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.