When he’s not lavishly decorating the homes of famous friends such as Sylvester Stallone, Lil’ Wayne, and Jose Canesco, Anwar Zayden applies his meticulous designer’s eye to the projects of his clientele at Art Express Miami. At his on-site, full-service factory, Anwar and his team preserve prints, diplomas, and photos within 30 minutes with customized framing, or craft shadow boxes to showcase 3D items from plaques to swords. His in-home consultations help homeowners design and install new decorations within 48 hours, and his custom-made mirrors spruce up abodes with reflective surfaces that remind you you’re the fairest of them all even when you don’t ask. Inside Art Express Miami’s gallery, Anwar also stocks pre-framed pieces of decorative art that run the gamut from classical portraits to contemporary abstract canvases.
Since 1968, Jerry’s Artarama has stocked shelves with multitudes of tools and supplies and helped artists show off finished work with custom framing. The comprehensive inventory fulfills artists’ every need, featuring everything from acid-free blank stretched canvases to Lukas oil colors, which have been transmitting images to paper since 1862. Custom framing services can protect and showcase a diploma, favorite 8”x10,” or beloved box of cereal.
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Art runs in the veins of gallery curators Evelyn and Jonathon Ortiz-Smykla. And their studio, OSGS, is the embodiment of their love of art, and for sharing the work of talented artists. On any given day, a visit to their gallery sends guests crossing paths with a variety of works in many mediums that include modern-art paintings, sculptures, and home wares. But the team also does their own creating inside the studio: custom framing is available with a large number of options for materials, glass, matting, and mounting. The gallery also brings in guest speakers for the Bring Your Own Chair lecture series, whose dates are published on the gallery’s Facebook page.
Flamingo Road Nursery owner Jim Dezell is used to the surprise on people's faces when they come to the nursery for the first time. "People commonly come in and say, ?Wow, I never knew there was a garden center like this,?" he says. Maybe they're wowed by the park-like landscaping, complete with display gardens designed to inspire shoppers with ideas for plant combinations. Maybe they're blown away at the fountains, statues, and thousands of pieces of pottery. Or maybe they've just seen the pond surrounded by colorfully painted "shops" and palm trees. It's a "true experience" that's as much about shopping as it is about creating "memory and traditions", wrote Today's Garden Center in 2011, when it picked Flamingo Road Nursery as the most revolutionary garden center in the nation.
In addition to helping shoppers navigate the selection of flowers, trees, and other plants, the knowledgeable staff can also help them complete landscaping projects with outdoor artwork, waterfalls, and more. "It's professional advice here," says Jim. "We really try to understand our customers' needs and offer solutions that will both excite them and provide long-term enjoyment." He even recommends people bring in dimensions and photos of their space so the staff can get a better idea of what will grow well there. Flamingo Road Nursery offers delivery and complete installation services. Other garden-centric items, such as fountains and colorful adirondack furniture, give customers more chances to enjoy their outdoor living spaces.
The nursery also hosts an on-site Farmers Market shop, which hosts a large assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables, and artisan foods?some of the produce is even picked at the nursery itself. On the weekends, a beekeeper visits the store to explain how bees make honey to visiting kids, using the in-store observation beehive as a teaching tool. On Saturdays and Sundays, authentic southern BBQ including pulled pork, sausage, chicken, and ribs that have been slowly smoked for 5?10 hours are served under the giant tiki hut. The nursery holds seasonal celebrations as well, including an annual fall festival with pumpkin patch and a Christmas festival replete with sleigh rides, Santa visits, and a Christmas tree forest.
In 1989, Young At Art began as a small, 3,200-square-foot children’s museum dedicated to shaping young minds and enriching the community through the transformative power of art. Since then, the tiny workshop has grown into a 55,000-square-foot collection of activities celebrating the diverse influences of art on our lives and imaginations, garnering a rare accreditation by the American Association of Museums for its efforts. At ArtScapes—one of the four main exhibits—kids and their parents travel through The Cave, a frantic slideshow of images conveying 5,000 years of human history, step into a replica of a New York City subway car, and view examples of graffiti as a means of creative expression against the oppressive forces of aluminum spray cans.
Elsewhere, WonderScapes transports children up to 4 years old to a world inspired by the illustrations of DeLoss McGraw, whose version of Alice in Wonderland won the Society of Illustrators Book of the Year award in 2002, and GreenScapes demonstrates the immutable intersection of art and the environment as visitors build sculptures from natural materials. Never ones to ignore their creativity, teenagers can find refuge in the Teen Center, where a graphic design lab with Mac computers and a recording studio let them convert their pre-calc homework into digital form before it’s too late.