‘Andy Sweet Street’ to Honor the Legacy of Late Miami Beach Photographer

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Andy Sweet
Andy Sweet (1953-1982)

A portion of 14 Street and Ocean Drive is being renamed in honor of a late artist whose work captured the magic of South Beach during the 1970s and ‘80s.

Photographer Andy Sweet (1953-1982) became an icon in the city for his captivating documentary and street photography depicting life in sunny South Beach.

Born and raised in Miami Beach, Sweet attended Miami Beach Senior High School. He later moved to Colorado, pursuing his Master’s in Fine Arts. Upon his return to his hometown in 1977, he and fellow photographer Gary Monroe began documenting the daily lives of South Beach residents as part of their “Miami Beach Photographic Project.”

Sweet and Monroe’s work received much support from the city and they were awarded two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for the project. Aside from his work documenting Miami Beach, Sweet was also an MDPL staff photographer.

Sweet’s work stands out for celebrating Miami Beach’s Jewish community. This was a time when the older Jewish population was flourishing in South Florida, with the beach as a warm haven for retirees and transplants from up north, many of them Holocaust survivors.

Image gallery source

In 1982, Sweet’s life was tragically cut short when he was murdered at the age of 28. Many of his photographs were lost after his passing, only to be rediscovered and restored decades later.

In 2010, the Andy Sweet Photo Legacy was founded by his family to preserve his photographs and increase awareness of his work.

Since then, his work and life have been recognized through many exhibitions, as well as in the 2018 documentary The Last Resort, and the book “Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet’s South Beach 1977-1980,” which features over 120 of his colorful photographs.

“Andy Sweet’s photography represents a time capsule of life in South Beach during a key period in the city’s history,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Alex Fernandez, who sponsored the street-naming measure.

You can join Mayor Dan Gelber, Commissioner Fernandez, County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Commissioners Ricky Arriola, Laura Dominguez, Steven Meiner, David Richardson, and Kristen Rosen Gonzalez for the official unveiling of “Andy Sweet Street” (14 Street on Ocean Drive) on Friday, June 30th at 11 am.

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