Inspired by maps of the bottom of Biscayne Bay, artist Carola Bravo created a glow-in-the-dark painting for a path along Northwest 170th Street in Miami Lakes that she calls “Water Glow.”
The Miami Foundation awarded $25,000 in 2019 to the town in a public space challenge grant that rewarded mobility projects.
The artwork is made from paint that is powered by the sun, and the vibrant, undulating patterns created by Bravo improve safety and the aesthetics of the quarter-mile asphalt path that stretches from the town’s western border, east to Northwest 87th Avenue.
Bravo spent several months completing the project and art students, contractors and professional artists also worked with her.
The town celebrated the installation with a nighttime bike ride on Nov. 13.
The bathymetric maps of Biscayne Bay, which depict the physical features of the bay floor and are used by oceanographers, marine geologists and anglers, have patterns which Bravo replicated along the path.
Bravo’s work has been shown in galleries and museums around the world and is in many private collections, according to her website.
She has used the swirls and details found in maps and nature, such as tree rings, in other creations.
Born in Venezuela and living in Miami, her art is inspired by themes of memory, geological changes and migration.
Bravo said her work, especially in public spaces, is intended to show urgent issues concerning the environment and climate change.
“I hope it reminds people of what’s at stake and the importance of water when it comes to global warming,” Bravo said.
The path in Miami Lakes was hand-painted using rollers with photoluminescent paint which absorbs UV radiation from the sun and “charges” the paint to glow after sunset.
“With every project you always learn something,” Bravo said. “In this one particularly, I learned so much about materials and did so much interesting research about this special paint.
“Even the way you place the rollers on the ground makes a difference,” she said.
For Bravo, the project, which the town calls the MiGlo Trail, was an introduction to the area.
“I love how Miami Lakes gave me the opportunity to promote public art,” she said.
Bravo said she hopes the painted path can be enjoyed by Miami Lakers while also reminding them of its environmental themes.
“Art is about connecting people in a community,” Bravo said. “Public art in public spaces connects people to not only where they live, but to each other.”
To see more of Bravo’s work, visit her website at https://www.carolabravo.com.