January is a big month for art and with last weekend’s festivals, and of course the classic district gallery nights, it was hard to miss the abundance of vibrant colors, the delicious smell of popping Kettle Korn, and of course the crowds of mixed artisans, patrons, young families, hipsters, and art goers alike.
From gallery nights in the Gables to Latin heritage Fridays in Little Havana and even the Lowe Art Museum on campus Miami is teeming with art. January 16 was the kick off day for two very famous and independent art festivals: the Art Deco Festival in infamous SoBe and the Beaux Art Festival on the UM campus.
From the start of the Alton exit of the Venetian Causeway on the way to South Beach art-goers for the Art Deco Festival would have to wait in anticipation for the excitement that Ocean Drive contained for the weekend.
SoBe’s Art Deco Festival revived the scene and added a lil’ edge to this past weekend’s events
Starting at nine in the morning tents and food vendors lined the beach side of Ocean Drive from 5th Street extending as far as the eye could see, including winding down the path next to illustrious spots such as Versace’s house and the Clevelander.
The festival is a massive sensory overload, Caribbean music mixing with techno and metal cheese grater music from a lowly one-man band, dogs incessantly barking, and of course each vendor scrambling to grab your attention as you pass. Pinstripe tents selling fashion, including vintage Dior, modern art, dated records, posters, and pieces that even seem too lost to be seen viewed as “trash to treasure” were all considered gems at the festival. SoBe’s Art Deco Fest revived the scene and added a lil’ edge to this past weekend’s events. Check out the beach next year and get a glimpse of the enchanting magic of SoBe as it used to BE.
Closer to home, UM sponsored Beaux Art Festival took over the lawn surrounding the Lowe and Stanford Drive, engulfing the grass and transforming campus into a bustling indy village of American artists. The Beaux showcased native Floridians and artists across the states, displaying “art” that encompassed all ends of the spectrum that included metal art, Picasso-like paintings, jewelry, purses, candles that burn from natural stone, and delicate and completely realistic orchids made from clay. Famed for its food as well, fruit smoothies, roasted corn, and Thai fried rice could all be enjoyed on a warm curb or inside the gigantic tent that housed an exotic flamenco dancer and her talented guitarist, complete with authentic costume.
Whether a few steps a way or taking the 10-mile trek down traffic packed US-1 to SoBe, Miami’s art festivals were kickin’. If you weren’t able to catch either festival, slaps on the wrist, not just for missing the art, but for missing out on the experience of true Miami culture.