On Dec. 5, 2017, Sunny Isles’ newest addition to its public arts was introduced to the public. The Bonhomme Universe, which was located in Jade Signature is designed by Romanian artist Daniel Knorr.
Bonhomme Universe is a 10.5-foot snowman sculpture covered in 28 assorted precious and semi-precious gemstones, such as green quartz, moonstone and red jasper collected across the world that represent Miami as a multicultural community, while the palm symbolizes peace, eternal life and victory. The structure is supported by metal rings that form spheres. It is one of Sunny Isles public arts that both residents and tourists can be proud of.
The sculpture was commissioned by Fortune International Group for Jade Signature, a high-end condominium tower in the city of Sunny Isles through Liaisons. It is one of his masterpieces that highlight his snowmen artwork. Knorr is popular for his snowmen sculptures in the last two decades, which were exhibited in Switzerland, Hungary and France.
The city of Sunny Isles is proud to showcase the Bonhomme Universe to everyone as it manifests Miami’s diversity, beauty, soul and welcoming atmosphere, according to Edgardo Defortuna, Fortune International Group President and CEO. He added that it is in honor of the singular community and camaraderie. It is a welcoming landmark and a source of inspiration for all those who are able to see it.
Knorr started making snowmen after he became inspired of a snowman, even without a snow. In Bonhomme Universe, he incorporated the snowman, a cold climate display in the subtropical place like Sunny Isles. He got an inspiration from Miami’s landscape and decided to use different colors of gemstones. “Bonhomme” means “good man” in French, which the artist wants to send the people of Sunny Isles Beach.
Bonhomme Universe is the result of the ordinance implemented in Sunny Isle Beach’s Art in Public Places. In January, Sunny Isles accepted applicants for the new Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) in order to help the commission in enriching the public arts. They requested those who have skills in architecture and design, visual or graphic arts, urban planning, engineering, digital and display design, public art and place-making curation, as well as professionally trained artists to join the committee.
The goal of the commission is to transform the city into an inspiration of cultural diversity and arts. The commission developed a cultural master plan that includes arts and cultural programs, according to Sunny Isles Beach City Manager, Chris Russo. The PAAC team is expected to beautify Sunny Isles Beach, the “jewel” of the northeast Miami-Dade County.
The accepted members of PAAC serve a two-year term and work on a pro-bono basis. The five members make suggestions on the overall public art policy, selection of artwork displayed in the city, methodology and other art-related responsibilities given by the city manager or city commission.
Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places is a project founded by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs to offer the community art installations to preserve and enhance the civic and artistic pride of miami offer sunny isles public arts to people and to enrich the public environment. The project aims to improve the visual representation of public places that can uplift and connect the community.
Established in 1973, the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places passed the ordinance that required the allocation of 1.5 percent of construction costs of new buildings for the commission of artworks.The Arts in Public Places is managed by citizens’ Trust that was appointed by the PAAC.
Since then, the Trust has commissioned more than 650 artworks all over the county. The artworks were installed around Metrorail and Metromover stations, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami International Airport, PortMiami, Zoo Miami, fire stations, parks, libraries, police stations, courthouses and community health centers and public housing developments.