Skip to main content
Font size options
Increase or decrease the font size for this website by clicking on the 'A's.
Contrast options
Choose a color combination to give the most comfortable contrast.
Digital Collections Blog Logo

Exploring the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places Digital Collection: A Collaboration Between the Library and Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs


Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places (APP) is a program by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs that serves the community by commissioning artists for art installations dedicated to enriching the public environment and preserving and enhancing the artistic and civic pride of our County. Established in 1973, Art in Public Places has acquired or commissioned over 1,000 pieces of art across diverse locations in Miami-Dade, including Miami International Airport, PortMiami, Zoo Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, several parks, and of course, our libraries.

But how do these distinctive artworks come to life? Like any artistic project, it all begins with a draft. Each public artwork in Miami-Dade starts as a proposal submitted to APP.  A collaborative team of artists, landscape architects, historians, engineers, and architects then review the proposed artworks for consideration. Artworks range from sculptures to paintings. While some of these pieces closely resemble their initial models, others begin as proof-of-concept ideas that evolve into the final works we see today.

For historical preservation efforts, the Library’s Digital Collections team digitizes the submitted proposals received over the years. This ongoing effort involves creating 3D models whenever possible, along with capturing a range of photographs from different angles, providing viewers with a comprehensive look at each object. Many maquettes, drafts, and prototypes are crafted from fragile materials for the immediate purpose of evaluation and are not intended to endure over time. Nonetheless, the Library takes extreme care to preserve them for current and future viewers, while sharing their artistic value and influence.

Some of these beautiful art installations are found in our library locations.

Model of rotunda
Model of rotunda

Proposal for “Words Without Thought Never Heaven Go” by Edward Ruscha, 1985

View of Main Library rotunda artwork

“Words Without Thought Never to Heaven Go,” 360-degree mural at the entrance rotunda at Main Library

Art installation at the library

“Pelusio y el Tio Eterio” at the Kendale Lakes Branch Library

Other installations are outdoors and can be found throughout Miami-Dade County.

As the APP program progresses, the Library plans to expand its Digital Collection to include videos featuring interviews with the commissioned artists, blueprints, and artists' statements.

To see more content from Miami-Dade County's Art in Public Places in the Library’s Digital Collection, click here.