On April 3rd, a new mural by Steve Powers was unveiled at The Carlton South Beach, bringing further hype to the O, Miami Poetry Festival commencement.
The painting is expansive and bold; a color palate of sea-green, orange and sharp black pops from the stark white wall. Numerous self-contained images and winking textual arrangements creep around windows. The feeling of the piece is catchy and fast. It causes the eye to linger and roam.
People trickled into The Carlton’s alley from hectic Collins Ave with heads askew and necks upward extended like great egrets. The subject was discussed in several different languages. When pictures were taken by a click of tourists, O, Miamians chirped “#OMIAMI!”
I contacted Steve Powers after his time spent at the wall to ask if there any sentiments of the experience that stuck to him. “What was amazing,” Mr. Powers said, “is that nearly everybody that came by was from out of town like us… we were all adrift and trying to absorb the atmosphere.” Steve's observation rings true. The demographics of Miami, and South Beach in particular, are in constant flux. Miami is made up of many people who are here for a break or stopping by for a holiday. South Beach can be a confusing, patio-bar-filled, rosy-tinted, beach-bodied and coconut-scented sort of place.
When I asked Mr. Powers which attendees had the most impact on him and the piece, he stated: the employees of the hotel. Other than the O, Miami staff, they were the only people he spoke to who were truly of Miami.
“They were the community I had in mind as we were painting,” he wrote.
When it comes to the city, and his art’s muse, I find this sentiment from Steve Powers quite fitting. In the resort that is Miami, those who reside within her borders become the resort staff. So put down your miniature soaps, towel origami and travel sized hair products and come check out the new Steve Powers mural at the Carlton South Beach.
See what Steve Powers had to say about his time with the wall here.