Photos Courtesy of Jenny Perez, Miami Marathon, Half Marathon
As the countdown is ticking for 25,000 runners from over 80 countries who will take part in the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon on January 24, 2016, Miami artist Jenny Perez has been busy designing the neck ribbon for the 2016 medal.
“We want to showcase all of the artistic and cultural vibrancy this magic city has to offer. We take great pride in our local talents and are thrilled to feature Jenny Perez as this year’s celebrity neck ribbon artist,” says Miami Marathon Race Director Javier Sanchez
Since 2012 Miami Marathon and Half Marathon organizers have selected Miami-based artists such as Stephen Gamson, David “Lebo” LeBatard and Romero Britto to design the ribbon, representing and interpreting the city. This year, the honor fell to a female artist for the first time.
Jenny Perez, who considers herself an “urban pop, abstract expressionist” artist, says it is a “huge deal” to be selected to design the medal ribbon and be the first woman to do so.
The artist’s work represents a strong female point of view as the subject matter of her work is always a woman, based on herself. Expressed in vivid colors, this woman is connected to and surrounded by all that inspires her via shapes and iconography based on Perez’ Cuban and Dominican heritage as well as the city she loves and calls home: Miami.
“The inspiration for the medal was really just about making something very universal,” shares Perez, and adds, “my female character, as much as she is me, she is also a projection of everyone else. I wanted her to represent the power that she has and I wanted it to be positive and vibrant and colorful.
She is life, she is love, she is the power that the runners are supposed to represent, undergoing this amazing experience. I drew a lot of hearts and I also drew the Miami skyline in my own abstract way. I put a little house in the middle to represent home. It’s just really, really positive. I used the colors of the actual medal to incorporate into the color scheme that I was working with.”
The artist, whose studio is located in Miami’s Little Havana, will be waiting at the finish line, cheering for every runner who crosses the line to receive the 2016 Miami Marathon and Half Marathon medal with a ribbon designed with a lot of heart. Jenny Perez says she will not participate as a runner this year just yet, but “has been inspired to start running” by this design experience and involvement with the organization. She plans to participate in the 2017 edition of the race.
For 2016 participants are looking forward to yet another incredible race experience surrounded by stunningly beautiful Miami scenery, ocean breeze and great vibes. The Miami Marathon and Half Marathon has another very special surprise for all runners on a quest to become #MiamiFamous. Shares Sanchez, “In addition to giving our athletes a locally customized neck ribbon, they’ll receive the official Miami Marathon theme song ‘Go!’ as recorded by local artist El Side Project and even enjoy some rice and beans as part of their post race experience. Miami’s marathon is just that… 100% Miami!”