Fine Art For Free: The Beaux Arts Festival Returns

If you've never heard of it, then you better recognize: It was here long before Art Basel and Art Miami started to draw in huge crowds at the end of each new year. Kicking off the beginning of the new year for Miami's art circuit is the 61st Annual Beaux Arts Festival of Art. Though other fairs might boast more glitz and buzz, the Beaux Arts' Festival has plenty going for it, too -- for starters, it's Miami's oldest juried fine art show.

The University of Miami's lush campus is the setting for this annual fair,

and boasts over 200 established and up-and-coming artists hailing from

30 states and abroad. You can ooh and ahh at museum-quality fine art in

11 distinct mediums.

Here's another thing you won't find at Art

Basel: free admission, the best part of any art patron's browsing

experience. The best part for the participating artists, on the other

hand, is a $20,000 cash prize. It's a win-win, especially with your free

admission all weekend long to the Lowe Art Museum where you can check

out the current exhibitions, including 150 photographic works by seven

photographers from mainland China who explore the relationship between

contemporary photography and visual culture.

If you're seeking to

discover new talent and the next great work of art, stop by the

"Student Artist Showcase," featuring more than 100 pieces of art from

students all over Miami-Dade County.

Finally, it wouldn't be a

proper festival without Miami's famed gourmet food trucks. Live music

will be playing as you meander from tent to tent, and in case the rug

rats can't cease to whine and complain, there will be art activities to

amuse them as well.

The Beaux Arts' Festival of Art takes

place Saturday and Sunday (January 7 and 8) on the grounds of the

University of Miami near the Lowe Art Museum. The festival is free and

open each day from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 305-668-8499 for more


--Vanessa Martin

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