This is somewhat personal, but it’s a start to a book I have been meaning to write about a person who touched many lives and never ever said anything mean spirited about anyone. Today is artist Fred Hunt’s Birthday. I took a trip down memory lane to where it all started. Coconut Grove! We lived in our Studio no longer recognizable. That small part of Allamanda St. had close to 30 some artists sharing spaces, in small cottages, cute little apartments, life took place outdoors over a 20 plus years right here.
I went to the Women’s Club of Coconut Grove where I had a stone place in his memory. and looking at it now I see something on the top left that actually looks like his signature. He never signed his name but for a Copy wright mark and his signature rainbow fish.Then on to the Peacock that stands not far from where the Windisch-Hunt Fine Art Gallery was located for 17 years.
He was there in the Grove since the 1972 and anchored out with the China Clipper until Hurricane Andrew scuttled her. At that time quite a few artists made their homes in the anchorage. They would live aboard and rent a studio in the Grove.
Then my nostalgia trip, breakfast at Coral Bagels and there the memories remain on the wall for everyone to see. My picture still hangs in the same spot and looking up there is his poster just left of my poster.
We had organized a studio tour for Mothers Day with trolly and had to divide the Grove into two sections that is how large the art community was then. The north, now has become the Gifford Lane Art Stroll and the Southern sector for a period of time became a compound and held their art shows outdoors. There were so many artists in the Grove, approximately 250 according to the Miami Cultural Council. Two of the artists have successfully transplanted themselves to Lake Worth. Not counting Fred and myself. Many have left due to the rising prices. On this trip back many artists I met at the Gifford Lane Stroll this past weekend, have said they are eyeing theLake Worth area and keeping abreast with this blog. lol
We always had something going on we organized a monthly breakfast, got together and depending on the art we might come in costume. Always celebrating the artist whose art
graced the walls. Fred had a special visit during the Dali Lamas trip through the Grove. We hosted a special spiritual evening at the Windisch-Hunt Fine Art Gallery.During one Mad Hatter Festival the Mayor of Miami named Fred Hunt and Purvis Young Miami Masters. Both were at death’s door and I guess they needed to recognize them before it was too late. Definitely Regional Treasures. It’s always good to celebrate when you can still enjoy the honorarium.
Friendships and tales from the studios about all the Grove artists will certainly fill a book. It will have everything rivalries, deep friendships and always if one was down there was unsolicited assistance. The place has certainly changed there are no more feet on the streets. What was a fabulous Gallery that graced our name is now some sort of offices. It was the hub, so i was told and no one was ever turned away it was a place to be nurtured if you had any talent be it music dance or just painting. Musicians practiced freely and we all enjoyed it. It was not Saturday night till the Krishnas came through with their chants. We made city christmas ornaments when they did not have a budget for us. (remember Cocoanut Grover was there long before Miami existed.. We had coconut painting parties. We had urban art before it became a thing.
Fred stayed busy in the studio, he painted all day and when the light faded he would work on Leslie a life size sculpture. Later when the property sold that was his studio he painted in the front window of the gallery. I modeled for all the classes in the area universities and art clubs. I painted him and on occasion he painted me.
To be continued next year.
for more info on Fred Hunt I do a series called portrait of our artists in lake worth this is the link to his. http://www.artdazzlelakeworth.com/2012/03/07/portrait-of-our-artist/