A dog and cat sculpture garden that provoked debate—and the scorn of Franklin Sirmans, the director of Pérez Art Museum Miami, which neighbours the garden—when it was announced earlier this year, will open during Miami Art Week. Officially known as the Dogs and Cats Walkway Sculpture Garden, the project will be unveiled on Saturday 3 December in Maurice A. Ferré Park. The sculpture garden will feature 52 statues of dogs and cats (26 of each) of different breeds by 50 local artists.
The project is a partnership with local fabricator Art and Sculpture Unlimited, which was awarded the $896,000 contract for the project with little debate or discussion last March by the Bayfront Park Management Trust, leading to board member Cristina Palomo’s resignation and a strongly worded editorial in the Miami Herald.
After the contributing artists were chosen, a series of workshops was organised for the artists to familiarise themselves with some of the weatherproof materials required for the job. One unexpected benefit of the workshops was the sense of community they fostered among the artists, some of whom subsequently showed together in an exhibition in Atlanta.
In the sculpture garden, each statue is accompanied by a QR code that directs visitors to a brief clip about the animal breed depicted, and a short feature on the artist who created the sculpture.