We wrapped Art Basel Miami on the heels of the Copenhagen Summit on climate control. Golfing lost its luster while the world leaders were trying to reduce fuel emissions. And we weren’t quite sure why our President won the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway.
For Art Basel 2009, I decided to produce a party with a message and thus, “Eco Artland 2009” was born. There was a buzz about reducing your carbon footprint on the planet fueled by Al Gore releasing his new book, “Our Choice,” A Plan to Solve our Planet Crisis. I gave my artists the mandate to create eco-friendly art installations. The outcome was both exciting and educational and tantalized all the senses.
I kicked off Art Basel week at the amazing estate of Thomas Kramer on Star Island the same night that Audi unveiled its A8 luxury vehicle in a time when luxury was a naughty word. They called it the “Art of Progress” while I disagree. Their 1000 VIP guests got lectured by Lucy Liu and munched on decadent delights by David Bouley in a temporary 45,000 square foot structure. This may have created some short term jobs, but the end left nothing but waste material and future fuel emissions plus plastic goody bags that they gave away in multiples.
In contrast, my 500 guests entered the guard gates of the Star Island waterfront enclave and were pinned with a basil corsage emitting a fragrant smell that was the start of our green night with our play on words being “Art Basil” under the light of the Miami full moon. Models wearing recycled postcard fashions by Julia Kreibich rode around the driveway on electric bicycles with neon accents from The Electric Bicycle Store. After a Martini & Rossi Prosecco bubbly toast to living green, guests had the choice of organic wines compliments of Eno’s Wine Bar and Bacardi Mojitos or O.N.E. Drinks of flavored coconut water from young green coconuts and carbon neutral Icelandic Glacial Water. And to munch on, my guests were offered a menu tasting from Grass Restaurant & Lounge and healthy hors d’ouvres from Passion of Life Gourmet like pumpkin shots and micro greens from Rock Garden Herbs. After a few drinks and a satisfied tummy, VIPS were wowed by the unique art on display. Artist, Jorge Fernandez collaborated with landscape architect, Harry Nelson to create what they called “Rainforest Parking Lot” consisting of two gas guzzling, Cadillac clunkers stuffed with greenery topped off with thunder and lighting special effects and image projections by photographer, Tomas Loewy. Quite a contrast to the Audi debut. And docked just behind was a ‘green lighted’ catamaran from SkySail Charters. Nearby, artist Marc Hubert D’Ge took his Hammerhead stuffed shark and showed video projections of the “Home” movie produced by Time Magazine’s 2009 ‘Environmental Hero,’ Yann Arthus-Bertrand with imagery of the human caused destruction of our planet.
In the pool, a centerpiece spelling the words “Art Basil” was floating around. And also a sign grown from micro greens with the same title greeted guests created by Grow-Miami which grows gardens in center city locations.
DJ, Galaxy Girl was surrounded by vibrant green cosmic circles by artist, Mary Aline MacDonald while recycled mannequins by artist, Nikangel quietly watched over the scenesters. Designer, Marcella Acosta showcased her Esmeralda Collection of emerald jewelry for guests to splurge on.
My Eco Artland environment kept integrity with the green message from start to finish. Our VIP guests received their invitation by snail mail on recycled paper with flower seeds imbedded in it. Thus, the actual invitation could be planted and become a flower! Sprouts! is the ingenius company that came up with this paper concept. And as guests departed the party, they were given a goody bag from Whole Foods that relayed the message in bold graphics, “I used to be a plastic bottle.” And rather than the usual luxury gifts, our guests got to take home some micro greens to eat and literature on our designated charity, Take Stock in Children.
Hopefully, as the guests departed “Hopenhagen”, they had learned a bit about living green and still having fun. Also, we hoped to create awareness and a conscience for taking care of our “home”, planet earth for us and future generations.
“We are at a crossroads. We must choose which earth will be home to future generations.” Al Gore, author of “Our Choice” A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis
HOPE GAINER, President of Hope International is a global imagemaker, marketer and branding expert with 30 years of lifestyle experience with a focus today on the luxury market. She produces unique, upscale events around the world. Gainer is a founding member of the Florida Luxury Council and a contributor to several luxury magazines including Elite Traveler, Haute Living and Social Affairs. She also represents spectacular ‘trophy’ real estate properties.
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