After a several year hiatus, the Coral Reef Park Outdoor Arts & Craft Festival made a comeback. A pet project of Mayor Eugene Flinn, he remarked, “My family and I enjoyed walking the art show. I am pleased to see the return of yet another cultural event in Palmetto Bay. There were many great comments from attendees and the show will be even better next year. It’s a great start.”
The show featured 71 tents and drew a majority of the artists and crafts people from outside South Florida. One of the unique aspects of this show is that it is required that the artist or craftsperson must be present to participate.
Artist Ana Monsanto from Coconut Grove (www.anamonsanto.com) paints with acrylics on wood and seals it with resin to create stunning pieces. “This is an enjoyable show and I got great, great feedback. Because I’m local, I’ll probably have some people visit me in the Grove.”
The festival days (May 21 & 22) were unseasonably hot. Miamians Leonard and Marlene Zwieback enjoyed 20 minutes of strolling through the artists’ tents before saying, “It’s great to have this in such a nice park, but its just too hot!” They left soon thereafter.
One of the most impressive booths was manned by married artists Roberta & Arthur Jacobs (firstname.lastname@example.org) out of Wellington. Their works appear to be incredibly detailed drawings or paintings, but upon closer exam you’ll find they are actually hand-stitched silk art.
“I’ve been stitching since I was 6-years old,” Arthur explains, “But in my mid-20s I turned my hobby into an art endeavor after accidentally discovering the word SUZHOU in the encyclopedia.” Suzhou refers to a city in China where this beautiful style of handmade silk embroidery originated over 2500 years ago. Arthur raced to China and immersed himself in the style. Now he is so well known, he teaches a master class in the art and even taught his wife, who he says now exceeds his skills on some pieces.”
“This is a great location,” said Mickey Bradham from American Craft Endeavors, one of the show creators, “but we’re a bit disappointed with the turnout. We’ll likely return next year at a cooler time of the year.”
Mayor Flinn added, “I'm very appreciative of the hard work of the vendor who coordinated, as well as the Parks director and her staff.”