Graduate student colors columns in Sunset Place

Over the summer, Sunset Place became more than just a mall for one UM Department of Art and Art History graduate student. For Izia Lindsay, the columns at Sunset Place became the backdrop for his art and a way for him to explore his passion.

Working from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for five nights, Lindsay was commissioned to paint colorful, vibrant images of local Miami’s wildlife on the columns in the entry plaza of the mall. The columns featured  images including vivid sunsets, swaying palm trees and a graceful flamingo that

The structures stand out with bright blues, oranges, yellows, reds and greens.

“My art style is typically large, colorful illustrations,” Lindsay said. He explained that the columns are “meant to attract the eye from far away.”

Lindsay’s love for such colors has always been a part of his artistic career. Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, Lindsay has had a passion for art since he was young child.

“I have always known I wanted to study art,” Lindsay said. “In high school, I thought of developing my talents by taking classes and experimenting with different art forms.”

The lessons he learned in school, coupled with his country’s culture, helped shape Lindsay’s artistic style.

“Trinidad and Tobago is a very colorful country,” Lindsay said. “The celebrations held each year, most notably Carnival, are full of color. That really helped me develop my style. Wherever I paint, whether in Miami or Trinidad and Tobago, I always try to keep that style.”

Lindsay was not the only artist working in the mall during the summer, though. He was joined by high school students from South Miami Senior High School, who were also commissioned to create works of art throughout the mall.

The experience of working with high school students made Lindsay nostalgic.

“It reminded me a lot about myself when I was their age,” Lindsay said. “But they were very comfortable working with me and with their own art. I learned a lot from them.”

Overall, Lindsay has received positive feedback from his art. He already has another Sunset Place project in the works: painting a mural in the mall. The theme of the mural will be tropical nouveau, and it will be completed within the next two years.

“The architect has given me complete artistic freedom with what I want to paint on the mural,” Lindsay said.

So far, Lindsay does not know exactly what he will paint, but he does know that he wants it to be something the community will enjoy.

“There are not a lot of murals in South Miami, and I am happy that art is going to the people,” Lindsay said. “I’m very excited to be a part of it.”