Broward News

Downtown Hollywood to Expand Its Mural Project

Last Wednesday, the Hollywood commission approved the Community Redevelopment Authority's request to expand its Downtown Hollywood Mural Project (DHMP), according to Jorge Camejo, the CRA's executive director.

Currently, the mural district occupies two streets, Harrison Street and Hollywood Boulevard. The expansion would triple its size and span Federal Highway and Dixie Highway.

The CRA launched its first wall in August 2012, with a mural by artist David "Lebo" Le Batard. The wall, situated across from Young Circle, drew controversy and criticism among residents and city officials.

To date, 11 murals have been created, ten by local artists. This distinguishes downtown Hollywood from Wynwood, where many of the walls in the gritty and hip neighborhood were painted by international artists.

Because of this outdoor gallery, strolling downtown Hollywood has an element of surprise. Look up, it's Mona Lisa done by hot Miami street artists 2Alas. Look around the corner and see Jessy Nite's cluster of colorful diamonds mixed with black-and-white stripes.

Buddies and fellow painters Eddie Mendieta and Jay Bellicchi treated a wall near the 2014 Gallery. Other works are by Ruben Ubiera, Luis Pinto, Evoca1, Michelle Weinberg, and Rob Robi. There's one wall done by Atlanta-based artist Molly Rose Freeman, who stopped by during her Art Basel trip last year.

But when it comes to public art, taste is subjective. That's a part of the fun and is taken into consideration during the two-part approval process.

"I think overall the mural program has been successful, and this expansion speaks volumes of its success," says Camejo. "Not every single mural is loved by everyone. Just like when people visit museums, they see pieces they like and don't like."

So when will the next mural go up? A few months from now. Camejo says project manager Jill Weisberg has a handful of artists in mind. Weisberg is tasked with scouting local talent and finding the right property and wall space to fit each artist. Some artists do better work on smaller walls and some the opposite. Any street artists who want in should contact Weisberg at the CRA.

Click here to see a map and to contact the CRA.

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Anthony Cave