The annual Miami Beach Festival of the Arts rolled into town this weekend, sprawling out over two blocks on Ocean Terrace.
Over 150 national artists showed off their work in various media types, from watercolors to photography to mixed media. The festival also boasted ongoing live performing art at the band shell, and Sunday’s line-up of music consisted of voices varying from jazz to electronic to Brazilian pop.
With over 30,000 visitors each year, this nationally-known arts festival was no small affair. With free admission, the great international food fair and the picturesque beachfront appeal made this festival a must-see for any Miami local.
Art and cultural events have certainly not been in short stock in recent weeks for Miami. This festival was among a slew of other outdoor art festivals in the past few weeks, such as the Art Deco weekend, which took place on Ocean Drive in January, and the Beaux Art Festival that recently visited the UM campus.
With so much going on and the weather so fair, UM students should never be bored on weekends.
“There’s always something to go and see, some art event or other,” Samantha DeSpirito, a freshman said. “Miami is such a great place to be because you have so many things always going on like these art festivals.”
But not everyone has been thrilled with the selection of cultural events. With so many art festivals circulating the Miami metro area, there are definitely a few duds. Especially at the Miami Beach Festival of the Arts, some of the jewelry and pottery vendors were a little lackluster.
“Sometimes, it just feels like an arts and crafts fair at these things,” Juana Garza, a junior, said. “You go to these things to see real art on display, but a lot of it is just for the sake of selling a trinket or two, not an actual exhibition.”
Nevertheless, there were plenty of truly inspired artists at the event. Several cash prizes were awarded to artists across several categories for best in show. While some of the art on display was intended to make a few bucks, there were some noteworthy displays, including that of California artist Faro Mojahedi, who crafts portrait paintings that closely resemble dreamy photographs.
Part of the fun at the art festival was roaming through the gorgeous outdoor spread of tents looking for those hidden gems. With sunshine, great festival food, music and artwork, the Miami Beach Festival of the Arts was a great way to pass the day and promote the cultural scene in Miami.
UM students can check the event calendar at www.gmcvb.com to stay up-to-date with upcoming art festivals and exhibitions in the Miami area.
Carla Tabag may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.