Following the long-overdue renaming earlier this year of the Aswan Apartments located at 2888 NW 132nd Street in Opa-locka, to the Mary Alice Brown Apartments, the apartments’ non-profit owner, the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), has commissioned and unveiled an exciting piece of visual art, an expansive, vibrantly colored mural of Mary Alice Brown, a woman whom many consider “the Matriarch of Opa-locka” for her wide contributions to the growth of the City and North Dade in general.
“It is an honor to be thought of in this way,” said Mrs. Mary Alice Brown, a 70-year resident of Opa-locka, and founding member of OLCDC. “This city, this community and those who reside here have been central to me throughout my life, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve them.”
The mural, which is close to 12 feet wide and 7 feet tall, was commissioned by OLCDC from the artist Paul Firmin, aka KINI. A rising star in Miami’s cutting-edge arts scene, KINI is a Haitian-born traditional artist making modern strides in acrylic and oil. KINI’s work reflects his examination of his spirit and the human condition in the hopes of better connecting the world.
The Mary Alice Brown Apartments is a 216-unit affordable housing community that serves a population of over 700 people in Opa-locka and is comprised of fourteen three-story, walk-up garden-style buildings set on nearly nine acres surrounding a clubhouse with free WIFI for residents, a fitness center, library, children’s playground, and a BBQ/picnic area.
The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) is a forty-year-old mission-driven affordable housing developer and community builder. Its mission is to build a strong ecosystem that supports under-resourced communities in creating an equitable and sustainable economy.
“This mural represents the best of two worlds for us at OLCDC: First, we are honoring one of our sheroes, Mrs. Brown, and showing her the love and respect, she deserves. Second, we are pushing our community-building mission by showcasing the work of KINI, a rising star whose massive work has enriched and enlivened our property,” said Willie Logan, OLCDC Founder, President, and CEO.
For more information about OLCDC, please visit www.olcdc.org.
This is a Hy-Lo News Staff Report.