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The Coconut Grove Arts Festival: Aims to Make A Collector Out Of Children

February 16, 2023

In keeping with the Coconut Grove Arts Festival’s new theme, a different kind of hue, approximately 100 new artists have been added to the roster. While they aren’t new to the art world, their vision and works of art will certainly add a lot of novelty to this year’s show. Some of those artists have even agreed to “donate” art, which will be earmarked for the Young Collectors Club, a place within the show where kids armed with a few dollars can go inside without their parents to purchase their first work of art.

Over 100 artists have agreed to donate at least one of their pieces to help kickstart the next generation of art collectors. “The most enthusiastic patrons of the Coconut Grove Art Festival are under the age of 12. Early impressions and memories of the experience of seeing and buying original art last a lifetime. We are proud of our young collectors and love to connect with them,” said Diane French whose work involves dry pigment painting. For years, artists have left an impression on art lovers of all ages. Painter and printmaker Ronna Katz knows too well that there’s nothing quite like the thrill of buying your very first piece of art. “There’s the feeling of empowerment in knowing you have selected and have a say in the matter of adopting the art that resonates for you. It’s a feeling of independence, adulthood, and coolness,” says Katz who cherishes those moments when a kid collector returns to her booth ‘to meet the artist’ and asks questions or requests an autograph as evidenced by these pictures and a note that one young collector left behind.

One well-known bronze sculptor started his collection at age 12. John Vise is a testament to the importance of encouraging children's sense of wonder. “There was a famous artist who had a studio in our small town and my father was buying one of his pieces. While he browsed these big, elaborate constructions, I wandered the shop. Tucked along one windowsill, the artist's wife had little cast dragons that she made. Not nearly as detailed and not nearly as expensive. Both my dad and I walked out with a piece that day. It didn't matter that mine was twenty dollars and his was several hundred. I still have that piece and maybe more importantly I have the memory of discovery, of wonder and of pride of finding this treasure,” said Vise.

Some of the art that will be on display has a direct link to the artist’s unique story and their work centers around an important theme. Whether it was a way to protect endangered species, sound the horn on slavery or come out of hiding, it’s clear that these artists have something to say. Take for instance, Edwin Lester from Philadelphia who’s participated in the past. He brings a very sophisticated and technically advanced style of realism to his figurative, atmospheric paintings, his work reflects what’s important and personal to him. Spending a few minutes speaking to artists at their respective booths could make the difference between just having a nice piece of art or proudly owning a true masterpiece. The following artists are just a small example of what organizers have known all along – that The Coconut Grove Arts Festival is truly special in every sense of the word.

Jeribai Andrew-Jaja
Originally from Nigeria, Africa, Jeribai came to the U.S. to study and has a Master's Degree Graduate in cyber security. His strong passion and fascination with Art and storytelling led him to his Art practice. He created a series of artworks documenting his journey of self-love and acceptance after being diagnosed with a skin condition called Vitiligo. His works seek to capture deep emotions and express strength. "I create hyper-realistic drawings using charcoal and graphite and generously spend about 150 hours on some drawings. My goal is to capture the entire essence and tell that story because we all have stories," said Jeribai Andrew-Jaja. (Texas)

Lisa Kristine
For more than 30 years she has documented indigenous peoples and social causes as an internationally renowned photographer in more than 150 countries across six continents. Her work navigates the emotional landscapes of her subjects and their environments, driving awareness around causes such as human trafficking, indigenous wisdom and global unity. She is the recipient of a Lucie Humanitarian Award, presented at Carnegie Hall, honoring the greatest achievements of master photographers. “I use a 19th-century 4x5" field camera and Hasselblad. I wish to encourage a dialogue about our interlocking world's beauty, diversity and meaning. The photographic artworks are printed in my studio using a state-of-the-art Chromogenic printer,” said Lisa Kristine. (California) /

Anne London
Career artist for 48 years, Anne started as a storyboard artist in Hollywood where she met Tippi Hedren, founder of Shambala, a sanctuary for retired movie animals. There, she began sketching the lions, elephants, tigers and others that became her life's focus; endangered species. Her passion has taken her to Africa more than 25 times, among other places. She founded a nonprofit to use art as a teaching tool for children in rural communities, mostly about the beauty of their wild surroundings. As a result, she’s been able to fund over a dozen scholarships sending women and men to ranger and wildlife college. (California)

Oliver Schnoor
A jeweler at heart, Oliver suffered an unfortunate accident where his hand was practically severed. He made a full recovery and went on to win Best of Show in The St. Louis Art Show, a rare feat for a jeweler. “I am a contemporary jewelry artist that uses traditional metalsmithing techniques as well as modern technologies to create edgy, one-of-a-kind designs. Nature is a constant source of my designs,” says Oliver Schnoor. (Florida) / •

Saturday, February 18th, 2023: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 19th, 2023: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Monday, February 20th, 2023: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

2700 South Bayshore Drive, Miami, Florida 33133

Tickets “online” start at $20 per person per day. Go to:

The Festival
The Coconut Grove Arts Festival is not just about art; it’s also the social event of the year. Over 80,000 attendees from across the region pass through the gates of The Coconut Grove Arts Festival to experience one of the nation’s top outdoor, fine arts festivals that dates to 1963. This iconic South Florida event presents 285 internationally recognized artists who were selected during a blind-jury process based solely on artistic merit. The jury panel is composed of collectors, influencers and educators in the local arts community. Original pieces are displayed in the following categories: mixed media, painting, photography, digital art, printmaking & drawing, watercolor, ceramics, glass, fiber, jewelry & metalwork, sculpture and wood. It offers culinary experiences and has featured celebrity chefs including Giorgio Rapicavoli, Ralph Pagano and Allen Susser. The festival has been honored to have some of the world’s premier artists officially create the commemorative poster, including Romero Britto, Guy Harvey, Clyde Butcher, Maria Reyes Jones, Jacqueline Roch, Xavier Cortada, Rick Garcia, Lisa Remeny and Alexander Mijares to name a few. The festival is operated by the 501(c)(3) Coconut Grove Arts & Historical Association and produced by EngageLive, LLC. Proceeds go towards funding year-round arts programs and scholarships benefitting 20 graduating seniors from local public magnet arts high schools each year.

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