In March 2016, Polk Museum of Art concluded a month-long Kickstarter campaign to work with Miami artist Ruben Ubiera on an on-site, full-scale wall mural. Thanks to overwhelming community support, the campaign was a success, raising $12,000!
16’x24’, as the project came to be known, was the first opportunity to bring street art to the Museum. Due to a generous donation from the Harrison Parents’ Association, this project was also an opportunity to connect senior visual art students at Harrison School for the Arts with a professional street artist. For one week in April, Ubiera was an artist-in-residence at the Museum as he conceptualized and created the mural and engaged with local artists.
Polk Museum of Art chose to work with Miami artist Ruben Ubiera based on his creative style and community approach to street art. A native of the Dominican Republic, Ubiera moved with his family to the Bronx, NY, where he was influenced by the city’s gritty street graffiti. Now working in Miami’s Wynwood Art District, he contributes to one of the country’s capitals for sophisticated public street art.
Inspired by man’s relationship with the urban environment, Ubiera combines concept and technique with narrative and an old-school essence of graffiti. This new style of street art is often referred to as Postgraffism, or according to Ubiera “urban-pop.” His murals embody a new spirit of urban aesthetic, distanced from the old perceptions of unrefined graffiti. He considers himself one of the “neo-illustrators and designers who are experimenting with new media, but have been influenced by graffiti . . .” He has certainly distinguished himself as belonging to a new generation of street artists. You can learn more about Ruben Ubiera at his website, UrbanPopSoul.com.
The ultimate idea is to repurpose this wall as a rotating exhibition space for visiting mural artists and installation artists.