Saturday, November 12, 2011

Manuel Carbonell 1918-2011

File:Manuel Carbonell,2009, at the foundry, Miami, FL.JPGThe Carbonell Awards Organization has announced that Manuel Carbonell, the man for whom the award is named, has passed away.

Carbonell was the last Cuban Master Sculptor, who went into exile in 1959.  A highly successful artist in Havana, he arrived in New York City with $200 to his name, and initially lived at the YMCA.  But his talent and work ethic soon took him to new heights.  He relocated to Miami in 1974, to be near family.  He eventuall founded his Beaux Art Gallery there, and worked in his foundry creating sculptures into his nineties. after arriving in Florida, he was approached by the South Florida Entertainment Writers Association to create a statuette for their new theatre awards, then called the South Florida Variety Awards.  He created the now familiar "golden egg," hand casting and mounting every award individually so they would be each one a unique work of art.  The SFEWA named the awards in his honor in 1976.

He also created the the statue of a horse and rider that sat in front of the Jupiter Theatre for many years, a piece commissioned by Burt Reynolds.  Other works in South Florida include The Pillar of History, located at the Brickell Avenue Bridge in Miami, El Centinela Del Rio, a 21 foot tall bronze located at Tequesta Point on Brickell Key, and The Manatee Fountain, located between Two and Three Tequesta Point, on Brickell Key.

A Mass and a Celebration of Life will take place on Friday, November 18 at 6 PM at the Chapel of Belen Preparatory School 500 S.W. 127th Avenue, Miami, Florida. 

And truly, few lives are so deserving of celebration as Manuel Carbonell's.

The Drama Queen has posted a far more detailed obituary.

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