Romero Britto's fabulous 50th Anniversary commemorative poster.
This weekend was the 50th annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival here in Miami.  What started out as an homage to Paris's Left Bank open air artists/ventors in 1963 has become the largest of its kind in the US.  Whatever your artistic tastes and tendencies, you are sure to find something to please you here among the rambling aisles of sculptors, glass blowers, painters, jewelers, and countless others.
There were so many amazing artistic creations to see that it was frankly quite overwhelming.  I walked away with a small silver ring set with an Australian Opal made by Chip Arnold.  I always like to take home a small souvenir from these fairs, and wearable ones are the best kind!
One of the most amazing displays was from San Francisco sculptor Michael Gard.  He creates the most intriguing representations of form using an original technique involving a mixture of sculpting and wire work.  His explanation at the show:
"Each figure begins as an original clay sculpture.  The clay sculpture is reproduced in wax.  Next, single strands of wire are woven stitch-by-stitch around the wax form.  Approximately ten different types of stitches and knots are used.  Finally, the wax is melted away.  The resulting piece is light, yet very strong.  Primary materials are copper, brass, aluminum, and gold-plated silver, copper, and bronze." 
Vicki Banks 'Smug Cat' Bronze
California Sculptor Vicki Banks of Vulture Sculpture also had some beautiful, somewhat whimsical bronze pieces on show--my favorite was this fluffy kitty (big surprise), and I was intrigued by her recurring theme of ravens.  Her bio states that she spent years in animated film and has worked with Disney, Dreamworks, and Warner Bros.  She has now returned to her first love and exhibits her sculptures around the country.
Vicki Banks "Raven on a Spade" Bronze
Vicki Banks "Cat & Crow" Bronze
Vicki Banks Raven Installation Bronze
I have a random fondness for ravens, so Banks's pieces were a real treat for me!
I'm so sad that I didn't get a card from these artists--their crocheted and woven metal cord pieces were absolutely gorgeous!  They're a husband and wife team and there was so much buzz around their booth that  I didn't get their details.  I'm searching through my festival brochure now trying to figure out their identity... I'll amend the post when I locate them.  They've had a few notable celebrities wearing their creations lately, so they're sure to be quite popular.
Brad Pogatetz Photography
A few artists also really caught my eye but sadly I didn't get any photos of them--Brad Pogatetz is a young photographer whose shots of abandoned buildings and industrial spaces were truly captavating.  There was a lot of interest in his work as well, so I'm hoping he had a very good show!  Take a look at the link and browse through his galleries--I love his unique style.  These shots are from the internet--they're even more stunning in person.
Jewelry Designer Aaron Sault  was exhibiting his unique wearable creations, and there were some beautiful pieces--not everyone's style, but I appreciate the raw nature of his look.  He has a few items available through his Etsy Shop, but take a look through his online gallery to appreciate the full extent of his talent. 
With so many talented artists being showcased this year, it's hard to pick only a few to hilight--but just for clarification, I am in no way affiliated with any of the above artists and I am not being compensated for this post.  (Unfortunate, because I love these pieces!  *Kidding*...  well, kind of.)

I hope you've enjoyed this little mini-tour of the 50th Annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival!  This week most of my handwork projects are on hold as I work in the digital realm... still preparing the coffee warehouse and retail space for opening means digital art creation and endless days of tweaking/editing/revamping/scrapping/starting over again/perfecting. 


I hope you're all having a great week!


19/02/2013 8:37pm

Looks like a great bunch of fun and I'm so glad you had your camera. What amazing work these people can do and I always walk away in awe.

19/02/2013 9:32pm

It truly was amazing, Sherry. I actually took all of the photos with my new phone--my husband got me a great Valentine's present :-) I'm so glad the photos turned out well!

20/02/2013 4:54am

Liesa, I stopped by to thank for becoming a follower on my blog and was welcomed with this totally fabulous art tour. WOW what a fantastic display and to think this was only a tiny bit of what you saw...you're so lucky to have this in your area. Thanks for sharing it.

20/02/2013 12:21pm

I'm so glad you stopped by, Deb!
I'm happy that you enjoyed the festival hilights :-)

20/02/2013 12:12pm

Wow, that looks like so much fun! When I lived in Ann Arbor there was a huge arts festival that pretty much took over the whole town. It was amazing! Your post reminded me of that :)

20/02/2013 12:22pm

I love festivals like this--not only to see what others are creating, but also for inspiration in my own work! I'm glad you enjoyed it, Anne :-)


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