Our city of Miami has not always been recognized for its incredible art scene. In fact, our advancement into one of the most important ports of the arts in the US has been quite the climb. Because of our progress, we annually expect national and international art fairs and festivals to set up camp in our city mainly for our growing art districts, our vibrant nightlife, and our wonderful hospitality. However recent our popularity may be with our guests, local Miami art fairs and festivals such as the Beaux Arts Festival of Art have always contributed to the development of our art-scene from within.
Known as Miami’s oldest juried fine arts show, the Beaux Arts Festival of Art has no doubt benefited from Miami’s growth into a reputable art mecca over the last 59 years. Stacy Bolduc, co-chair of the 59th Annual Beaux Arts Festival of Art along with Meg Luebke, explains, “The Miami art scene certainly has come of age in the past 59 years since the first Beaux Arts Festival. Back then our show was called the ‘Clothesline Sale’ and was actually that – a clothesline that offered young artists a chance to present their work to the public. Since that time, Miami has been quietly evolving into a truly respectable and sophisticated center for the arts.” This year, the 59th Annual Beaux Arts Festival of Art featured over 250 elite artists from 33 states and 3 foreign countries at the Lowe Art Museum in the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables with the participation of well-known painter Humberto Calzada and sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables/Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay, Marti and Wayne Huizenga, Geico, and others.
Although the festival has grown into one of the top-rated outdoor exhibits of museum-quality fine art, it has also stayed true to its mission to propel young and emerging talents through the annual Student Art Showcase. This year, the festival featured over 100 pieces by the most talented Miami-Dade students. Locally acclaimed artist Alina Rodriguez and the museum’s director and curator Myrna Palley and Brian Dursum spent an entire day judging and selecting the winning pieces. “This year, 33 schools participated submitting nearly 250 different pieces of art in five separate mediums,” says Bolduc, “best in show was awarded to Palmer Trinity seventh grader Andrea Keeler and her work is featured on this year’s festival program.”
The Beaux Arts Festival of Art has always been a free admission and public Miami event as the women of Beaux Arts have always thought art a benefit to everyone, “we strongly believe that everyone should have access to fine art and have fought to keep our show free even in these challenging economic times,” Bolduc says, “it should be noted that not only is the festival free to the public, but also admission fees to the world class Lowe Art Museum are waived during the entire weekend. With this dual free admission, we really try to give every person a chance to see and appreciate world-class art.”