Art Basel: The Art of Conversation

Miami Art Basel.

Out door installation by George Baselitz at the Bass Museum during Miami Art Basel 2014.

Art is one of the few topics that people feel free to talk about without any hesitation. Even if they have no depth of knowledge of the arts, people feel compelled to give an opinion. The saying goes “I don’t know anything about art but I know what I like.”

I am sure there will lots to talk about at Art Basel Miami Beach, December 3-6.

During Art Basel, there are pop up galleries all over the place. Hotels and vacant buildings are converted into galleries. Along the beach, there are tents displaying art. People hop from gallery to gallery.

Inside and outside—art is all over the place. Last year, the Bass Museum featured public art installations. Public Art is great for creating an awareness of art and promoting art talk in friendly places.


Thanksgiving and Martha’s Vineyard

Gay Head Cliffs at Martha's Vineyard.

Gay Head Cliffs at Martha’s Vineyard.

I can still remember standing spellbound looking at the wonders of the Gay Head Cliffs

During the summer, I visited the Gay Head Cliffs and Lighthouse in the town of Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard. Aquinnah is the home of the Wampanoag tribe. The Wampanoags are the Native Americans in the Thanksgiving story. The Wampanoags lived in coastal Massachusetts and Martha’s Vineyard thousands of years before the Pilgrims.

Gay Head Lighthouse

Gay Head Lighthouse Copyyrighted by Elaine Marie Austin

According to the Aquinnah Cultural Center’s website, Aquinnah was the most populous and organized of the Wampanoag and were able to maintain control over their land. The Wampanoag common lands now include the Gay Head Cliffs, Herring Creek and Lobsterville.

For more information on the Wampanoag tribe, visit the Aquinnah Cultural Center website at

The Bloody Truth

Biloxi lighthouse

Biloxi Lighthouse copyright by Elaine Marie Austin.

Dodging cars like a nervous pedestrian, the historic Biloxi Lighthouse stands beside a busy highway.

Lighthouses adorn postcards and remind us of peaceful days gone by. We always like to fool ourselves that the past was better than the present. Some people even try to make social movements out of the past.

If we are honest with ourselves we would remember that the past was fraught with struggles. The Biloxi Lighthouse in Mississippi has withstood the Civil War, Civil Rights protests and hurricane Katrina. I was reminded of this landmark when thinking about the attacks in Paris.

Struggles either bring out the best in us or the worst in us. This lighthouse in spite of the perils it faced survives on a busy roadway. Life changes and we must adapt to the harsh realities facing us and not look back for perceived safer days.

Climate Change and Art Deco


Miami Beach Art Deco District

We need more parking so lets destroy this building!

Cars have been blamed for destroying the ozone layer. I wonder how many Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach have been destroyed for parking lots?

The Senator Hotel in Miami beach was razed to the ground in 1988 for a parking lot that never came into being.


A Natural Wonder

Palm trees in the Everglades

Florida has many natural wonders.

Florida artists are invited to bring their easels and palettes to paint the wonders of Silver Springs at Painters in the Park on Nov. 21. Admission for artists is free.

Celebrities and visitors have long been captivated by the spring’s natural beauty for years.

Tarzan swam the depths of Silver Springs, one of the largest artesian springs. Glass bottom boat, kayak and canoe rides take guests on an outdoor adventure. Florida manatees and other wildlife call the park home.

For more information, visit Silver Artists must RSVP for free admission pass with

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse SoirĂ©e

My painting of Jupiter Lighthouse

My rendition of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.

Enjoy live jazz and appetizers at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse on November 21 from 6-9 pm. Lighthouse River Rendezvous features a silent auction and an unveiling of the book “A Trip Down the Locahatchee” by Jim Synder. See original pairings and photographs at this elegant homecoming party. Guests get a signed coffee table book. Cost is $75 single ticket or $100 per couple. For more information, call 561-747-8380.

Splash and Color at the Miami Book Fair International

Art Deco Coloring book

Copy of my Art Deco Coloring book.

Grab your flip flops, sunshades and imagination!

I will be signing copies of my Art Deco Coloring book during the Miami Book Fair’s Street Fair on tomorrow, November 20 and Saturday, November 21.

Get an autographed book for only $5.00 for the first copy and $4.00 for each additional copy. Stop by the South Florida Writers Association booth to purchase my book and to chat with me and other authors. The South Florida Writers Association advances independent and emerging writers through creative workshops and events like the Street Festival.

For more information on my coloring book, visit