Sunday, October 16, 2011

Art Fallout at the Girls' Club Collection

Saturday, I participated in the Art Fallout at The Girls' Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was an interesting exhibition where people who viewed the exhibit participated by writing notes to the various artists next to their work on color coded, stick on "Post It" note paper. Art Critics had pink Post Its, Artists had blue Post Its, Adults had green and children were assigned the orange Post Its.

Above is the piece I submitted titled: "Protect Me." It measures 23.5" x 17" produced in beeswax, pigment and pencil on paper. This piece is the first in a new series of work to bring awareness to the Coral Reef and the need to protect the reef. By putting people in the work, I wanted to show how connected we are to the health of the ocean and how we can still make a difference. Not only will I be sharing my ideas through my work, but I will also be giving 50% of the profits to help rebuild the reef.

There was a long table in the middle of the exhibit with simple instructions on how to use the post its written on the cardboard covering.

The pieces were all hung clothesline style with clips.

Reading the Post Its were just as interesting as looking at the art. It was an inventive way to keep the crowd there instead of moving on to the next gallery because everyone wanted to read each new posts and comment on other posts as well.

Monday, May 23, 2011

South Miami Manatee Fest Supports Local Artist

Friday night I went to the kick off party for the South Miami Manatee Fest headed by Heather Bettner from Prince Media Development hosted at the 1st National Bank of South Miami. The manatees were seven feet tall and all painted by different local artist fashioned after the Chicago Cow Parade that was so successful in 1999. Many cities like South Miami have replicated the cow art outreach with every imaginable animal.

Rosie Brown above, painted this manatee she named "Willy" for her sponsor Williamson Cadillac. Rosie cleverly incorporated a race car on the base of the manatee and then made the manatees into race car drivers.

Heather Bettner at the lectern, introduced all of the artists including many of the students who participated as well.

South Miami Mayor Stoddard above, was there with proclamations for each sponsor. Stoddard declared May 20th as Manatee Fest Day.

Renato Salazar, of TotalBank, sponsored this manatee above painted by Mano.

Marcie Ziv above, with her manatee along with her husband Jay. Marcie paints beautiful animals like this all the time in many shapes, sizes and varities. Check her work out if you would like a specific animal of your own.

Lastly, I always seem to find the behind the scene, tucked away treasures. When I was leaving the Manatee Fest, I went to see 1st National Bank's gallery space. They have a beautiful gallery where they feature ongoing shows every month. At the end of the gallery, I discovered the amazing work of Maria Ramona Sanchez. She has a beautiful style working in oils on paper. My photograph does not show all the detail she puts into her work. She paints and then paint on top of the same area. After which, she then scrapes away the top layer of paint to reveal the painting behind... stunning!

It was a great kick off! Introducing artists to the community is environmental. Purchasing local art is the same as purchasing local food. We have so many fabulous artists right here in Miami. Please support local art events and get to know the artists that make our city what it is!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

One for the Arts!

Tuesday, I took the Metrorail to the Metromover where I walked under a covered walkway connected to the Hyatt where the Art and Business Council of Miami had their annual Serving the Arts Luncheon to honor those who have given their time, talent and treasure to the arts.

It was a full house! My favorite part was witnessing Knight Foundation's commitment to bringing art to the people by pledging 1000 random acts of culture. In the photo below the lady in the black dress holding a program and a purse is actually singing opera. As you can see by this photo, everyone is delighted as you can see by all the people smiling as they watch and listen.

The way random acts of culture works is people just start singing in the middle of everyday life as if you are suddenly swept up inside the set of a musical or opera. These performers go to the people to introduce their art whether they are at a shopping mall, a park or an event much like a flash mob.

After the singers are finished, signs are help up and they hand out cards for the opera... brilliant!

The luncheon was filled with people who support the arts and many awards were given out. At my table (featured above) Louis Wolfson III of Pinnacle Housing Group has a passion for art in public places. He is currently supporting the smARTy dog program to help bring smart boards to public schools. Wolfson was recognized as a Shinning Star Supporter for the Arts.

Heather Bettner of Prince Media Development, above, was recognized as an Arts Hero for her work in art in public places. Heather works to bring art and community together as well as helping charities though the proceeds of the sale of the art. She began with the hugely successful Coconut Grove Peacock Tour in 2011 and has continued to bring art to South Miami with the Manatee Fest (Kick Off Party May 20th) and smARTy Dogs to Pinecrest.

I was a guest of Heather's and as I looked around our table I realized how much Heather had reached out to our community by who she invited to her table. She invited Pinecrest Mayor, Cindy Lerner, South Miami Mayor, Philip Stoddard, Kate Callahan who is running for Miami Commissioner, Louis Wolfson III, Doris Meltzer, and artists Alex Yanes and Marcie Ziv.

It wouldn't be an art appreciation ceremony without Mr. Ziff (above). He may need a walker to get there, but he is still going strong and still committed to the arts!

Thank you to all of you who support the arts and understand how important art is to our everyday quality of life.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Common Roots: A Sneak Preview

Please join me TONIGHT, May 3rd at 6:00 at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens for the Arts at Saint Johns art exhibit called: Common Roots. It is an exhibit featuring the work of thirteen arts all working in different mediums with the common theme of native plants of Florida.

When I went to drop off my paintings, Carol Hoffman-Guzman, Founding Director of Arts at St. Johns and her crew were there happily receiving all of the artists and their work.

Here they are making some last minute decisions on which paintings to choose from Julio Figueroa's, a professional botanical illustrator, work.

John Defaro, artist, was hanging his work: "Who is in the Nest?" It is an amazing piece made mostly from Royal Poinciana seed pods. I find this piece of John's work so interesting because of the way he used soft natural curves of natural elements mixed with harsh lines of the broken mirror so when we look in and see our reflection becoming part of the art... brilliant!

One of the main reasons that I like to enter my work into the Arts at St. Johns' exhibits is because everyone is so welcoming and friendly there. When people view my work, I want them to feel comfortable and at home. This is exactly how you will feel tonight if you come to the show.

Not only is the space welcoming, but you also get to wander through the garden on your way in. The garden is a beautiful oasis in the middle of urban structures and busy street traffic. Nestled in between the Miami Beach Convention Center and the Holocaust Memorial, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to visit if you haven't been there.

The paintings will be exhibited all week so, if you can't make it tonight there are plenty of opportunities to stop by.

On Saturday, the 7th from 9:00am to 12:00 noon there will be a Go Green event at the garden. They will be selling native plants (yea!) and having speakers talking about green issues and even having a workshop on how to make your own rain barrel.

Nancy Martini lives and works in Miami using her art to bring awareness to environmental issues.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Please Join Me for TWO Garden Events

The first event is Saturday, April 29 and Sunday May 1st at Fairchild Tropical Gardens at the Food & Garden Festival from 9:30am to 4:30pm

I will be at Fairchild Tropical Gardens this weekend from 9:30 to 4:30 and speaking at 1:30 on Sunday about Art as Eco Activism. I will be explaining the need to plant Milkweed in order to help the low population of Monarch Butterflies. I will have seeds for you to plant and demonstrate how to upcycle a newspaper into a small seedling pot.

Then at another garden...

Please join me Tuesday night, May 3rd from 6:00pm to 8:30pm for the Arts at Saint Johns Common Roots art exhibit at the The Miami Beach Botanical Gardens (across from the Miami Beach Convention Center).

From 6:00pm to 8:30 pm, you can see an exciting show about native plants of Florida. Thirteen artists, including myself, will be exhibiting photographs and paintings in many different mediums. The paintings I will be exhibiting are all done in encaustics (natural bees wax) which are part of my new collection exploring nature within the few miles that I walk each day called: " Behind the Fence." Through these paintings I hope to learn about the nature that surrounds our everyday life by bringing to the forefront all the overlooked inhabitants that we hurriedly pass by in our busy lives; many of which hide in sacred spaces behind guarded fences.

The painting featured above is called: "Missing Monarchs." It is an environmental call to action to inspire people to plant more Milkweed seeds to help the survival of Monarch butterflies who's larvae can only feed on this one particular plant.

The paintings will be installed Tuesday and hang throughout the week concluding with a Go Green event Saturday, May 7 from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

Two beautiful garden events back to back... Hope you can make one of them!

Nancy Martini

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Art as Eco Activism

Title: "Listen First"
Medium: 90% upcycled material
(33" x 30")

Pinecrest Gardens has asked me to present my work and to talk about my mission as part of their Earth Day celebration this Sunday.

Please join me Sunday, April 10th from 11:00am to 4:00pm at Pinecrest Gardens. I will be exhibiting a few of my paintings from two of my collections and speaking about upcycling, nature and my work about environmental issues. My talks will be every half hour starting at 12:00 with the last one at 3:30.

Because one of my paintings is about helping the Monarch butterfly, I will have milkweed seeds and seedlings for you to plant in your garden. I will even demonstrate how to upcycle newspaper into a small pot to plant your milkweed seeds!

To find me... walk into the entrance of the garden, past the outdoor amphitheater and follow the path to the left. I will be in the first section on the left where the old Parrot Jungle bird habitats use to be.

It's going to be a lot of GREEN-ECO fun for everyone and it's FREE! Come in the garden for the Earth Day activities and visit the farmers market under the banyan trees on your way out. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Encaustic Painting: Missing Monarchs

"Missing Monarchs"
23” x 34” encaustic (beeswax) on wood

This painting was inspired by Milkweed blooming in my garden next to my outdoor studio. I often see Monarchs flutter past me while I paint. I have a lot of butterflies, so I was surprised to learn that in 2002, 270 million Monarch butterflies died due to freezing temperatures while they were wintering in Mexico.

A Boca Raton organization established in 1993 by Chris Singer, Live Monarch Foundation, offers Milkweed seeds for free in order to restore their habitat loss across North America. The Monarch butterflies migrate from the eastern seaboard to the mountains of central Mexico up to Canada and sometimes the butterflies do not survive due to weather, food and human encroachment.

Please consider planting Milkweed in your garden or in a pot on your patio. Each adult Monarch butterfly needs more than one plant to survive. Milkweed is native to Florida, so it will survive happily in your garden.

I have found that children learn to love the environment and its tiny creatures by participating. It's pretty easy to put a few seeds in your garden. I am sure everyone will love watching the Milkweeds grow and to see the Monarch's cycle from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly all in your own backyard.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Springtime: Miami Style

Without looking at a calendar, I know it's spring when the Tabebuia Trees burst in bloom into brilliant color. They are usually right on time and in full bloom for March 21st arrival.

Many Tabebuia trees line the streets of Miami without a notice all year long. They blend into the landscape with their grey wooded trunks and light sage leaves that barely cover the branches. When spring arrives they scream for attention! Bursting all at once in bright lemon yellow. Some of the Tabebuia trees are pink, but very few and the pink is a light soft shade.

I have two Tabebuia trees in my garden, one pink and one yellow. The yellow one blew down in a hurricane a few years back, but I had it propped back up and luckily it survived. The yellow Tabebuia is in my butterfly garden right next to my outdoor studio where I work in encaustics (beeswax and Damar resin).

Above are the steps that lead to my outdoor studio. The Tabebuias bloom as fast as they drop their blooms so, the blossoms create a magnificent carpet of flowers.

Behind my studio, is a street where people pass by.

My butterfly garden is slowing growing. To the right is a butterfly ginger that hates the cold but, hopefully it will regrow soon.

Lastly, here is my encaustic studio space where I look out into my garden as I work. I am so inspired by the nature that surrounds me. Spring is here and a perfect time to paint outside. I will be posting some of the painting I am creating in encaustics soon. It's not hard to guess that they are filled with images from my garden.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A New Green for St. Patrick's Day

Last night, instead of the usual green beer and corn beef and cabbage. I convinced my husband (who is not a vegetarian) to join me in a new, very green St. Patrick's Day celebration. We went to the Sacred Space in Wynwood to eat raw vegan food at this month's Conscious Bite Out.

The Conscious Bite Out is a monthly vegetarian dinner party organized by two women, Marcela Andron and Veronica Menin both cooks and holistic health counselors.

Upon arrival, I thought there was a security check because there was a line formed behind one quest with their arms spread out straight while a woman waved what looked like hand metal detector over them. Thankfully, I was wrong. It wasn't a metal detector; it was a smoking, lit sage wrap to eliminate negative energy from all who entered.

Once we stepped inside, we were treated to yummy guacamole, seeds, nuts and Veev Acal Eco Mojitos in the gallery space. After the sage ritual, I thought the space inside would be relaxing and organic looking but, instead the music was turned up and the surfaces were slick and shiny. This space would have been perfect used as an art exhibit for guests to move, mix and mingle looking at art while drinking wine and Mojitos before dinner. However, there was one eco-sculpture on the floor made of newspaper bundles bound in thick twine. Otherwise, the entire space was bright white flooded with very tall, beautiful, young women in six inch heels and short pretty dresses.

After Eco Mojitos, we were invited to sit at the communal dinning table. The table was spectacular! The table had to seat at least 70 people. I love the idea of sitting everyone together, however I wish the table was about 12" narrower because it was too wide to talk easily to the people sitting across from us. We met so many interesting people there that cared about the environment and cared about the type of food that we were eating that we had a lot to talk about.

Instead of just one chef cooking our dinner, we were treated to three. The dinner began with my favorite dish of the eventing. Chef John Schott from Lifefood Gourmet made the most amazing raw vegan taco as an appetizer. Then, he made a spinach soup that was delicious as well.

Next, Chef Jonathan Gambino demonstrated how to cut a coconut and served us coconut rice and mushrooms with grape tomatoes.

The final Chef, Lisa Valle from Green Wave demonstrated how to make raw vegan blueberry pie. She explained how blueberries have a natural pectin in them so they work very well as a thickening agent.

For dessert, we were served the most amazing raw vegan dessert I have ever tasted. This dessert could be served at any dinner party without anyone realizing it was good for you. Chef Valle created a crepe out of coco, agave and coconut oil which she filled with a creamy mix of blended nuts that looked and tasted like cream topped with mint leaves, delicious! She also served the blueberry pie that she demonstrated. Unfortunately, we missed tasting because we had to return home to our youngest son who wasn't feeling well.

It was a wonderful event that I highly recommend. I hope to return soon and see what they cook up next.

Cheers to a NEW GREEN celebration for St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Space for a Peacock?

A year ago, I participated in the Peacock Tour by painting a five foot peacock for my sponsor The Fresh Market in Coconut Grove, Florida. Using upcycled pie pans that were embossed and attached to the sculpture, I subtly included an environmental component. Many people who I had the opportunity to talk to had no idea, when they looked at the embossed attachments, that they were looking at something most people throw away or toss in the recycle bin.

When I began the Peacock Project, I had the intent to give back to the community in a way that I could through my art. Now after many months of being displayed in front of The Fresh Market, my peacock will continue to give to the community by benefiting Shake-A-Leg through its sale at this week's Auction Gala Wednesday, March 16 at Paragon Theatre 13 at 6:00pm.

Twenty-three other peacocks will be auctioned off by other local artists including Sauma, Lebo, Dan Bondroff, Pablo Cano, Ed King, Eileen Seitz, Fred Hunt, Britto, Meme Ferre and many more. Each peacock has a different charity that the funds from the sales will benefit which include: The Miami Heat Foundation, Casa Valentina, Coconut Grove Woman’s Club, and Boys and Girls Club of Miami.

I hope that you will join me this Wednesday night to celebrate a successful art in public places event spearheaded by Heather Bettner of Prince Media Development that not only gave life and creativity to Coconut Grove, but gave us a chance to pause and smile.

Tickets are $50 with opportunities to win hotel stays, spa packages and gift certificates to local restaurants. Seating is limited, but are still available at the Paragon Theatre box office or online at

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Everglades: where I go to recharge and refuel...

Last weekend I camped in the Everglades and woke up early Sunday morning to watch the sunrise over the alligator holes on Anhinga Trail. It was a perfectly tranquil morning. Alligators were lurking, quietly searching for food while black vultures soared so close above my head I could hear the wind lightly howl as the vultures flew past. It was amazing! I had never felt or heard that before.

The bromeliads were in bloom! As I walked around the corner with the sun behind me I saw this amazing Great Blue Heron on top of all the blooming bromeliads. The sun was rising behind me and lit the Heron in a warm glow of light. No photograph could ever capture what I really saw, nor could I paint the expression of complete peace and harmony.

Anhinga are plentiful on the trail and this anhinga allowed me to get about a foot away to take his photo.

When I returned, I tried to keep the same calmness with me that I felt in the Everglades as I painted. My new paintings (that I will post soon) are all in encaustics and are about the nature that surrounds me everyday.