Aspiring artists can create their own watercolor masterpieces at Vizcaya

vizcaya pic 2 (1)Aspiring artists are invited to create their own watercolor masterpiece at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m.

Program participants can explore Vizcaya’s grounds, find their muse in nature and paint watercolors under the canopy of a historic banyan. As part of its Inside Vizcaya series, the Enriched Environments Watercolors Class will be co-led by Vizcaya’s Guiding Programs manager and artist Mark Osterman and Sonia A. Thomas of Brush Strokes Art Therapy.

Admission is $7 for members and $25 for non-members, which includes admission to the estate following the program. Tickets can be purchased online at

James Deering (1859-1925) built Vizcaya with leisure and creativity in mind. It didn’t take long for artists to visit and be inspired by the surroundings. Among the pieces created specifically for Vizcaya are the sculptures on the iconic barge by Alexander Stirling Calder and the frogs and iguanas at the Frog Fountain by Charles Rumsey. There also were artists who came to visit and created art for pleasure, such as prominent watercolorist John Singer Sargent.

Sargent spent months as a guest at Vizcaya, painting everything from the courtyard to the barge to the staff beach. These paintings not only depict how Vizcaya looked almost 100 years ago, but they remind us that at Vizcaya, the inspiration is endless.

Sargent’s watercolor paintings are featured in the Vizcaya: An American Villa and Its Makers book, which is available for purchase in the Vizcaya Café and Shop. Also available for purchase are original watercolor paintings, giclees, matted prints and notecards of local artists John Bowen and Erik Speyer.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a National Historic Landmark that preserves the Miami estate of agricultural industrialist James Deering to engage the community and its visitors in learning through the arts, history and the environment. Built between 1914 and 1922, Vizcaya is one of the most intact remaining examples from this era in United States history, when the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs built lavish estates inspired by the stately homes of Europe.

Vizcaya features a Main House, 10 acres of formal gardens, a rockland hammock (native forest), mangrove shore, the Vizcaya Café and Shop presented by A Joy Wallace Catering, Design and Special Events, and a historic village that will be restored for additional venues for programs and community outreach.

Located at 3251 S. Miami Ave., between Brickell Avenue and Coconut Grove, Vizcaya is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except Tuesdays, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information, visit or call 305-250-9133.

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