Artistically Social

From Grand to Gritty

Amy Rosenberg is an attorney and arts and environmental advocate who founded the Arsht Center’s young patrons group and is the co-founder of the environmental non-profit organization Dream in Green. Amy is a member of Art Basel’s Junior Host Committee and sits on the boards of LegalArt, the Funding Arts Network, New World Symphony’s executive committee and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

Luckily, April brought South Florida much more than just showers. We had our pick of cultural events this month from the grand to the gritty.

A fascinating and fabulous cross section of Miami inhabitants came together for the Second Saturday Walk in Wynwood. One highlight of the evening was Annie Wharton’s beautifully feminine work at Diana Lowenstein Gallery. The images, mixed media on mylar, show Wharton’s deep understanding of color.

The literary arts figured into the Wynwood streetscape as well. The Miami Poetry Collective offered art-goers and jaywalkers alike a chance to support the University of Wynwood through their Poem Depot fundraiser. For $2, one could walk away with a personalized poem. Nick Vagnoni composed the following for Social Miami:

Dr. Joel Hoffman, Chris Fulton and friend

miami poetry collective

we have come from workshops

from interstates

from across county lines

from anywhere

to here, to miami, to write on busy corners,

humidity gumming our pages

Painter Robert F. Merton’s first solo exhibition, Temperatures, was launched with a packed VIP sneak preview. The painter, whose abstract canvasses evoke several dimensions of dreams at once, showed 25 new and recent works. The crowd enjoyed North One 10’s chef Dewey LoSasso’s delectable risotto fritters and the music of WVUM’s Vamos a la Playa Dj Laura. The painter’s father, Nobel Prize-winning Harvard math professor, Robert C. Merton was in attendance as was Tiffany Chestler, manager and curator for the Craig Robins Collection. The exhibition was put on by Artoconecto, a dynamic arts non-profit based in Miami.

Sandra Hernandez, David Restainer and friend

Etra Fine Art hosted an evening to benefit local arts non-profit Arts 4 Learning. The gallery showcased student artwork, a collaborative effort between 40 students between first and fifth grades. Board member and Sagamore Art Hotel curator, Cricket Taplin, presented a short program with Luis Valle, a professional teaching artist.

The architectural grandeur of the landmark Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was in full-effect during the 12th annual Evening Under the Stars. The event, a fundraiser for the historic property, showcased pairings from winemakers and distillers (I sampled something peach that brought back memories of the interior of the Golden Girls’ house- Bea Arthur, RIP), decadent bites from Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian and moonlit tours.

Also at Vizcaya this month: a luncheon featuring the pixie-like Executive Director of Delaware’s Nemours Mansion and Gardens, Grace Gary. Ms. Gary leavened her presentation about historic restoration with humor (she wore culottes in homage to Nemours’ late owner, industrialist Alfred duPont, also a fan of short pants.) Kudos to Vizcaya for an enormously entertaining and enthralling discussion.

Clyde Butcher and Antonia Wright

Hats off to The Rhythm Foundation for once again bringing world class music to Miami during their not-to-miss 2009 Heineken TransAtlantic Festival. The non-profit presented an eclectic mix of musicians including the sensational Cucu Diamontes from Yerba Buena, Tinariwen from Mali and Arterciopelados from Colombia. Cucu Diamantes rocked the house with her African-rooted, cumbia, rumba and soca laced songs.

Clyde Butcher and Antonia Wright celebrated the opening of their joint photography exhibition, The Nature of Things, at the Renee Gallery on Calle Ocho. Butcher is known for his large format black and white photography depicting scenes from the Everglades. Wright, a Cuban artist who recently left New York for Miami began her career under the mentorship of Butcher.

Artistic Director, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Judith Jamison and Sanford and Dolores Ziff

The Arsht Center’s young patrons group, The Green Room Society, presented an afterparty for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The actual performance, a sold-out event, featured the Ailey masterpiece, Revelations. Created in the 1960s and set to gospel music, the dance is at once heart-wrenching and inspiring – revelatory in every way. The afterparty kicked off in high style and ended with more than 100 party-goers and Ailey dancers jubilantly doing the Bar Mitzvah classic- the Electric Slide.

Until next time…

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