- The Artist
Our first show this year was Coconut Grove, in Miami. This is one of " best shows" in the nation with well over 3000 applications from artists to fill 350 spots at the show. Usually we do the coconut Grove show, and then follow that up with the Naples international show the following week. However, this year the Naples show apparently missed their permit application date and had to hold their show the same weekend as Coconut Grove. Although many of our friends made the drive over from Naples to Miami, we still missed many of our friends from Naples.
We always enjoy seeing all our old friends in the Miami area and we often make new friends from all over the world at the show. For example, last year we sold several pieces to a lovely couple to furnish their new home in Switzerland.
Visit started with a wonderful dinner with Ron McGill of the Miami zoo and his beautiful wife,Rita.Besides being one of the most knowledgable and successful conservationists on the planet, Ron has been both an inspiration and mentor helping us manage Arts For Animals.They took us to an incredible steakhouse where we had a Brontosaurus sized Ribeye .( the "leftovers" of which we ate for dinner the following 3 nights). It was delicious and we always really enjoy seeing Ron and Rita and trading travel and animal stories.
Another one of the high points for us this year was getting to know our hosts at the air B&B we stayed in. Phil and Suzy Stapelton. Both Phil and Susie are artists and have created a lovely retreat only a few blocks from the show near the Coconut Grove waterfront.We used our new bikes and rode to and from the show each day.Each night we sat outside under the stars and flowering bougainvillea and traded stories with Phil,Suzy and their interesting neighbors.
It was an interesting coincidence that author,Larry Kritcher, lives across the street.Larry was an airline pilot between 1950 and 1980 and used his airline privileges to visit every corner of the world. He wrote of his adventures with his wife Rita and is working on his second book. The real coincidence is that Rita told us that it was a conversation they had with us 2 years before,at the 2015 Coconut Grove festival , that encouraged them to visit Namibia last year and Larry had included us in the first chapter of his latest book chronicling that trip!
Ya never know who you'll meet at art shows!