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‘Julia Tuttle: The Mural’ Honors Accomplishments of Miami’s Founder

Julia Tuttle, who is known as the “Mother of Miami,” is being recognized for her contributions to South Florida through fabric art.

“Julia Tuttle: The Mural” is an original work of art that is currently on display at the HistoryMiami Museum. The special exhibition has been extended for a month.

The mural is made from hundreds of tiny meticulous stitches, which took countless hours to assemble. The stitchery was spearheaded by the Director of PLY Miami Fiber Art Group, Pamela Palma.

“It’s enormous. It was still going to be twice as big as what it is,” she said. “It’s currently 12 feet high and 12 feet wide.”

A few years ago, Palma, along with members of PLY Miami, started brainstorming ideas to honor Tuttle for the 125th anniversary of the founding of the City of Miami. 

The mural was created to honor the accomplishments of the businesswoman who envisioned a city in a mosquito-ridden outpost on the Miami River. In 1896, Julia Tuttle persuaded a handful of men to incorporate the City of Miami.

Palma said the COVID-19 pandemic complicated the completion of work, so they downscaled their original idea. Instead, each artist would create hand-crafted tropical leaves: knitted, crocheted, embroidered, sewn and quilted.

“Each member put her own stamp and had her own ownership on the project,” she added.  

Once the mural was completed, it was hoisted on the wall at HistoryMiami Museum, the Folklife Gallery.  A members-only Artist Talk is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. You can RSVP as a guest of PLY Miami by clicking here.

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