Virginia Key Sanctuary At The Miami Marine Stadium 2015

Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic Written By

 

William Mark Coulthard and Ana Bikic  Photos by Ana Bikic

edited by Alexander Felix Coulthard

On Sunday I went to visit the Miami Marine Stadium on Virginia Key, Biscayne Bay’s iconic concrete bleacher has withstood neglect to shine as a blaring example of how Miami seems to just loose out on obvious opportunities.

Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
In all these years of development, civic response and ultimately a lack of immediate restoration response the structure’s exposed iron brackets, beam re-bar and drainage systems have continued to deteriorate causing ultimate restoration cost to soar beyond commercial and finance projections. If only all concerned had used a marine rust inhibitor and coating all the exposed metal with a thick layer of grease. A small work order of less than $50,000 would have saved millions.
The stadium’s general integrity is a testament to Hilario Candela’s expert design skill but the current costs of restoration are yet again proof our city just lets things slide. The State’s engineers have visited our Bay bridges regularly and found them woefully wanting on protective coatings and their upkeep. Whether it’s the inspector’s recommendations being ignored or lapse oversight of crews, Miami ends up looking  ammeter every time it sticks its hands out asking for money because we haven’t taken care of our toys.
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic

   The most recent issue to the Marine Stadium story is the clumsy manner in which the beach clearance was handled, whilst many are glad to see Australian Pine and Brazilian Pepper be eliminated from the shoreline around the stadium.

Virginia Key Sanctuary
Virginia Key Sanctuary
City of Miami blames contractor in Marine Stadium mangrove destruction.

The loss of thousands of indigenous  shoots that have sprouted is another example of the lack of knowledge on the ground shown by crew leaders and un-creative management to handle local concerns. I was alerted to this by fellow environmentalist and Virginia Key activist Blanca Mesa, who I’ve known for many years through the Urban Environment League of Miami and I have to agree with her that our responsibility to doing things the right way, although often more arduous, harvests better results. Perhaps another consideration is the numerous colorful sponge corals’ plight I found in the tidal wash under the stadium. Nature has this wonderful way of tagging along, marine creatures and pioneer organisms quietly attach themselves to our forgotten remnants and in turn are blamed for symbolizing ruin.

South Florida Coral reef's
Coral reef
Virginia Key Sanctuary by the Miami Marine Stadium
Miami Art Reviews 2015
photo by Ana Bikic

The Bay biosphere is under tremendous stress from human activity this year with the dredging, broken sewer lines and invasive species causing local fauna die offs. Many marvel at the beautiful turquoise waters after the Core has barged by, I lament the color to a choking death of the Bay water’s creatures. This circumvention of standard safe torpidity levels would never have been allowed ten years ago, but thanks to some fancy legal footwork development companies and other corporations have sullied any environmental suits. Thus setting a dismal precedence for other bay area projects around the State. Yes we can replant mangroves between the boat slips and design mooring pillars to attract shell life whilst hosting an International boat show but unless the obvious is put to priority everything else we try to do just comes off as contrived, self-invested and ridiculous.

South Florida Coral reef's
South Florida Coral reef’s
Below the Miami Marine Stadium photo by Ana Bikic
http://www.artreviewmiami.com

The environment matters, the immediate restorative issues need practical attention and finally a conservative and viable economic plan for growth of the Stadium and surrounding enterprises should be quickly agreed upon. To encourage further important architectural work and Miami landmarks in the future, we should emphasize the value of this unique marine stadium.

    Finally I have to address the issue of free shore line access to the public. Biscayne Bay is our playground, we abide by mooring and channel guides while attempting to maintain the Bay’s enviromental health.The State laws governing accessibility should never be altered like the water torpidity levels were, the waters are our refuge from urban life, they let us explore and discover ourselves each weekend by marveling at nature’s omnipotence. The pursuit of happiness I experienced many years ago  was a Sunday afternoon listening to a floating live band under the flying bridge concrete canopy of the Marine Stadium. If Miami does this right, it will encourage others to stay and contribute their creativity to our city. 

Virginia Key Sanctuary coral reef's
South Florida Coral reef’s
Below the Miami Marine Stadium photo by Ana Bikic

To reiterate ; prohibiting people from visiting an internationally renown structure, with its curious graffiti-ed decoration is not only ignorant but also shortsighted.
Why the Friends of the Marine Stadium have not succeeded in raising enough financial support is symptomatic of a banking and investment industry not willing to venture to a commoners’ pursuit. If the Boat show garners more attention for the Bay, don’t be surprised if the guards double in numbers to deter the 
Stadium’s curious admirers and our shoreline visits restricted to mask an unwanted compromise designed with excess instead of access.

Written By

William Mark Coulthard and Ana Bikic  Photos by Ana Bikic

Edited by Alexander Felix Coulthard

Viva Florida 500 at the Gables Hispanic Fest. 2013

New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami  Muralist 1988
Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason At The New World Mural 1513 Foundation At the Coral Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival. 2013
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

 New World Mural 1513 Foundation

At The Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival 2013

Le Jeune and Biltmore Way Coral Gables October, 26, 27.

The Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival had it’s 4th annual weekend street festival in front of Coral Gables City Hall .

Saturday morning Mayor Jim Cason welcomed everyone from the stage to get the Festival started then made his way up the Festival tents past a host of vibrant and expressive artists and vendors to the West end entrance, where he signed the Gracias Por La Historia canvases at the New World Mural 1513 Foundation’s tent. Mayor Cason then posed with a Conquistador helmet in front of a new mural made in partnership with Dade Heritage Trust for the Viva 500 Florida theme, by two of the original Freedom Tower, muralists from 1988.

Tower Miami Muralist 1988
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

The Gracias Por La Historia canvases filled with signatures by the end of the second day of the Festival, whole families donned helmets and feathers to be photographed together in front of the Map mural being raffled. The signed canvases are destined for the State and Spanish archive collections for this historic milestone in our State’s Viva 500 history and heritage. Families put the dates of their arrival in this area, they ranged from 1866 to less than 6 months ago.

New World Mural 1513
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

The Freedom Tower Muralists were on hand to sign posters, they were also celebrating 25 years since their New World mural was created for the News Tower/ Freedom Tower in 1988,  which commemorates Juan Ponce De Leon’s naming and exploration of Biscayne Bay and Tequesta Miami for two weeks in 1513 and reminding everyone that Tequesta Miami is the first Native American settlement discovered and recorded in the ships logs of Juan Ponce De Leon’s first expedition to the waters North of Cuba.

New World 1513 Mural, Viva 500 La Florida
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

Major Jim Cason is quick to point out that sixty percent of Coral Gables residents and businesses are Hispanic in culture or influence and having the Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival is an obvious win for all.  By the time he had made his way back down the other side of the vendor’s avenue the Stage area was well warmed up and sounding out Latin beats that would vary through the weekend from folk and gypsy to Latin funk and salsa beats.

Miami Hurricanes Football  at the  At the New World Mural 1513 Foundation
Miami Hurricanes Football at the At the New World Mural 1513 Foundation

The small Merrick Park in front of Coral Gables City Hall had shade and favorite foods found from all over Miami Dade County with kids activities and cool places to sit and enjoy the stage performers.

New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

This was a new venue for the Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival, previously at the Ponce De Leon and Biltmore intersect and park area. Their partnership with Waste Management Inc, had positioned clean trash boxes everywhere with soda and water stands never far from any point at the Festival. The Festival ran till late Saturday night attracting the usual Coral Gables Miracle Mile crowd to come across Le Jeune Ave to eat and dance, Sunday evening  the Festival ended earlier.

The Gables Hispanic Cultural Foundation really organised a very fun and secure Festival again.

http://www.newworldmural1513.org/

http://www.gableshispanicfestival.com/

http://www.gableshispanicfestival.com/

http://www.vivaflorida.org/

http://events.miamiherald.com/coral_gables_fl/events/show/359158583-new-world-mural-1513-tent-at-the-gables-hispanic-cultural-festival-viva-500-florida

http://www.vivaflorida.org/Events/New-World-Mural-1513

www.miamiartreviews.com                  Contact: Miamiartreviews@gmail.com

New World Mural 1513 logo with Viva Florida 500 Logo
New World Mural 1513 and Citizens 2013 Viva Florida 500 Ponce de Leon Mural at the Gables Hispanic cultural Festival Painted by Ana Bikic And William Mark Coulthard. Freedom Tower Miami Muralist 1988

2013 A Viva Florida 500 Event Coral Gables

Viva 500 New World 1513 Florida celebrates 500 years

New World 1513 Mural Foundation at the Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival 2013
A Viva Florida 500 Event

The New World 1513 Mural Foundation will be participating at the Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival on 26th and 27th October.
This outdoor weekend Festival, in it’s fourth year, will feature local food, live music and art activities for the family.

The New World Mural 1513 tent at the Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival will be showing a recent tri-panel canvas mural celebrating Viva 500 . Tickets for the raffle of this mural will be sold at the tent,proceeds are going to the Dade Heritage Trust. with the final drawing at the end of the year.
The tent will also have postcards and small posters of local historic art for sale, a student history quiz with prizes and an opportunity for families to don period hats and take photos together in front of the art work. There will be a large canvas scroll mural where visitors can sign their “thanks” which is to be sent to the State’s archive collection for this year’s Viva Florida 500 program.

The New World Mural 1513 Foundation aims to raise the awareness of important events in history from 500 years ago. The State’s Viva Florida 500 program running this year is an important time to remember that Tequesta Miami was the first Native American
settlement discovered by the Spanish explorers.

The Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival will be at Biltmoor Way and Le Jeune, Coral Gables. It is a free family event lasting all day Saturday and Sunday, on the 26th and 27th October. Come and join us to learn that St Augustine was not the founding site of Juan Ponce De Leon 500 years ago in 1513. It was the Biscayne Bay and Tequesta Miami that were named as the first discovered Native American settlement, Viva 500 Miami.

http://www.newworldmural1513.com/

http://www.vivaflorida.org/Events/(from_date)/2013-10-7/(mode)/week/(query)/CORAL%20GABLES/(limit)/10/(sort_by)/Date

http://www.miamiartreviews.com

The DuPont Building In Miami

DuPont Building In Miami
DuPont Building In Miami
The Historic Alfred DuPont Building in downtown Miami.
Miami Art Review with the Dade Heritage Trust, MDC, Miami DDA, downtown historic walk, March 14th
Old vault doors of the DuPont Bank. — at Alfred I Dupont Building Downtown Miami.
Art Review Miami 2013
photo by Ana Bikic ©2013 All Rights Reserved

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Viva La Florida 500, Vizcaya Museum 04/2013.

                           Viva Florida 500 At Vizcaya Museum 04/2013.

Viva Florida 500 at Vizcaya Museum Miami Florida
Viva Florida 500 at Vizcaya Museum Miami Florida,www.miamiartreviews.com Photos by Ana Bikic
miamiartreviews@gmail.comViva Miami 500 Anniversary 2013

Viva Miami 500 Anniversary 2013

http://www.vizcayamuseum.org/

http://www.vivalaflorida.com/

Viva Florida 500  Ponce De Leon 500 Anniversary at Vizcaya Museum Miami Florida.
City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, Dr. Joel M. Hoffman Executive Director Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Eduardo J. Padrón, Ph.D. President, Miami Dade College,Raquel Regalado is a lifelong resident of the Miami-Dade County School Board District 6,Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Maria Cristina Barrios Almanzor, Consul General, Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, And The Freedom Tower Miami Muralists 1988 William Mark Coulthard And Ana Bikic.

http://district6.dadeschools.net/

http://www.dos.state.fl.us/oss/secretary-bio.aspx

http://www.vivaflorida.org/

http://www.mdc.edu/main/about/college_president.aspx

http://www.vfsglobal.com/Spain/usa/Miami/

http://www.miamidade.gov/mayor/

http://www.cgaf.com/

http://www.historicalsocietypbc.org/index.php

http://newworldmural1513.org

http://www.miamiartreviews.com   Photos by Ana Bikic

miamiartreviews@gmail.com

Miami Beach Art Basel 2012 Reception.

 Art Basel Miami Beach 2012  VIP Reception
Art Basel Miami Beach 2012 VIP Reception from left to right, Annette Schönholzer, Norman Braman, Matti Herrera Bower,the Mayor of the City of Miami Beach and Guy Morin at the opening of Art Basel Miami Beach 2012.
 Opening Day for the Art Basel Miami Beach 2012. Dec 6-9  Miami Art reviews 12/11/12
  Thursday morning.
  Chairman of the Miami Beach Host committee for Art Basel 2012 is  Norman Braman, the county’s most popular and dynamic figure talked about the international reach he personally has witnessed. Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower was delighted to have Collins Park active encouraging the Art Basel crowd to explore. Guy Morin, Canton President  of  Basel_Stadt and Jason Chandler, UBS committed to the audience the expansion of the Art Basel market with an all year presence on Miami Beach announced by Annette Schönholzer and Marc Spiegler. It was an exciting start to the event and Miami officials were beaming to host this very lucrative and culturally prestigious show once again. The layout, sections and comfort needs fit well into the Miami Beach Convention Center and finding an alternative venue on the Beach would be hard. Mr. Norman Braman is correct in praising the lift the region has with the Basel partnership, Miami was also ready for a major art show or Biennial at the end of the 90’s. Now our region will have the Asian art market to attract visitors and investors.
Matti Herrera Bower
Matti Herrera Mayor of Miami Beach, at art basel Miami Beacg 2012
Photo by Ana Bikic for Art reviews Miami 2012

South Florida is blessed with warm sunny climes when the rest of the world is either beginning to shiver or tired of it.

Miami Beach’s artistic history continues by hosting Art Basel for another decade.

Art Basel Miami Beach 2012
Art Basel Miami Beach 2012 – Art Reviews Miami 2012/13

Ponce De Leon poem by Edwin Markham 1925

     A poem for Juan Ponce De Leon 1513 -1925 

2013 Viva 500 la Florida.

         Viva Miami 500 Anniversary.

Juan Ponce De Leon 1513 Mural! Viva Florida<br />Edwin Markham Poem For Juan Ponce De Leon
Juan Ponce De Leon 1513 Mural! Viva Florida
Edwin Markham Poem For Juan Ponce De Leon.
Miami Art Reviews 2013
 25 yrs Anniversary of the New World Mural Recreation. 1988/ 2013
New World 1513 mural, Miami Freedom Tower.
 
The New World 1513 mural’s poem was composed by poet laureate Edwin Markham in 1925. 
It’s survives today to celebrate the State of Florida‘s Viva 500th Anniversary of 
Naming and Discovery by Juan Ponce De Leon in 1513 to which the mural was dedicated
and commissioned in 1925 by Gov. James Middleton Cox. whilst building the Daily News
Tower, which is now known as the National Land marked 
‘Freedom Tower’ Miami. MDC. Art Gallery and Museum.
 
The poem takes center stage of the mural design, encased in the central structure it reads.
 
  Here once by April breezes blown
You came, O gallant De Leon,
Sailed up this friendly ocean stream
To find the wells of ancient dream 
The fountain by the poets sung
Where life and love are ever young.
 
You found it not, O prince, and yet
The wells that made the heart forget
Are waiting here year ever here
With touch of some immortal sphere,
For here below these skies of gold
We have forgotten to grow old 
Here in this land where all the hours
Dance by us treading upon the flowers.
                                                                  Edwin Markham in 1925
       This simple rhyming seven versed, to Juan Ponce De Leon’s arrival on the North American continent and the poets satirical epigram to historical myths twists to include us all blessed with final days here under one glorious golden sky after another. Markham had written and recited the epigram for the Lincoln Memorial ceremony in 1922. His recital of his “Lincoln, Man of the People” had an immediate recognition which prompted  Gov.James Middleton Cox. to request Markham’s pen for a homage to the history of Miami, Florida and “these import moments in our distant histories.” (James Middleton Cox biography) 
          Edwin Markham was born in 1842, died 1940, educator, poet and American Institute of Arts and Letters member. 1922 Lincoln Memorial dedication “Lincoln, the Man of the People.” Nine schools named in his honor, A WW2 Liberty ship and Wagner College Horrmann Library archived collection of his personal library and letters. 
              Markham was a politically and socially conscious writer at odds with the modernists Pound and Elliot and their free form directions in literature. He his exampled as an American of Letters, whose work exemplifies the National tradition in Literature. His interested in working class struggles, ethnic troubles and equal opportunities in education made him a popular choice for composing important civic and cultural epigrams. 
 
               Other important works… The Man with the Hoe 1899, Lincoln and other Poems 1901, The Shoes of Happiness 1913,Children in Bondage 1914, California the Wonderful 1914, Gates of Paradise 1920, 80 poems at 80, 1932 and The Ballard of the Gallow’s Bird. published ph 1960.
 
                The M.D.C., Miami Freedom Tower’s New World 1513 mural at the M.D.C. has an epigram by Edwin Markham that dedicates to the discovery of the first known Native American settlement discovered by the Spanish new world explorer Juan Ponce De Leon who landed his boats only yards away on the shores of Biscayne Bay. The Markham poem takes center position of the 44 Ft. Long mural and in true epigram satire twists the fountain of youth fable to include our collective search and fragility, making the verse equal to all contemporary tastes some 90 years later. Perhaps Markham’s preference for the structured inclusion of cultural content and witt is after all a more constant and enduring literary style than the more subjective modernism that surrounded his later days. His Lincoln writings have been re-read and recited as we celebrate the Man’s anniversaries again. Since the Memorial’s dedication in 1922 few writers have been able to equally express our National sentiment and admiration for the iconic President Lincoln and so the poets words continue to serve.
 
Florida History 1513
Viva Florida 500.
Viva Miami 500.
http://www.miamiartreviews.com
Contact: miamiartreviews@gmail.com
William M. Coulthard.
And  Ana Bikic.

Art Interview With The Coconut Grove Art Festival Monty Trainer

Monty Trainer
Monty Trainer Coconut Grove Arts Festival Photography by Ana Bikic
Monty Trainer Interview February 08 2011
by Ana Bikic MiamiArtReviews.©2011. All Rights Reserved
Photography by Ana Bikic

Interview with Monty Trainer, The President of the Coconut Grove Art Festival

At his Festival office in the Mayfair, Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida.
There is less than one week to go until the 3 day art festival that lines Coconut Grove’s Biscayne Bay parks. Feb 19 to 21. The No.1 Art Show of the Decade 2000-2010 USA and No.1 Art show 3 yrs running according to the Sunshine Artists Rating. The Coconut Grove Art Festival has coincided with the Miami Beach Boat Show on the same weekend for decades, both events have complimented each other in providing a whole weekend of entertainment for art collectors and boat owners escaping from the winter chills of the north.
A -“This year’s 2011 festival poster by Artist Guy Harvey is very iconic and beautiful, have you printed enough of them? ”
M – “Well we have made 3,000 copies and they are available now through the Festival’s website. We started selling them four weeks ago, a day after the unveiling party and sales are going steady.”
A- “How is the Festival Art Gallery related to the Festival Art show, is it an independent project?”
M- ” Oh no, it’s very much part of the Coconut Grove Art Festival, it’s an extension of what we do, it puts us in an all year round program for the young local talent we have.”
A- ” Many people have been so impressed with the drawing and subject matter the Gallery has shown this year.”
M- “Yes, we’ve been working with the New World School of Arts and the Florida International University Art School. We also have been working with the Miami Dade County Magnet School Programs for highschool artists too. This is an ongoing project that the Festival is involved with.”

Interview with Monty Trainer, The President of the Coconut Grove Art Festival photos and interview by Ana Bikic
Interview with Monty Trainer, The President of the Coconut Grove Art Festival photos and interview by Ana Bikic

A- “It certainly is helping to promote high quality  artists emerging locally. The Festival is one of the longest running shows in the country, this is the 48th year, how did it get started? “
M- ” It started in 1960 when Charlie Cinnamon was asked to help out the Coconut Grove Playhouse advertise a french play called I’m in a duce. The play had a scene with French art on a clothes line, Charlie and a few friends did a display on the side walk to help the playhouse. It was a side walk art show of only a few artists to start. Now the Playhouse is closed and we’re still open.”
A- “How old were you when you became involved with the CG AF? ” some ers and errs…
M-”I had just finished college when the CGAF started in 1963, I opened the Monty’s Restaurant in 1969 and by the 70’s I was a sponsor. I’ve been involved for nearly 33 years since.”
Monty Trainer is a great example of community involvement. He has gone from event sponsor to board member, 2 years chairing and the past 5 years as the Coconut Grove Art Festival President. In addition to this Monty also sits as the Chair for the New World School of Arts Executive Committee where he can be found at least once a week at the School. He says it’s quite an endeavour.
M- “The NWSA is supported by three entities; the MDC, the MD school system and the University of Florida who issue the Bachelor of Arts degrees to the one thousand student body. I represent the U F and we all provide the funding for the entire NWSA together.”
Monty is extremely proud of the success of this local young artist alumni who are going onto the Bill Battle NY dance school, Martha Graham etc with over a 98% scholarship support. It is their ability to succeed in the auditions besides having good SATs that he accredits the schools success in educating so many of our artistically talented. I comment that the success in the visual arts is due to the dedication to traditional learning/teaching. Monty explains about a recent experience.
M-“The National Foundation for the Arts had over 200 school kids work at the Marty Marguilles Gallery for a week recently, you ought to have seen it, unreal, they really open up their minds, I don’t know where they get it from, we might not like it for our homes but this is the next century art.”
A-“What would you define as the difference between Art and Fine Art? “
M-“That’s a tough question, you know, there’s art but there’s two sides to it. Fine Art has at least a 200yr old history behind it and the eyes of the beholder . How has it stood time? is it a time factor only and who’s to judge the quality? Michelangelo, Picasso, who can judge that? You tell me.”

Guy Harvey poster Coconut Grove Arts Festival
Coconut Grove Art Festival Poster 2011 by artist Guy Harvey

A-“Yes, the eyes of the beholder, over time, or Art verses artistic or icon verses entertaining? The crisis of the economy has been terrible, we’ve seen many galleries close.”
M-” And yet the big auction houses like Sotheby’s have done very well. It’s a hedge on your investment, if you feel that a piece of Fine Art will not decrease in value it probably won’t, it’s not like the stock market after all, generally fine art only increases in value.”
A-” Why is the Festival slightly smaller than several years ago?”
M-“The Artists asked for a more focused and art conscious audience. The Gating of the event has reduced the number of visitors but increased the artists sales. Folks were coming for food and refreshments and to listen to music, like a beer bust. The $10 gate charge helps keep the focus on art.”

Monty Trainer At the Annual Coconut Grove Bed Race 2010
Monty Trainer At the Annual Coconut Grove Bed Race 2010 Photography Ana Bikic

A-“As a No.1 Arts show in the Nation, how do you see the CGAF reacting to Globalization and art relevance ?”
M-”One of the important factors we have is a very strict jury system, it’s a blind jury, they do not know who the artist is, the work is juried solely on its own merit. Of course we are lucky to have Lilia Garcia run the system, she was the Miami Dade Schools Art director for years and is extremely well-respected. The jurors are chosen from the Museums, Art Schools and Galleries from the region. We have a different jury each year and yet we still get a 30% new artists for each annual event. So our relevance is most accredited to our strict jury system, I think that this has helped protect the show and give it artistic value. Of course you need good jurors too. I don’t get to know who’s in the show until the computer adds up all the scores each artist has been rated on.”
A-“In recent years we have seen a prolific number of art shows crop up locally and internationally, how does the Coconut Grove Art Festival compare?”
M-” Locally we are still the most important, we are an art show, others are more arts and crafts orientated. We are subject to National art organization’s ratings like the Sunshine Artist Mag. { 40 yrs old}. The Art Basel is a Gallery show, although it represents over a 1000 artists.”

Monty Trainer Coconut Grove Arts Festival 2011
Monty Trainer Coconut Grove Arts Festival 2011 Photography by Ana Bikic

A ”it’s not juried. Are the Festival’s Gallery artists given an opportunity to be in the Coconut Grove Art Festival GAF 2011?”
M ” They most certainly are encouraged to submit an application but they are subject to the exact same process of jury as everyone else.”
We are interrupted by the Grove’s Police lady on a bike, Suzi, just checking in to say Hi. although Coconut Grove was the first settlement of Miami the City over 100 years ago, the Grove is essentially still a village community, with local friendly police, by their first names.
I comment to Monty about this family feeling the Grove has.
M ” Actually I really want to promote this situation we have, on the shore of the Bay, The Coconut Grove Village is a bay side community, I want the Art Festival to help celebrate what a great artist community we have here. Along with the fact the Art Festival has been voted the best of the decade Nationally and at No.1 for the last 3 yrs. Coconut Grove lost many of its artists to Miami Beach for lower rents years ago, then they moved to the Wynwood and now that’s expensive too, it’s difficult for artists to sell and eat, let alone have a $5000.00 studio bill.”

Monty Trainer and Festival Staff Fall for the arts 2010
Monty Trainer and Festival Staff Fall for the arts 2010 with Patricia Dahne board member of the Coconut Grove Art Festival Photography by Ana bikic

A ”What are the plans for the C. G. Art Festival for the near future and programs that you hope to encourage? “
M ” The Festival has 110 artists who visit local schools all year long,we would like to have a studio space we can use for this. We have always been looking for an opportunity to expand and buy our own building, this would help towards our scholarship fund to. ”
A ” I see this like a type of nursery of the arts, nurturing a new trend of cutting edge visual fine art. “
M ” This is why we opened the NWSA show at the Festival Gallery at the beginning of Art Basel week ahead of everything, we had 1,500 people visit the Galleries’ opening night.”
A ”What more can you say about this year’s Coconut Grove Art Festival? ”
M ” Well we have four chiefs giving demonstrations of their art each day in recognition of the culinary arts and we have a nice children’s area for the kids to play too. ”
Another interruption; enter Tom Falcon from the Grove’s Grapevine, more photos and I suggest we do another conversation together after the Art show about the New World School of Arts and Monty’s roll with that exciting endeavour.
The 48th Coconut Grove Art Festival begins on the 19th-21st, Presidents Day weekend. It is the biggest and best Art show around. Run by a dedicated group of Art educators and an army of volunteers, they generate a $100,000.00 scholarship fund every year for young students in the South Florida Area.
I hope this recorded conversation with the President of the Festival, Monty Trainer, highlights some of the questions around the renowned Coconut Grove Art Festival.
by Ana Bikic.  miamiartreviews@yahoo.com
Miami Art Reviews©2011. All Rights Reserved

Coconut Grove Arts Festival Poster 2011 Guy Harvey

Guy Harvey poster Coconut Grove Arts Festival

Coconut Grove Arts Festival Poster 2011 by  Guy Harvey

Guy Harvey poster Coconut Grove Arts Festival
Coconut Grove Art Festival Poster 2011 by artist Guy Harvey

 Congratulations to the Coconut Grove Festival Committee and to Marine Artist Guy Harvey for this year’s Festival Poster.

South Florida’s favorite Art Festival in the Grove is introduced by one of  South Florida’s favorite Artists. This title for Guy Harvey is testament to the tens of thousands of people who wear his prints, enjoy his murals and sculptures everyday for years. After a summer of devastating pollution in the Gulf that has threatened the whole coastal  regions of the State, the Coconut Grove Art Festival has chosen Harvey’s marine life symbols as emblematic concerns of us all. Environmentalism has long been a traditional content of Florida’s artists since the pioneer days of Audubon. Harvey’s colors, details and movement of his subjects are admired and totally sympathetic, his style is beautifully executed and acceptable. He has inspired many other artists to use the beauty of  Florida’s marine life and fauna, leading the way as an environmental Fine Artist.