Ron English in front of his Miami Marine Stadium Mural (photographed by Martha Cooper)
Curator and stencil artist Logan Hicks invited the second session of world class artists to leave their mark on the Miami Marine Stadium. Hicks, along with Crash, The London Police, Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Jose Mertz and Reinier Gamboa, found inspiration in the legendary graffiti penit and left their marks as part of the ArtHistory Mural Project. Legendary photographer Martha Cooper was also on hand to capture it all. The stadium itself is closed to the public, but remains populated by local and international graffiti artists, who have likely painted over the crew’s latest murals by now. The pieces created will however be sold as prints which will benefit the renovation of the stadium by the Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium.
The long-abandoned Miami Marine Stadium has unknowingly reinvented itself as a legendary venue for street artists. The multi-purpose stadium was built in 1963 by Hilario Candela and designed to host motor boat races in Virginia Key, but also became a legendary venue for concerts with the addition of a floating stage, featuring a view of Downtown Miami as the stunning backdrop. Numerous big names have played the Miami Marine Stadium, from Freddie Mercury and Queen to Ray Charles to Sammy David Jr and of course Gloria Estefan.
The city temporarily gave up on the stadium after it was ravaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but street artists flocked from all over the world to sneak inside and paint its decaying, ocean-view seats. Over the years, the stadium was transformed from a desolate, rotting structure into a candy-colored outdoor gallery. Still closed to the public, art lovers can only catch a glimpse of this impromptu outdoor gallery by boat, or by risking arrest and slinking in. Still, the artists have persuaded the city that the stadium is now seen as a place worth saving. A new non-profit, Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium, has formed with the intention of revamping the stadium and reinstalling it as an experiential outdoor venue surrounded by a lush green park, with shops, restaurants, a maritime museum and exhibition space.