Spreading over all 50 states and 114 nations, the UM student community reaches all over the world. While most of the 10,000 students left the green and orange land of dining dollars, hall bathrooms and Lake Osceola’s alligator to spend a month at home, life in the city of Miami continued on effervescently.
Nike had runners compete in their Nike Run Hit Remix race on December 14 where the 5,000 participants stormed the city, starting at the Miami Beach Convocation Center and following a five- mile track to the hard-packed sand of Miami Beach just outside of Collins Park. Along the way, Young MC, Vanilla Ice, Coolio, Digital Underground and De La Soul performed live for the athletes.
In time for the holidays, The Jewish Museum hosted the Klezmer Chanukah Concert on December 14 while The St. Petersburg Classic Ballet performed the Complete Nutcracker suit at the Jackie Gleason Theater on December 23. The city of Miami also held its annual Kwanza Festival in the Joseph Caleb Auditorium on December 29 and 30.
Of course, New Year’s Eve brought parties to end 2006 with a bang. People gathered on Espanola Way and at Bayfront Park while Dana Paul and the Brian Murphy Trio drew a crowd at the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club downtown.
And as tradition dictates, a 35-foot neon orange ball affectionately dubbed “Big Orange” dropped 400 feet above the Hotel InterContinental to ring in 2007.
Art festivals seemed to steal the show in Miami over winter break as three art festivals painted the town including the 5th Annual Art Basel, the 56th Annual Holtz Children’s Hospital Beaux Arts Festival of Art and the Annual Art Deco Weekend: East Meets West.
Taking over South Beach by land and by sea from December 6-10, Art Basel was more than just another art festival
The offspring of Switzerland’s Art Basel which has been a premier art showcase for 37 years, the Miami version is quickly earning a similar reputation. Over 400,000 guests attended the five-day festival, setting a new record.
University of Miami alumnus Humberto Calzada was one of the 1,500 select artists featured. Displayed in a retrospective exhibition in the Lowe Art Museum, his artwork represents “socialist realism” in modern Cuba.
Though the exhibit previewed on December 2, it officially opened to the public the next day, ran through the Art Basel later that month and continues to be displayed the Lowe until January 28.
Beaux Arts Festival of Art
The 56th Annual Holtz Children’s Hospital Beaux Arts Festival of Art regaled guests on campus before the mass of students returned.
On January 13 and 14, white tarps and tents, artists, tourists, locals, students who were already back and families swarmed Stanford Drive. .
“Beaux Arts is a support group for us,” Gita Shonek, a Curatorial Assistant at the Lowe Art Museum said. Comprised of 100 women, the volunteer organization’s goal is to maintain the standard of excellence that the Lowe Art Museum holds.
The Holtz Children’s Hospital is closely aligned with the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and all the money raised from the festival is donated to the museum.
Art Deco Weekend
While that festival was happening on campus, the Annual Art Deco Weekend was going on in South Beach. With an “East Meets West” theme, this art festival compared the expression and execution of Art Deco pieces and architecture in Shanghai and Miami from the past to the present.
Art Deco offered presentations including a lecture from Xing Tonghe, the chief architect of the Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design Group.
Although still relatively unknown to the “West,” Tonghe has contributed to over 80 percent of the new structures in Shanghai. The festival also included a themed parade, classic car exhibition and various tours.
Art Deco Weekend is presented by The Miami Design Preservation League and is devoted to protecting the historical preservation of Miami’s Art Deco district and promoting tourism throughout the area.
For information about volunteering or participating with any of these festivals next year, contact the Art Department at the University of Miami or each individual organization.
Hilary Saunders can be reached at email@example.com.