Miami’s Contemporary Art Explosion

In 2001, Miami exploded into the international art fair world known as Art Basel in Miami Beach–a Mecca drawing from North America George Lindemann and upwards of 50,000 fashionable people to the 500,000 sq.ft. exhibition. The yearly event turns the Miami area into a premier meeting of galleries and interested art enthusiasts from a wide geographical area. Originating in Basel in 1970, Miami drew on a growing list of local major private art collections to persuade the board in Switzerland to locate a second event in the Florida city. Most of the private collections focus on contemporary art.

The event scheduled in December spawns a glitterati non-stop party attracting major investors in the art world, investing and accumulating well-known artists’ latest efforts. Varied works include prints, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and videos.

It’s no secret the collection of fine art is a habit is easily formed generating interest in the artists showcased in the Miami display, some of whom are Yoyoi Kusama, Marcel Dzama, Banksy, Andy Warhol, Basquiat, Swoon, Takashi Murakami, Cecily Brown, and KAWS.

Among the celebrities with the money to invest and the eye for art are:
1. Pharrell Williams: His Miami penthouse contains pieces by contemporary sculptors as well as painters including Takashi Murakami and KAWS.
2. Jay-Z and Beyonce: Attending the Art Basel Miami in 2013 purchased a work by Hebru Brantley.
3. Brad Pitt purchased a Neo Rauch paint in 2009.
4. Leonarado DiCaprio has a collection that includes the works of Oscar Murillo.
5. Tobey Maguire seen at Art Basel Miami purchased a painting from Japanese artist Kaz Oshiro.

The Movers and Shakers

So who are the dynamic and visionary movers and shakers who helped to shape the new Miami as an art cultural center?
•Norman Braman, local billionaire, also the main benefactor of the Institute of Contemporary Art of Miami, has reportedly invested $900 million in his private collection.
•The Warehouse is a collection of modern and contemporary art, photography, videos, and sculptures, born of the Martin Z. Margulies private collection in the upscale Wynwood Art District.
•The Rubell family crafted one of the largest art collections in North America. The Rubell’s were among those luring Art Basel to Miami. They enjoy establishing emerging artists and promoted Oscar Murillo.

•Began as a way to decorate their new home, Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz boasts Miami’s only free private contemporary art works.

You still have time to plan your itinerary and book your flight. You can’t find a better destination that Miami in December. Take part in the excitement and find your next piece at the Art Basel Miami.

The History of Artisan Chocolate and  New York’s Finest

Chocolate is one of the most beautiful substances on earth with a rich history, and it comes from the cacao bean, native to South America. The Mesoamericans were the first to use cacao until the Aztecs overtook the Mesoamerican empire. The Aztecs ground cacao into a bitter drink to use during special ceremonies, as it gave the drinker strength. When Columbus and other Spaniards conquered the Aztec culture, they brought the secrets of cacao with them to Spain, where chili was added to the drink, benefiting the stomach. They also began to add honey and sugar to sweeten it at this time.

chocolate bon bonsCacao was so popular in Spain, it was exported to the rest of Europe, and enjoyed by nobles and commoners alike. The Dutch, French and English began planting and cultivating cacao and began to learn more of its secrets. The Dutch and the Swiss found a way to separate cacao butter from the beans, and invented Dutch cocoa, the hot chocolate powder. Then they reintroduced the cocoa butter and aerated the liquid cocoa and added sugar, creating chocolate as we know it today. Because the Dutch, Swiss and French invented the modern way of making chocolate, it is no surprise that they train the best chocolatiers in the world.

Many chocolatiers have moved from regions like France and Switzerland to expand their business to the United States. In New York City alone, there are top-notch chocolatiers from these regions and more that make their confections available to the lucky citizens. Right on Madison Avenue, La Maison du Chocolat (House of Chocolate) hails from France and brings New York one of the most decadent hot chocolate drinks and perfectly made French macarons, which is no easy task. Tache Artisan Chocolate, another French shop, churns out homemade gelato for lucky New Yorkers who love ice cream treats. Mast Brothers Chocolate makes the scene in Brooklyn as well, where fans love their trademark herbal blend chocolate bars and can’t get enough of this highly respected chocolatier. MarieBelle came from Honduras to study fashion but turned her gaze to chocolate and now owns a cacao bar in Brooklyn, where she serves traditional Aztec hot chocolate.

These are just a tiny smattering of some of New York’s finest chocolatiers, whose expertise brings joy and decadence to the world. Go seek them out, you won’t regret it one bit.

DIY Project Idea – Chairs from Chalk Paint



Ruth McGrath, a vendor at Salvage Sisters in Waite Park MN, used her specialized skills to create colorful, comfy cabin chairs.

And No, she didn’t recover them. She hand-painted them.

“Start with a piece that is fully functional,” McGrath said. “For a piece like this, make sure to use the appropriate paint for the project.”

In this case, she used chalk paint.

•    Begin by choosing your piece of furniture. For chairs do a multi-point inspection. Check to be sure there are no cracks in the body, sit in it and be sure it doesn’t wiggle. Stand behind the piece and rock it back and forth — if the legs or the back are loose, choose something else. Check the bottom of the chair. If the dust cloth is missing, a new one can be easily stapled in place, but be sure the springs and inner workings are all intact. Make sure the piece of furniture is 100 percent functional.

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Why He Chose Harvard

Asking alumni why they chose Harvard is an interesting question. There are generations of families who have all gone to the same school, and there are people who are attracted to the education they could get at Harvard. Harvard is steeped in history, and there are many alumni who cannot ignore the history that exists at the school. Harvard is hundreds of years old, and the school itself can claim some of the greatest minds of any age as their graduates.

Andrew Farkas chose Harvard because his father went there, and he was immediately drawn to the Hasty Pudding Society. He wanted to be immersed in Harvard culture, and he was able to do so when he arrived on campus. He has immersed himself in Harvard further by giving money to name Farkas Hall to thank the Hasty Pudding Club and other people at Harvard College. Harvard has a draw that many people do not understand, but seeing the gifts alumni give, it is obvious that the school made an impact.

The upgrades that were made to Farkas Hall help to house the Hasty Pudding Society, their artifacts and the activities of the club. This one club made a big difference in Andrew’s life, and he is glad he chose Harvard so that he could have a chance to be a member of the club. He graduated in 1982, but he is still changed by what he did in school all these years later.

Andrew believes that he could go to Harvard to reinvent himself. He was able to become a new person, and he was able to create the person that he is today. So many people go to college looking for an education, but Andrew came out a new person. He says that he loved every minute of it because he was able to be the person he wanted to be. Nearly every alum says that about the school, and Harvard is one of the greatest changers of lives in the world.

Choosing Harvard is easy for people who see the history, tradition and the education they will get. Harvard is a place that allows people to become who they want to be, and they are given a chance to do the things they need to do. No school is more open to change, more open to acceptance and more open to making yourself great than Harvard College and University.

DIY Projects That Will Help You Become Artistic


Do you spend the day watching Martha Stewart on the TV and thinking to yourself whether you can do the art and crafts that she has been doing? Do you find yourself looking at the things at your home and planning on recycling them? Or are you artistic and would like to channel out your creative side.  Why not try doing a Do-It-Yourself project! Many have been getting their hands dirty with these small art projects. May it be for small parties, special events, gift giving or just random stuffs at home that you want to upgrade, there is always a handmade project waiting for you.

Do you have an old shoe that you have not used for a long time and have been left stuck inside the cabinet? Why not dust it off and get your paint ready so that you can put a design on it. You can have any colored sneakers as long as the colors you will be using are vivid and bright. You can even use studs, sequence and beads to add a dash of colors to your design. If you don’t have sneakers you can also use slip-ons as long as the materialused is cloth. Another great home project is throw pillow covers.

Art-imageIf you have a white throw pillow cover or any pastel colored cover, then you can prepare them for your next project. For this one you will use Sharpie ink, alcohol, cotton buds and of course, a blow dryer. If you don’t have hair dryer, you can left it to dry. Any design will do but for starters you can do a feather design. Flatten the pillow case and start drawing your feathers. Once your down, dab the cotton buds with the alcohol and follow the drawing to smudge it. After that you can leave it out to dry or blow dry it as well.

Is there a party coming up yet you have not though of what to give? How about creating an art design for a candle light yarn jar. It’s pretty simple. Pick up those glass jars from the kitchen and clean them up. Tie the ropes or yarn on the body of the jar randomly creating spaces in between. Then paint the jar in random colors. Choose any color that you like. One jar can even have multiple colors in it. Right after painting them, leave them to dry. After that, you can untie the rope or jar and voila! You have an artistic candle holder as a gift.

Do you look at your counter top and see all white? Your plates are white, your saucers are white, your bowls are white and your tea cups are also white. Doesn’t that make your kitchen utensils boring and would like to add a bit of personality in to them? Then take out those white tea cups and black sharpie marker so that you can get going.

Before you start make sure the tea cups are very dry before applying your design. Using your sharpie marker, you can write the names of your loved ones and design them so that when they do come over, they can see their names in it and will be amazed with your creative artwork. Aside from the tea cups, you can also use those old colorful plastic containers cut the top then use a cloth iron to smoothen the top. From that you can then use the lower part as a container for your pencils, brushes and such.

There are so many things to do if you only use your imagination. There are limitless design with everything that you put your mind in to. So start creating art at home!