845-252-6650 debra@debracortese.com

Secret Art Festival in Coconut Grove?

On Sunday, March 14th, for my very first time, I’ll have my art and handbags in one of the most festive and friendliest art events in South Florida. I’ll join fellow GroveHouse Artists and 60 or so others, plus several bands (think live music/dancing in the streets), and all of the residents along a two block stretch in Coconut Grove called Gifford Lane for the 12th annual art event that resonates with Old Grove artsy-ness 😉 The  show starts at noon and ends at 5pm. It’s daylight savings time, so set that clock ahead on Saturday night and on Sunday around noon, head over to Coconut Grove and ‘do’ the  Gifford Lane Art Stroll! Be sure to stop by and say hello!
Last Year’s Event – slideshow from Rosie and Phil Brown:

Click here for another slide show from previous Gifford Lane Art Stroll
on Coconut Grove Grapevine


I’ll have Greeting Cards, Paintings, Prints and Handbags
on display with very special Gifford Lane Art Stroll prices!

Official event Press Release from Gifford Lane Artist, Trina Collins:

Coconut Grove’s Secret Art Festival:
Gifford Lane Art Stroll
Reappears for 12th Year of
Misbehavin’ Under the Trees

March 8, 2010, Coconut Grove, FL

It’s the Grove the way the Grove once was. Like an exotic bloom that flowers but once a year, the wild blossom unfolds its petals once more: the twelfth annual celebration of the original Gifford Lane Art Stroll will burst into color and lilting music along one usually sleepy little block of Gifford Lane between Oak and Day Avenues (3200 block) on Sunday, March 14th from 12 noon to five o’clock.

The event features more than sixty visual artists displaying their works on the fences and in the front yards along the cute little lane, including a number of the finest artists in the region.

Sculpture, portraits, tile mosaics, large abstract paintings, photography, mixed media, and jewelry, as well as several specific art forms that have no name will be displayed along the shady lane n the informal tropical setting.

The Art Stroll has long established a strong reputation for first rate art that sells at amazingly affordable prices.  Unlike some other street festivals, the Stroll is known among the artist community as a place where artists really come to sell and people come to buy.  Artists line up to get in this show.  All sorts of folks show up: people from the next block, celebrities from the Beach, well-known City politicians, sports stars, and now people from out of state are showing up for what is called one cool art party.

Some neighbors open their homes to perfect strangers who want to just hang out and chat or maybe use the rest room or discuss Obama’s health plan.

This is one amazing place to buy tropical art and tuck it under your arm, but it is an even more remarkable place to just chill, sip endless glasses of intoxicating cucumber punch, or eat grilled shrimp on big skewers, have home cooked burgers, and participate in long leisurely political or philosophical conversations with absolute strangers, and then do some mean dancing in the street, and then dance a little more.

The live music is nonstop all afternoon and the tunes are sweet, sweeter, and sweetest.  In addition to the Coconut Grove Juggling Exchange, there will also be a number of  popular local bands appearing, including: Blue Man Grove in their first headliner gig at the Stroll, and also the Coffee House Gypsies.   Additionally, several other well-known area groups are expected to drop by and jam.  There is plenty of casual street dancing as the party progresses.  Live music, old style.

The nearly legendary little Art Stroll continues a Grove tradition of wild and crazy artists who defy convention to bring people together in the magical clearing under the trees.  More than a decade ago, a half-dozen active artists lived on this block of Gifford.  They started the tradition. Most of them have now moved away but a hearty band of neighbors—several dozen strong–meet frequently to carry on this most unlikely of all arts festivals.

Almost the only way you are going to hear about the Gifford Lane Art Stroll is by word of mouth—they don’t advertise and each year thousands of people attend over the course of the afternoon.  People who knew the Grove decades ago swear this is the closest thing you’re ever going to experience that looks and feels just exactly like the old Grove the way it was.

“We only have the Art Stroll one afternoon a year,” says founder Trina Collins, “but we now have residents who have purchased homes on the block because of the Art Stroll.  It is all done by resident volunteers.  In the months of January through March we have potluck suppers with 25 or thirty folks in people’s homes and have some amazing food and planning sessions.  It is really quite remarkable how this little festival has brought so many diverse neighbors together.  We all know each other as a result of this.  It has made us a community.  The Gifford Lane Art Stroll is a real friendly afternoon in Coconut Grove.  Everybody should come out and buy some art and have some cucumber punch.”

Once again, all of the participating artists at the Art Stroll will be giving a percentage of their sales to two Grove charities—this percentage will be added to contributions made by the public and neighbors living on the block.  The two benefiting Grove charities are the St. Stephen’s AIDS Ministry and the St. Alban’s Day Care Center in the Village West.  Each year, the Art Stroll donates 100% of the proceeds to the charities.  Last year more than $4,000 cash was donated.  More than $30,000 has been contributed to Grove charities since the Art Stroll began.

The Gifford Lane Art Stroll promises to be a good hearted afternoon of delights under the leafy canopy on Sunday, March 14 from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m.  Be sure to be there.

For further information contact: Trina Collins  (305) 445-9698

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Kreativ Blogger Award – The Power of The Blogging

A Kreative Blogger award has recently been passed to me by fellow Miami artist, Rosie Brown and I’m honored that she chose me to receive it. I’m also delighted that it was presented to Rosie by Monique Lassooij. Both artists were participants in an 8 week long Art Marketing Salon* that I facilitated at the Windisch-Hunt Gallery in Coconut Grove, FL in 2009, and, in passing along this award, they are affirming the value of social media marketing as one of the most effective marketing tools around today: blogging!

Since I’ve become a bit of an information addict, I couldn’t do this without a little background research. I quickly found reference to the original ‘Kreativ Blogger’ post and requirements for nominated Kreativ Bloggers. I believe they have been edited and abbreviated over time and cyberspace.

Kreativ Blogger originated in May 2008 in a post by Huldas Verden as noted by Clay Garden author in this April 2009 post:
“Finally I found that it was started in Norway by a blogger named Huldas Verden.”

When the Clay Garden post was written in April 2009, the author’s Google search came up with 712 entries for Kreativ Blogger.
When I searched today, Feb 28, 2010 for ‘Kreative Blogger’ awards, Google comes up with 23,200,000 entries! Hence, the power of blogging!

Here are the requirements that I found, and am passing on to 7 fellow Kreativ Bloggers (names and links to blogs at the end of this post):

The Kreativ Blogger award comes with the following requirements:
1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

Seven things about me that may be of interest:

1. I’ve always loved nature and art and just knew this was my path in life.

2. I did, and still question, my choice of life experiences and have finally come to terms with accepting that whatever happens, as long as I pay attention and learn something, I can move forward.

3. I’ve been married 3 times – divorced twice and widowed. I have two amazing daughters that I’m very proud of. My third husband died when my youngest daughter was 4. I’ve been a single mom for the last 14 years and must say, I really don’t enjoy being the responsible adult all of the time.

4. Self sufficiency is admirable and it gets the job done, but the ability to ask for help and help others empowers everyone.

5. Travel is now high on my to do list. My youngest daughter will graduate high school this year and she has plans for college so the timing is right for me to go on my walk-about. Thus far, I’ve only been out of the USA to Canada. Mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, deserts and cities all around the planet are out there, full of fabulous nature creations that I’ve yet to see and can’t wait to photograph!

6. You really do teach best that which you need to learn, and actions do speak louder than words.

7. I truly believe there is magic (healing, restorative power) in the energy of nature and that is what I hope to share with my art.

Sample of my nature’s energy photo-digital art: “South Beached Man-O-War Reflection”

MY KREATIV BLOGGER NOMINATIONS ARE:

Alyson B. Stanfield http://www.artbizblog.com/
Tara Reed http://artlicensingblog.com/
Eric Francis http://www.planetwaves.net
James Echols http://www.soulofmiami.org/
Tom Falco http://coconutgrovegrapevine.blogspot.com/
Heather Allard http://www.themogulmom.com/
Catrien Ross http://www.energydoorways.com/category/blog/

* Art Marketing Salon is a group or community, guided, do-it-yourself workshop with all materials provided by Alyson B. Stanfield, Art Biz Coach. I highly recommend Alyson’s book, “I’d Rather Be In the Studio” and signing up for her newsletters which are full of valuable marketing information for artists and business people alike.

NOTE: I only recommend products or services that I have experience with, believe in and support. When you click on a link in this blog and make a purchase, I will receive a referral commission. This is one of the ways an artist can earn a little extra income and support her family!

You’re Invited to our Holiday Art Bazaar on Sat. Dec 5th

f<em>or more info and to see samples from all 15 artists, click the card image above</em>

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with so many events this week, but still want to get out, see fabulous art and maybe even do a little holiday shopping…you will definitely want to visit our One-Night-Only, Holiday Art Bazaar on Sat, Dec. 5th at the Mutiny Hotel in Coconut Grove, Florida.

The Bazaar starts at 6 and runs until 9 pm. Arrive early, enjoy complimentary champagne and chocolates, meet the artists, see original paintings and prints, sculpture, designer handbags, custom made jewelry, reiki demonstrations, and much more…all created by the following local and international artists:

Shari Beffingham, Leo Casino, Debra Cortese, Laura Cerwinske, Karen Deilke, Pauline Goldsmith, Carol Haggiag, Atena Komar, Monique Lassooij, Maria Napoles, Irina Patterson, Valentina Ramos, Maui Reple,  Fevi Reyes, Eileen Seitz, Harry van Gestel.

The Mutiny Hotel is presenting this event as part of their Pure Imagination program in conjunction with the monthly Coconut Grove Art Stroll. You can also enjoy poolside cocktails and even stay for dinner at Atchana’s East/West Kitchen, located right on the premises and just a few steps from the Holiday Art Bazaar!

To see samples from all of the artists visit this blog post and our Holiday Art Bazaar event page on Facebook.

Where else can you enjoy complimentary champagne and chocolates, hear great live jazz, wrap up your holiday shopping with delightfully unique art gifts and not have to pay an admission charge?

Mark you calendar right now for Saturday night, December 5th and join us at The Mutiny Hotel, 2951 S.Bayshore Dr, Coconut Grove, FL 33133.

Many of the artists will have special offers available only during this event!

For example: I’ll be showing my line of handbags and, for this event only, when you BUY ONE bag at the regular price of $130. you can get a 2nd bag at 50% off! Click here to preview Cortese Design Bags.

Holiday Art Bazaar: FREE Admission. Valet parking ($8.00 – a bargain most anywhere in Miami!)

Just posted Pauline’s Painting News in the comments below. Here’s an image from one of the cards Pauline will have at the show. Package of 4 amazing botanical images @10. Great Stocking Stuffers!

Tropical Botanic Art Greeting Cards - Goldsmith Galleries

Tropical Botanic Art Greeting Cards - Goldsmith Galleries

Woodstock Festival: 40 Years Ago…

     

 

    

    

Woodstock 40th Anniversary Purple Peace Sign, Dalmatian, and Dove

Woodstock 40th Anniversary Purple Peace Sign, Dalmatian, and Dove

 

Were you there at the original Woodstock Festival in August of 1969? Can you believe it’s been FORTY years? Seems like just a few years ago and, a few lifetimes ago as well.

I lived in Narrowsburg, a small town only about 20 minutes from Bethel, New York which is where the Woodstock Festival actually happened. I think the organizers realized that the topography and size of the village of Woodstock, NY couldn’t handle even 50 thousand people and consequently,Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel (now the home of the Museum at Bethel Woods)was chosen but the name stayed ‘Woodstock’. I clearly remember my father standing in the living room and saying in his usual stern, don’t-even-think-about-questioning-me, tone, “I’d better not catch you even thinking of going anywhere near that place!” and as soon as he was out of sight, I was on my way there with several friends. It was after the rains, and even though most of the traffic jams were subdued, we had to walk for what seemed like hours just to get to the main site. And what a sight it was! A sea of mud-covered people, dancing, sleeping, playing, mostly stoned, mostly happy, sharing food, drinks and of course there was a haze of pot smoke to mellow everyone out, smoking or not.

It was not the most pleasant place to be… toilet facilities were almost non-existent, so basic human functions and the ‘organic’ nature of the entire event led to a not-so-charming guy releaving himself right on the back of my boyfriend’s pants! Grossed me out, but I was only 16 and this was just the beginning of a crazy new world. This was Sunday afternoon, think I heard Joe Cocker, several others, but it’s pretty much a blur between what I actually heard and saw and what I remember from seeing the movie. (Time to see it again too!) I think it was more real for me because with a few months in between, I could comprehend more of what had actually taken place. It was an entire city where before there was only farmland. It happened within the course of one week… a small upstate New York town was overtaken, all stores for miles around sold out of food supplies, basic necessities and ice. I vaguely remember people selling water and ice for outrageous prices. No one was prepared to feed the almost half a million people that swarmed over the beautiful rolling farm lands. It was and is still amazing that for several days MUSIC, people and their basic needs were the focus of this muddy, magical city. Peacefulness and sharing prevailed and it worked on many levels. I also remember going there a week or two after the event, and acres and acres of those beautiful hills were a mess. People were still there, many helping with the cleanup, many just staying because it had been such an incredible experience and they didn’t want it to end.

 

Wavy Gravy of the Hog Farm, Woodstock preservation org photo
Wavy Gravy of the Hog Farm,
Woodstock preservation org photo

“What we have in mind is
breakfast in bed for 400,000”

NOTE: photo removed? link to image may still work.

 

A few weeks after the festival, I heard that people from the hog farm had started a commune just across the river from Narrowsburg (named because of the location on the narrows of the Delaware River). And a few days after that, my sister and I were invited to visit the farm. Another new experience, an old farmhouse full of very colorful hippies, with many VW’s, paisley painted buses, and cars around the yard, dogs and kids everywhere, open doors, all sorts of people coming and going, all friendly and many hanging around looking very high. Someone offered us a glass of koolaid and I remember how quickly my protective, big sister genes kicked in. I’d heard about that stuff, electric koolaid spiked with hallucinogenic LSD or some other mysterious stuff. No thank you. We were young and we knew better, then got older and didn’t know much at all! The commune was the talk of the town for many months. Small towns, I was to learn, often have restrictive, concentric attitudes. People are comfortable within their own spaces and are quickly threatened, and fearful of change. Things did change and quickly. I left my small town the next year, and soon after headed south to Coconut Grove where we would hang out in a place called Peacock Park. Hari Krishnas chanted while handing out organic foods, bought a beautiful little white shepard puppy from some kids there, stayed about 6 months and it took me over 30 years to find my way back. Grove is different now, but still has something magical, like the village of Woodstock (lived there for a few years), and the original festival. For me, the magic is the arts connection, if you pay attention to how you feel, the creativity energy is flowing everywhere, in the streets, along the shore, in shops and restaurants, in the music, art, poetry, theatre. It’s a small town, but certainly not limited or restrictive, always active, creative. The times are always changing and that makes me happy and hopeful.

Woodstock 40 Years Commemorative Design with Purple Peace Sign, Dalmatian, Dove and Peace (marijuana) Branch

Woodstock 40 Years Commemorative Design with Purple Peace Sign, Dalmatian, Dove and Peace (marijuana) Branch

Visit the Woodstock Anniversary page at my CafePress Shop for Woodstock 40th Anniversary 1969 – 2009 Commemorative Designs – the Purple Peace Sign with Dalmatian, Dove and Peace Branch and the Peace Sign with a Red/Green Caladium nature’s energy reflection design, both available on over 2 dozen products. Prices start at less than $5.

Refresh Miami over 200 attend at Doubletree Hotel, Coconut Grove

Attended my first Refresh Miami event tonight at the Doubletree Hotel in Coconut Grove, FL. Over 200 people attended and it was standing room packed as the event began with a welcome from Angelique Swann, DoubleTree Director of Marketing introduced Alex de Carvahallo and Brian Breslin, Refresh Miami founders. Next up was a a gentleman from Comcast with exciting news about incredible upload speeds, then on to the first presenter, Murray Izenwasser.

I’d heard Murray recently at a South Florida Women in Communications meeting and tonight, he had an entirely new presentation, Murray’s Rant, complete with a live poll that he demonstrated by having those with mobile devices post as we watched the results in real time. He also shared facts and timelines on the ever increasing speed of technological advances. Did you know the Beatles Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album was the first ever to have been completely written for that media? Up until that time, for about 89 years, albums were compilations of previously existing songs. 

Next up was Davide Di Cillo ( GetAppsDone ) and his presentation on iPhone apps had some astounding numbers in terms of iPhones in use, number of apps downloaded and the window of opportunity when introducing a new app.

A couple of intense hours of information overload, a great view from the 20th floor of the DoubleTree Hotel overlooking the Coconut Grove shoreline and marinas, so many people I already know and many more to meet at next Refresh Miami

If you’re at all interested in Twitter, Facebook, blogging, web building, code writing, apps, social media, marketing, design, technology, etc. check out Refresh Miami. The energy level, of so many people doing work they love, is electrifying!

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