Gifford Lane Art Stroll is on the horizon
Just as the Coconut Grove Arts Festival gets under way, thought are already on the Gifford Lane Art Stroll, which is coming in March. This is the winning poster art for this year's 17th annual Gifford Lane Art Stroll, which will be held on Sunday, March 1, 2015. Grove artist Eileen Seitz is the artist. The piece is called, "A Peaceful Place to Contemplate."
Stop by Gifford Lane for the yearly trip down memory lane from noon to 5 pm. Visit friends, eat, drink, dance and of course buy art from more than 60 local artist showing their work on the shady old world street.
The Gifford Lane Art Stroll was started 17 years ago by a half-dozen artists who lived along this block. Most of them have now moved away but a hearty band of some thirty neighbors have made the little event a Coconut Grove tradition. They meet on weekends for months to hold planning pot-luck supper gatherings to map each year coming up.
“The thing is,” says Trina Collins, a painter and one of the founders of the Stroll who lives on the block, “at lots of art festivals, artists are primarily interested in just having their work seen. But at the Gifford Lane Art Stroll, artists come to sell. And sell they do. The price is right. The quality’s good. You see tons of people going up the lane with a new treasure tucked under their arm. It’s a people party. I’ve known people to arrive not knowing anybody and leave with new friends. We have one accomplished artist living on the street who bought her house on Gifford Lane as a result of the Art Stroll.”
Performing for their sixth year are the high-energy folk and rock group Solar Dogs. In addition to original material, the band covers an eclectic mix of blues, folk and rock. Band members are Eric Wagner, Zip Robertson, Bill Kunz, and Robert Grabowski. Coconut Grove music legend, guitarist, and singer Bobby Ingram will also perform. Bobby has performed alongside David Crosby, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jimmy Buffet, and Fred Neil, among others.
Every year the Gifford Lane Art Stroll gives away its profits to two Coconut Grove charities. A percentage of each art piece sold, as well as all of the contributions received for the now-world-famous Cucumber Punch. Also the sellers’ fees for delicious ribs, shrimp, burgers, hot dogs, and arepas go directly to charity. Over the past 16 years, the Stroll has donated more than $40,000 to the St. Stephen’s AIDS Ministry and the St. Alban’s Child Enrichment Center in the Grove Village West. Virgin Vanderlugt, administrator at the AIDS Ministry, says, “Over the past decade and a half the Gifford Lane Art Stroll has really stepped up to the plate and been a major financial supporter of our AIDS efforts.”
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