Art Basel 2014 Miami Beach

Art Basel 2014 Miami Beach.
The enthusiasm for the mundane, whimsical and comic novelty market shares no boundaries with local press writers in Miami. It is amazing that an ensemble of the world’s leading art market manages to completely allude contemporary global dynamics. One would have thought the world’s problems, humanity’s guilt and the endless news of suffering would be able to register a few notes of sympathy among the aesthetic elite but yet again Art Basel 2014 defies belief…

Convention Center Miami
Art Basel Miami Beach 2010

in reality. This years Miami market has been well fielded by new residents from Latin America, Russia and Asia, the police and Federal authorities are booking hundreds of prime real estate units confiscated for financial washing. How has Basel survived Miami so long ? because it’s avant garde art and trend in style.

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

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