MIAMI, FL – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America, has partnered with The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida for Black History Month to host an art installation featuring original works by Purvis Young, a renowned artist who was born in Liberty City and lived and painted in historic Overtown. Brightline’s headquarters and MiamiCentral station are also located in Overtown, and the collaboration underscores its commitment to support and positively impact local communities throughout South Florida.
Exclusive to Brightline’s MiamiCentral station, guests can view the Purvis Young exhibit throughout the month of February inside the Premium Lounge. The complimentary display features 19 original pieces, along with a QR code that links to a video of the artist detailing his works and creation process, all courtesy of The Black Archives, a non-profit organization that collects and preserves the rapidly vanishing material that reflects the African American experience in Miami-Dade County.
“When our neighbors at Brightline approached us with this idea for a collaboration, it made a lot of sense for us,” said Timothy A. Barber, Black Archives Executive Director. “Historically, the train tracks have been a line of demarcation between communities, and this partnership connecting The Black Archives with Brightline signifies the continued growth of this city—anchored by its history and the merging of cultures in the communities it serves.
“Purvis was a part of this community and he documented the community,” Barber continued. “Some of the pieces I selected for this exhibition depict trains, some feature tall buildings, and some signify hope and the goodness in people with Young’s signature haloed angels. These particular Purvis Young selections, I feel embody what Brightline signifies in the community: travel, city life, and the hope that comes with change and growth.”
Located just minutes from the Historic Overtown neighborhood, riders traveling on Brightline to MiamiCentral can also conveniently visit The Black Archives and Historic Lyric Theater, as well as other iconic local destinations, including Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum, Dorsey House, Red Rooster, and Lil Greenhouse Grill.
“Connecting communities has always been a priority of Brightline’s, and what better way to keep the culturally diverse communities in South Florida connected during Black History Month through this inspiring exhibition celebrating the late artist Purvis Young,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “The Black Archives are an integral part of the community and we are honored they selected us as a partner for this exhibition.”
Throughout 2022, Brightline will continue its engagement with local community partners to positively impact, transform, and educate South Florida and beyond.
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Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America. The company currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach with its Orlando station beginning service in 2023. Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. For more information, visit www.gobrightline.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About The Black Archives
The Black Archives Research Foundation of South Florida was founded in 1977 by Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields as a non-profit organization to collect and preserve the rapidly vanishing material that reflects the African American experience in Miami-Dade County. Over the years, the collection has grown, and The Black Archives is now a national resource for this history of the 19th and 20th centuries, providing a rich repository of materials that are used by scholars, students, teachers, the media, and the community alike. The Black Archives is headquartered at the Lyric Theater, which is within walking distance of MiamiCentral.
About Purvis Young - “The Rembrandt of Overtown”
Purvis Young was born in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood on February 2, 1943. He never attended high school, and as a teenager, Young served 3 years in prison for breaking and entering. It was in prison that Young began to develop his interest in art and began drawing. When released from prison, Young began to produce thousands of small drawings, which he kept in shopping carts and later glued into discarded books and magazines that he found on the streets. Eventually, Young’s artwork grew in size to accommodate other found items, such as wood, masonite, rugs, metal, and other scraps. In 1971, he moved to the historically black inner-city neighborhood Overtown, where he was attracted to Goodbread Alley, a vacant corridor named after the smell of residents baking bread in their ovens in Overtown’s early years. In December 2006, Young was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Black Archives for his outstanding contribution to the art world. Through the years, Purvis Young’s art has been collected by internationally famous names such as Jane Fonda, Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Damon Wayans and Lenny Kravitz. On April 20, 2010, at 67 years old, Young died of cardiac arrest and pulmonary edema. Shortly after, the Black Archives received almost 400 pieces of Purvis Young’s artwork from the Bass Museum of Art.