Miami Arts & Humanities Council, 66 Cultural District and the City of Miami are hosting the inaugural 'Mural Fest 66 ' event and festival from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on April 29 on Central Avenue in Miami.

MIAMI – Art amplifies, brightens and inspires any space. Efforts are underway to artistically enhance Miami by adding murals to Miami buildings as part of the Miami Arts & Humanities Council's efforts to create and distinguish the 66 Cultural District.

Miami Arts & Humanities Council, 66 Cultural District and the City of Miami are hosting the inaugural 'Mural Fest 66 ' event and festival from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on April 29 on Central Avenue in Miami.

The festival will celebrate local culture with live stage music, food trucks, a dedicated children's area, and an Artists Gallery, with even more to be added.

Beginning the week of April 26, four spray-paint artists will begin painting 10,000 square feet of new murals to debut during Mural Fest 66. The public is encouraged to come watch the artists as they create fantastic murals to make the walls of Miami buildings come to life.

“We had gone to a conference, Ann Neal, Teresa Karleskint and some others, and learned about this mural idea they did in Oklahoma City. They took kind of some derelict looking areas and put these bright colorful murals on these buildings and suddenly people wanted to walk there,” Marcia Johnson, 66 Cultural District board member said.

“There are four artists from Oklahoma City and Jessica Stout from NEO incorporating some of her students and maybe even getting some of the public involved on some of her mural area, so there are five different walls,” Johnson said.

Participating artists, Jason Pawley, Dylan Bradway, Denise Duong and Kris Kanaly will sell art and exclusive merchandise at the event, and a reception is scheduled for the artists.

There will be five different walls painted, one on the old Miami Animal Alliance Shelter building and walls on other buildings along the 500 East Central block and across the street on a building formerly housing a Coca-Cola bottling company.

“We haven’t seen the mural designs yet,” 66 Cultural District board member, Teresa Karleskint said. “We have to approve the design, it has to be family friendly, whatever it will be will be good for the eye, and something that will be colorful. All the artists have a different style, and I can’t wait to see what they do.”

NEO A&M Fine Art Instructor Jessica Stout and her students will also create an original mural in the district.

The 66 Cultural District has been created to enhance Miami's downtown to offer a mixed-use, pedestrian friendly area in the community with concentrated arts and cultural facilities and events to serve as an added attraction to Miami.

Organizers are also hoping for business or individual sponsorships and donations, no matter the size, to help defray expenses for the project so those funds can be put to other future development projects for the 66 Cultural District. Each artist will receive $1,500 for their mural piece.

“Anybody that is willing to help, that would just be awesome,” Karleskint said.

The arts and cultural district has been developed to reflect the community's unique environment and history, showcase the region's artistic and cultural traditions, increase social engagement, and attract visitors, according to a press release about the event.

“We are also trying to make a corridor between the college and Main Street,” Karleskint said. “We hope to add to this every year. It’s snowballing – it’s kind of becoming bigger and bigger as we go.”

About the Artists

The artists were selected for their exceptional talent and ability to paint larger murals, according to Johnson.

Kristopher Kanaly is an artist, designer, photographer and art director from Oklahoma City. With an extensive family history in the arts hailing back to his great grandfather’s gallery, The Colonial Art Gallery established in 1919, Kanaly has grown up inside a family of artists, art collectors, art dealers and graphic designers. This influence propelled him into a career in graphic design and fine art with a strong focus on street art.

Kanaly’s work has received popularity through multiple awards, publications and books. His artwork is regularly on exhibit with various regional galleries as well as numerous outdoor murals and street art applications in multiple states across the U.S. Kanaly’s work can be described as contemporary pop, exhibiting a mix of abstract geometric patterns with layers of graffiti-inspired and space-themed influences.

Dylan Bradway currently works as a graphic designer and co-owner at DNA Galleries, co-curator and developer of the Plaza Walls project and continues to pursue his personal and public art career. Throughout his schooling, Bradway built his creative talents in many art-related studies that led to his BFA in Graphic Design obtained with honors in 2006.

With a drive for supporting emerging artists, Bradway has built a close relationship with his local arts community and over the past decade has begun to pursue national and international artistic endeavors. His artwork has been shown at various exhibits throughout the country and traveled overseas for a solo exhibition in Hannover, Germany. With an urban contemporary style, Bradway’s art holds illustrative qualities when rendering subject matter which is dreamlike and representational in nature.

Denise Duong was born and raised in Oklahoma City by Vietnamese parents. “Along with them was my wonderfully caring uncle, and my partner in crime sister Tina, and two cousins. As soon as I was able to figure out ways to leave home, I was out and about exploring the cracks and crannies of this crazy world. I attended art school in Chicago, and my wandering soul set me out to do what I do best, create things and explore. I have a deep love for nature, adventure, exploration, and working with my hands. These things influence me in everything that I do. Textures and using different processes entertain me. People entertain me. The world entertains me. I entertain myself. Cheers to yesterday, today, and tomorrow!”

Jason Pawley works with graphic, neoned works of art that captivate audiences. He’s been featured in many places, including locally owned/operated DNA Galleries and has commercial expertise as the artist behind the full labeling/packaging design for Black Mesa Brewing. His distinctive use of pattern and color creates an immediate distinction, and there is great excitement to see his aesthetic in large scale.

Jessica Stout is chair of the art program at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. Stout’s passion for education and teaching of the arts involves students ranging from those hoping to pursue a career in art to novice students enrolled in Introduction to Art. She adapts to all levels of learning by engaging students in and out of the classroom.

As an active member of the Miami Arts and Humanities Council, Stout has volunteered her time to ensure the community has access to the arts. From the performing arts to the visual arts, the Miami community has been exposed to many forms of art not typically available in rural areas. As an advocate for the arts, Stout graduated in 2013 from the prestigious Oklahoma Leadership Arts program. She was one of only 32 individuals from across the state selected for the program.

More information can be found on the ‘Mural Fest 66’ Facebook page, and to make donations or for more information on the event contact Teresa Karleskint at 918-542-4479.