Diana Contreras


Here are a few more images of intriguing faces captured in Miami last week:

Jas 9 at work in Wynwood


Jose Mertz in Wynwood


Didi Rok and Miss Zukie in Little Haiti

Didi-and-Miss-Zukie-street-art-Little Haiti

RasTerms in Wynwood


Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: First image is of mural by Caratoes



A vibrant art scene has begun to emerge in Miami’s largely industrial Hialeah neighborhood.  What follows are a few more murals — all painted by Miami-based artists — that greeted me there on my recent visit:

Nicole Salgar


Reinier Gamboa


Ernesto Maranje


Miami-based Diana Contreras aka Didi Rok


First image was painted by Juan Travieso

Photos by Lois Stavsky



While in NYC for the Fridge Art Fair, Miami-based artists Diana Contreras, Delvs and Jenny Perez graced our walls with their vibrant, infectious aesthetic.

Diana Contreras aka Didi and Delvs at work in the East Village at the 12C Outdoor Gallery, 12th Street and Avenue C 


Diana Contreras aka Didi at work at 12C Outdoor Gallery


Delvs at work at 12C Outdoor Gallery


Delvs, Diana Contreras and Jenny Perez at work at JMZ Walls in Bushwick


Jenny Perez at work at JMZ Walls in Bushwick


Final piece for JMZ Walls


Photos: 1 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 2-5 Tara Murray 



Fusing her passion for street art with her mastery of classical painting, Miami-based Peruvian artist Diana Contreras aka Didi fashions whimsical portraits depicting her distinct notion of femininity. In NYC this weekend for the Fridge Art Fair, she will also be sharing her talents with us at JMZ Walls in Bushwick and at the 12C Outdoor Gallery in the East Village. I met Didi earlier this year in Miami.

When did you first paint in a public space? And where was it?

I first painted outdoors four years ago in Miami. I came late to the scene!

What made you decide to take your vision to the streets?

I love the idea of creating art for “the people” and sharing my vision with them.  It’s so much fun!  And it is also a great way for me to showcase my art.


You often paint beautiful images of lovely, sensual women. Why is that?

They’re fun; I can use any colors I want and I can add endless accessories. And I know women! I paint what I know!

Is there a message you want to convey?

I want folks who see my art to feel positive about themselves. If there is a central message, it is: Enjoy your life! And I also want girls to know that they have the power to follow their dreams and create themselves.


Are there any particular street artists who have inspired you?

I’ve been inspired by so many who have painted in Wynwood. Among them are: Miss Van, Fafi and Entes & Pessimo.

What is it like to be a female artist in Miami’s street art scene? 

The street art scene has actually been very supportive. It was the guys, in fact, who encouraged me to get up! It isn’t difficult for us to get walls, and folks are interested in hearing our stories.


You are a full-time elementary school art teacher, as well as a studio painter and muralist.  How do you manage to balance it all?

It’s difficult. I often feel that I am living two separate lives. I somehow manage because I love what I do so much. Both my lives give me tremendous gratification.

What’s ahead?

I’m headed to NYC for the Fridge Art Fair and while in NYC, I will be painting for JMZ Walls in Bushwick and for the 12C Outdoor Gallery in the East Village. I’m also excited to be participating in Boundless Brooklyn‘s upcoming group show of female artists curated by Claw Money. And I’m looking forward to a summer of traveling and painting!


It all sounds great!  And I’m so glad you are on your way to NYC!

Photos of Diana’s images: 1, 2, 4 and 5 courtesy of the artist; 3 Lois Stavsky


"Rafael Sliks"

While in Miami this past week, I had the opportunity to visit the grounds of the Jose De Diego Middle School. On the edge of Wynwood, its students are among the city’s most economically disadvantaged.  Over 600 youngsters, who had been deprived of an arts education due to insufficient funding, now attend a school that is also a wondrous outdoor museum. Curious about it all, I spoke to Don Rimx, one of the many artists who had participated in the school’s amazing transformation.


How did you become involved in this extraordinary project?

Soon after I moved to Miami, I met Robert Skran of WynwoodMap.com, a site that documents the public art that surfaces in Wynwood. A few months later, he invited me to participate in this particular project, the RAW Project, in partnership with the Wynwood Arts District Association.


What was the goal of this project? Did it have a particular mission?

One goal, of course, was to transform a drab, blank concrete canvas into a vibrant outdoor gallery. It was also conceived as a means to raise funds to enable the school to restore its arts program that had been lost to budget cuts.


When did the actual painting begin?

We began in November and most of the murals were completed by early December.


How did the students respond to the entire process?

They loved it. They were fascinated. They loved watching us paint, and they kept on asking us questions.


What kinds of questions did they ask you? 

Questions like: Why are you painting this? Where did your idea come from? How do you do this? How long will it take you to finish it? Why are you painting sticks?


Back in December when Art Basel was in town, the school’s makeover attracted so many street art aficionados and art lovers. What’s happening these days?

The entire community loves the murals. The art on these walls have brought us all closer together. When I pass by, I often see teachers taking students on tours of the murals. The kids are always interested in learning something new about them and about the artists. And because so many of the artists traveled to their school from across the globe, there is so much to learn!


This really is fabulous! It would be wonderful if the Jose De Diego Middle School could serve as a model to other schools — on all grade levels — everywhere!


The murals pictured above are just a small sampling of what can be seen on the walls of the Jose De Diego Middle School:

1. Brazilian artist Rafael Sliks

2. Australian born, Berlin-based Reka

3. Puerto Rican artist Bikismo

4. French artist MTO (left) and Mexican artist Paola Delfín

5. Norwegian stencil artist Martin Whatson

6. West Coast-based Madsteez (left) and Miami-based Axel Void

7. Puerto Rican artist Don Rimx currently based in Miami  — with son, Kye, standing on bottom right. (I’d asked him to take me to his favorite mural!)

8. Miami-based Peruvian artist Diana Contreras

9. Miami-based the Hox

Photos and post by Lois Stavsky