Art & Culture Miami News

Dogs & Cats Sculpture Garden sparks excitement and controversy

While pet lovers are thrilled about the Dogs & Cats Sculpture Garden, others are concerned about the expensive undertaking

Miami has no shortage of beautiful dog parks, but now pet parents have another place to walk their furry friends. Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo led the official opening of the Dogs and Cats Sculpture Garden and Walkway on February 10. The installation features 52 massive aluminum sculptures of adorable cats and dogs. Local artists painted a total of 26 canines and 26 feline sculptures for a permanent display in Downtown Miami's Ferré Park. These sculptures celebrate the unique place that pets hold in our lives.

Where did the idea for the pet sculptures come from?

The Dogs and Cats Walkway and Sculpture Gardens were officially inaugurated on February 10. These developments are part of a larger plan to improve Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Boulevard, and Maurice Ferré Park.

Both Joe Carollo and his wife, Marjorie, are animal lovers and sculpture enthusiasts, which is where the idea for the park came from. Carollo revealed that the vibrant sculptures had attracted an audience from all over the world since they were partially unveiled to the public during Miami Art Basel week last December.

Dogs & Cats Sculpture Garden unveiling

Wholesome installation or controversial expense?

Walking through the Dogs & Cats Sculpture Garden art exhibit doesn't cost visitors anything, but it has cost the city almost $900,000. A few years before its completion, the costly project sparked heated debate. Former Trustee Cristina Palomo resigned in 2021 in protest over the Trust's decision to approve an exorbitant agreement with Art and Sculpture Unlimited Inc. The foundry was commissioned to create and cast the statues with no negotiations on how much this would cost.

City leaders, however, are confident that the Dogs & Cats Sculpture Garden park will boost Miami's profile as a cultural hub.

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