Some of each – Seeing art, people watching, wine tasting

The two main activities of Art Week – the opportunity to see an array of art in a short period of time and people watching and the outfits they have assembled – were paired with an evening wine tasting on a roof top on South Beach on Day Four. What a fulfilling day. Spoiler alert: Although several very good choices were on my playlist for the morning, I chose to stay home. And a good choice it was.

What was the picture artwise? Our community is chock-full with many boutique-size Art Deco and other style hotels (and now there is a efflorescence of new hotels, as if we need them). Two practices take place in the hotels. Some take the art in hand, and curate their own art shows. The Betsy Hotel takes the lead this year with a focus on photography. My friend and I popped into the Betsy to use the facilities before our afternoon arting. The exhibits we admired were photos by Michael Halsband, Pete Turner, and Iké Udé. This remarkable hotel, however, does not just jump on the Art Week art bandwagon, it hosts art exhibits all year round, for their guests and the community.

ike ude
Iké Udé , Sartorial Anarchy Collection

The second practice could be called “Art Takes Over Hotels.” A number of Art Fairs (Aqua and Ink, to name two) occupy an entire hotel. Each room is transformed into a mini gallery filled with work from art galleries or simply artists from around the world. The enigmatic eyes of local artist, Ahol Sniffs Glue, adorn the street face of the Aqua Hotel, thus the art fair name – Aqua.

Once we got through the waiting line (perhaps the fire martial is looking at capacity these days, the day was sunny but not scorching hot), we entered a wonderland of art. The interior courtyard was filled with playful sculptures. Even the catwalk railings of this Miami Modern (Mimo) era hotel were populated with cheerful colorful little people.

Artwise, here’s what stood out, except for one artist, my focus turned out to be on women:

No, it’s not fine art, but this stood out because of the pomegranate, an image which I really love and use in my craft creations. I think this is cardboard. Other works by this artist were mounted and backlit. Interesting piece.

This tiger is just so playful. I love it. From Gallery Quinze, PAU, French artist – David Ferreira. Many years ago, a friend gave me a folk painting of a tiger. He coordinates well with my Mexican tiger mask. My tiger hung in my museum office because Constant Companion was not enamored with him. He’d love the company of this one, I’m sure.

The artist, Claudia Doring Baez, was working on-sight on this large mural, “The Birds and the Bees.” She’s a Mexican artist, working in NYC.

Mexico was also represented by Raquel Charabati and Monica Bizzarri, two artists who work in ceramics to construct complex “textiles,” as they call them. These intricate wall hangings are made of hundreds of small, handmade clay pieces woven or crocheted together to make a complete fabric. Very lovely.

Sewing beads onto a figure

Another artist, working in quite another medium was Argentinean Marisa Dominquez at the AC Contemporary Art room. She was seating in the courtyard working on another “Little Treasure” though some of her intricate constructions are quite large. It reminds me of our pieces by the late Cherokee artist, Roberta Wallace.

While we were leaving the fair, overfilled with art and people (see below) we came across these three ladies in white. Their artwork is represented by the Moscow Omelchenko Gallery and it’s their first time here. My friend gave them ideas for taking advantage of the abundant nightlife.

And then there were the people in their Art Week outfits. Here’s a sampling of snaps …

ethnic seems to be “it”
headwrap matches skirt
She’s a work of art
He matches the sculpture
I could not get a front view

Rioja Wines was one of the sponsors of the Progressive Brunch we participated in a few days ago. They also hosted a wine tasting at one of the new Kimpton Hotels in our community. The event took place in open air on the hotel’s roof and provided the nightlights of the city.

Daughter joined me at the tasting after her own day with art. We found out that we had missed the blind tasting during the first hour, but that was alright. There was more than enough wine to go around. The wines were divided into five groups – Welcome Wines, Cosechas, Crianzas, Reservas, and Gran Reservas.

From the three choices of welcome wines, I tasted the Venicola Real Lorinon Blanco 2016. Daughter tasted the Marques de Riscal Proximo 2015. We found both to be “nice” on my complex wine rating system.

Next were the Crianza group. I think I had the Proelio Crainza 2016. I found it easy to drink with a nice warm feel. After that it was the Reservas. I tried the Marques de Caceres Reserva 2014 and found it to be “ok.” We finished the evening with the Consechas, advertised as less full bodied and younger. The man pouring was the best because he could intelligently describe out choices. He explained that he worked at the hotel while the others pouring were hires without wine knowledge. Daughter found her Ollauri Conde de los Andes 2015 “really good.”

The wine servings were more generous than at other tastings I’ve attended. I think this was was really an evening to enjoy the wine in plein aire. And we enjoyed. So we chose not to try the Gran Reservas. Our wine appetites were more than satisfied.

After that very relaxing sojourn, we returned home. Oh, yes, Daughter went out with friends to enjoy more nightlife!

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