A romantic moonlit Valentine’s Day concert begins a two-week celebration of literary, visual and performance art at the Deering Estate at Cutler.
Now in its sixth year, SoBay Festival of the Arts runs from Feb. 14 to 26, and has become a cultural windfall for the community with art exhibits, concerts, lectures and discussions, readings, and the performances of one-minute theater.
Many of the programs presented are the result of strong collaborations between the Deering Estate at Cutler and cultural organizations in the community.
SoBay highlights include:
Friday, Feb. 17, guest composers Orlando Garcia, professor of music at FIU and a Latin Grammy nominee, and Lansing D. McLoskey, associate professor of music at UM, join ensemble members — Dr. Jose R. Lopez, piano; Ross Harbaugh, cello; Scott Flavin, violin, and Laura Wilcox, viola — in the performance of “Rainbow of Composers.”
Saturday, Feb. 18, is a complete art and music “Emergination.” The day begins with Book Nook by the Bay with arts, crafts and readings for children. In the Carriage House art studios, Photographer-in-Residence Thomas Daniel leads an Art Take Away Workshop, where visitors are invited to use their cameras, tour the estate, and find inspiration to create their own masterpieces.
In the Stone House Ballroom, South Florida’s young virtuosi perform musical vignettes, from eternal classics by Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin to contemporary tunes by the Beatles and jazz. The musicians represent the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, UM Frost School of Music’s young string and woodwind ensembles, and FIU School of Music’s young and upcoming pianists.
Throughout the day and into the night, visual and performance art collaborations can be seen inside the historic buildings as curator Dominique Breard, program director of LegalArt, opens an exhibition of paintings, drawings, mixed media and sculpture by the artists-in-residence from each of the LegalArt and Deering Estate residency programs. Deering Estate artistists participating: Visual Arts — Lucas Blanco, Thomas Daniel, Bernadette Denoux, Lucinda Linderman, Aurora Molina and Christina Pettersson; Literary Arts — Deena Blazejack and C.M. Clark.
In addition, Ralph Provisero, special projects curator, has gathered this community’s notable artists including: Rene Barge, Bhakti Baxter, Felecia Chizuko Carlisle, Robert Chambers, Clifton Childree, William Cordova, Jason Hedges, Michael Loveland, Cheryl Pope, Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, Frances Trombly and Wendy Wischer.
Along with the outdoor site-specific installations, the evening offers guests an opportunity to meet all of the artists and curators, and one-night-only art events on the main grounds of the estate. A special alternate cinema project by artist Dinorah De Jesus Rodriguez is planned.
For those who love to hear true accounts filled with cliff-hanging suspense, murder and intrigue, join Rocky McGiboney for “Icon of a Moment,” on Wednesday, Feb. 22, when he shares incredible stories from his newly released book, The International Safe Cracker. McGiboney is the estate’s own safe-cracker, because it is he who opened the Prohibition era wine cellar safe in the summer of 1985 after it had been sealed for decades. A book signing and a tour of the wine cellar follow the author’s presentation.
Thursday, Feb. 23, Jennifer Tisthammer, Deering Estate at Cutler assistant director, facilitates a Curator’s Tour with guest curator Dominique Breard and special projects curator Ralph Provisero.
In collaboration with the Greater Miami Youth Symphony (GMYS) and its executive director Dr. Melissa Lesniak, extraordinarily gifted youth musicians compete in symphony and concert orchestra pieces at the Instrumental Concerto Competition on Saturday, Feb. 25, in the Ballroom.
A winner and honorable mention are selected for each division — the Symphony Orchestra and Concert Orchestra. The musicians are competing for the opportunity to perform a concerto with one of the orchestras at the GMYS Season Gala concert, at FIU Performing Arts Center in the spring of 2012.
Wrapping up SoBay Festival of the Arts on Sunday, Feb. 26, is the “South Florida One Minute Play Festival” featuring local playwrights and actors in short-form performances, each less than 60 seconds, by some of the most exciting emerging and established writers in American Theater. The One Minute Play Festival (OMPF) is an NYC-based theater company, founded by director Dominic D’Andrea.
For more information on SoBay Festival of the Art, a complete schedule of events, and event tickets call 305-235-1668, ext. 233, or visit <www.deeringestate.org>.
The Deering Estate at Cutler is a Miami-Dade County park, located at 16701 SW 72 Ave. in Palmetto Bay. Proceeds from SoBay Festival of the Arts benefit the Deering Estate at Cutler for preservation, education and restoration of the historic estate.