Public Art in Coral Gables – Venetian Palines
Venice is celebrating the 59th edition of its world-renowned Biennale Arte this year and it runs from April 23 through November 27, 2022. This year, the Biennale is curated by Cecilia Alemani, the first Italian woman to lead the Biennale. Currently, she is the Director and Chief Curator of High Line Art in New York City and previously curated the Italian pavilion at the Biennale in 2017.
If you aren’t winging your way to Italy in the next few months, there’s plenty to see on the official website and a visit to the Venetian Pools in Coral Gables and the beautiful exhibition of Palines will certainly put you in the mood. Conjuring images of Gondolas dancing along the canals in Venice powered by hand in a balletic choreography; steered by Gondoliers sporting straw hats with ribbons flowing in the wind wearing the classic striped shirts create the romantic and real vision of this Italian city built atop of a multitude of waterways.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, in Coral Gables, Florida, The City Beautiful as the Gables is known, created its Art in Public Places Program (“AiPP”) in 2007 with the goal to, “commission, acquire and exhibit new public artworks and public art initiatives in Coral Gables with funding from the municipal government and private development projects.” For detailed information about exhibitions, and permanent acquisitions visit the Coral Gables Art in Public Places website.
The public art initiatives created and installed since 2007 add to the many renowned works already enjoyed by residents and tourists alike, such as the beloved “Old Shoes” at Cartagena Plaza, “Tuxedo” in Pittman Park by Giralda Plaza, and the WPA sculpture “Firemen and Who They Save” overseeing pedestrians as they stroll in front of the historic police and fire stations on Salzedo Street.
In June 2018, Venice in the Gables became a reality supported by the City of Coral Gables and the Coral Gables Community Foundation to celebrate the completion of the city’s Street Scape Project. The sidewalks on the famed Miracle Mile were widened to accommodate the ever-growing strolling visitors and residents and Giralda Avenue was reborn as a pedestrian promenade dotted with outdoor cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.
Artists from near and far were invited to propose designs for painted palines, the red and white posts resplendent along the canals in Venice. 33 palines were created and eight of the contemporary art sculptures created to honor Coral Gables history are now on display around the gorgeous Venetian Pool one of the highlights of any visual tour – whether IRL or virtual – of Coral Gables
Venice in the Gables at the Venetian Pool is open throughout the year with the exception of major holidays. For days of operation please visit the website. Shaped from a coral rock quarry in 1923, it is flanked by two towers that provide wide-angled views of Coral Gables. The pool itself holds 820, 000 gallons of spring water replenished from an underground aquifer. The palines dot the garden path encircling the pool and many of the tops may be glimpsed over the tops of the walls and through the gates for those passing by.
Artists whose palines are installed at the Venetian Pool include (listed in order of appearance on the path): Andrew Williams, Ashley Lopez, Grahame Menage, Francisco Flor, Andrew Williams, Gregory Dirr, Alec Kreisberg, and Rei Ramirez. Currently the palines are being restored to their original luster.
Savvy art collectors’ count 24 of the palines among their private collections and some are visible around Coral Gables including those created by Adriana Dorta, Ariel Celestino Hernandez, Monique Lazard, Humberto Benitez, Bonnie Masdeu, and Jorge-Miguel Rodriguez.
In celebration of Coral Gables 100th anniversary in 2025 plans are in the making for a new series of Venetian Palines commissioned painted by artists once again.
Join us here at experiencecoralgables.com as we share the many works of art on view in public places and spaces. Share your photos and selfies of these magnificent works on our Instagram and Facebook pages, we love seeing our community and visitors delighting in the beauty of Coral Gables.