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AMLgMATD’s Pride247 transforms Lincoln Road for Miami Beach Pride

Written By Josie Gulliksen
April 19, 2024 at 11:17 AM

Aerial photo of Pride247 installation on Lincoln Road.
Photo credit Fotonoggin.

Lincoln Road is bright with rainbow colors thanks to the Pride247 site-specific installation created by local artists Laz Ojalde and Natalie Zlamalova, the duo known as AMLgMATD.

Art enthusiasts with a keen eye might recognize a similar installation the duo created in 2021 for the Art on the Plaza series at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami.

The duo Laz Ojalde and Natalie Zlamalova, known as AMLgMATD, who created the Pride247 installations on Lincoln Road. Photo credit Ryan Troy.

Ojalde and Zlamalova were intentional in their creation, transforming sections of Lincoln Road with LGBTQ representative colors to create a specific atmosphere that envelops the passersby.

“In our work, we like to transform environments using color, pattern, and repetition to make the audience pause and rethink their experience of the space,” said Ojalde and Zlamalova.

“We hope that visitors and residents alike feel welcome within the rainbow circle and a sense of joy walking underneath an ever-present rainbow in the sky and see the connections we share visualized in this work.”

The installation process itself was composed of the duo and their assistants hanging above Lincoln Road, hugging palm trees during the daytime heat and at all hours of the night.

Pride247 installation by AMLgMATD illuminated at night at the Lincoln Road Euclid Oval. Photo credit Josie Gulliksen.

“Oh, the things we do for the love of art,” said Ojalde and Zlamalova. “We worked more than ten hours for eight days.”

Using scissor lifts, they attached straps 15 feet high on the trees, knotting and tightening them color by color. After connecting all ten palms, they wrapped the trunks for a polished finish.

“We split the colors into two even groups of three colors to emphasize the scale of the space and give each color more prominence and wrapped each trunk in the corresponding straps,” they said.

The installation prioritizes tree health, avoiding mechanical fastenings like screws or bolts to prevent damage. Materials used are chosen for their bark-friendliness, ensuring air flow and moisture can still reach the tree’s bark, highlighting a commitment to preserving the natural integrity and wellbeing of the trees.

Additionally, a crew painted the concrete steps of the Euclid Oval following AMLgMATD’S design for an additional layer to the experience, completing the installation on both the vertical and horizontal visual planes.

Concrete planters wrapped in the rainbow flag colors border Lincoln Road on Washington Avenue, Alton Road, and Euclid Avenue. Photo credit Fotonoggin.

For the concrete planters bordering Lincoln Road on Washington Avenue, Alton Road, and Euclid Avenue, they designed a modified version of the Progressive Pride Flag printing it onto fabric sleeves that wrap around them.

The duo was handpicked by the Lincoln Road BID (Business Improvement District), having collaborated with them on a previous project. The two are also former Art Center/South Florida (now Oolite Arts) resident artists. “We were excited to return to our old home turf,” they said.

The inspiration came to Lyle Stern, president of the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District, while on a trip to Amsterdam with his wife.

“I was in Amsterdam with my wife two summers ago during the Pride Festival and it was amazing to see. It made me feel like we do not lean in to celebrating Pride Week on Lincoln Road,” Stern said. “So last year, we painted the Lapidus structures in Pride colors and after that, it was decided we would do a fixed installation for Pride week, showcasing our connection, commitment, support and involvement.”

“This year’s Pride installation is visible from a very far distance and is very colorful and engaging,” Stern said.

Stern gives full credit to the Lincoln Road BID staff with implementing and carrying the project through saying, “they deserve all the credit for the budget, sourcing the artist and seeing the installation through. We felt it was beneficial to have someone local then Anabel Llopis our executive director brought it to the board, and they loved it.”

When asked what they hope the public gains from experiencing their installation, Ojalde and Zlamalova said, “we like the additional layer of a flag flapping sound created by the straps fluttering and pattering, and we hope the public embraces this multi-sensory experience.

Also, that they come away with the understanding that each strap of color represents the individuals that weave together the fabric of our neighborhood, our community, our Miami Beach.”

Carrying on the momentum of Pride Month, the Lincoln Road BID staff and board will waste no time and begin planning next year’s installation this summer.

Where to see the Pride 247 installations: The rainbow color-wrapped palm trees are at the Euclid Oval and the wrapped planters are at entry points on Alton Road and Washington Ave.

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music, and more. Don’t miss a story at www.artburstmiami.com

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