Beaux Arts Festival brings artists & art lovers alike to Coral Gables
The 61st annual Beaux Arts Festival of Art made the University of Miami’s campus its home last weekend, bringing more than 200 artists from 30 states and abroad to the grounds of the Lowe Art Museum.
The sometimes-temperamental Miami weather played nice, providing an ideal backdrop to the outdoor festivities.
None perhaps was happier for the picture-perfect day than local artist Phil Fung, who was selected to design the official festival T-shirt. In his booth he displayed the original artwork, titled Happy Pop, which inspired the shirts’ design.
From a distance the shirts appear simply to display a large smiley face but upon closer review, it is a collage of cartoon-like figures from around the world with the words “all people laugh in the same language” across the top. Fung was unequivocal about the message behind it.
“If you look closely, there are people from all over the world – Chinese, Mexican…
It’s a positive image. The start of a new year, it’s good to start it with optimism.”
Japanese artist Kana Handel, who paints dreamy, child-like figures in watercolor, mirrored the sentiment:
“Because there are already too many negative things in the world, being the artist that I am, I want to create positive energy in my work.”
The upbeat mood seemed to carry throughout the Jan. 7-8 festival as thousands of patrons strolled through the white tents, many with four-legged friends in tow. Event proceeds benefitted the Lowe Art Museum.
Children were especially happy with the art station, where they could create their own work, which was then displayed, and the face painting.
Syvie Kandell, nearly 3, sat perfectly still as her grandparents, Sidney and Nadine Pertnoy, who took her to the event, stood nearby snapping photos of the pink-clad toddler.
So when an arts festival comes to town, complete with food, children’s activities, dog-friendly environment and, of course, great artist showing their work, we can really only have one complaint: It’s only once a year!