South Beach Finally Gets It After Raucous Behavior


Splash and Color: Art Deco Coloring Book for Kids of All Ages. A coloring book to engage families with Art Deco. I thought it was a good idea a few years ago.

When I pitched my idea about reaching the family market in South Beach a few years ago, I was met with disdain. My plea fell on deaf ears when I approached the Miami Design Preservation League, Delano and the hotels on Ocean Drive about my coloring book and a Coloring Contest to reach the family market in South Beach. I wasn’t surprised by the lack of enthusiasm or vision. Artists have a tendency to be ahead of the curve.

After years of bad publicity and overly aggressive police behavior to control “raucous” behavior Mayor Levine and the City of Miami Beach are endeavoring to change the Art Deco District’s image. They want to make Ocean Drive better for residents and families. The recent Air and Sea Show is a good start. I hope the business community supports the initiatives to make Ocean Drive a safer and better place for residents and families.
http://splashandcolor.com

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Hey Mr Trump Art is Business

Art Basel bring tens of thousands of cultural travelers to Miami each year.

As a savy businessman and leader of the free world, I would think you would appreciate that Art is Big Bucks.  I read that in February you visited the National Museum of African American Museum (NMAAHC). I am sure you didn’t have to stand in line like most Americans to visit the museum. I had to get up early three months in a row to get timed tickets online. It took me more than one hour to go through an online que to finally get the tickets.

The point I’m making is that the African American Museum is driving people to Washington, DC. Probably people like me who only decided to revisit DC because of the Museum. According to Skit.com the “African American Museum sets a new standard in Museums as Destination. The large number of visitors in February forced the Museum to offer timed tickets.”
The Alliance of Museums reports that museums “directly contribute $21 billion to the US economy each year and billions more through indirect spending by visitors.” In addition, “There are approximately 850 million visits each year to American museums, more than the attendance of all major league sports events and theme parks combined (483 million in 2011).

Back to the Big Bucks theory. According to the Travel Industry of America “Thirty percent or 35.3 million adults say that a specific arts, cultural or heritage event or activity influenced their choice of destination. In fact, many travelers will extend their stay because of an arts, cultural or heritage event or activity. That mean cultural tourists spend more than the average tourist. This translates to jobs. Hey, I thought you were all about bringing jobs home.

And I know you’re all about business. So is defunding the National Endowment for the Arts a good business decision? 

http://www.elainemarieartist.com

TGIF: No means yes in South Beach

A picture of the museum

The Jewish Museum Florida FIU was designed by Henry Hohauser who attended Pratt Institute.

South Beach is a place of defiance. I once heard someone say, people come to South Beach to do every “God forsaken” thing they wouldn’t do anywhere else! No means yes in South Beach.

It should come as no surprise that the Jewish community in South Beach has often defied the status quo.

Art Deco weekend.

Thousands of people come to Art Deco Weekend each year.

Barbara Capitman, a Jews, defied the establishment. Capitman fought city officials “tooth and nail” to preserve the historical buildings that light up Miami Beach and make it the second most popular place in Florida. If not for her vision and perseverance, there would not be an Art Deco District. The over 800 Art Deco buildings that remain are testaments to Capitman’s defiance. The Art Deco District was the first 20th century neighborhood placed on the National Register of Historic Places much to her efforts. The Miami Design Preservation League continues Capitman’s legacy.

Poster

Miami Design Preservation League poster rallying the community.

What’s more, Henry Hohauser, an architect who was Jewish, built over 300 Art Deco buildings. Hohauser lived in an era when signs “Gentiles Only” and “No Jews Allowed” were commonplace in South Beach. Jews were not even allowed to live beyond 5th Street.

An Art Deco chandelier and displays inside the Jews

An Art Deco chandler and displays inside the Jewish Museum.

Visit one of Hohauser’s buildings and experience first hand the story of Jewish culture in Florida. Hohauser’s building, once a synagogue, is now the home of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Eighty stained glass windows, a copper dome, and chandeliers are reminders of the days when Hohauser and others worshipped in the synagogue. Taste and see the Jewish experience during the Jewish Food Tour that leaves from the Museum. Learn how the Jewish community thrived despite many obstacles.

Falafel and Israeli salad.

Enjoy Falafel and Israeli salad on the Jewish Food Tour.

Facing off with those who thought South Beach should be known only as a place for “fun in the sun,” Holocaust survivors garnered public support for the building of the Holocaust Memorial. A memorial garden and a sobering sculpture recall those who died and remind all who visit: “we shall NEVER forget.”

Sculpture at the Holocaust memorial

A bronze sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly at the Holocaust Memorial.

The impact of Jewish culture permeates every aspect of the city. Mount Sinai Hospital was built because Jewish doctors weren’t given staff privileges at area hospitals. The Bass Museum scheduled to reopen in the fall, is named in honor of John and Johanna Bass, Jewish immigrants who bequeathed over 500 works of art to the City of Miami Beach.

The Bass Museum in Miami Beach.

The Bass Museum in Miami Beach during Art Basel.

It is said that obstacles are opportunities. Fighting bias and opposition, the Jewish community realized that no means yes in South Beach.

http://splashandcolor.com

https://jmof.fiu.edu

http://holocaustmemorialmiamibeach.org

Color Your World

Adult coloring Book display at Michaels.

Adult coloring Book display at Michaels.

Two thousand fifteen was the year of adult coloring books. Not sure what cause this craze among Millennials but I think the Great Recession and high student college debt may have played a role.

The coloring book phenomenon reminded me of the Japanese culture’s fascination with Anime and Manga. Perhaps that’s the next American adult trend.

Life can be pretty tough and perhaps the Millennials got caught up in the “Change You Can Believe In” talk. I’m sure they were dismayed when it didn’t immediately translate into more jobs. Unemployment was at an all time for Millennials graduating from college during the Great Recession .

Now with lower gas prices, more jobs and lower employment, there are some things to be thankful for.

Gratitude is good for the soul and a lot less costly than a coloring book and more rewarding. One author says you should write a letter expressing gratitude to someone everyday. This increases your gratitude quotient.

Gratitude makes for better health and longevity. There is no replacement for gratitude.

Art Deco Coloring book

Copy of my Art Deco Coloring book.

Yet I can’t be too hard on coloring book illustrators. I happen to be one!

A Place in the sun for everyone

South Beach

A day in the sun at Miami Beach.

Miami Beach is now the second most visited place in Florida next to Orlando. Tourists flock here for the world renown beaches, Art Deco district and fabulous weather.

Behind the glitz and glamour of its high rises, Miami Beach battles with a high homeless population. Miami is the largest metropolitan city with the highest poverty level in the United States. Talk about income inequality!

Barbara Capitman fought income inequality years before it became trendy.

Capitman looked beyond her personal sorrows and sought to improve the lives of impoverished seniors on the beach.

She had lost her spouse two years after moving to Miami Beach. Instead of wallowing in self pity and isolation, she created a movement of preservationists in Miami Beach.

Art Deco weekend is the second weekend in January.

Art Deco weekend is the second weekend in January.

Still in was in her fifties, Capitman rallied the media and the public to save the iconic buildings the seniors lived in. It was no small task. Developers wanted to raze the buildings and build more condos for the super rich.

Capitman’s cry fell on deaf ears and closed hearts. Miami Beach, Florida is where often the mighty dollar instead common sense reigns. Her idea to preserve run downed buildings was laughable to city officials and developers at the time.

Yet her movement prevailed because she was passionate about preservation and fought the status quo.

Studio Apartments in Miami Beach.

My painting of the Studio Apartments in Miami Beach.

Because of her efforts and vision Miami Beach is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Take a hike

Cape Florida Lighthouse.

Copyrighted Cape Florida Lighthouse by Elaine Marie.

Walk off those holiday pounds. Explore Florida’s breathtaking ecosystem. Discover interesting facts about native plants and animals. Journey through Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on January 1 from 9-11 am. Limited to 30 people. Free with regular park admission.

For more information, call 305-361-5811.

You’ve come a long way, baby

Painting by Sue Williams

“We’ve got a lot of work to do” by Sue Williams.

After going to the exhibit “No Man’s Land” at the Rubell Family Collection, I felt a little deflated. I was disappointed about not seeing works by Kara Walker and Carrie Weems—it was a rotating exhibit. I felt that their absences left a sizable void in the exhibit in spite a painting done in 1992 by Sue Williams.

My painting Death of Fertility.

My painting “Death of Fertility” was exhibited at “Widening the Cycle.”

Miami is the only major city in the United States founded by a woman so my expectations were high. Also, I had recently exhibited in “Widening the Cycle” in Boston and expected art that spoke about feminism. The Boston exhibit explored menstruation and had a Feminist Walking Tour to complete the event. The exhibit achieved its goals of raising awareness about menstruation and discrimination women face.

“No Man’s Land” left me wondering what’s the difference between feminism and sexism. Women complain about men exploiting the female body and I saw a few pieces that I thought did just that. So what’s the point?

Are women better off in a post feminist era? Are men more committed to going to Superhero movies than being good fathers? Women now head more families and more children are fatherless and in poverty. I read an article that said the average millennial woman cries one day a week; overwhelmed by the demands of family and work.

Too bad this exhibit did little speak to the issues facing women. It was just an exhibit by women. And may be sadly that was the point.