The Dogs and Cats Walkway and Sculpture Gardens in Miami is raising awareness about “the special role pets play in our lives.” Thousands have already visited the Maurice A. Ferré Park Park Gardens after the opening on February 11, 2023, during Miami Art Week.
Miami already has year-round flowers, and now they have a year-round riot of color with these giant sculptures. But the intended message is about compassion to animals.
“The exhibition will display large painted sculptures of different dog and cat breeds, aimed at exalting the human-pet relationship and raising awareness towards animal compassion,” stated Bayfront Park.
There are 52 giant-sized colorful cats and dogs set amongst the sun-drenched palm trees. A different local artist completed each sculpture.
Cats and Dogs Peacefully Coexist
The cats and dogs alternate, so you can see them living happily in a peaceful kingdom by the sea. Artist Tomas Florez even depicted a cat and dog cuddling together on the flank of a rainbow-colored Poodle named Cotton Candy!
Every color and design imaginable explodes as you walk down the promenade to Biscayne Bay. Some in the art crowd have called the colors “garish,” and not up to fine art caliber. Garish? Purrhaps, but it’s so fun! By the way, did you know that ancient Greek sculptures were originally painted with bright colors? So, maybe they’re more in line with fine art traditions, particularly since cats and dogs have been revered since ancient times.
If it’s not fine art, it’s certainly great fun for families and animal lovers. Here’s Natasha, the Brazilian Shorthair cat by Diana “Didi” Contreras. This kitty purrsonifies life in the Miami sunshine, don’t you think?
The Largest Garden in Miami
The Dog and Cats Walkway will be permanent, and it’s free for anyone to visit Downtown. There are an equal number of cats and dogs, with 26 each. All stand on display in the largest garden in Miami. Commissioner Joe Carollo said it would be the “prettiest” and largest garden in all Miami shortly before the grand opening.
Carollo told the Miami Herald a similar tourist attraction from Cali, Colombia, inspired the project after his wife saw a video about it. They hoped it would draw many tourists to come see the gardens. We’re sure thousands of locals are enjoying the experience too, and will fondly remember their visits.
Video by Miami305Radio:
Reactions to the Sculpture Gardens
While this park instantly appeals to kids, anyone walking through the gardens could feel like a kid again. What a joyful place to be, and there will be an infinite number of selfies taken with the sculptures.
Video by City of Miami Gov:
Learning About Animals with Sculpture
The sculptures are also a learning experience. Visitors can scan an animal-shaped QR code next to each sculpture and learn about the artist, inspiration, and facts about animal breeds. For example, you can learn about cats like the Siamese, American Shorthair, Persian, and many “Street Cats” too.
As a gentle reminder, we never recommend going to a breeder for a cat or dog. Millions of shelter pets are waiting for homes at any given time. So adopt, don’t shop. The best pets are shelter pets. We hope this message becomes a central one for the exhibit.
Here’s a rainbow-colored Persian by artist Daniela Sanchez Vegas.
And check out the Siamese cat named Gaia from Thailand by artist Andrea Ciatti.
Here, you never know what you might see. The walkway is near the Frost Museum, so you might spot a Giganotosaurus walking with the Dogs and Cats.
Video via Facebook/Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science