This local’s tribute to Miami Beach’s lifeguard stands earned her a key to the city

About a month ago, Miami Beach decided to auction off a handful of their iconic, colorful lifeguard stands as they brought in replacements. They’ve been standing guard since the 1990s, and Miami Beach felt it was time for some newer designs.

Annamaria Windisch-Hunt, a SoFlo artist and former Miami Beach resident, wrote in when she read the news in our newsletter to tell us about her art project, a collection of replicas of the lifeguard stands from Government Cut all the way up to Surfside.  

She told us a little about her paintings, the love she got from the city, and where you could find her favorite lifeguard stand.

How’d she end up painting all the stands? Annamaria used to go up and down the beach sketching the stands, then go home and paint them on canvas. Before long, she’d painted more than a dozen of them.

What happened to her paintings? She exhibited them at a few different art shows and they were also prominently featured as the main poster and promotional material for the 2007 Miami Beach Festival of the Arts. Annamaria was also presented with a key to the city by Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer and the city commission.

What about beyond that? Annamaria ran her own gallery in Coconut Grove for years before she and her late husband Fred moved up to Lake Worth. She has a blog and continues to paint and exhibit in that community.

What was her favorite stand? She said she always liked the 10th Street stand because it had a surfboard on it.

BTW, if you were wondering what happened to those stands that got auctioned off, we reached out the city and found out that the highest bid was for $3,251 for a stand off 80th Street, which went to Keva Doyle. The lowest bid was for about $2,000, which went to Freddy Seikaly. He used a crane to grab his stand and plans to use it as a cabana and a DJ booth in his backyard.