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The only place for Coconut Grove, FL News, Views & Opinions - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Monday, February 19, 2018

A couple of our favorite things at St. Stephen's

The ladies from Beautiful Chaos jewelry (Teri Groce, left and Kim Cullen) had so many nice pieces at the St. Stephen's Art Show, you can catch them today, Monday, the last day of the show. That's Jordyn Ferenczi with some of their pieces. 



Gringa Flan is something special. It's available at the St. Stephen's Art Show.

Stop by and visit the ladies at their booth and try some free samples and then buy some to take home!

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Unexpected Lime performance and more



I knew Lime was performing, but didn't think we would be around to see the show. There were a lot of '80s disco groups performing during this weekend's Coconut Grove Arts Festival. But we happened to be standing near Peacock Park when we heard one of our all time favorite songs from that era, "Babe, We're Gonna Love Tonight." We were in the right place at the right time and loved every minute of it. We ran to the stage for an excellent performance, bringing us back to our youth!

Lime performed this and so many of their hits. Remember, "Guilty," "Come and Get Your Love" and "Unexpected Lovers?" Talk about visiting the old Grove - the days of Ensign Bitters, Suzanne's, The Mutiny, Faces in the Grove, etc.



And here is a little visit around the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the St. Stephen's Art Show.

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Hot time in the old town; with lots of art

I started out with about 8 people yesterday, including my family, and then lost them around a mojito stand. I ended up alone at the art festivals on Saturday. I think this is the first time in my life that I have ever been by myself at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival or the St. Stephen's Art Show. It was a bit awkward at first, but without anyone with me talking my ear off or me talking their ear off, I was able to notice a lot around me. It was hot though. The weather was brutal.

There was was a lot of organic art this year, or so it seemed. A bunch of Grove businesses took part by putting out art on the streets in front of their stores - it felt very much like the "old Grove." So many people I spoke with (mostly the artists who had not been back for a year) were shocked and mortified by all the development in the village so this little throwback to good times was nice.


There was art being created on the spot, which is always nice.
And there were antiques and crafts, which usually aren't part of the arts festivals.
The St. Stephen's show had lots of the crafts and the Grove Arts Festival had the fine art and lots more and better food stations than previous years.
The new Coconut Grove Store, which sells Coconut Grove branded merchandise was doing a brisk business. People really liked the merchandise. They were set up at St. Stephen's but their store is on Fuller Street. They are having a grand opening celebration on February 22, more on that later in the week.


Live music was part of both festivals, it was more intimate at St. Stephen's at their Makersfest area, where the crafts and music is situated. 
But as usual, there were the tents and the art, and lots of people. It ended up being a lot of fun. I'll go back tomorrow with friends and see it in the usual light, but for the one day, it was interesting seeing it through new eyes.
Both festivals are ongoing all weekend through Monday. They are open from 10 am to 6 pm. 

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Join Art Box for hands-on art experiences at Arts Fest

While you're out and about getting inspired by all the art at this year's Coconut Grove Arts Festival, stop by the Art Box tent in the Family Zone in Regatta Park, to create some art of your own. They will be offering complimentary workshops for adults and families every day.

Here is the schedule:

Saturday, February 17
11 am - 2:30 pm
Drawing Workshop -- Drawing the Still Life
A 360° still life will provide participants a visually compelling reference to draw from and develop their skills with the help of our instructors. Each participant will be guided throughout this process, from sketch to finalized drawing, all while learning about composition, gestures, contours, and shading.

Sunday, February 18
11 am - 2:30 pm
Sculpture Workshop -- Art & Nature
Using the natural world as inspiration participants will work with clay to mold sculptures that will appear as if nature had created them. These new forms will borrow the textures, proportions, and patterns found in the natural world while being unique in their composition. Participants will learn about principles and elements of design as they apply to three-dimensional work.

Monday, February 19
10:30 am - 2 pm
Printmaking Workshop -- Monoprinting
Unlike other forms of printmaking Monoprinting is a process which creates unique impressions, where no two prints are alike. Monoprints are painterly images full of spontaneity and dynamism. Reference materials will be provided to inspire participants to create their compositions.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Larry's work brings back happy memories

Larry Shane is an award-winning photographer who has done various festivals and art shows around Miami and if you don't recognize his work, you will recognize the content. Larry specializes on photographing fading images and iconic structures of Miami - things like the Orange Bowl, Tobacco Road and Fox's Sherron Inn; places you will remember fondly.

Larry will be showing, and selling his work, at the St. Stephen's Art Show this weekend, February 17-19, 2018.

I asked Larry a few questions about himself and his art.

Judge Martin Zilber, left and Monty Trainer, flank Larry Shane

TOM: Larry, work consists of iconic images of South Florida, images of places that are no longer a part of the scene, what gave you the idea to do this? Take photos of places that were on their decline?

LARRY: I've always had an interest in history, old places, roadside architecture, modern ruins, demolition and the like. Over my life I've photographed many such things in my travels however it wasn't until the recent past several years that I came to realize I could utilize these images as an art form. I'm quite proud of the niche that I've developed.

TOM: What are some of the most popular images that people like according to your sales?

LARRY: Without doubt my most popular image has to be the Orange Bowl 50 yard line followed by the facade of the stadium. Everyone has a connection to it whether it's the Dolphins, the Canes, High School games, they played in the band, concerts, etc. After that it's Tobacco Road, Jimbo's, Frankie's Pizza and the Miami Marine Stadium. 


TOM: Have you thought of getting a drone to take photos? 

LARRY: I have thought about it a lot as I like to shoot either from a high or low vantage,  however it seems like everybody is a drone pilot these days (like everybody is a photographer), but again I definitely see me learning to fly in the not too distant future. 

TOM: What's your next subject? What is the next endangered place in South Florida? 

LARRY: That list is ever growing and evolving. You'd be surprised how many things are changing as we speak. And the problem is there is often little notice given that a place will be vanishing. One day you drive by and it's just closed or demolished. Almost every day I see a story or drive by something that I put on my shoot list. In fact, as I'm writing this I just saw story about a local municipality that wants to redevelop their city property from their mid century architecture. And while everything may not be 'art show worthy,' I always want to shoot it for my historical record at the very least. And you never know what people are going to like until you present it.    

TOM: Do you use film or do you shoot digitally? 

LARRY: While I have done my share of old school hands on developing in my formative years its all digital these days. 

TOM: Who are your influences? 

LARRY: I'm a bit embarrassed to say but I'm not a student of the 'great' photographers, techniques, styles, philosophies, etc. I just shoot what I like and am always humbled, touched and grateful when people are attracted to and enjoy my work. That being said, I have many photographer friends whose work I admire and I was fortunate to have been mentored by my friend Brian Trainor who I met at local art shows I attended prior to my foray into this crazy art show game.  

TOM: What is the last thing you took a photo of? 

LARRY: I've been concentrating on Farm Stores lately after my local one, that was a part of my neighborhood my entire life, just closed without notice.  

TOM: Is there a favorite time of day or light when you prefer to shoot? 

LARRY: Well the best light is early in the morning and late in the day when the sun is lower in the sky. But I like to sleep in so it's usually later in the day. However I also love shooting at sunset and after (the blue hour as it gets dark). And I enjoy shooting at night for long exposures, light trails, etc.   

TOM: How do you cultivate a collector base? 

LARRY: Due to the nature of my work it's a bit easier than for more traditional imagery as my work evokes (ideally pleasant) memories that people connect to the places I capture. I only do a handful of art shows per year and do not even have website, much to the chagrin of my friends, associates and handlers. I don't keep an email list or database. I'm just the guy who appears at a few local shows and then disappears until next season. However people can also contact me privately to inquire about acquiring my work. 

TOM: What is more important to you when shooting photos, colors? subject? angle?

LARRY: Tom.. why don't you just ask me which is my favorite photograph? Like asking a parent which is their favorite child. Ha Ha! Anyway, I'm going to have to say the angle (composition) because without that it may as well just be a snapshot as opposed to a photograph. I'm always humbled and appreciative when people say 'you've got a great eye' or 'I love the way you captured that.' 

TOM: Larry does have a great eye and just visiting his booth will bring back memories, you'll see images you had forgotten about. Stop by and say hello this weekend. 

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Book launch party at MKTplace green market

On Saturday, February 17, taste the flavors of Coconut Grove at MKTplace’s culinary pop-up market at Goombay Plaza. Starting at 11 am, enjoy decadent eats by local vendors including offerings like BBQ ribs and chicken, conch fritters, conch salad, garlic crab, made-to-order donuts, and Caribbean-inspired sweets.

In addition to the variety of food at the gathering, local author and founder of the Christian Girls Brunch Club, Miriam Wedderburn, will host a book launch reception for her debut novel, The Christian Girl’s Manifesto: A Declaration of Faith. At 1 pm, guests can get a first look at the collection of devotional stories empowering women, while enjoying inspiring conversations and community foodie favorites. All are welcome and entrance is free.

MKTplace is at 3685 Grand Avenue, at the corner of Douglas Road.

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Affordable housing hijacked by developers?

City Commissoner’s plan for affordable housing HIJACKED by development interests? 
Stealth up-zoning in the name of urban redevelopment is being planned by our city Planning and Zoning department and being sponsored by our Commissioner. Hopefully the community will not be fooled, cajoled or coerced into another ploy for up-zoning. The Draft of proposed new Code to replace NCD-2 & NCD-3 has been placed on the NCD website http://www.miamigov.com/planning/ncd.html  The Proposal would combine the two separate NCDs located in separate areas and which have very different characteristics and hence different INTENTS into one NCD obscuring and weakening the strength of both NCD-2 and NCD-3 codes. 

It would effectively up-zone, INCREASE DENSITY in all of the dark brown T5 and light brown T4 areas to a density of 150 units per acre, the light purple areas are already at 150. For reference this is the same density allowed along the southern portion of Brickell between 15th Rd. and 25th Rd.




While some developers, and those in the construction industry like this idea the community does not want to be fooled into up-zoning, i.e., higher density. The basis justifying this “Brickellization” of Coconut Grove  is “Affordable Housing”. We all know if you increase supply and other factors remain unchanged the equilibrium price goes down; Good for renters, not good for resident owners.  The City’s acceptance, during the November City Commission meeting, of the study labeling the West Grove as a “SLUM” and a “BLIGHTED” area provides the basis for this increased density, but the city’s draft plan applies increased density primarily to areas outside of the West Grove. 

They claim the residents want “one grove” thus attempting to justify the combination and homogenization of NCD-2 and NCD-3 zoning. Many recognize and applaud the effort to create affordable housing in NCD-2, however, extending the remedy to NCD-3 is not going to help.   The last “affordable housing” project at the South East corner of Douglas and U.S. 1 did nothing to alleviate the housing problems confronted by the Bahamian descendants living in  the West Grove. On the surface,  it looks like this newest plan/scheme, with many bonuses & various incentives offered, would allow extra density on steroids, and would possibly accelerate gentrification. Most capital will flow to areas in the Center and North grove,  areas along Bird and 27th avenues, as well as the half of Grand Avenue East of  MacDonald and areas along South Bayshore, areas which have not been labeled a blighted slum. Conventional financing , insurance, and primarily marketing will favor development in those locations. 

This offers a solution which few residents desire. West Grove residents will likely see little or no low income (33K-79K) housing and even less to no very low income (15.5K) housing, as capital is invested in the Center and North Grove, while residents in the Center and North grove will see comparable property decrease in value because of the increase in supply as well as more congestion, noise, and parking. The West Grove has about 85% of residents as renters while the Center and North have a majority of owner residents.

John Snyder
Coconut Grove


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Makersfest - a new concept at St. Stephen's

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this weekend is the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the St. Stephen's Art Show. Both shows run February 17-19, 2018.

New this year at the St. Stephen's show is an event called "Makersfest, which is Saturday and Sunday.

This includes an indie-craft or makers fair on the south side of the show. MakersFest @ St. Stephen's Art Show is a hand crafted experience of sound color and flavor. Artists, musicians and crafters are producing original works of art combining traditional techniques with modern, unconventional styles, contexts and subject matters.

Entrance is free at St. Stephen's this year.


The Center Stage of the show will have live, local, music from noon to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday, and all weekend long at the Main Highway entrance for the inaugural MakersFest @ St. Stephen's.

Check out the hands-on "Art 4 Kids" zone too, a favorite addition to last year's show. Crayon melting, spin art, cookie art and sand art! Proceeds will fund the St. Stephen's Youth Group mission trips serving our global community.

Stroll and enjoy the title MakerFest sponsor Veza Sur Brewing Co., and Art Show title sponsors Goose Island Beer, Copa Wines and Icelandic Water. Their famous Food Court features signature conch fritters and many other tasty foods. 

Performers are:

Saturday
Bob Bonnen
Doug Bates & Juy
David Khandjian
Ed Callahan
Jon I. Sullivan
David Deruelle
Phil Allen
Tom Keeton
3 Sheets to the Wind

Sunday
Robert Kayes
Zip Robertson
John Holcombe
Eric Wagner
Fred Hsia
Carlos Maya
The Iguanas

For the three days of the festivals, you can park your bicycles for free from 10 am to 6 pm each day with the Coconut Grove Bike Valet. It's free.


They will be located in the front courtyard of St. Stephen's Church. Enter from the St. Stephen's parking lot on Main Highway.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ladies in Red free happy hour

Mercy Hospital is holding a Happy Hour for Chamber members and friends.

Join the Ladies in Red free happy hour for the annual "Heart and Healthy Celebration."

Ladies wear red, please.

Mix and mingle with heart care professionals while enjoying free appetizers and wine.

There will be a Health Zone where specialists will be available to discuss women's heart health. A Screening Zone will monitor heart rates and measure your BMI and there will be blood pressure screening. Also a Cardiology, Orthopedic and General Surgery Fitness Therapy area will be set up for family medicine. 

The event is Wednesday, February 21 from 6 to 8 pm at the Havana Room at the Mayfair Hotel (3000 Florida Avenue).

Space is limited, you must RSVP to 305-860-4608 

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Commodore Plaza has a new French restaurant

La Rue is a new French restaurant opening at 3145 Commodore Plaza, the former George's in the Grove location. "La Rue," of course, means "the street" in French and by the looks of it, owner Maurizio Farinelli is taking over the street.

If  his name sounds familiar, Maurizio is owner of Farinelli 1937 and Strada in the Grove, two other Commodore Plaza restaurants.

La Rue is scheduled to open Monday night, February 19, for dinner and then will be open for dinner for the next week or so and then ease into lunch and dinner after that. They will be open seven days a week.


While Maurizio is Italian, he is very familiar with French food. When he was a child, even though he lived in Italy, it was only a few miles from France, where his father owned French restaurants, so Maurizio grew up working in French restaurants.

"Our concept for La Rue is to bring an upper-hand brasserie style French restaurant to Coconut Grove," said Maurizio.



La Rue will focus on being a neighborhood oriented restaurant for any occasion just like his other two restaurants on Commodore Plaza. Whether you are looking for a nice evening out with family and friends, or simply stopping in because you don’t want to cook at home; La Rue will be accessible to everyone.

Maurizio says, "Our menu will incorporate some of the classic dishes that people want to see in a French brasserie while also including a lighter and fresher take on French cuisine that comes from the South of France. The menu was created focused on using authentic imported French ingredients along with local produce and fish, overseen by our experienced French chef."


Like his previous restaurants, La Rue will incorporate an extensive wine list. The wine list will be made up of different boutique and small production selections representing the many regions of France.






Photos by Rafael Gutierrez 

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Graffiti artists win millions from developer

A New York judge has awarded $6.7 million to graffiti artists who sued a developer for destroying their art to build luxury condos. 

21 graffiti artist sued the developer, Jerry Wolkoff, of 5Pointz in Long Island City of white washing over the buildings.

It's akin to painting over Wynwood Walls here in Miami.

Just a suggestion - to save some of our history here in the Grove, maybe we can have graffiti artists paint over them, you know, like the Playhouse, and then developers would be hesitant to destroy our history. Same with the houses that are being torn down to build multi-dwellings on single lots.

Just a thought.

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Vizcaya preservation luncheon kickoff

Alexa Wolman and Bronwyn Miller at Nordstrom

On February 7, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens held its Kickoff Party for the 10th Annual Preservation Luncheon hosted by Nordstrom at the Shops of Merrick Park. This exclusive evening soiree welcomed more than 60 of Miami's most fashion-forward philanthropists in honor of the upcoming Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon, which takes place at Vizcaya on March 13 and raises funds for the continued preservation of the iconic landmark and cultural hub.

 Carroll del Rio, Veronika Guerra, & Godfrey del Rio

In anticipation of Vizcaya's iconic "hat luncheon," the evening featured champagne, h'orderves and an exclusive sneak preview of spring fashions courtesy of Nordstrom as well as a pop-up shop by Shapoh Hats. Guests also reserved their tables for the luncheon, the must-go event that attracts 300 guests from Miami, Palm Beach and New York for a beautiful, stylish day including a prosecco lunch, fashion and more.

 DJ A.K. Vybz

Presented by Nordstrom, the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon mixes fashion with philanthropy while addressing the important issue of historic preservation - a poignant matter following the conclusion of Vizcaya's centennial year and the impact of Hurricane Irma.

The 10th Annual Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon's Co-Chairs are Eilah Campbell-Beavers, Swanee DiMare and Christy Martin. The committee includes: Lesli Ann Brown, Suzy Buckley, Daisy Casuso, Heidi Dans, Sonia Gibson, Linda Levy Goldberg, Ana Hernandez, Carol Iacovelli, Shari Liu, Marile Lopez, Nicole Lozano, Bronwyn Miller, Laura Munilla, and Alexa Wolman.

Mayra and Marianela Joli

 Leonardo Davalos, Ana Sofia Tarbay, Yumi Yazawa and Pedro Maal

Patricia Fuller, Valentina Kraver, Linda Levy Goldberg, Bronwyn Miller and Carol Iacovelli

Marsha Jouben, Veronika Guerra and Ignacio Anez

Christy Martin, Eilah Beavers, Steven Kravit, Laurence Stott, Jennifer Kennedy and Patricia Fuller

Sponsors for this event include Nordstrom as the presenting sponsor as well as Casamigos Tequila, Dall'Armellina Vineyards, DiMare Fresh, Deering Wine, Terra Group and Tito's Handmade Vodka.

Tickets can be purchased online. Friends of Vizcaya tickets are $450 and James Deering tickets are $600, which includes access to the Après Fete. Tables of 10 guests are available starting at $4,500 for a Friends of Vizcaya table. James Deering tables are $6,000 and includes premier seating, 2 bottle champagne service and complimentary entry to Après Fête following the luncheon. For more information about the Preservation Luncheon, visit vizcayapreservation.org or email cammy.richards@vizcaya.org.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

All-Dade Crime Watch meets Tuesday

All-Grove Crime Watch meets Tuesday, February 13 at 7:00 pm at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (2750 McFarlane Road). The meeting room is at the rear of the church.

Parking is available in the church's lot, just tell the parking guy that you are there for the meeting.

Guest speaker is lawyer Olanike "Nike" Adebayo who is running for county judge.

The meetings are open to all residents, the Miami Police Department, an Assistant State Attorney from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, a representative from the Grove's BID, (Business Improvement District); and a representative from the District 2 commissioner's office are usually in attendance.   

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JAMIE'S ART WILL ELEVATE YOUR MOOD

Jamie Rice does beautiful, colorful mixed media work. You'll notice the images she uses to manipulate for her art - Frida Kahlo,  Venus, Albert Einstein and more, she calls them "remixes." Jaime will be presenting her work at this weekend's Coconut Grove Arts Festival, which runs Feb. 17-19, 2018.


TOM: Jamie I love the art, I think my favorite is Frida Kahlo, is this one of your favorites, or rather, which one did you paint first?

JAMIE: Thanks! I have a brand new Frida Kahlo I created especially for Coconut Grove. Visually, my favorites are the new pieces with the 3D gold leafed sculpture, such as Medusa’s gold snakes, or Frida’s golden antlers. When displayed indoors these pieces are dynamic, sparkling differently as the lighting changes throughout the day. Personally, I find my color palette (pastel flamingo pinks and light aquas) to be therapeutic. I kept “Liberty Leading the People-Remix” in my home before it sold because I found that the colors elevated my mood.

TOM: What famous artist, dead or alive, would you want to paint your portrait?


JAMIE: Salvador Dali. He’s the boss. Alex Gray would be a close second choice.


TOM: What medium do you work in?


JAMIE: Mixed media. I begin with a traditional black and white oil painting and then add layers of imagery and bold, abstract elements that help tell a story. Lately I’ve been hand sculpting 3D pieces to enhance the images and using lots of gold leaf, chains and anything that “pops”. Everything is coated in an ultra high gloss material that brings out all of the bright colors and enhances all the hidden detail.






 
TOM: Tell us about your studio or work space.

JAMIE: I’ve got a nice spot in Dallas, TX with tall white brick walls and lots of natural light. I have no living room, just a studio. It’s quite a quintessential artsy space.


TOM: Tell me about the F@#k series. What is that all about?


JAMIE: I brought them out for a Christmas show with the tagline “If you have no more fux to give, this holiday season, I’ve got you covered.” 


My family is British, and swearing just seems more acceptable in the UK. You can still be posh and say “f@ck” there, so I wanted to play with beautifying the most favored, dynamic swear word of the English language. My overall style could be described as “pastel grunge”, a little pretty, with a little edge, so these are a fun complement to my fine art body of work. 


Jamie's Frida Remix
While I’m almost never allowed to sell them, my customers love them. Interestingly, the people who buy them the most are the exact kind of people we might worry would be offended. Dads are buying them for teenage daughters. Women are buying them for their coworkers and employees. Grandmas are buying them as gifts. Virtually no one has been upset by them.

TOM: I noticed the Spy vs Spy piece. Are you a comics fan? Do you have any favorite comic strips?


JAMIE: One of my recurring themes is “Liberty.”  I was creating a piece about the 4th amendment when the story of the NSA spying had come to light. I needed something to symbolize the message and speak to the timelessness of the issue. Spy v Spy was the perfect choice, showing how the same issues were as relevant 50-60 years ago as they are now.


The Spies creator, political cartoonist, Antonio Prohias, was exiled from Cuba for being too critical of Fidel Castro. He created the iconic cartoon in1961, parodying the cold war antics for Mad Magazine. While children of the time may have enjoyed the high jinks, Spy v. Spy was an insightful political commentary about two warring entities being virtually identical, wreaking havoc, in excess. Prohias’ personal story is as much a part of my message as the characters themselves. Other aspects of the painting include current events and modern day symbolism related to the 4th amendment. My political pieces are intended to explore universal core principles rather than any kind of partisan, (black spy v white spy) ideas.



TOM: Is this your first time in the Coconut Grove Arts Festival? Are you familiar with the festival?

JAMIE: This may be my 4th or 5th time here. My first time was as an emerging artist when I first started out. I was so grateful for the opportunity and all the help they offered us. I met wonderful collectors right off the bat, many of whom come back to visit each year. The experience gave me the confidence to pursue this as a full time career. I’m proud to be returning this year with a huge double booth full of new work and hope not to disappoint my fabulous Miami collectors.


TOM: What do you like about the Grove?


JAMIE: I love it! This is my favorite city for art festivals. My aesthetic fits perfectly with the Miami style and people always seem enthusiastic about my work here. I do the South Miami Rotary Arts Festival the weekend following Coconut Grove, so I get to spend the week delivering paintings to gorgeous homes and hanging out on beautiful beaches. One delivery took us to Key West just in time to see the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. Not too shabby for a work week.


See more of Jamie's work at her website: jamiericeart.com



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Sunday, February 11, 2018

His art relates to the back country - take 2



Something screwed up with the post about the artist Joel Masewich in yesterday's Grapevine when it was emailed out to subscribers. There was no link to the story.

Here it is, you can read Joel's story here - "His art relates to the back country"

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Here's why I don't like the County's Playhouse plans

This is just the start. Look at this planned mess.

I spoke with one of the people who was surveyed about the Playhouse and he is in favor of the county's plan for the playhouse and he said his reasoning is, "The county's plan has been in production for a long time and has the best chance of giving it life again." I understand and respect his opinion. Here is mine . . . 

I told him my reasoning for being against the county plans from the beginning, and it really is not much about history, although that is a very important part and always will be, but it's very much about over-development.

I belive once the county has their hands on the playhouse it will open the door to non-stop development in that area of the Grove. I could be 100% wrong, but that is my gut feeling.

I see the renovation turning into a high-rise condo above the playhouse - maybe not by the county, but eventually by someone in the future. Once that door is opened it won't stop. 

The next step is renovating and building up Charles Avenue, our most historic street, and then up and down Main Highway. Look at the offices next door. One zoning change and those offices or new offices can be up to 20 stories and so on. Look at those monstrosities at the Bank Lot, that could be on that end of the Grove one day if it is not shut down now.

I don't trust the county and especially Arquitectonica. And also the Miami Parking Authority (MPA).

I was against the MPA, then I was friendly toward them, I didn't mind when they sold the Oak Street Garage because I was told by the developer to my face that it would remain a garage. That he only purchased it "for cash flow." That ended up being a lie and now it is an office building, with no more parking for the public. The bank lot used to be a great parking site, now it is over-sized development. The MPA then took over our street parking with this nonsense of valet parking every few feet.

Now they want to put a large garage next to the playhouse with condos. I'm not sure who would buy a condo as part of a garage, usually it's the other way around, you build a condo building and then add a garage, here it is a garage with condos hidden inside.

I truly believe once we open that area to the county and development, it will become a non-stop building zone for many years to come. Thanks to people like Arva Moore Parks, the Barnacle and that side of the street did not become high rise condos which was a thought in the 1970s. Can you imagine that side of Main Highway all high rise condos?

That is my problem with the county's plans and those involved with the county's plans. Other than that, I don't care if it is 300 seats or 700 seats or whatever works best.


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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Dolphins Cancer Challenge passes through Grove

The Dolphins Cancer Challenge bicycle ride passed through the Grove on Saturday morning. It started at UM and ended at Hard Rock Stadium (Dolphin Stadium).

They rode on Grand Avenue past MKTPlace and Goombay Plaza with the new wall mural art installation by artist Wendell McShine.

I left my house early today to go to the gym, about 7 am but the street was blocked. The cop on the corner told me about the ride, but she said they started at the Hard Rock, rather than end there. I thought she meant the Hard Rock Casino, some long ride. But still, Hard Rock Stadium is a long ride, too. The ride is 35 miles long.

Almost $3 million was raised from today's ride - over $22 million total from past rides.


Photos by Harry E. Gottlieb

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HIS ART RELATES TO THE BACK COUNTRY


The Coconut Grove Arts Festival is February 17-19 this year. I had the chance to interview Joel Masewich, who lives in Canada, he'll be showing his art this year at the festival. Joel has been painting for 30 years and has been a full-time artist for the past 18 years. He is an abstract painter working with acrylic and oil on paper or canvas. Joel's work is popular with a multitude of corporate clients as well as personal collectors.


Joel Masewich
I asked Joel about his work, "I love your art, it looks almost like water and at times mountains. Are they landscapes or just abstract or is there a specific image we are looking at in most of them?"

Joel: "Yes. The paintings often do relate to a landscape inspired by a back country hike or canoe trip. I travel and paint small watercolors then develop them into the large format pieces."

He has done the collage work is last 10 years or so. "It began as an addition to the canvas becoming a stainless steel or copper technique. This involves hand sanding the stainless to achieve the reflections and detail of the landscape. A final powder-coated application uses transparent colors to enhance the composition. These metal elements are then bonded to the canvas surface," he says.

Joel's studio is the ground floor of his 1860 stone home. It has 12 foot ceilings and walls that are 17 inches thick. Jill, his wife, and he completely renovated the stable building 20 years ago with three small kids!

I asked Joel who his influences are. He says, "So many great artists have been directed my path. Gerhard Richter for sure. Also John Muir the founder of the Sierra Club, his writings have greatly influenced my way of living, being in nature. Alex Turner a former teacher and good friend, he taught color theory and all it can achieve in painting."

This is Joel's fifth year at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Each year he has participated in visiting artist program. This is where about 100 artists visit schools and give talks about their life and work.

I asked Joel about his impressions of Coconut Grove, he said, "The Grove is a wonderful, laid back neighborhood. The festival is such a great combination of incredible art and wonderful people. The CGAF festival is so well run and I am grateful to be included with all the diverse talented artists."

Growing up in Toronto Ontario, he and his wife moved to the village of Elora, northwest of Toronto to raise their children in a small town setting. "They are all grown up now but love returning to visit," says Joel.

Sounds a lot like Coconut Grove, so I can see why Joel likes it here.

Look for Joel and all the other great artists at the festival next weekend. You can see more of his work at his website here: joelmasewich.com





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