Arf Deco history unleashed itself at the 30th annual Art Deco Weekend in Miami Beach. WOOF Patrol™, an online dog community sans woodchips, in partnership with The Miami Design Preservation League, embarked on a parade embracing 1926 Arf Deco history.
Over 250 dogs and their owners, surrounded by an additional pack of 100,000 Art Deco enthusiasts from around the world, took part in a pre-parade tailgate party. Joined by Chinese delegates, South Beach’s Boys and Girls Club members and other spectators, a much entertained crowd suspended their belief to consider the existence of “Fido-Tects” and their canine contributions to the Arf Deco movement.
Francine Segal, Miami’s foremost Art Deco historian, delivered a compelling lecture. “The artists and architects of the time were captivated by canine aesthetics. For example Greyhounds, for their expressive lines and curves, became the inspiration for Art Deco buildings such as; The Tides, The Bently, The Cardorzo and countless others that define the beautiful Miami Beach landscape.”
The truth of tale began in 2005, when Executive Director of the Miami Design Preservation League, Bill Farkas, and his wife Beth Dunlop were once again hard at work on Art Deco weekend. Hillary, their beloved rescued pooch sat by their side nose-nudging with a contemporary idea. She lent her paw and it landed on the keyboard striking boldly with serendipity on the ‘F’ key, creating A-R-F. Barking with delight, she declared with ultimate canine charisma that from that day forward Art Deco Weekend in Miami Beach would include the Arf Deco dog parade. Thank you Hillary (1992 – 2005) a sweet, fluffy mutt, part Lhasa, Shih-Tzu, Poodle and other canine combinations, that unfortunately passed on.
Arf Deco 2007 Design Award
This year Delsey Paiz, ten-years-old, was the winner of the first 2007 Arf Deco Design Award. She grew up in San Francisco and moved to Miami Beach just three years ago. Isaac, her proud father, calls her “Butterfly” because she’s always fluttering about with a sense of peace and love. Her teacher wanted everyone to know that she does very well in art class and added, “She is always drawing.”
The Miami Design Preservation League judges reviewed over 150 submissions. Delsey’s artwork impressed everyone. One judge, Edgar Pozos, owner of Galeria Del Sol Art and Frame Gallery comments: “Her piece expresses balance, scale and a sense of graphic design.” When Pozos learned that Delsey was in the 5th grade at the Feinberg-Fisher elementary school, he said, “WOW.” He insisted on having the piece framed for us and urged us to let her know that she should keep drawing.
WOOF Patrol’s exclusive artist Anna Willis designed the Art Deco 2007 Design Award (opposite page). This year’s theme, “East meets West: Art Deco from Shanghai to Miami”, inspired Willis to create a work of art that expresses both elegance and decoration. The Arf Deco fan was conceived by Willis as she wandered Chinatown, N.Y.C. sipping green tea. Willis remarked, “I wanted the Arf Deco Award to reflect ancient culture as well as embrace the tail-wagging future. The fan has origins dating back to 200 B.C. It spiritually links Shanghai to the contemporary vibrancy of Miami Beach. Adding designer dog bones for canine-centric importance finished off the hand-cut, assembled and laminated piece that was then lacquered and tasseled. Tamara de Lempicka, Rene Lalique, Erte and many other famous artists associated with the Art/Arf Deco movement, incorporated similar techniques into their artwork.”
Arf Deco bark festivities also included plenty of rescue pooches that Alex Van Clief, Miami Design Special Events Coordinator, arranged to have on hand. “Raising awareness of local rescue organizations was a goal for us. The opportunity to walk a shelter dog in the parade was presented and well received.” Over sixteen individuals, four of them being well-recognized Miami Beach City Commissioners: Bower, Cruz, Gross and Libbin, pre-registered to borrow. Canine rescues from local shelters, including K-9 Katrina survivors, not only found companionship, several also found new homes.
SAVE-THE-DATE: January 20, 2008 and be sure to tell your two as well as four-legged friends. As we say in Miami Beach, “It’s a canine community and we’re barking proud of it.”
– Yvonne Conza