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Beyond art, Miami Dominoes art installation is also a mystery to be solved

MIAMI ( April 29, 2019 )

You may have seen them driving down U.S.1, or walking toward your car near the University Metrorail station. Large black and white domino tiles lining up underneath the Metrorail tracks.

It took the creative eye of Australian artist Bo Droga to see something beyond the white pillars that sustain the Metrorail tracks.

“I saw this and thought, ‘What a fantastic canvas!’ Dominoes is a very popular game, not only in Miami, but throughout the world,” Droga said. “You can talk to anyone, from a child to an adult, and they’ll all tell you about their games of dominoes. It (dominoes) crosses all cultures. It crosses all ages. There are no boundaries with this art piece.”

Droga is creating his dominoes installation in two phases. The first phase is of 24 columns north of the University Metrorail station, and the second of another 24 columns south of the station. Droga is painting dominoes on both sides of each column.

He is doing this with a group of volunteers: Moms who work with him from about 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on weekdays. Droga said the women, who were all professionals from Paris, France, all met at a yoga class.

“I want to definitely thank the ‘A Team.’ They are all heroes,” Droga said of his volunteers, adding that he also wanted to thank Irene Hegedus and Carol Wilson, from Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works, for helping him through the approval and prepping process.

For DTPW Director, Alice N. Bravo, P.E., projects like Droga’s create an opportunity for transit riders to engage with transit in a fun, interactive way that makes their commute on public transportation even more enjoyable.

“Our transit vehicles and stations are highly visible parts of Miami-Dade County. We welcome the opportunity to make our transit system more visually engaging. This installation gives us the opportunity to connect transit, community and culture in a creative way,” Bravo said.

For his installation, Droga is using $2,500 he received through the Ellies Award, a Miami visual arts award from the ArtCenter/South Florida (now Oolite Arts) and the Miami Foundation. Droga said although the award financially was a good start, it wasn’t enough for the aluminum stencils required for the art piece, as well as the paint. Droga was able to obtain donations from Rust-Oleum, Brightway Insurance and MWL Engineering to complete his work.

Droga said his sculptural and site-specific artworks stem from his interest in urban landscapes, specifically in the study of the relationship between order and chaos across urban developments. His Miami Dominoes piece is part of Droga’s Concrete Landscapes series for urban spaces.

Beyond art, there is an element of mystery in Droga’s art installation. When asked how he selected the domino patterns, Droga responded, “Ah! I can’t tell you that. People will need to figure it out.”

He is challenging those who visit the installation to figure out the secret domino pattern.

To learn more about Droga and his art, visit his website or follow his Instragram artist diary. You can also see more of Droga’s art on DTPW’s Instagram page. For more information about transit services, visit Miami-Dade Transit’s website.