TGIF: Keys Residents say they need help not tourists

Although no longer in the headlines, the Florida Keys is still suffering from the impact of Hurricane Irma that hit in September. In a desperate move, the Keys were open to the public on October 1. Tourism is the lifeline of the economy. 

While Key Largo and Key West suffered little damage, most of the Keys were devastated by Hurricane Irma. 

According to FEMA 25% of the homes in the Keys were impacted by Hurricane Irma and 65% of the homes were destroyed. Recovery efforts continue in the the lower Keys and Marathon which were hardest hit by the storm. 

The focus on luring tourists back to the Keys has baffled some residents who still haven’t recovered from the hurricane. They feel essential needs of residents are being overlooked. 

Schools and educational organizations in the Keys have also been devastated and need help. Big Pine Academy is asking for donations for their recovery efforts. Donations will help rebuild the school and replace supplies lost by the teachers. Visit their website to see how you can help. (https://bigpineacademy.com)

I’m determined to do what I can to help. I am donating 40% per cent of the proceeds from my coloring book Splash and Color to the Early Learning Children’s Foundation in Miami.

The Early Learning Children’s Foundation carried supplies to the Keys immediately after the hurricane. They have a track record of helping the residents of the Florida Keys. It’s my boots on the ground approach. Please buy a coloring book to help South Florida recover from Hurricane Irma. 

https://www.splashandcolor.com

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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

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: Doubling as an artist and street cop on Aviles

Travel, St. Augustine, Aviles Street, Florida, travel, vacation, Georgia Nick Gallery, art, painting

Aviles Street in St. Augustine, Florida.

After seven intensive days painting as a Plein Air artist in St. Augustine’s Glided: Impressions of the Flager era, I was ready to put my watercolors and pastels away and cool my brushes.

As I was leaving the Gilded Art Walk reception, a fellow Plein Air artist mentioned a one day event on Aviles. It seems the Art Gallery owners on Aviles Street were inviting artists to paint one day then exhibit the art afterwards.

Since my car was still loaded with art supplies, I decided to participate the next day.

Outside Georgia Nick Gallery

An artist paints in front of Georgia Nick Gallery.

I arrived early the following day for the event. I stopped by Georgia Nick Gallery to receive a badge and gift bag. I found a place on a busy corner to paint.

Corner where I painted

Intersection where I doubled as an artist and traffic cop.

I found a vantage point on a busy corner. Doubling as artist and traffic cop, I painted and hailed traffic for cars driving nearby. It seems the drivers were blind sided and needed help crossing the intersection.

My painting, "Afternoon on Aviles."

My painting, “Afternoon on Aviles.”

After a few hours of painting and hailing traffic, I was pleasantly surprised at results of the painting. I didn’t see much potential in the watercolor wash initially. But as I begin to use complementary pastel colors I could feel the painting coming to life.

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 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.

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

the shortness of life can not dissuade us from its pleasures

My painting eat, drink and be merry.

My painting, “Eat, Drink and Be Merry,” will be on display at the St. Augustine Art Association through May 28.

“The shortness of life can not dissuade us from its pleasures nor console us for its pains.”

This quote by Luc de Clapiers sums up the life and legacy of Henry Morrison Flagler. The brevity of  life did not spare Flagler sorrows nor limit his dreams. A millionaire developer and co-founder of Standard Oil, Flagler suffered the loss of two daughters, a grandchild and a wife who died of tuberculosis.

Flagler’s life and accomplishments were part of the inspirations for my Trilogy: Flagler Mortality series.

My Flagship painting ” You can’t it take it with you” is of the Memorial Presbyterian Church. Splashes of gold and color droplets allude to wealth and the brevity of life.

Flagler built the Memorial Presbyterian Church in St Augustine to honor his daughter who died in childbirth. Flagler, his first wife and daughter are entombed in the church building.

My colorful and festive painting ” Eat, Drink and Be Merry” captures the essence of Flagler’s Alcazar Hotel. The hotel offered accommodations, dining and expansive recreational facilities. It had a casino, bowling alley, tennis courts, Turkish and Russian baths, Swedish Massage services and one of the world’s largest indoor swimming pools.

My third painting, “Behind Every Rich Man,” is of Grace Methodist Church and Wiley Hall. The muted colors and lack of details depicts the lack of recognition often given to key players.

Located behind the Flagler’s glamorous Ponce de Leon Hotel, both buildings are reminders of those who contributed to Flagler’s success. Flagler’s executives used Wiley Hall to conduct business. Grace Methodist Church relocated and sold Flagler the land on which he built the Alcazar.

http://www.elainemarieartist.wordpress.com

TGIF: St. Augustine First Friday Art Walk

Statue of Henry Flagler.

The exhibit “Gilded: Impressions of the Flagler Era” is on display at the St. Augustine Art Association.

Experience an evening of art, live entertainment and light refreshments during St Augustine Art Walk tonight, 5-9 pm. Catch one of the free trolleys to visit all of St. Augustine’s art galleries.

Enjoy art that captures the glitz and glamour of the Gilded Age at the opening exhibition, “Gilded: Impressions of the Flagler Era.” See these works fresh off the canvas at the St. Augustine Art Association on 21 Marine Street. Over 50 Plein Air artists showcase original art during this juried exhibit. The exhibit pays tribute to the legacy of Henry Flagler. Flagler, millionaire developer and co-founder of Standard Oil, put St. Augustine on the map as a major tourist destination and winter retreat.

Under Flagler’s tutelage, the city became a resort for the rich and famous. The Vanderbiilts, Rockellers, and Presidents stayed in the exclusive and glamorous Ponce de Leon Hotel in the heart of St. Augustine. The stained glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Thomas Edison’s “new fangled'” electricity marveled guests. Because guests thought they would we be executed, Flagler had hired staff operate electrical switches.

Flagler’s vision transformed the city and the state. He constructed railroads, local roads, homes, churches, hospitals to facilitate guests and employees throughout the state.

Note: Street parking is free after 5 pm, so arrive early.

http://www.elainemarieartist.com/

http://www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.org/firstfridayartwalk.html

http://famoushotels.org/article/1314