Cultural Quarterly
Fall 2008
Volume XXI, Number 4
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99th Whaling Wall

99th Whaling Wall Mural (detail)

North Lauderdale Welcomes 99th ‘Whaling Wall’ Mural
Residents, commuters and visitors in North Lauderdale can view a 1,000-foot-long piece of history every time they drive – or walk - along McNab Road just west of Rock Island Road.  The city is now home to the 99th mural created by acclaimed marine life artist and conservation advocate Wyland as part of his internationally renowned “Whaling Wall” public art project. 

The mural was dedicated in June.  Internationally renowned artists Guy Harvey and Romero Britto joined Wyland in completing this larger-than-life-sized work of art.

North Lauderdale brought Wyland to the area as part of its commitment to“Building a Future” for residents by establishing a greener community.  The completion of the 10’ x 1,000’ wall aligns with the city’s environmental initiatives, which include water conservation, recycling and environmental stewardship.

Wyland’s mural is part of the city’s new “Wyland Walk,” a fully remodeled McNab/Cypress Creek corridor spanning the length of the mural and featuring park benches, landscaping upgrades and a spiraling walkway marbled with sea-toned colors of recycled glass.  The new area anchors the city’s Arts in Public Places program, which strives to implement thought-provoking, original art to help inspire residents. 

Wyland’s goal over the last 25 years has been to raise awareness about marine life conservation and

99th Whaling Wall Mural
99th Whaling Wall Mural (detail)

global water issues through his Whaling Walls, a series of 100 murals in more than 70 cities throughout the world.  Although Wyland had not planned additional murals in the United States, he selected the City of North Lauderdale as home of his 99th mural after nurturing a partnership with city Manager Richard Sala.

After meeting Richard in 2000, I quickly realized that we share a passion for the arts, environment and the overall development and well-being of a community,” Wyland said.  “It was this connection that sparked my interest in creating a mural in a city that focuses on ‘Building a Future’ for its residents, and is frequently undergoing improvement projects that pertain to redevelopment for the city.”

The artist, who donates the paintings as gifts to each community, has completed murals in Sao Paolo, Brazil; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; American Samoa; Del Mar, Calif., and Oahu, to name a few.  His 98th mural was completed in Santos, Brazil in May.  The completion of Wyland’s 100th mural in July marked the culmination of the largest on-going art in public places project by a single individual.  “This has been a fantastic journey,” Wyland said. “When I started this project more than two decades ago, I never would have dreamed the project would be where it is today.”

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South Side School
Southside School Project

Fort Lauderdale Adds Arts Role to Advisory Board, Advances Southside School Project

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted in July to expand the scope of the Community Services Board’s responsibilities to include cultural arts and tourism.  The board now has the ability to research and develop opportunities for funding in these areas and to report its findings and recommendations to the City Commission.

The Commission designated Jeff Modarelli, the city’s economic development director, to serve as the liaison to the board for its cultural arts and tourism duties.  The action was taken following the introduction of the concept by Vice Mayor Charlotte Rodstrom a member of the Broward Cultural Council.  Broward Cultural Division Director Mary Becht and Grants Administrator James Shermer described the potential opportunities available to the city in the areas of cultural tourism, arts and design arts at a city commission meeting.

At the same meeting, the City Commission approved a number of change orders to enable the renovation of the historic Southside School to move forward.  The school, located adjacent to Florence Hardy Park on Andrews Avenue between SW 7th Street and SW 9th Street, is slated to become a community and cultural center when renovations are completed in early 2009.


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