Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coconut Grove Peacock Tour Launch is this Saturday... May 29th from 5 pm to 11 pm. Great chance to meet your local artists!

On Saturday, not only will you get to meet the artists who created the peacocks for the Coconut Grove Peacock Tour like Cara Nusinov, Eileen Seitz and Sauma (featured above) and see their beautifully painted peacocks, you will also get to enjoy a tropical evening under the stars with fabulous music by Fire Brigade, dancing with DJ Boogieman George, delicious food from Potions in Motion and The Fresh Market and yes... of course, refreshing drinks.

Last month, I worked in a shared studio to create a peacock in Coconut Grove, Florida much like the Chicago Cow Parade for my sponsor: The Fresh Market. After my peacock has a six month stay in front of their store, it will be up for auction to benefit Shake-A-Leg. Many other charities will also benefit from the peacock tour headed by Heather Bettner of Prince Media Development (featured above next to me). So, if you have a space for a five foot sculpture, here's your chance to support local art and help a charity all while beautifying your space. I will post the auction date and details at a later date...

The best part of the peacock tour has been all the wonderful artists and people I had a chance to meet while working in our shared studio at the Shoppes of Mayfair which would have otherwise been another vacant retail space. Here are just a few of the artists I was lucky enough to work beside...

Eileen Seitz, who is well known in Coconut Grove for her exquisite tropical watercolor paintings helped out by painting not one, but two peacocks.

Sauma, who not only is a magnificent painter he is currently organizing the Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival coming this September 25th which will feature many Hispanic artists.

Andrea Karahalios Ruggeri, who travels the world to paint intricate, elegant murals, painted her peacock for the Hampton Inn.

And, Dan Bondoff who usually works in pastels featuring charming landscapes and cityscapes worked in oils to created his peacock for Shell Lumber were just a few of the artists I got to know while we worked side by side.

To allow artists to use vacant retail space is good business for everyone. People love to see artists while they are working and just by painting together in the same space we attracted many visitors and tourists. When the doors were locked people were banging on the doors to get in! I hope that other communities and businesses realize just how much art can revitalize vacant storefronts while providing a much needed outlet and studio space for local artists.

Most of us are now well aware of how important it is to buy local food as a way of reducing our carbon footprint. The next step, at a local level, is to know your neighborhood artists and support art in your community as a green initiative. Plus, when you know an artist personally the art becomes even more of an enriched experience when you get the chance to talk to the artist about their work and why they created it. I have met a lot of the artists on the peacock tour and I can assure you that they are all very approachable, welcoming and would love to talk to you Saturday night. Hope to see you there!

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