Lebo chosen to design commemorative poster for Coconut Grove Arts Festival

Lebo chosen to design commemorative poster for Coconut Grove Arts Festival
David Le Batard (Lebo)

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival (CGAF) has commissioned David Le Batard (Lebo) to design this year’s commemorative poster.

Known as one of South Florida’s most recognizable artists, Lebo has been making his mark as a graphic and fine artist known for murals, live painting, and sculptures. His style can be easily spotted in the wide range of media and projects he’s chosen to paint all over the world.

The Cuban American artist lives in Miami, and for that reason, festival organizers were eager to see his interpretation of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival that for almost 60 years has been entertaining families and capturing the hearts of serious collectors under the South Florida sun.

“Aside from growing up in Miami, Lebo’s ability to pull from a wide spectrum of mediums makes him the ideal creative choice to convey this all-encompassing arts festival experience,” said Monty Trainer, CGAF president and CEO, who has seen a preliminary rendition of the poster’s artwork. “It’s everything that Coconut Grove stands for, but in true festival fashion, we will unveil the poster in all its glory at the VIP poster unveiling in early February.

Never shy with colors, Lebo draws inspiration from street art, Cuban music, and line-based abstractions, and he categorizes his style as being postmodern cartoon art expressionism.

“I commend the art festival for embracing all forms of art, including my own. Primordial forms of expression have always combined images to tell stories,” Lebo said. “We marvel at rock paintings, hieroglyphics, and religious iconography, which used this language of art.

“My visual language pulls from classic American cartooning and fine art to explore elements ranging from astronomy to history, music, and physics. It’s no wonder that the Coconut Grove Arts Festival is considered one of the top outdoor art festivals in the nation,” Lebo added.

To say his creations have touched all sorts of media is an understatement. He has been commissioned to paint everything from the hull of a ship and aircraft carrier to public exhibits, commercial art and even human bodies as seen in the reality TV show, Russia’s Next Top Model. He’s also collaborated with celebrities, sports stars, musicians, and fashion designers.

He’s left his mark in Venice, Italy where he worked with an Italian tile manufacturer to design the world’s largest mosaic mural. It will be interesting to see how he will convey key elements of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival into the 2022 poster, which collectors can purchase one of two ways: either in person at the festival, or online via the Signature Package for $30, which includes a one-day pass to the festival, a complimentary cocktail and one collectible poster. To purchase, visit CGAF.TIXR.com.

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival runs from Saturday, Feb. 19, through Monday, Feb. 21.

The festival is located Miami’s Coconut Grove area, adjacent to beautiful Biscayne Bay. It runs along the streets of McFarlane Road, South Bayshore Drive and Pan American Drive.

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival is not just about art; it’s also the social event of the year.

Over 120,000 attendees from across the region pass through the gates of The Coconut Grove Arts Festival to experience one of the nation’s top outdoor, fine-arts festivals that dates to 1963. This iconic South Florida event presents more than 300 internationally recognized artists who were selected during a blind-jury process based solely on artistic merit. The jury panel is comprised of collectors, influencers, and educators in the local arts community.

Original pieces are displayed in the following categories: mixed media, painting, photography, digital art, printmaking & drawing, watercolor, ceramics, glass, fiber, jewelry & metalwork, sculpture, and wood. It offers culinary experiences and has featured celebrity chefs including Giorgio Rapicavoli, Ralph Pagano, and Allen Susser.

The festival has been honored to have some of the world’s premier artists officially create the commemorative poster, including Romero Britto, Guy Harvey, Clyde Butcher, Maria Reyes Jones, Jacqueline Roch, Xavier Cortada, Rick Garcia, Lisa Remeny, and Alexander Mijares to name a few.

The festival is operated by the 501(c)(3) Coconut Grove Arts and Historical Association and produced by EngageLive LLC. Proceeds go towards funding year-round arts programs and scholarships benefitting 20 graduating seniors from local public magnet arts high schools each year. The association also maintains the Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery and presents special exhibitions throughout the year at Mayfair in the Grove.

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Lebo chosen to design commemorative poster for Coconut Grove Arts Festival

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