The Coconut Grove Arts Festival Aims to Make a Collector out of Children!

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival Aims to Make a Collector out of Children!

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 carrying a few dollars can go inside without their parents to purchase their first work of art.

Over 100 artists have agreed to donate 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 John 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 and atmospheric paintings, and his work reflects what’s important and personal to him. Spending a few minutes speaking to artists at their respective booths could be the difference between just having a nice piece of art or proudly owning a true masterpiece. The following artists prove 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 is 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 4×5" 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; endanger 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 18: 10 AM – 6 PM
Sunday, February 19: 10 AM – 6 PM
Monday, February 20: 10 AM – 5 PM


2700 S. Bayshore Drive, Miami, FL 33133

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