If the words “art festival” conjure up mental images of Popsicle-stick houses and handmade potpourri drawer sachets, you have never stumbled upon the wild diversity of UM’s annual Beaux Arts Festival.
“Beaux” is the French word for “beautiful,” and the 52nd annual fair, held on January 18 and 19, undoubtedly fulfilled its calling. Sprawling across campus, the festival scattered out lavishly from its hub in the Lowe art museum. Snug white tents showcased a wide-ranging display of art, as well as provided refuge from the bitter wind that whisked through the gray skies on Saturday and Sunday.
Inside the booths, compositions ranged from festooned shower curtains and handcrafted spoons to the more traditional sculptures and oil paintings, yet amidst all the landscapes and still lifes, nothing was as striking as the vivid insect paintings of Miami artist Dominique DuBois. A picture of a stunning blue butterfly leapt out from the cavalcade of canvases. Titled simply “Papillon bleu,” the dazzling painting fuses aesthetic appeal with a careful anatomic portrayal of the brightly colored Morpho butterfly.
On her Web site, DuBois notes that “capturing the motion, impulse, essence, the symbiosis between all things” is an important element in her work. These butterflies aren’t your average wispy white moths.
DuBois’ creatures are more Dali-esque, with their bold coloring, prominent shadows, and thick, inky black lines. Her insect portraits are simple yet powerful, the breathtakingly detailed creatures overshadowing space and leaving merely a fringe of room for a basic, natural background.
Less appealing to this feminine eye were Dubois’ other insect prints, depicting grasshoppers and dragonflies in painstaking detail. However, DuBois’ scope isn’t limited to the creepy and crawly; she also explores portraits, nudes, and interestingly, painting on metal canvases. Check out www.dominiquedubois.com for more info on the artist.
Jessica Misener can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.