Cartoonists Day 2016: Meet Nicaraguan Painter Behind Iconic Mural In Miami's Calle 8 [PHOTOS]

Miami
Cuban-themed murals adorn the buildings along SW 8th Street, known locally as "Calle Ocho" in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida May 17, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Blanco

In the midst of all the Cinco de Mayo festivities, honoring the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, we celebrate another national day. Also celebrated annually on May 5 is Cartoonists Day, which according to Days of the Year, is the anniversary of the publishing of the first ever color cartoon, "The Yellow Kid" in 1895. Cartoons continue to have a major impact on our culture and are a main component of many publications. In honor of Cartoonists Day, we pay tribute to the Latino man behind one of Miami's iconic murals. 

Meet "Archie Nica," the man responsible for the "Arte de las Americas" mural located in the heart of Miami's Calle 8 on 14th Avenue S.W. and 8th Street. As you can already imagine from his nickname, Archie was born in Nicaragua, where he kicked off his trajectory of nearly 50 years. Currently, he resides in Miami, where he continues building his empire adding a splash of color to the city. 

Miami Archie Nica poses in front of one of his murals in Miami Courtesy: Archie Nica

His renowned "Arte de las Americas" mural is found on the outside walls of a local cafeteria in Miami and honors some of the biggest names in Latin history. With caricature-like portraits, the mural pays tribute to a group of legendary Cuban figures such as Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and Jose Marti. In the mural, locals and tourists can also come across other Latino figures such as Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario, Mexican comedian Cantinflas and the late Queen of Tejano, Selena Quintanilla

Prior to painting his remarkable mural ---which is a hot spot for anyone visiting Miami--- Archie began making a name for himself back home in Nicaragua. In fact, he is considered one of the pioneers of the graffiti movement in the Central American country. Born Luis Manuel Cuadra Peralta, this Nicaraguan painter dominates many painting techniques, such watercolor, tempra oil and ink, according to AquiNicaragua. He began to exhibit his art in local TV channels, including popular shows such as "Archie Nica Show," "Café de Artistas," Domingo Súper Gigantes" y "Sábados Juveniles." He has also showcased his work in other in countries such as Panama, Costa Rica and the United States.  

Miami Cuban-themed murals adorn the buildings along SW 8th Street, known locally as "Calle Ocho" in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida May 17, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Blanco

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Jessica Lucia Roiz

Jessica L. Roiz is a Miami-based bilingual journalist of Nicaraguan descent. In addition to Latin Times, she's published in VOXXI, The Miami Herald, Huffington Post, La Opinion, El Nuevo Herald, The Latin Kitchen and more. With over 10-years experience in digital media, she's nothing but passionate and creative with her work. When she's not writing or editing videos, she can be found listening to rock en Español, dancing bachata, reading Paulo Coelho, missing Selena Quintanilla or relaxing in Nicaragua. She's also the founder of ALoNica con la Roiz and PulsoPOP