The Bass: Talk of the Town

 

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Before renovation, The Bass displays Public Art during Art Basel. 

The Bass solidifies its position as an art leader in Miami by bringing a fresh way of seeing and experiencing art. The grand reopening of The Bass heralds a new age.

After being closed for 2 1/2 years, The Bass opens with much fanfare and anticipation on Sunday. Before its temporary closure, the museum had transformed itself to a hotspot for contemporary art.

Now it artfully and skillfully showcases its old masterpieces alongside contemporary art. Botticelli, Rubens, El Greco and Van Dyke take center near contemporary art and challenges visitors to rethink their perceptions about art.

Instead of discarding the past, The Bass preserves it in a fresh and exciting way. The Art Deco building that houses the Bass is revitalized with new exhibition spaces, expanded lobby and education center, and grand staircase.

Designed by Russell Pancoast in the 1930s, it is one of the oldest buildings in Miami Beach. With the new expansion, the old and new form a fascinating dialogue.

As William Murtugh states “…at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present with a mutual concern for the future.”

The Bass has done that in a bold and brash way.

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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

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 was a Jewish woman who 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.

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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

TGIF: Miami Beach Art Deco Weekend

 

Studio Apartments in Miami Beach.

My painting of the Studio Apartments in Miami Beach.

Join the Miami Design Preservation League in welcoming the Jazz Age Lawn Party to Art Deco Weekend, January 13-15. Enjoy prohibition era entertainment with music, dance performance, dance lessons, food and drink all for one price. After 11 years in New York this popular event comes to Miami Beach.

Art Deco weekend also features a parade, dog show, car show, walking tours, vendors and activities for kids. There’s fun for all.

For more information, visit http://www.artdecoweekend.org.
http://www.splashandcolor.com.

The not so friendly skies

Art Deco Coloring book

I had to digitize my Art Deco Coloring book to get it printed.

I thought computers were suppose to make our lives easier. A computer glitch at Customs caused problems at several US airports a few days ago. Not to mention the vulnerabilities that were exposed by the hacking of the DNC, White House, Sony, Yahoo just to name a few. I guess it’s the price we pay for turning our lives over to computers and the so-called “cloud.”

I am all for the digital age but I think it elevates rather than diminishes the important role artists play. The artist’s message is not subject to blackouts. There are no language barriers in visual images. No technology bugs to work out. It’s kind of hard to hack an actual painting.

A few years while heralding the new Dunkin Donuts in downtown Miami, I took a sad pause and realized the historic building that I once delighted in sketching was transformed into a Dunkin Donuts shop. It made me realize the important role we artists play. Sometimes an artist’s drawing is the only documentation of past events or landmarks. My role as an artist is to document social history.

During a postcard talk at the Miami Main Library, post cards were described as mementos of a former time. The decline of postcards sales due to social media and digital cameras was lamented. While social media is a great platform for instant communication, it has not replaced the important role artists play.

How to retain social media records for future generations remains a daunting challenge. According to the article “Saving Government Tweets Is Tougher Than You Think” by Joseph Marks ”federal agencies should establish working groups to determine when agency social posts constitute federal records and how to retain them for posterity.” Obviously, there are some technology bugs to work out.

©Elaine Marie

http://splashandcolor.com

TGIF: Tropical Fun At Art Basel Miami Beach

Art by Kehinde Wikey.

Art by Kehinde Wiley draws crowds and big bucks at Art Basel Miami Beach.

With a backdrop of tropical Palm trees, quaint Art Deco buildings and azure sparking ocean,  North America’s largest Art Fair comes to Miami Beach.

Art by Pablo Picasso

Master Works by Picasso, Monet and others are featured in the Salon.

Dive into Art Basel Miami Beach through December 4. Enjoy contemporary art by the masters and up and coming artists at the main venue in the Miami Beach Convention. More than 200 galleries from around the globe display art. The Convention Center is where you can get free information and free transportation to most of the Art Fairs during Art Basel Miami Beach.

Miami Art Basel.

Out door installations by artists like George Baselitz are featured at Bass Museum’s Public Art.

See over 20 outdoor Public Art installations at the Bass Museum and Collins Park in Miami Beach by leading and emerging international artists. Public Art creates an awareness of art and promotes art talk in friendly places.

Stop by the fun pop up galleries. Hotels and vacant buildings are converted into galleries. Along the shoreline, there are tents exhibiting art. People hop from gallery to gallery.

The fun doesn’t end in Miami Beach. There are lots to see at the Rubell Family Collection, de la Cruz Collection, and other galleries in Wynwood, as well as the Design District and more.

Visit Art Fairs located throughout the city during Art Basel Miami Beach with a breeze. Save yourself some cash, stress and a parking ticket, catch one of the free shuttles. Parking is always a premium in Miami. During Art Basel the competition and prices for parking will be at an all time high.
Ride Miami Art Express: a complimentary service that provides transportation to the Miami Beach Convention Center, Midtown, Wynwood and the Design District.

Check out the City of Miami Beach’s free shuttles to the various fairs around the beach, downtown Miami and Middle Beach.

Read my past posts on WordPress for Survival Tips Art Basel Miami Beach and more.

For more information visit, City of Miami Beach’s website  http://www.miamibeachfl.gov/Transportation/scroll.aspx?id=81810 or Miami Dade Transit’s website at http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/art-express.as

http://www.elainemarieartist.com

Preservation 50 Friday: The Closure of Washington Monument

Poster

Miami Design Preservation League poster rallying the community.

The iconic Washington Monument is closed indefinitely to the public due to faulty elevators. The National Park Service stated on Facebook: “Despite the continuing work on the Washington Monument elevator, we have not been able to determine the causes of the ongoing reliability issues. As a result, we have made the difficult decision not to reopen the Washington Monument until we can modernize the elevator control system.”

Despite the 555 foot obelisk towering over the city of Washington, I’m sure it was taken for granted like most landmarks. We see them but don’t see them. We want landmarks available for public use but are unwilling to spend the money and expertise needed to upkeep and preserve them. Hopefully the closing of the monument will draw attention to this other public landmarks.

The Coral Rock House before Restoration

The Coral Rock House before restoration.

Sometimes it takes extreme measures to get public attention. I’ve seen my share of boarded up historic buildings in Miami Beach. But thanks to the public and Miami Design Preservation League I have seen many return to their former glory.

Restored Coral Rock House.

Restored Coral Rock House.

I’m hoping the Washington Monument will reopen sooner than later if the public lets officials know how important this landmark is as a symbol of our nation.