The 6th annual Umbrellas of Little Havana contest was held on December 7, 8 , 9 2018 after much publicity and anticipation. Organized by Patti Vargas Entertainment the contest is meant to have local artists showcase their talents in many forms including paint, metal and leather as well as draw attention to the rich culture of Little Havana and its events.
Judged by District 5 County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Christian Plotczyk (owner of Ella’s Oyster Bar on Calle Ocho) and Bill Talbert of GMCVB the contest had many entrants that displayed a large variety of design elements and colors in order to make their umbrella not only stand out but be their own. The judges selected their top 3 picks. In 3rd place was Ulises Sierra followed by Catalina Correa as the first runner up. The most distinguished and original umbrella and the one that was awarded the grand prize was that of Libio Lauro Martinez Modal Artesano de la Piel “Livio”. His umbrella exhibited bright and colorful patches of leather made out into the form of various sea creatures such as octopus, crabs, fish and sting rays. The level of detail and craftsmanship was truly a sight to behold.
Born in Cuba and emigrated to Miami to restart his life, Livio learned the art of working with leather in many different facets of the business. While he started out in the shoe industry, he also worked at the famous De Colores upholstery shop on 22nd Ave in Little Havana. He still resides in Little Havana and his artwork can be found all throughout Calle Ocho and its surroundings.
When asked what the message or concept behind his design was, he explained that he wanted to highlight the need for the preservation and protection of sea life. He has observed first hand the deterioration of one of our most precious resources and its impact on our community. His wish and message to the community of Little Havana and Greater Miami in general is one of a sense of pride in our community and ownership in our surroundings. He says “It is up to us to help mold our city into what we want it to be.”
Umbrellas of Little Havana Art Festival is a collective exhibit that displayed an array of 40 beautifully hand-painted umbrellas by local and international artists that celebrated the spirit of Art Basel in the historic Calle 8 in Little Havana on December 7, 8 & 9, 2018 from 10 to 5:30 pm
These magnificent umbrellas were on display along with the works of the artists in the Futurama Art Building. Futurama’s collective exhibits reasserts Little Havana as a unique, must visit, art destination.
If you’re interested in seeing more of his work please contact him directly at 786-357-6353
Written by Jesus D. Rodriguez