CREATIVITY AT THE BEACH

A view of Miami Beach, Florida.

A view of Miami Beach, Florida.

Today, the Miami Beach Bass Museum offered families free transportation and a tour of the museum as part of its “Arts and Literacy” program.

The seven week program provides creativity and literacy skills to strengthen families and communities. Families learn how to instill a love of reading in their child. Art projects are presented that enhance literacy.

At the end of the seven week family program, there is a tour of the Bass Museum.

Families tour the Bass Museum.

Families tour the Bass Museum.

Families toured the museum’s Egyptian gallery. Children also re-enacted the mythological story of Osiris, Isis, Horus, and Seth. They donned various Egyptian headdresses. Families visited Peter Marino’s “One Way” exhibition at the museum. At the end of the day, families were given gift bags and headed home.

The next free “Arts and Literacy” session starts March 7. There are various locations in Miami for the workshops.

THE PROBLEM ISN’T ART

My painting "Honfleur."

My painting “Honfleur.”

I took my seven-year old grandson to the reception for “Art Refreshes the Soul.” I believe “every child is an artist” so I invited him to look at the art and tell me a story about the paintings we saw. At first he was reluctant. I continued to prompt him until he felt comfortable expressing his ideas. Engaging the viewer is the pursuit of almost every artist. I desire to inspire passion, idealism, thought, conversation, etc. Art is not passive. It is not a monologue. It’s a conversation. As we looked at the second painting my grandson took the lead. He excitedly told me the story of two babies taking over a city.

As Pablo Picasso put it, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

People engaging with art.

People engaging with art.

 

ART AND FAITH

Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh at Chicago Art Institute.

Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Art and the church are no strange bedfellows.

Michelangelo worked for the church and painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. For centuries churches and popes were the greatest patrons of the arts. A few years ago I went to an exhibit that said artists are prophets! Vincent van Gogh hung up his frock after being criticized for fraternizing with his hard working congregation. His painting “The Potato Eaters” is a tribute to the hard work of the common man. Van Gogh considered the “Potato Eaters” his greatest work.

JAZZ AND ART

My painting "Ancestor Worship" will be apart of the exhibit.

My painting “Ancestor Worship” will be apart of the exhibit.

Enjoy an evening of jazz and art at the “Art Reveals the Soul” reception on February 26 from 6-8:30 pm at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale. Entertainment is by Nicole Yarling, Jazz vocalist of the Gold Coast Jazz Society.

“Art Reveals the Soul” exhibit features the work of more than a dozen South Florida artists. The exhibit will continue through April 23.

A STROLL ON THE BEACH

BEACH EROSION

My painting Beach Erosion.

A romantic stroll on the beach is one thing. The captivating painting “Beach Erosion” however is a stroll into my mind and soul.

The colorful surrealist painting is a hard and poignant look at love. The ethereal pastel features dreamlike images juxtaposed with various symbols. I received an Exceptional Merit Award for the painting at the Southeastern Pastel Society’s 13th International Open Juried Exhibition.

“Beach Erosion” and four of my paintings will be part of the “Art Reveals the Soul” group exhibit at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, February 26 – April 23.

FLORIDA INVASIVE SPECIES

Mangroves at Matanzas Pass Preserve in Fort Myers Beach.

Native mangroves at Matanzas Pass Preserve in Fort Myers Beach.

This week is National Invasive Species Awareness week. The focus of this week is on invasive plants and animals introduced to the United States.

Sometimes species are introduced intentionally.  Australian pine trees were planted years ago in Florida to soak up “swamp” lands. However a press release by the Florida Department of Environment Protection states Australian pine trees have a negative impact on the Florida ecosystem. The trees grow five or more feet each year and crowd out native species.

 Matanzas Pass Preserve in 1944.

The natural area of Matanzas Pass Preserve in green and development in red in 1944.

 

The encroachment of the shoreline in1998 at Matanzas Pass Preserve.

The green area on the map represents the natural area in 1998 at Matanzas Pass Preserve. Red is the development.

Like most of our solutions to the environment things never go as intended. To satisfy our thirst for oil we focus on drilling and not conservation. The lack of appreciation, foresight and unwillingness to adapt is at the heart of so many our decisions about our natural resources. Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina had enormous consequences but still development on coastlines continue to grow. In Florida, our shorelines are crowded with hotels, homes, and condos.

I don’t live on the shoreline yet I walk out of my door and see egrets and ducks. Am I an invasive species?