blvd, an area which until quite recently was populated largely by liquor stores, cheap motels and strip joints.

Speaking briefly about the boulevard, which in the last 3 years has seen a boom in farmers markets, cafes, restaurants and commodity stores, Peter Rosek, Upper Eastside Garden’s driving force and Knight Arts Partnership grant applicant stated: “It is a really nice neighborhood with a lot of great things to do! I think with the changing demographic there’s different and more things to do now than there was before. Motel Blu has a great bar in it called The Red Light Lounge that has a weekly menu with lots of organic options and the Haitian restaurant that was next door to me is now a great sushi restaurant called Moshi Moshi.”

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Located at 7244 Biscayne Blvd. The Upper Eastside Garden can currently be rented out for private events and is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 3pm.

For more information please visit: http://web.mac.com/uppereastsidegarden

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Seeds of Change: Miami’s Upper Eastside Garden