Devotion drives passion in the heart of Stephanie Jaffe Werner, a mixed media artist. Raised in New York and currently living in South Florida, Stephanie’s unique talent has earned her the respect of being selected by public juries and commissioned by private enterprises to design and construct numerous interior and exterior permanent installations across the state of Florida.
Last year, the town of Miami Lakes posted a call to artists to submit a design for a permanent iconic landmark sculpture to honor veterans from all five branches of the United States Armed Forces. The landmark was to be installed at the entrance of the new Town Hall. As part of a mandated Miami Dade County ordinance, 1.5% of funding by the town of Miami Lakes is allocated to a program called “Art in Public Places.” Stephanie’s design, “V is for Veterans,” was chosen among 40 applicants and four finalists.
“The letter ‘V’ represents victory and valor,” said Stephanie. The ‘V’ structure is made of formed concrete and covered in beautiful Trend Terrazo, which was purchased in a slab and cut to depict the American flag. Stephanie says she knows firsthand how difficult it is to find the perfect shade of red ceramic tile. “I knew immediately when I designed this structure that I would need the most beautiful colors and materials to make “V is for Veterans,” and that I could count on Trend to have the exact colors for my design,” said Stephanie.
The ‘V’ stands on a five-sided pentagonal base with each side representing the five branches of the United States Military. Arranged in clockwise order by date of establishment (beginning with the Army), each side is adorned with two plaques, one displaying the branch’s creed and the other plaque depicting its seal.
Stephanie says designing and constructing “V is for Veterans” involved hiring dedicated subcontractors to make it all possible. “Working closely with Trend representatives made the process seamless,” Stephanie said. “Not only are their products of the highest quality and stunningly beautiful, their team of experts were willing to go the extra mile for me and the veterans memorial.”
On September 4, the “V is for Veterans” memorial was publicly unveiled in front of the Miami Lakes Town Hall at a ceremony organized by the Town of Miami Lakes Veterans Committee. Stephanie credits the veterans for helping her every step of the way and guiding her in following the proper etiquette on flag design and wording of the branch creeds.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with the veterans,” Stephanie said. “As a woman living in America, it’s an amazing feeling to practice my art freely and honor my country.”