In an effort to bring back some life to Miami’s historic Little Havana, Miami-based Artist Miss Lushy along with the Kcull Life Foundation teamed up to spice up Calle Ocho and bring a little ‘Azucar’ to La Pequeña Habana. And what better way than to honor the life and legacy of the iconic Cuban ‘Reina de la Salsa’ Celia Cruz.
“I’ve always been a huge fan. And I figured it would be nice to pay some homage to Celia, here in Calle Ocho” especially in front of her star of fame” said Alejandra Seda better known as Miss Lushy.
Miss Lushy was influenced by the hip-hop culture and was fascinated by the urban art scene. Her admiration and love for graffiti street art inspired her to pick up a spray can and paint on a much larger scale than just her canvases.
Saturday’s ribbon cutting ceremony revealed a celebratory Celia Cruz mural full of vibrant colors and her iconic Azucar! The mural showcases the late singer in her finest moments, belting out one of her famous songs (Quimbara) as she overlooks her estrella on Calle Ocho’s Famous Walk of Fame, located in the historical area of Little Havana.
“We’ve been trying to do a project to beautify Calle Ocho and this is beginning of it” said Miss Lushy.
The mural, which is located on the corner of North West 13th ave and La Calle Ocho in Miami, took seven days to paint and included 14 hr shifts with lots of Cuban Coladas to finish.
But it wasn’t so easy for Miss Lushy who recently discovered she had tendonitis and found that to be her biggest challenge while painting the mural.
“Dealing with the aches in my hands,” said Miss Lushy. “As an artist that’s the worst nightmare you can have, something going wrong with your hands. But I pulled through. Just the environment of being here really helped me and knowing I was painting Celia, I found the strength in me to continue.” said Miss Lushy.
Celia Cruz’s mural is the first art piece in the Calle Ocho Latin Music & Art Series Project, a cultural art movement in beautifying and reviving multicultural communities back to their vibrancy by featuring Latin culture’s most influential musicians and figures.
La Calle Ocho neighborhood dubbed La pequeña Habana is home to hundreds of Cuban exiles and is an iconic preservation of authentic Cuban music, food, and lifestyle and considered one of the liveliest cities in Miami.
I caught up with Miss Lushy to talk Celia, how she landed the job and what inspires her as an artist.
The Celia Cruz mural is sponsored by the Celia Cruz Legacy Project, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) / Art of Black Miami, Bacardi, and supported by The City of Miami.