HEAT Players Mask Up on Mural in Wynwood
Local artist, Kyle Holbrook, helps share the #MaskUpFL message in creating a giant, full-roster mural on the walls of Wynwood. The mural is located on the Pinnacle Los Suenos Building on the corner of NW 36th St. and NW 5th Ave.
When did you discover your love for art?
I’ve been an artist all my life. My mother and father were both teachers and told me that some of my first words were "I want to be an artist." It has been a lifelong dream of mine. I’ve now been working professionally as an artist for 20 years and have had the opportunity to paint murals in 43 countries and 27 states.
How did this giant HEAT-themed mural come to life?
In speaking with Miami’s public art guru and philanthropist, Louis Wolfson III, we started to brainstorm about ways to get the message out about wearing masks. We then decided “What better way to share the message then by featuring the Miami HEAT roster as leaders in our community wearing masks?” With Miami being such a tourist destination, we wanted to make sure the message was huge, bright and bold on a Wynwood wall that can be seen from I-95. Pinnacle Housing provided a grant through its Art in Public Places program and my Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project (MLK) to make this mural possible.
What is the MLK Community Mural Project?
It’s an organization I created back in 2002. Our mission is to engage youth, artists and families of all races, ages, genders and ethnicities in the beautification of their communities through education, inspiration, employment, activism and empowerment. I started the organization to provide an outlet for at-risk youth, victims of gun violence and the physically disabled.
How long did it take to finish?
It took four weeks to complete. It depicts all 17 players on the roster plus includes the faces of Coach Spo, Godfather Riley, Zo, Micky Arison and D-Wade. Every player on the team is important in order to win a championship, and every person in South Florida is important when it comes to beating the virus.
This must have taken a WHOLE lot of paint. What was the process like?
The process of creating a large-scale art of this magnitude required a hydraulic boom lift and yes, a whole lot of paint! One hundred seventy-five gallons to be exact. I only paint by brush and eye, painting all the players with my signature pattern in orange and utilizing the colorful Miami HEAT color palette. Most artists use projectors and spray paint. That is the beauty of art, everyone has a different style and process. The challenge and accomplishment of just figuring it out through eye, although takes more time, is very rewarding to me. All the lettering, “We’re ALL in this TOGETHER” was done by Anna Lee Roeder and Erick Vasilauskas.
What do you hope people gain by seeing this?
I hope the size and detail will inspire people to do the right thing and wear a mask, not only for themselves, but for everyone.
To learn more about Kyle and his MLK Community Mural Project, visit www.mlkmural.com.