VIE Magazine - October 2022

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5 BEDS | 5.5 BATHS | 5,541 SQFT 63 ELYSEE COURT, SEACREST BEACH, FL 32461 $7,500,000


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Head up the gorgeous staircase wrapped in Venetian plaster and enter a huge living/dining space that opens onto the elevated pool deck! Open up the “eatery” windows to serve “happy hour” any hour to the attached pool bar. The kitchen has a scullery and marble waterfall island. The third floor has an entire master suite wing, including a glamorous bedroom, study, bathroom, and luxurious walk-in closet. Unload easily from the four-car garage onto the elevator to the third floor. The gated neighborhood features private beach access less than a minute’s walk away. Beautiful interiors by Melanie Turner!

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Architecture designed around You and the things You love...
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Lovelace Interiors Is Blooming in a

This Season

We have a lot of exciting news to share with everyone. Change is in the air for many, and we are no exception. But change can be good as it provides a new approach to conducting business. We are recalibrating our company model to benefit our beloved customers and employees, who are always central to our decisions. I feel that this new season will be a breath of fresh air.

Our brick-and-mortar flagship building has held the Lovelace Interiors name for the past 28 years in Miramar Beach, Florida, on Highway 98. In a bittersweet start to our new chapter, it has been sold. Our interior design business will remain open at the beautiful new Inlet Beach lifestyle showroom in The Shoppes @ Inlet. We are consolidating our resources, and this space will serve as our new Lovelace Interiors headquarters. We will also

have a new office location in Miramar Beach and a new warehouse in Inlet Beach, so stay tuned for more details!

All work will continue, including home furnishings, interior design needs, and additional services during this transition. This is not goodbye but rather a hello with a new and improved space for serving our beloved clientele.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for trusting us with your homes and hearts over the past many years and, most of all, for your friendship and love.

With Much Love,


Shoppes @ Inlet | 13625 Emerald Coast Pkwy East | Inlet Beach, FL 32461 | (850) 909-0435 LOVELACEINTERIORS.COM
Fresh New Way

Aphonic, the profound title of this tryptic fine art photograph by Chandler Willims, means to have lost speech or to silently mouth words. It fits as a silent mouthpiece for Mother Nature, who can’t tell us when she ails but can say a thousand words through pictures. Williams, the founder and owner of Modus Photography in Grayton Beach, Florida, has recently embarked on a new journey. His mission is twofold: to create fine art photography through a meticulous process ensuring the highest-quality composition and printing; and to be a mouthpiece for the environment through his work and his nonprofit, Aloha Aīna. Read and see more on page 24.

Photography by Chandler Williams Wardrobe and styling by Candi Gordon, Candi Skye Designs

Vie is a French word meaning “life” or “way of living.” VIE magazine sets itself apart as a high-gloss publication that focuses on human-interest stories with heart and soul. From Seattle to NYC with a concentration in the Southeast, VIE is known for its unique editorial approach—a broad spectrum of deep content with rich photography. The award-winning magazine was founded in 2008 by husband-and-wife team Lisa and Gerald Burwell, owners of the specialty publishing and branding house known as The Idea Boutique®. From the finest artistically bound books to paperless digital publication and distribution, The Idea Boutique provides comprehensive publishing services to authors and organizations. Its team of creative professionals delivers a complete publishing experience—all that’s needed is your vision.



24 Behind and Beyond the Lens: The Journey of an Artist


33 L’intermission: Morning Serenity

34 Born to Create: A Little Bit of Everything

40 Adored & Adorned: Portraits That Speak

44 How to Curate Your Own Art Collection

49 Petite pause: Fall Color Palette

50 A Language of Her Own: Secret Stories on Canvas

54 To Infinity and Beyond: Creativity Knows No Bounds

58 Inspiration from Movement: Piecing Together the Art of Life

63 L’intermission: Legacy and Grace

64 Going Boldly: From Santiago to Madrid

68 I’ll Melt with You: Pop Art That Pops


78 Bringing Inner Beauty to Life: Kalon Home Lives Up to Its Name

85 Petite pause: Irregular in Form



92 A Cultured Stay: Conrad New York Midtown

101 Petite pause: Culinary Arts

102 Sleeping Beauty Awakes: Discover Castle Elvira

108 Viva Venezia! A Convergence of Art and Dreams


118 A Year with Our Food Stories

122 Chef Jim Shirley Does It Again: A New 30-A Family Tradition



Photo by Rei Moon






















VIE is a registered trademark. All contents herein are Copyright © 2008–2022 Cornerstone Marketing and Advertising, Incorporated (Publisher). All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from the Publisher. VIE is a lifestyle magazine and is published twelve times annually on a monthly schedule. The opinions herein are not necessarily those of the Publisher. The Publisher and its advertisers will not be held responsible for any errors found in this publication. The Publisher is not liable for the accuracy of statements made by its advertisers. Ads that appear in this publication are not intended as offers where prohibited by state law. The Publisher is not responsible for photography or artwork submitted by freelance or outside contributors. The Publisher reserves the right to publish any letter addressed to the editor or the Publisher. VIE is a paid publication. Subscription rates: Printed magazine – One-year $29.95; Two-year $49.95. Subscriptions can be purchased online at

14 | OCTOBER 2022 • 504-522-9485 • 521 Conti • 304 • 316 • 318 Royal • French Quarter • New Orleans



Thinking, creating, and plowing through to the other side are what it takes to realize a vision, and seeing its completion is one of the most rewarding blessings. Whether the endeavor is a painting, an architectural masterpiece, a fresh new take on interior design, or anything built with a crafts man’s heart, the struggle is an inevitable part of the birthing process to create something new— and to make it excellent. It takes much more courage and time than most can imagine. When art commands a steep fee, it’s a sweet reward for the artist because getting there requires everything they have—often including sleepless nights, doubt, and patience. I’m sure the talented creatives throughout these pages can also tell you that trailblazing and forming new visions are not for the faint of heart.

As we present this issue to you, I am beaming with excitement at how cool this wraparound cover looks and feels. It is a new work by fine art photographer Chandler Williams titled Aphonic, and it is spectacu lar. Read all about it in his feature story, “Behind and Beyond the Lens: The Journey of an Artist,” by Addie Strickland. We have partnered with Williams and his company, Modus Photography, on The Heritage – A VIE Legacy Show Home for over a year, collaborating on a documentary called The Making of a Show Home. It includes storytelling by the home’s creative team, from the groundbreaking to the grand reveal party this September, and it’s one of our best filmmaking efforts to date. We could not have been more aligned with the right person for the job. Stay tuned for Chandler’s stunning photography of the home in our November issue. Thank you to TJ Smartt and Andrew Brooks from the Modus team, as well—we could not have done this without you all.

As trend forecasters and creators of ideas, thoughts, strategies, designs, and new perspectives, we have blazed new paths for the magazine, now heading into its fifteenth year. We love doing the same for our branding clients and advertisers—and championing artists whenever we can spread their messages on our platforms, supporting our creative friends and com munity at large.

We tout good news about so many people and are proud to collaborate with them, and I must also pause to recognize my team, who are often the unsung heroes. They don’t ask for credit and don’t seem to need it, as they are consummate professionals, but I need to sing their praises from the rooftops today. They are resilient, tough, sweet, energetic, talented, intelligent, and beautiful people with boundless pos sibilities awaiting each and every one of them. They are the reason the magazine stands and shines. They are the fuel that continues to perpetuate new and fresh ideas, even when it means spending twenty hours on an article if that’s what it takes to make it perfect or

The VIE team; Tracey Thomas, Sally Neal, Kelly Curry, Lisa Marie Burwell, Hailey Bethke, Emme Martin, Addie Strickland, and Jordan Staggs (Not pic tured but much loved: Hannah Vermillion and Marta Rata)

spending two days on photo shoots after an already grueling week. And they don’t complain but rather smile and ask what more they can do.

I have never been prouder to stand alongside my team than I am today. Working in our business of market ing, branding, and publishing magazines and books, we need to have the faith to walk on water. When the labor of love is complete, recognitions of excellence are flowing, and it seems like “seeing is believing” to the rest of the world, it’s rewarding to know they finally see what we believed could be there all along.

Photo by Andrew Brooks, Modus Photography
Editor’s Note

We collaborate with talented photographers, writers, and other creatives on a regular basis, and we’re continually inspired by how they pour their hearts and souls into their crafts. Follow these creatives on social media and don’t forget to check out our account, @viemagazine.



Artist and Graphic Designer, “A Little Bit of Everything”


I honestly can’t imagine a world without art. Art isn’t just paintings hanging on a wall; it’s fashion, architecture, music, literature, dance, food, and so much more. Art is woven into all aspects of our lives, from the music playing at the grocery store to the outfits we wear and the house we live in. A world without art would be a world without creation, thought, dreams, and expression. It wouldn’t be a world at all. If you strip all those things away, there’s nothing left but a boring, colorless hole. Count me out!

The Creatives


Interior Designer, “Bringing Inner Beauty to Life” @kalonhome_

The beauty of art is that it enables everyone to express themselves, no matter where they come from. We feel dull when things become simpli fied because we can’t express ourselves. Art is so much more than pretty paintings. Without it, we would struggle to communicate who we are.



Artist, “A Language of Her Own” @gretchenwellerhowardart

To me, a world without art would be like a world without trees, water, or the sky. In all its forms, art is the greatest expression of our humanity and is second only in beauty to nature itself. I genuinely believe it is an essential part of our existence on the planet, although we may take it for granted. Every day we encounter art in some way. We may not understand it or consciously even process it, but it touches us nonetheless and connects us to something beyond ourselves.

Imagining the world without art seems like it would be the same as if we could not see, hear, touch, or feel any emotion. Art is a form of expressing raw emotions, often without words. What a beautiful and powerful thing! It is another form of language, and I would argue that it is the purest form of language I know of when it comes from a place deep within. Humans will always be creating art. When expressed, it covers all emotions we experience on this small planet. It is up to us to take a moment to embrace this form of communication when we see it. With art, life as a human being can be a beautiful experience, and I can’t imagine my life without it.


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What’s New?

We love connecting with our readers and seeing what’s been happening in the community this fall. Don’t forget to share, post, and tag VIE in all your exciting conver sations and experiences! There is nothing we enjoy more than hearing your stories and sharing them with our audience. Thank you, and happy reading!

@anthealejardin A shout out to my immensely talented friend @nicole_paloma_handsewn_ designs for custom-making this lovely dress (and all my clothes). She inspires me daily with her creativity, makes me laugh until I cry, and is just so real and authentic. Thank you, @viemagazine, for such an incredible event and for giving us an opportunity to play dress-up! BTW, Nicole’s skirt is actually made from a paint drop cloth (painted by her). Brilliant, always.


Send VIE your comments and photos on our social media channels or by emailing us at We’d love to hear your thoughts. They could end up in the next La conversation!

@nicolepalomahandsewndesigns Live dress painting at SoWal House last night for the “Selections” gallery experience. @_dawnhamil_ is a trooper! Stay tuned for more images. @sallyneal_ About last weekend . . . What a wonderful event celebrating The Heritage – A VIE Legacy Show Home. @julespicturepalace So great to finally get hold of the vinyl version of my new album, JUDE @aldenlagasse My girl! @heritagedunes30a #nationaldaughtersday #proudmama @artbydoman Last night at the @viemagazine Legacy Show Home Event @heritagedunes30a!
VIEMAGAZINE.COM | 21 La conversation

To learn more about Monet, visit


Visual Perspectives


The detail in the angle of the lighting and the casting of shadows demonstrates master artist Claude Monet’s superb technique in Still Life with Flowers and Fruit (1869). From the woven basket to the folds in the tablecloth, the descriptive brushstrokes are characteristic of an artist who shaped the development of impressionism. Still-life art depicts the influences of outdoor forces on indoor ornaments, such as the reflection and shadows cast by natural light. Creative genius is fostered through a deep appreciation of nature, even in a staged environment like this.

Photo courtesy of

Behind and beyond the

The Journey of an Artist

Photographer Chandler Williams exploring New Zealand in hopes of offering workshops there in the near future Photo by Brian Daniel (@br_i_an) Visual Perspectives
Lens 24 | OCTOBER 2022

Mother Nature, with all her strength, stands to fall at the hands of humankind. However, this gloomy statement comes with a silver lining: photography is becoming a unifying voice for nature, com municating what she can’t. Visual artist Chandler Williams, owner of Modus Photography in Grayton Beach, Florida, is on a mission to give back to the earth through his new fine art photography collection. Williams is a Walton County native who has created a distinguished photography portfolio and garnered world-renowned respect. As a genuine artist, he recognizes that nature is art in its purest form. Through a deeply personal revelation, he has taken on the mantle of interpreting nature and speaking on her behalf through photography while challenging himself and pushing his boundaries in fine art. With this new chapter of his career, Williams has curated a process that endorses and elevates photography as a form of art and activism.

Art has been a staple in every culture connecting us to the past for thousands of years. History is recorded by brushstrokes, camera lenses, and the emotions of each artist. Yet, from paintings and drawings to still photos and film, art’s influence on society is still sometimes understated. So is the effect that collectors have on the art world. What pieces are worth collecting and why? Artists are the stars, but collectors allow us to see them. To know what fine art is, one must appreciate the depth of an artist’s process and the emotion and story behind each creation. Williams says that fine art photography is created, and that’s what separates it from more basic forms of photography.

Fine art photography is an evolution; each step of the process must be carried out to construct a new creation. His curated recipe, as Williams calls it, is the culmination of twenty years of experience and a hunger for more. “After years of experimentation and research, my production process is second to none in terms of delivering quality photographic prints designed to last for generations,” he explains.

Through his work, Williams expends every resource necessary to create the best quality photographs, from camera equipment to professional printing; there is no compromise as a fine art photographer. With his new Past, Present, Future series, Williams demonstrates the depth of his portfolio, his capabilities, and how he continues to challenge himself. His passion is developing relationships with his col lectors, with a goal of having his process appreciated and his story told. The beauty of art is that it’s interpreted differently by everyone, but the underlying essence and composition can add to the respect and notoriety of the artist.

Unlike paintings, a fine art photo’s quality hinges not only on its composition but also on its printing. Technical terms like dpi (dots per inch), electronic sensors, and print resolution can make it easy for poten tial collectors to get lost in the jargon, but Williams states, “I know it can be very technical, but here’s what it all means: size does matter.” His collection based on that ideal, aptly titled Size DOES Matter, delves into how color data translates to the printing process. He uses the best camera technology available to ensure that he has the bandwidth to produce quality prints to fit any space, large or small. “When it comes to printing, I want to have 244 trillion color options (16-bit range), not 16 million (DSLR 8-bit range). I want to have a 150-megabit file be the smallest raw file I shoot.”

For his 2022 Sirens and Silver series, Williams chose to print each image on Hahnemühle Baryta paper. Hahnemühle is the oldest paper manufacturer; it started printing and producing paper in the 1500s. Its product sets the benchmark for color depth, large color gamut, and image definition and allows artists like Williams to print without any compromise or degradation to the color.


Left: Breath, part of Williams’s Sirens and Silver series

Above: Eternal Sunrise

26 | OCTOBER 2022

ith an extensive photography portfolio, Williams has traveled the world and worked with large corporations (Lululemon, Audi, Hilton USA, and many more), dem onstrating his depth and capability in the commercial sphere, although his travel and nature photos bring him more personal fulfillment. In addition to stunning land scape photography, Williams enjoys shooting marine life and lifestyle photography, such as portraits and the new fine art series he has carefully crafted. He opened his gallery, Modus, in 2013 and has grown a global audience while challenging himself as an artist. Williams adds, “As a photographer, I always try to push myself to grow. Growth can be very difficult.” He hopes his new fine art collection will educate col lectors and artists about photography fundamentals by focusing on the past, present, and future.

To demonstrate the Past, Williams shot an underwater film series, the aforementioned Sirens and Silver, on Fuji 6 x 4.5 medium format film. He says, “I really chal lenged myself with this shoot, and it was a pivotal point in my career.” The location of the shoot was down a stream only accessible by paddleboards. Heavy rain the night before the shoot caused a significant change in the water levels; some camera gear was broken in transit down the stream. But even with another storm brewing the day of the shoot, Williams was determined to fulfill his creative vision. He exhausted six of the twenty rolls of film he brought before the storm set in. Then the waiting game began, he says. “Waiting two weeks to see the images from the developed film reminded me that being present in the moment is what photography is all about.” In addition to being printed on paper created using some of the oldest processes in the industry, the underwater nudes in the series are for sale as singular editions. No more will be printed, making them highly desirable, and each will be sold along with the negative from the shoot. At his Grayton Beach gallery, Williams can tell collectors the story of each shot and everything that led up to the moments caught on film.

W VIEMAGAZINE.COM | 27 Visual Perspectives

Visual Perspectives


Aphonic Wardrobe and styling by Candi Gordon of Candi Skye Designs (
28 | OCTOBER 2022

His dedication to the Present includes his piece titled Aphonic, seen on the cover of this issue. Williams captured it with a PhaseOne medium format digital camera. The equipment allows him to shoot at the highest level to produce unparalleled images. Aphonic represents a special mission: “I am connected to all my pieces; however, with this piece, in particular, I connect on an emotional level. This image is based on the idea of showing the beauty of Mother Nature, while the dress materials subtly show the man-made plastics and trash that are destroying our environment.” Williams partnered with Candi Gordon of Candi Skye Designs, whose focus is sustainability in the fashion industry, to create the wardrobe for the shoot.

Aphonic means “mouthed but not spoken” or “with out a voice,” and this, paired with the modeled shots, represents the creation of fine art. As Williams has said, fine art is intentional, and even more than that, he adds, “There should be a story; there should be emotion behind it.” The three shots of the woman standing atop the water represent the symbolism of the number three throughout history—considered the perfect, harmonious number.

Morning Mood
Visual Perspectives

Williams attributes his deep appreciation for nature to his upbringing along the Gulf Coast. “I have grown up in the water—listening to it, moving with it, really feeling it. It is a bigger part of me than me.” His love for coastal regions and passion for protecting the oceans have led him to start the Aloha Āina Environmental Group. In his own words, “The nonprofit organization was formed to raise awareness, apply accountability, and create a community of local advocates.”

He hopes to do so through his photos and new technologies that can help spread the word to a global audience. The future is unpredictable, but it is undeniable that NFTs are taking the art industry by storm. These non-fungible tokens allow artists to digitally represent their art and open the market to a new audience. Williams’s NFT collection will include shots from his Warhol-inspired coastal landscape series. Each purchase will help with fundraising for Aloha Āina.

As Williams pursues new avenues for growth, he appreciates the basics and values the lessons that can only be taught by time and trial. As a fine art photog rapher, his goal is to provide transparency and educate others on the process while passionately advocating for the environment through his work. Living in a digital world has pushed us out of touch with nature and away from the respective arts that can tell her story, but fine art photography captures the still beauty of the world around us. The fine art photographer makes that reconnection with nature possible by capturing moments that can never be replicated.

To learn more about Chandler Williams, visit or follow him on Instagram @modusphoto.

Right: Andromeda
32 | OCTOBER 2022 Visual Perspectives

Morning Serenity

Brandon Maxwell indicated more tranquility is in store for Spring 2023 with his showing at New York Fashion Week this past September. The acclaimed designer decided to forgo his usual party-ready style for a more subtle collection inspired by the desire for a break from the chaos of city life. It’s a direct response to the designer’s recent move to Los Angeles, where the time zone requires an earlier start to his workday. Maxwell claims he feels nostalgic in the mornings, so the collection includes silhouettes inspired by the late 1990s and early 2000s. He also showed lots of lavender—a color he claims “lacks a sense of urgency.”

Brandon Maxwell’s Spring 2023 Collection at New York Fashion Week, September 2022; Visit to shop. Photos by Monica Feudi, courtesy of Brandon Maxwell
Love,VIE xo

Visual Perspectives

34 | OCTOBER 2022



For some, finding their passion is a lifelong journey. Others are lucky enough to discover it early on and maybe even claim it as their college major—imagine that.


Sally Neal belongs to the latter group, but it’s likely no surprise to those who meet her. She bleeds artistic expression in every aspect of her life, from her colorful wardrobe to her bubbly personality—but it’s on canvas where she feels the most authorized to let her true self shine.

“The cool thing about art is that whatever you create, it’s the only one of its kind,” Neal expresses. “It’s some thing only my brain came up with and put together on canvas.” These are the words of an innate artist, and her family tree suggests it might be genetic, considering Neal’s grandfather and mother are both creatives. It’s no surprise Neal dipped her toes in many arts and crafts as a young girl and instantly fell in love with the process of creating. She carried the same tune throughout her teenage years and embraced every school project that involved more than just pen and paper. (Although she excelled there, too; her high school English teachers always encouraged her to

pursue her creative side, indicating Neal’s penchant for the arts in numerous mediums.)

Surprisingly, it wasn’t until her senior year of high school that Neal took an actual art class, which perhaps gave her the boost she needed to continue on the creative track at Auburn University. “The sum mer before college, I really got into it,” she claims, referring to her passion for painting. Nonetheless— considering her future career and job opportunities in our increasingly digital world—Neal opted for a major in graphic design.

College not only taught Neal to refine her design skills, but it’s also where she realized that it didn’t matter if others didn’t support her path. She was going to do it anyway. Perhaps her all-time favorite artist, Ashley Longshore, influenced her realization—Longshore is known for being unapologetically herself (not to mention fabulous). “I think any young girl would admit that the noise of what people think of you can sometimes hold you back from who you’re supposed to be. As soon as I decided that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought, that was when I decided to pursue my dream.”

It’s a good thing she did because the world is a more beautiful place with her art in it (we may be biased, but we believe the same is true for this magazine since Neal joined the team). She regularly executes her bold yet crisp design style through VIE’s articles, ads, social media, and more. The knack for making something for others also goes hand in hand with her “side hustle,” as she so humbly puts it—her thriving art business, Sally Neal Design. Neal regularly cre ates commissioned paintings of all types for clients, many of whom find her through her Instagram. Business-wise, it’s opportune that the artist claims her style is “a little bit of everything,” from abstract to pop art to contempo rary pieces. This breadth allows her to fulfill a range of client requests, but the mixed-media domain is where she has excelled the most.

Particularly in demand are her “textural drapery pieces,” which consist of fabrics strategically plastered

As soon as I decided that it didn’t matter what anyoneelse thought,that was when I decided to pursue my dream.
36 | OCTOBER 2022 Visual Perspectives

onto canvas. Neal had the idea one day while lying in bed when she noticed the uncultivated beauty of how the crisp white sheets looked in the light, even though they were in a mess. The vision supports her passion for embracing unplanned moments, as she states, “I think the everyday texture is one of the most beautiful things to be brought to life through art. But, of course, it could also be understood as a great excuse not to make the bed!” Neal is, she admits, a very tidy person concerning keeping the house straight—she just knows a business opportunity when she sees one.

She saves the mess for her artistic process, claiming getting covered in paint is her favorite part. “I feel like I can’t be creative unless I can be messy,” she says. “That’s when the best marks are made.” She further sets the stage by adding that blasting good music is also required when she’s creating. Remarkably, the mess comes to fruition through captivating yet muted mixed-media pieces and vibrant acrylics. In addition, she has recently been dabbling in creating drips with watered-down acrylic paint.

When graphic design and painting are not on the agenda, Neal enjoys play ing with new concepts and finding inspiration through color, texture, fashion,

interior design, and even pop culture—the girl is a walking E! News substitute. In addition to her queen, Ashley Longshore, Neal derives inspiration from Cy Twombly, Jackson Pollock, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Regardless of how many Instagram followers she has or how many paintings she’s selling, Neal only really hopes to continue making herself proud and never lose her love of creating. “That’s all that really mat ters,” she states, adding her advice for finding your passion is to “just do what makes you happy, and don’t worry about monetizing it.” Her statement strikes a chord, as we often forget that the joy of doing something you love is far more valuable than any dollar amount. Neal puts it best: “Do it because it makes you smile.”

Follow Sally Neal Design on Instagram @sallyneal_design, and check out more of her work at

I think the everyday texture is oneof the most beautiful things to be broughtto life through art.
38 | OCTOBER 2022 Visual Perspectives
Photography by Julian Lennon for —Julian Lennon
36132 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541 | | (850) 654-7490 | Fine Art
General Public Art Coming Soon to The Heritage – A VIE Legacy Show Home | Debuting Fall 2022 | Interiors by Duce & Company “ I LIKE to THINK that all ART, whether it is ACTING, PHOTOGRAPHY, FILMMAKING, or PAINTING, is an EXPRESSION of a PERSON’S EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE of LIFE.”
Cher portrait by Adored & Adorned Opposite: Musician, actress, and fashion designer Diana Vickers


Portraits That Speak

hen you hear the word portrait, what do you envision? Is it the intensity of the faces produced by such supreme masters of the arts as da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Vermeer; the staid paintings of England’s queens and kings lining the walls of a gal lery; the vivacity of Warhol’s celebrity screen prints; the sometimes-painful, almost-intrusive intimacy of Diane Arbus’s photographs; or the stylized realism of Amy Sherald?

Whatever image you have in your mind’s eye, however realistic it is, it will share one common characteristic with all other portraits: it is an interpretation, an impression of the subject as seen by the artist.

Portraits—whether photographs or caricatures, paintings or line drawings— reveal as much about what the artist makes of the person posing as they do about the sitter themselves. If the artist has caught a glimpse of melancholia, a shadow of a smile, a second of self-doubt, a hint of ambiguity, that is what he or she will immortalize. Even if the subject tries to give nothing away, the artist will capture that apparent inscrutability on canvas or in print.

All artists look for that essence to inject life into their portraits, but for Harvey B-Brown and David Scheinmann, who collaborate under the name Adored & Adorned, the desire to pluck out and communicate what makes their subjects who they are underpins everything they do.

Visual Perspectives

Visual Perspectives

he duo makes dazzling, mixed-media meta portraits from photographs embellished with personal artifacts that give an insight into the person’s life. Their celebrity cli ents include singers Cher and Bryan Ferry, fashion designer Xuzhi Chen, chat-show host Graham Norton, the late actress Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films and Polly Gray of Peaky Blinders), and former prima ballerina Darcey Bussell. The artworks, which are collages as much as photographs, might include a collar from a greatly loved pet, a wrapper from a favorite candy, a single earring, a broken chain, family photographs, or objects that reference the person’s career or passions.

The items can be treasure-hunt or trash-can finds: for B-Brown, gathering what he calls the “detritus of life” for the works—things his clients are about to toss—is as relevant as choosing items that are precious to them. Both are incorporated into these large-scale portraits. “We’re like magpies, collecting our clients’ stories and creating a visual, evocative narrative from them,” he says. The result is an exuberant celebration of the subject’s life and interests.

“We want our artworks to communicate, to give an insight into our clients’ individu ality,” says Scheinmann. “Portraiture has gone from being something that promised immortality to something that, in the form of a selfie, is vacuous and inherently tran sient. People snap and post images that immediately disappear. The pictures are often not even of the moment but of the instant. So many are essentially the same image— this or that person posting their best side, their best pose or pout, only with a different background. It’s a record, but of what? ‘I went here and here and here.’ But why? To take a photo of yourself? We want to counter this transience with portraits that are evocative, that draw people into the subject’s world. Our work is a response to the selfie. We want to enhance the value of identity and explore issues of personal iconography.”

The Adored & Adorned portraiture process starts with a photograph taken by Scheinmann at a place chosen by the sitter. “It’s very informal,” he says, “and very fast. I’ve shot people at home or in their dressing rooms before a performance—it’s never about bringing them into a studio. They don’t need to put on a show or be made up or dressed up or pose. We want to understand who they are and what’s important to them.”

The photograph then goes to B-Brown, who begins the process of adorning, painting, collaging, and embellishing with jewels, feathers, or lace. He layers one aspect of the person’s narrative on top of the other. The result is spectacular—beautiful, revealing, and full of humanity.

“People fall into our portraits,” says B-Brown. “They can get lost in them. They’re capsules, glimpses of a life, a story. Though they are full of fantasy and magic and make-believe, they communicate something true about the person. Graham Norton’s portrait is a good example of what I mean. He’s considered a national treasure, only a few steps down from the Queen. When we were chatting, he sud denly held his index fingers up to his head and, right there, gave us the imagery for his portrait. It was so playful and naughty—so Graham Norton. He showed us the devil in him—like everyone, of course, he has that side to his nature. And I added skeletons to his clothing because, again, we all have a few of those in our cupboards. That’s part of what makes us human.”

Meanwhile, dancer Darcey Bussell’s portrait shows her torso covered with contact sheets of photographs—shot by Scheinmann decades ago just after she became a prima ballerina—which fit around her like a bodice. It’s a gorgeous image of a mature Bussell, now with her dancing career behind her, perhaps thinking and celebrating her past while looking forward to her future. It depicts the age and experience that follows youth and potential: her beautiful face is beaming; tutu net and flowers bedeck the portrait; the world is still her oyster.

Opposite, top to bottom: Ballerina Darcey Bussell The late actress Helen McCrory Jewelry designer Sophie Harley Below: Photographer and storyteller Rei Moon
42 | OCTOBER 2022

-Brown describes the process of creating each artwork as an evolution, with the portrait gradually emerging, almost like the petals of a flower unfurling. Sometimes the process will be straightforward, but at other times new inspiration will take him in a different direction midway through. This is why he never shows the work to the client until it is finished. “I don’t want to interrupt my creative flow,” he says. “Suggestions about including this or that aren’t helpful.”

Once the collage is complete, it is photographed again by Scheinmann and enhanced using sophisticated post-production technology. He’ll print in several layers—sometimes as many as six, enhancing details and colors—until they finally consider it ready. Deep, rich, and with many levels of accessibility, each one can be taken at face value—as a painting of Bryan Ferry, say—or scrutinized to reveal far more.

How did the artists enjoy working on their own portraits? “It was liberating for me,” says Scheinmann. “Harvey and I have known each other for decades, but it was fascinating to see his portrayal of me, boss-eyed, with my head exploding and my work flying out of it. I felt quite vulnerable, but I knew that for us to get the best portrait, I had to allow myself to be seen.”

And for B-Brown, he says, “When David took that photograph, my life was in transition. My husband and I were relocating to Italy, where we’d just bought a ruin to turn into a luxury boutique hotel (Castle Elvira in Puglia, where guests can book their own Portrait Experience), and he caught me in a moment of pure emotion. I don’t know if I would go as far as saying anxiety, but certainly, I was in a heightened state. David’s photograph has elements of Munch’s The Scream and Picasso’s The Weeping Woman, and the adornment of my image played with both of those. For me, it was cathartic; it somehow calmed my thoughts.”

Portraits by Harvey B-Brown and David Scheinmann start from £7,000 plus 20-percent tax ($8,142 plus tax). Contact the artists at for details or to buy prints from the Adored & Adorned archive.

The Portrait Experience is available at Castle Elvira (, a beau tifully restored nineteenth-century property in Puglia, Italy, owned by Harvey B-Brown and his husband, Steve Riseley. Prices from €10,000 plus tax ($9,984 plus tax), which includes accommodations for up to four people (two rooms) for four nights, breakfast, and one custom portrait.



Liz Lidgett is a gallery owner, art adviser, collector, and podcast host based in Des Moines, Iowa. Photos courtesy of Liz Lidgett
44 | OCTOBER 2022 Visual Perspectives

How do you feel when you walk into an art gallery? Do you feel welcomed? Encouraged? Inspired? I hope you’re answer ing “yes” to these questions, but I hear time and time again that many people feel just the opposite. They expect a gallerist dressed in all black to look down on them as they enter and walk around the space where there are no information labels. You know that adage, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”? That phrase seems to have been made for the art world. When it comes to buying art, most people I talk with fall somewhere between feeling optimistic but

cautious and woefully ill-prepared. After a decade of owning a business in the art world, these are my tips to help you feel better about making your next art purchase.

Look at as much art as possible.

Before you make your first art purchase, it’s essential to know what you like. Sure, there are online quizzes and art advisors who may be able to help, but the surefire way to learn what you like is to look at a lot of art. Look through Instagram and Pinterest at designers or galleries you love and see the types of art and artists with whom they work. Look through big, glossy coffee-table books in styles you are drawn to. Stroll through art fairs and galleries. Take a walk through a museum with a friend or partner and pretend you have unlimited funds to buy any single piece of artwork. If you start to feel more comfortable articulating your style or why you love a work of art, you’ll be closer to finding a piece you love.

Find a gallery you can trust that shares your values.

Where you put your money matters, so work with a gallery you can trust. Ask yourself these questions: Are they responsive and communicative? Do they clearly post pricing and information in their brick-andmortar gallery and on their website? Can anyone be on their presale list? Do I feel like a valued client, no matter my budget? Does this gallery have any special ties or guidelines for themselves?

For example, when I opened my gallery in 2019, we committed to representing at least 50 percent women artists. We did this to help counteract the abysmal statistics of female representation in galleries world wide. We also work with a diverse group of artists in medium and background. We encourage people to diversify their collections in a number of ways. That you love your work of art matters—but who made your piece also matters.



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These items will immediately help you narrow your focus, and you’ll be ahead of 99 percent of clients who walk into a gallery. Additionally, some people are bet ter at visualizing than others. We offer a service for our clients where we digitally render potential pieces of artwork onto their photos to help give a sense of what the space will look like with the art in it. Being clear on your budget and size constraints will also help a gallery only show you pieces that will work.

Buy what you love.

This may feel like a no-brainer, but the best way to ensure you’ll always love a piece of art is to buy what speaks to you—not your designer, your friends, or even the gallery itself. Don’t worry if a piece “goes” with your other art. As you continue to build your collection and buy pieces you love, you’ll find that somehow the collection does feel cohesive because it has a common denominator: you.

When you’re ready to buy, go in with a set budget, a photo of your space, and dimensions.
Lidgett is passionate about helping new collectors find art they love. Photo by Adam Albright This photo and opposite: Lidgett’s home is a colorful gallery of abstract art and contempo rary furnishings. Photos by Rick Lozier
46 | OCTOBER 2022

Once you buy, you’re not quite done. My last tip is really a series of tips: If you have had a piece of artwork shipped to you, take at least five photos of the box before you open it. Shipping has its ups and downs; if you need to make an insurance claim, you’ll need those photos. My recommendation is to insure artworks over the value of $2,000. Your receipt can be sent directly to your insurance provider and acts as an appraisal for that piece within a year of purchasing it. Keep all the information about the piece, including informa tion about the artist and the original invoice and receipt. Someday you may want to have the piece appraised, and that information is vital to the provenance and research needed to create a new value. If the artwork needs to be framed, splurge for the custom framing. Most custom framers use museum-quality materials, which will help preserve the artwork. Ready-made frames often use acidic paper and nonUV protective glass, so your art may change color due to light exposure over time. And finally, install the piece. Don’t be afraid of making a hole in your wall. You’ve purchased a work of art, and it’s your duty to place it on display and enjoy it.

Liz Lidgett is an art gallery owner, advisor, and collector based in Des Moines, Iowa, and holds a master’s degree in curatorial practice and the public sphere from the University of Southern California. After working as an art advisor for many years for high-end residential and corporate clients, she opened her gallery in Des Moines in 2019. She represents over fifty artists from around the world, with over 50 percent being women and BIPOC artists. Although Lidgett represents some very well-known artists such as Hunt Slonem and Jessi Raulet, her gallery ethos is that you don’t have to be a millionaire to collect art, and “Art is for everyone.” When she’s not curating or spending time in the gallery, she volunteers for many local arts and culture organizations and fulfills her member ship duties at ArtTable, the leadership organization for professional women in the visual arts. Lidgett resides in Des Moines with her husband, two children, and their ever-expanding art collection.

Visit to check out her collections and past works, and learn how you can hire her to help with your next project. You can also follow Lidgett on Instagram @lizlidgett or listen to her 10 Minute Masterpieces podcast on all podcast platforms.

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Japanese artist Midori Sato’s painting Autumn Rose Garden Closet is everything we want in our dream wardrobe for this fall! From the gentle shades of green to the vibrant lilac in the dresses, paired with a rose behind the ear, her romantic vêtements are sure to be the diamonds of the season. Art is drawn, painted, photographed, sung, and worn, but the best part is that it is con tinuously rotating, always fresh and inspiring.

For more information, visit

Color Fall Palette VIEMAGAZINE.COM | 49


Secret Storieson Canvas

50 | OCTOBER 2022

It’s never a guarantee that children will follow in their parents’ footsteps, but for Gretchen Weller Howard, the daughter of two New Orleans artists, the call to create has always been strong. “The backdrop of my childhood was steeped in art and its processes,” she shares.

“My father had a studio in the French Quarter, and we frequently visited him and the other artists on the Square—Jackson Square. My mother was part of an all-female painting group, and I have great memories of doing woodcuts and drawings under her guidance.”

Still, that creative legacy took a turn from tradition when Howard pursued a career in commercial art, working in New York City after college for the fashion brand Liz Claiborne. “It wasn’t until I returned to New Orleans and spent six years as a faux finisher that I turned toward works on canvas,” she recalls.

When the devasting Category 5 Hurricane Katrina approached the Gulf Coast in August of 2005, Howard and her husband were forced to evacuate their home in Pass Christian, Mississippi. They came back to ruins. “After we lost our home and our collection of art, including my parents’ pieces, I started painting vessels that resembled boats,” Howard says. “I placed within them fragments of the paintings that we found on our property when we returned to Pass Christian in the weeks following the storm. In this way, I found a new purpose for the lost art, as it repre sented something tattered but unbroken—rebuilding and reborn.”

During that emotional yet evolutionary moment, Howard also began to develop her own symbolic “language” that prevails in her works today. Her alphabet comprises colors, materials, and images that tell visual stories when she arranges them on canvas. “I describe myself as a symbolic colorist,” she explains. “I use multiple mediums of acrylic, plaster, remnants of paintings lost during Katrina, pencil, and crayon to convey secret narratives. Each story is told through a vast vocabulary of symbols.” For example, ladders connecting the vessels are a reminder to stay grounded yet always strive for something higher. Pearls are another motif she uses often, and they first appeared as memories gathered or scattered, Howard admits, but they soon came to represent new possibilities and opportunities to be discovered. “My work became deeply personal during the time after the storm, but I was also consciously imbuing each one with a story that could transfer to the owner of the piece.” A talis man of protection or a four-leaf clover for luck could enrich the lives of anyone who purchases or admires one of her paintings, whether they are aware of the “secret symbols” or not. Birds are one of the most common subjects, she says. “After we recommitted to living in NOLA after Katrina, I painted a series of bridges over water, symbolizing us putting down solid roots again. On one of those bridges, a

bird appeared perched outside a cage, poised for flight. The image struck me as a turning point toward feeling good about life and trusting in it again. Birds became the central figures in my work from that moment on.” Pods, feathers, flowers, and rain are other common themes in Howard’s colorful creations.

People often ask Howard to reveal the mysteries of her motifs. Rather than keeping those secrets for herself or worrying they might tell a different story than the viewer expects, she says she enjoys sharing the meaning behind each piece, as it allows most people to relate and connect to it on a deeper level. “I love releasing my work to go off and live a life of its own,” she describes selling a painting. “It is incredibly rewarding to hand off a piece that is no longer my story but becomes another’s.”

Left: Artist Gretchen Weller Howard Photo by Sully Howard

Fans and prospective collectors can find Howard’s artwork at Adaro Art, a colorful gallery and retailer located in the vibrant beach com munity of WaterSound, Florida, along Scenic Highway 30-A. “My family has been vacationing in Florida along 30-A for thirty years, and it was always a dream of mine to be in a gallery there,” Howard says. She and gallery co-owner and principal artist Francisco Adaro share a love of color—especially pink—and joyous expression, so when co-owner and photographer Brooke Gontarek invited Howard to become part of the Adaro gallery collection last year, it seemed like a perfect fit. “Then, during Hurricane Ida, our house sustained significant damage. After the storm, we packed my van with every piece from my studio—and even a few of my personal pieces—and brought them to Adaro Art on our way up to North Carolina. This fall marks the first anniversary of our collaboration.”

Howard and Adaro hosted an artist meet-and-greet at the WaterSound gallery, located in the Shops at The Hub, in the spring of 2022 and look forward to another coming up on October 14 and 15. “I don’t think there’s a more colorful, intimate gallery anywhere, and I look forward to meeting more locals and homeowners and doing a little storytelling,” Howard shares.


Adaro adds, “Gretchen Howard and her pieces have a magical force that imme diately draws each person not just to them but into them. The colors she uses, the whimsical, weightless style of the pieces, and the stories and symbols become a con versation between Gretchen and the viewer. When anyone sees her work, the first reaction is an audible gasp—then they go and get their friends or partner to look at its beauty. The second reaction is usually pointing out their favorite gorgeously feathered bird or tasseled vessel.” Adaro and Gontarek admit that several people reverently say that Howard’s art speaks to the soul. “This is my favorite part,” Adaro says. “I love taking something beautiful and adding that extra sprinkle of emotion. It’s what turns a piece from pretty to inspiring. We’re all looking for connection. As humans, that’s what we do. When there’s a genuine connection to something created by someone else’s hands, it becomes a shared, unique experience. Gretchen Howard’s work does this in spades.”

Inspiration can come from everywhere, and Howard’s art today is just as influenced by what’s going on around her or in her life as it is by the events of her past. Music, she says, is a vital part of her creative process. “I have a pair of old-school headphones that I can blast my music through, and it enhances my physical experience of paint ing and inspires me while blocking outside distractions,” she expounds, revealing that the innate need to create also seems to have blossomed in her daughter. “Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, and my daughter, Jenn Howard, top my playlist. Jenn is

52 | OCTOBER 2022

now laying down tracks for a new album and sends me the raw, pre-mixed tracks to listen to. I love paint ing my stories while listening to her own. That, for me, is everything.”

She continues, “I also know I’m about to have a very creative output when I start cleaning out drawers in the house or straightening up my studio and my paints. It clears my head as I touch each material and reacquaint myself with colors and tools I haven’t used in a while. I tend to work on a lot of pieces at once and move around the room very quickly as I lay down the colors. Then, when they get to a more finished stage, I focus on one piece calling to be finished at a time.”

Other artists, not just her parents, have impacted Howard’s career. One of her favorites is Walter Inglis Anderson, the American master painter whose beautiful depictions of nature in the Southern coastal regions spanned through the 1940s until his untimely death from cancer in 1965. “I recently vis ited the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs, Mississippi,” Howard says. “The last time I saw his work in person was right before Katrina. Like Van Gogh, Anderson painted with fervor, as if his very life depended on it, in colors and forms that rival nature itself. I think, even today, he is one of the world’s most underrated gifts. To stand in Mary’s room in the museum, where he painted every square inch with color, is a moving and holy experience.”

Howard advises those budding artists who have not yet made a name for themselves, “Fall in love with the process of creating the work and let it bring you to your knees, for you alone. Then, give it away freely and completely, whether you sell it or gift it to a friend. With these two things will come the realization that there is always more to come, and you will be in the flow with your life and your craft. My father’s advice was that as long as an artist had a pencil in one hand and another to draw from, an artist should never be bored. I love that.”

Visit to learn more or shop now. Guests can also stop by Adaro Art at 21 Hub Lane in WaterSound, Florida, at the Shops at The Hub. Howard will be there on October 14 and 15, 2022, for a special artist meet-and-greet, so mark your calendar!

Visual Perspectives

Gretchen Weller Howard’s colorful works on canvas can be found and purchased at Adaro Art in WaterSound, Florida, along Scenic Highway 30-A.

Interview by Addie Strickland Photography by Sean Murphy Visual Perspectives
Infinity Beyond and Creativity Knows No Bounds 54 | OCTOBER 2022

born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, artist Bradley Copeland does not remember a time when she was not prone to creative exploration. She describes art as a way to make sense of the world. As a woman with a seemingly endless curiosity for subjects ranging from science to sociol ogy, her work is a means of contemplation. Through painting in her studio in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, she feels she can settle on a fresh and more beautiful perspective. It’s a practice she claims is her native language, and she believes that sharing it with others is more beautiful than anything she creates. Although her work is stunning, the messages she translates remarkably surpass the physical appeal, and that’s the magic of art. Copeland describes her native language to us in the interview below.

VIE: Where do you find inspiration?

BC: Everything can be translated into infinite artistic representations. I carry journals everywhere I go and jot down ideas and sketches of things I see or think. I am constantly researching history, science, psychology, and other sub jects, attempting to make sense of our nonsensical world. Art is how I process and understand myself and my place in the world. My art practice allows me to alchemize everything I consume into something else. I also have built such a strong foundation of trust with my painting practice that I don’t necessarily need to be inspired or have an idea to get started. Most of my paintings begin with no plan or direction and reveal themselves to me throughout the process.

VIE: What is your favorite medium?

BC: I love combining and experimenting with all mediums more than any single one, but if I had to pick, I would crown oil paint as the winner. I love all types of paint because of the vibrancy, fluidity, and trust I have built with it over the years. I get lost in painting more easily than in drawing or using any other material because I trust the paint and myself with it enough to be completely free and loose in the process. As much as I love exploring all types of mediums, paint has always seemed to be the


most natural to me—acrylic, oil, and watercolor—but there is something extra magical about oil paints. The richness, fullness, and buttery texture of oil paints are impossible to achieve with any other material.

VIE: What elements of your personal life influence your art?

BC: I laughed when I read this question because no element of my personal life does not influence my art. As I described before, painting is how I process every thing. Even when actively avoiding healing or dealing with something about my personal life, it inevitably leaks out of me onto the canvas. But truthfully, noth ing heals me as much as painting does. When I feel stuck, anxious, or uninspired, I can throw paint on the canvas and find pictures, symbols, and stories in the splashes, scribbles, and strokes. Then I work with it, repeating this process of surrendering control, observ ing, and refining over and over again. I eventually end up with a finished painting and more clarity and peace than I had within me before starting.

VIE: Who are your favorite artists, and how has their work inspired you?

BC: Hilma af Klint is by far my favorite artist. She was a Swedish painter in the late 1800s and early 1900s who created thousands of beautiful, whimsical abstract works, only for them to be hidden away until twenty years after her passing. Her paintings explored the physical and nonphysical worlds, spirituality, and science, and she illustrated these vast concepts in abstract ways that had never been seen in art before. She painted abstracts before her male counterparts like Kandinsky and Mondrian, who are crowned the Fathers of Abstraction. Leonardo da Vinci is another one of my all-time favorite artists because, like Hilma af Klint, he was much more than an artist. His fascination with philosophy, science, mechanics, and human nature fueled his artistic practice. Both of these artists had a deep desire to understand the world around them. Their stories make me feel less alone in my curiosity.

VIE: Your work often features lips. What’s the meaning behind this? Are there other themes you enjoy pursuing in your art?

BC: The lips were a big creative feat for me, and they will always be special for that reason, but they are only the tip of the iceberg regarding what I want to say with my art. Before the lips, my work was very detailed, realistic, and meticulously planned. This drained all the fun and fulfillment from my passion. I then realized how hard

My lips are a blatantsymbol of femininitypresented in a bold,rough, loud, and rawway—an attempt toillustrate femininitywith all the grit andpower that comes atno cost of beauty.
56 | OCTOBER 2022 Visual Perspectives

a time I had loosening up, so I started to paint, draw, and collage as many different subjects in as many different ways as possible with only the goal of trying something new in mind instead of making something “good.”

One of the assignments I gave myself to draw was drag queens, and that resulted in scribbly femme faces with big juicy lips, and the lips took off on their own after that. The lips signify my understanding of femininity and the rejection of societal connotations of the feminine. Our world associates femininity with adjectives like pretty, soft, gentle, docile, sweet, quiet, small—blah, blah, blah. My lips are a blatant symbol of femi ninity presented in a bold, rough, loud, and raw way—an attempt to illustrate femininity with all the grit and power that comes at no cost of beauty. But, on the contrary, I believe this grit serves as the real source of that power. This theme around femininity and our perceptions of it also flows into a lot of my other work. All my other pieces are about my personal life and my interpretation of the world as I am experiencing it. So really, nothing is off limits, and it is all connected.

VIE: When did you move to Santa Rosa Beach, and how has the community impacted your business?

BC: I moved here at the beginning of 2020, and this community has been support ive and encouraging. We have a great network of artists and a massive community of art lovers. Both have helped me immensely in a myriad of ways. I just showed up, and people showed up for me. I am an extreme introvert, so a lot of the outreach I have accomplished is a combination of luck and opportunity. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by the people I have in my life.

VIE: What has been your favorite project to work on so far?

BC: I helped start a brand-new art program under the Cultural Arts Alliance at the Walton Correctional Institution, which quickly became the most important and rewarding part of anything I do. Sharing my passion, methods, and theories on life and creativity with these men has fulfilled me like nothing else. Art has ultimately saved my life, and passing on the torch to others who need a new perspective means more than I can say in words. It all comes full circle that way. I have found so much grace and healing in art, and helping others find the same is more beautiful than anything I’ve ever made.

VIE: Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?

BC: Yes! I am having a solo show at Easy Going Gallery in Pensacola now through November 15. The recep tion for the show is on Thursday, October 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

VIE: Is there anything else you would like to share?

BC: I believe love, life, and art are synonymous. Suppose you hold on too tightly or try to control any of the three. You’re often met with disappoint ment, dissatisfaction, and frustration in that case. You become blind to all the beautiful, magical miracles happening on the sidelines, out of view of your tunnel vision. To allow love, life, and art to flourish, you must do precisely that:  allow. Allow, observe, adjust, repeat.

Visit to learn more or shop artwork, or head to Instagram @bradleycopelandstudio to follow her journey!




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Artist Lizzie Gill is a native New Yorker and a staunch believer in all things New York. Whether she is upstate immersed in nature or embedded in the heart of the city, New York is a part of her soul.

Born and raised in Westchester, educated at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, and eventually spending her post-grad years in the Brooklyn area, she says, “I have been New York-centric my whole life. I started my career in a flat shared with three other artists, working on a desk in my room, then moved to the Ridgewood area, and ultimately settled in Brooklyn Heights.” That is why she never imagined moving to Connecticut.

But, when the stars aligned and circumstances of a global nature hit, the decision was obvious. “I never thought I would move over the border, but it’s the best of both worlds,” observes Gill. With the proxim ity to the city, Gill says she can get her much-needed infusion of museums and galleries at any time.

Initially looking for a weekend getaway, Gill and her husband, Tom Pillar, bought a property in Sharon, Connecticut, that contained an old, dilapidated farm house and a 1990s barn that needed work, “but a lot less work than the main house!” Gill claims. Starting with the barn, they turned the upper level into a studio apartment and the lower level, formerly a horse barn, into an ample, open, light-filled space for her studio. The transformation was featured in the August 2021 issue of Architectural Digest. Gill and Pillar are planning to restore the main house in the future.

With a degree in studio arts, Gill has crafted her unique style, exploring themes of retro Americana with a contemporary viewpoint. As a multimedia art ist, her work is large-scale and full of layers, utilizing a variety of mediums that all work together. Her first collage pieces drew on her experiences and the nos talgia of the 1950s advertising world that glamorized dating and the perceived version of a good housewife. As a twenty-something living in the city, she found

Opposite: Two Majorettes (Follow the Leader) by Lizzie Gill

Acrylic and image transfer on canvas, 40 × 48 inches

Below: Night Heron House, Gill and Pillar’s Connecticut home created from a renovated barn


humor in the ads and juxtaposed the images of love and romance in the 1950s campaigns with her own experiences. She dedicated five years to the series with great success, and her work has been displayed in galleries and at solo exhibitions in New York, Miami, and San Francisco.

On eventually meeting Pillar and getting married, Gill reflects, “As an artist, you evolve, and your inter ests change, and what you want to comment on is influenced by your experiences. My work comes to a logical conclusion because I draw on my life and sur roundings. When that changes, I create new work.”

One of the reasons Gill found it easy to leave the vibrant, eclectic art community in New York was that she discovered an equally inspirational arts community tucked in the idyllic countryside. She recently finished three months as the artist-in-residence at the Wassaic Project in Wassaic, New York, just over the Connecticut border. It’s housed in an old mill building where artists focus on their craft in their own spaces while surrounded by like-minded individuals. The Wassaic Project gives back to the local community by encouraging its artists to develop programs during their residencies that are creative and accessible across the economic spectrum.

Her current series, titled Nocturnes, is a solo exhibition that was on display at Standard Space in Sharon, Connecticut, this summer. Gill describes a hint of the catalyst for this series as anthropomorphized vessels based on heirlooms, china patterns, and transferware. “It started with my mother giving me boxes of my grandmother’s china, which I did not have room for. I felt like a contemporary

My work comes to a logical conclusion because I draw on my life and surroundings. When that changes, I create new work.
60 | OCTOBER 2022

woman being obligated to accept these objects but not use them for their purpose. I was fascinated by the performative nature that surrounds them and the antiquated notion of domesticity.” She is playing with the idea of creating her own heirlooms and transfer ware, which include 1950s images, something she still likes to use in her work. Retro-futurism is a running theme, with cowboys and trains being featured as well. “I started this series during my Wassaic residency and will continue to explore it further,” the artist says.

She chose the title Nocturnes, meaning “music relat ing to or about the night,” as she believes the pieces in this series have a musical cadence. “I am exploring the dynamic imagery in the vessels and the cinematic quality of flickering across the vessels, to the branch ing out of the flowers that have their own movement.” Gill is excited to share this series and will continue

adding new pieces as she believes there is much to pull from this idea.

While her home studio was the perfect place to work during the pandemic, Gill has found a better worklife balance by moving her studio to a separate space. Currently, she works in the spacious, light-filled Bantam Arts Factory in Bantam, Connecticut, and finds she is more productive there. “After spending so long working from home, I found I really like working outside of my home, and I am embracing setting parameters.

Taking the leap and getting out of your comfort zone always seems to lead to greater adventures; Lizzie Gill is certainly no exception. Leaving the frenzied pace of New York City and settling into the rural tempo of Sharon, Connecticut, has inspired new ideas and cultivated a more engaged connection to the countryside.

Visual Perspectives

Above: Wedgwood (Night Train to Grand Central)

Acrylic and image transfer on panel, 20 × 20 inches

Opposite: Vessels (Cowboy Traffic)

Acrylic, image transfer, and marble dust emul sion on canvas, 38 × 40 inches


For more information on Lizzie Gill and the arts community of Sharon, Connecticut, and the surrounding towns, please visit To learn more about the Wassaic Project, visit You can also visit Bantam Arts Factory at 931 Bantam Road, Bantam, Connecticut.

About Standard Space

Standard Space is an artist-run project space and gallery for innovative and challenging contemporary art. Its primary focus is collaboration with artists and curators who champion emerging and mid-career artists in amplifying the voices—both curatorial and artistic—of underrepresented groups in the art world. The gallery partners with curators who push the envelope and welcome all media, from video installation and performance art to painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Make an appointment to visit Standard Space at 147 Main Street, Sharon, Connecticut, by calling (917) 627-3261 or emailing

Visual Perspectives

Legacy and Grace

Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy is one of grace, honor, and commitment. Her loyalty never wavered from the day she publicly dedicated her life to service on April 21, 1947, her twenty-first birthday. During her seventy years as monarch of the United Kingdom, she blended tradition with modernity. She was among the first to make royal engagements more accessible to the public through live broadcasts, which are routine today for royal tours, philanthropic events, and weddings. Despite her maintaining a sense of privacy in her personal life, what she leaves behind is no mystery; her elegance in guiding the nation into the twenty-first century is etched in time.

Equanimity ; Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022) By artist Chris Levine and hologra pher Rob Munday, commissioned by Jersey Heritage Trust
Love,VIE xo
Artworkby Adolfo Correa ByHaileyBethke Visual
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Going Boldly


These are the profound words of Adolfo Correa, a graphic designer testing the definition of art as we know it, drawing inspiration from his Latin roots as a Chilean native by utilizing rich colors and patterns. As a creative, he explores visual narratives and aims to change how we connect with art, whether through his commissions for brands like Nike, Corona, and Mercedes-Benz or proj ects closer to home where he draws upon his personal interests in history, culture, and figure drawing.

“I always had an interest in visual imaging, but it wasn’t until I studied graphic design that I discov ered how interesting this field really was to me,” he shares. Admittedly, he says that before his studies at la Universidad de Chile, he often avoided drawing because he thought it was too difficult. “Then, during my first year at school, the drawing lessons were my

favorite. Long hours with a pencil in my hand simply felt natural to me. After that first year, my illustration teacher recognized my artistic gifts and encouraged me to continue honing my skills professionally.”

Six years ago, Correa left Chile to embark on a new journey in Europe. Now dually stationed in Madrid and Brussels, he believes that living in different countries has shaped his unique global vantage point that influences his compositions. The artist describes his work as a celebration; colors, patterns, and rhythms work together to form a foundation of Correa’s distinctive style. He experiments by adding what he’s currently learning and experiencing in his day-to-day reality. For instance, he recalls when he lived in Poland, his work reflected a clear, synthetic style, challenging him to communicate a message by relying on simplicity.

Correa’s design process is grounded in flexibility, allowing for maximized creativ ity. “Whenever I have an idea for a design, I try to capture it immediately on paper or my screen,” he expounds. “This creates a library of ideas from which I later draw to mix them together and see how these generate new ideas. It’s a very free process without perfection. Over time, I have learned to trust the process without fear of failure.” His trial-and-error perspective has led to some of the

This illustration by Adolfo Correa features his take on the iconic Nike Air Force 1 sneakers.

Above: Correa says this piece was his first experiment mixing illus tration with makeup art, something he plans to do more in the future.

Above right: A piece Correa designed in collaboration with the NBA, featuring point guard Eric Bledsoe

most rewarding accomplishments in his career, including his collaboration with Weiden + Kennedy Amsterdam and Corona. In this initia tive benefiting nonprofit Parley for the Oceans, Correa reimagined the idyllic Hawaiian shirt by displaying pieces of plastic pollution within the tropical pattern to raise awareness about preserving our planet’s paradises.

When asked about his perspective on the importance and value of art and creativ ity, he speaks to the transformative experiences artistry has sparked in his life. “Personally, I was pretty ‘late’ to experience the arts scene, from visiting an art museum, attending a classical music concert, or even seeing a ballet. Yet when it happened, it changed my life entirely. This is the reason I think it is so important that the younger generation (especially from less fortunate demographics) has the opportunity to experiment in different artistic areas beyond what is taught in school. I come from a very humble background, so creativity is what saved my life.

Art gave me the unique opportunity to be and do what I’ve always dreamed of, and now I get to travel the world doing what I love.”

This leap of faith to start his artistic career in Europe has led Correa to what he describes as the “Confidence” chapter in his journey. He explains that now he has overcome the challenges of emigra tion and has fully adapted to a new reality on the other side of the globe. “Without a doubt, emigrat ing has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. Traveling and reading books, which have expanded my intellectual horizons, have been equal ly impactful in my work,” he shares. Now, Correa’s mission is to create from a place of personal fulfill ment, creating meaningful pieces that resonate with his heart. “When I started, I was looking to get a ‘wow’ effect from my viewers, so my work was more elaborate and decorative. Presently, I look for new ideas found from experimentation, and I love inno vative focal points. This is my everyday challenge.”

Whether drawing athletes for the NBA or creating vibrant animations of street dancers, Correa is a change maker, and it’s safe to say he is not afraid of challenging the role of art in our everyday lives.

To connect with Correa, follow him on Instagram @adolfocorreadesigner and head to to view his complete portfolio.

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his statement will click immediately for viewers of Betsy Enzensberger’s gloriously high-fashion sculptures of ice cream, ice pops, french fries, and other delicious shapes. The Palm Springs-based artist’s roots lie in New York, where she grew up adjacent to some of the world’s best art, cultural events, museums, performances, and restaurants. From a young age, her love of the arts opened her eyes and mind to new possibilities for what her life could entail.

“I have always been someone who wants to get her hands dirty,” Enzensberger shares. “I have always loved to create. In fact, I can’t even remember a day that I wasn’t making something with my hands. I still take notes in notebooks versus digi tally. It’s that tactile sensation that I crave, which is why I ended up being a sculptor.”


The artist lifestyle seemed like destiny for the young woman, who graduated from the fine arts program at Tulane University and gained a coveted apprentice ship with sculptor Eric Johnson in Los Angeles. Still, it took some time before she fully committed to sculptural works herself.

“I started pouring resin over my paintings just so that I could get that thick, glossy, saturated look,” Enzensberger explains. She was painting on wood panels when she first started to create more layered, 3D pieces. It was unintentional and even a little uncom fortable, she admits. “I’d take a step back and say, ‘How did this end up being sculptural?’ It was confusing to me because I was always more comfortable with 2D wall-hanging art. So, every time my art got too sculp tural, I’d try to reduce it back to a 2D space.”

Simply put, Enzensberger didn’t choose the 3D life; the 3D life chose her. “Right before I began creating melting ice cream sculptures, I was making melting paintings,” she recalls. “These pieces would flow from the wall panel down the wall and onto the floor. That delicious flow of resin intruded into my floor space, but I embraced it. I let it happen. At some point, I just stopped resisting the urge to make sculpture, and it naturally evolved into what it is today.”

She moved to Palm Springs, California, where she lives now with her husband, and has opened a small studio for creating her Original Melting Pops that have become popular across social media, maga zines, and celebrity homes worldwide. What began

as an experiment, she says, has become a passion that obviously resonates with a global audience craving art that is whimsical, nostalgic, and undeniably fun.

It might seem counterintuitive that such quirky, colorful sculptures depicting melting treats, sparkling cupcakes with Christian Louboutin stilettos stuck through them, or rainbow hamburgers would be created by an artist wearing a serious, Darth Vader-esque respirator, but here we are. Enzensberger suits up for safety when she creates due to the highly toxic chemicals and dust coming off the resin as she heats, molds, and adorns it with sprinkles and glitter. “I need to put on several layers of protective gear just to work with resin,” she says. “My studio has a ventilation system that is very loud, and I keep the space quite warm, so the resin is at its optimal curing temperature. Let’s just say this is not a comfortable work environment.” But it’s these challenging working conditions that interest her and keep the inspiration flowing, she admits. “Honestly, it’s the smell of the resin. There are only a few seconds where I can actually smell it before I put on my respirator, but a small, short whiff of chemicals fires me up,” she laughs. “Visiting museums or going to gallery shows has never really inspired me. Instead, I play with inks and dyes in various types of resin until something looks good.”

Above: Sculptor Betsy Enzensberger’s series of Original Melting Pops is a whimsical, nostalgic treat for art lovers worldwide.
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Before she can pour the resin into its final shape, Enzensberger must first create the mold—these thick rubber vessels of all shapes and sizes hold the mystery of drying resin for hours or days before she can cut and rip them open to find the treasure underneath. Next, she uses power sanding tools to smooth and polish the raw sculptures to a brilliant shine, then bedazzles, paints, and otherwise decorates them with fabulousness. Compared to the peaceful process of traditional painting, she says, “Sculpting is strenuous. Some of my sculptures are painted with a brush, and I do look forward to painting like that. It always makes me feel really calm after I’m finished.”

Each Betsy Enzensberger Original Melting Pop or other work gets a final flourish when she breaks out the power rotary tool to carve her initials into the polished resin sculpture. When a new piece is sold or shipped to its new home, the artist says she feels like a “proud mama” sending her kids off to college to start their new lives. “I don’t have children, but my sculptures feel like my babies,” she says. “I spend so much time working on each and every piece that I grow oddly attached to them.”

Some pieces, like the beautifully embellished Swarovski crystal ones, are col laborative labors with other creators. “It’s so rewarding to find another talented and professional artist to work with,” Enzensberger says. “I’ve been working with the Queen of Crystal, Lauren Lyle (@queen_of_crystal on Instagram), for sev eral years. Her crystal work is flawless, and she is a true professional. She adds a uniqueness to my work that makes it stand out from all the rest. Each piece we make together is extremely special.”

What began as an experiment, she says, has become a passion that obviously resonates with a global audience craving art that is whimsical, nostalgic, and undeniably fun.

Be bold. Be fearless.Take risks.

ocial media has undoubtedly played a significant role in get ting Enzensberger’s art in front of the masses, and she says it is a vital tool for artists today. “It’s a great way to be seen without actually going anywhere—you just put it all out there,” she says. “When I post, I try to be my most authentic self, and I hope people can see that.”

This sentiment perfectly segues into her advice for any budding artist or creator: “Be bold. Be fearless. Take risks.”

When she’s not creating or sharing her work, you might find Enzensberger obsessing over other creatives on Instagram, such as over-the-top interior designer David Rios. “I can lose myself for hours looking through his Instagram page—go see for yourself!” She also enjoys the relaxed lifestyle and beautiful scenery in Palm Springs. Interestingly, although her studio is located there, she isn’t very involved in the art scene in the resort town and prefers to ship her work to galler ies in other locations. “I know some local artists who love the artistic community here, but for me, it feels good to keep my home and work separate,” she explains.

Heading into art fair season (typically running from September to February), Enzensberger is excited for new audiences around the globe to see her work. “You’ll be able to see my sculptures at shows in London, Hamburg, Singapore, New York, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, and Miami. That’s a lot of cities!”

We can’t wait to see where these sweet creations will go next.

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The Pink Glamorous House, designed by Greg Natale, is a treat for the eyes. The interior of the fourthousand-square-foot penthouse in Melbourne, Australia, is inspired by French architecture, jewelry, and the over-the-top glam style of the 1980s. The complementing gold and pink accents make a bold statement reflecting the personality and creative mind of the homeowner. Interior design is an art, and what better canvas is there than the one you’ll see and live in daily?

La maison VIEMAGAZINE.COM | 77

BringingInner Beautyto Life

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The word is used primarily when describing moral goodness or beauty from within. Kaitlyn Tiller, the owner of Kalon Home Interiors, lives up to this ideal in almost all aspects of her life and work. Her business is built on her love for travel and her heart for others. From her cozy design style to her future dreams of starting a nonprofit, few people in this world radiate warmth as beautifully as Tiller does with Kalon Home.

Born and raised in the Florida Panhandle, Tiller always knew the beach com munity along Scenic Highway 30-A would be her home. After graduating from Auburn University in the spring of 2020 with big plans to spread her wings, the coronavirus pandemic redirected her to that home on the Gulf Coast. “When God closes a door, he opens a window,” Tiller says of her interrupted plans. For her, this window happened to kickstart her dream of creating her own interior design business—a busi ness that is now thriving. We sat down with Tiller to learn more about Kalon Home and her endeavors.

VIE: Tell us a little about your background and how it influences your creativity.

Kaitlyn Tiller: Growing up along 30-A, I’ve been exposed to our beautiful area from the beginning. My family has also traveled often, which is where a lot of my inspiration comes from. Every country I’ve been to has strongly impacted my use of texture and color in interior design. Travel is truly where most of my design inspiration comes from— seeing places created by the Lord is something I will always cherish and incorporate into my style. Still, there is no place like home, especially when you’re from such a special place. Despite all my travels, 30-A will always have my heart.

VIE: Did you major in design? Have you always had a knack for it?

VIEMAGAZINE.COM | 79 La maison


I actually majored in business with an international minor at Auburn University, but I’ve known I wanted to be an inte rior designer since I was a little girl. I have always had a talent for it, but it has developed even more over the years. My two mentors in the design field were both designers who did not go to school for it, which further inspired me to choose the route I took. My dad is a homebuilder and has taught me the ins and outs of construction—a side of the design process I’ve grown to love.

VIE: How and when did you start Kalon Home?

KT: I graduated from Auburn in 2020 with plans to live in New York City for a year or so. However, the COVID-19 pandemic thought otherwise, so I came back home after graduation. I did some work for a couple of fabulous interior designers to learn and get my feet wet, but not long after that, I decided to go out on my own. After I completed my first home, the rest of it just started to fall into place.

VIE: Tell us about your design process, from con cept to completion. What’s your favorite part?

KT: This is a tough one because I think it can vary from project to project. I am mainly doing full custom homes at the moment, which means I am involved from the very beginning—from blueprints and planning all the way to the last pillow fluffed. As for my favorite part of the process, the most obvious answer would be the installation, when all the hard work has come to light and the client is experiencing their new home for the first time. As much as I love that part, I think my actual favorite part is when I walk into the framing of a home. It is here that I can fully envision what the space will become. To me, it is almost like a secret world between me and the project—no one else knows what I am imagining. I still get butterflies when I walk into a project for the first time and can start envisioning the completed home.

VIE: Where do you get your design inspiration?

KT: Most of my design inspiration comes from my experiences while traveling. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up traveling, and at this point, I have visited around fifteen countries. My design style has been shaped by strolls through new city streets filled with architecture and textures galore.

VIE: Do you have a favorite project so far?

KT: I am working on a project for a women’s shelter in our area. We are redoing their living facilities and hopefully giving these women a haven to come home to. This has been really special to be part of, and I don’t know if anything else I do could ever top it!

VIE: We hear you have plans to start a nonprofit. Can you tell us about it and what inspires you to pursue this?

KT: I chose the name Kalon for my nonprofit when I was fifteen. I have always had a heart for younger, underprivileged girls. I also happen to love fashion and clothes. I think clothes can be an expression of personality that often works as a tool to help young girls feel more confident in their skin. With both things in mind, I want to start a company that allows girls who can not afford their own clothes to come into a place where they can pick out brand-new clothes. Whether for their first day of school, a date, or an interview, I want to help them feel confident, loved, and seen. On top of that, I would love to start discipleship programs—ways for the participants to stay plugged in with other young girls while receiving mentorship from myself and other women.

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VIE: How will the nonprofit connect to your inte rior design business?

KT: I would like my interior design studio to one day grow into a space that can encompass both. I think there is so much beauty in the world of design that I live in. I would like to see that pour into show ing young girls how beautiful they are.

VIE: What advice would you give to a new design business owner?

KT: I would tell anyone considering starting a business to simply start. I have made and continue to make countless mistakes daily, but every risk has been worth it. Honestly, my life sometimes looks a little different than others my age, but I would not have it any other way.

VIE: Do you have any exciting projects coming up that you’d like to share?

KT: I have a few, so be on the lookout. Specifically, we hope to have three of our biggest projects com pleted by the end of December. I also plan to have a December Sip ’n’ Shop at my studio, so stay tuned for more details about that. You can follow me on Instagram @kalonhome_ to keep in touch!

Visit to learn more.


As the winds gently whisper through the sea oats on the dunes . . . A new legacy home is born.


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The Tectonic House in Venice, California, is a marvel of architecture. With two separate buildings connected by a boardwalk, its unorthodox vertical structures reflect the funky spirit of the surrounding neighborhood.

Designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au, the Tectonic House is a masterpiece, and the interior design is on par with the artistic vibe. The house completely abandons the traditional style and colorfully sports a modern vernacular.

Visit to learn more or see more projects.


Petite pause

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier in

It’s fun to have fun things. Pops of color, whimsical patterns, cheeky trinkets, and silhouettes inspired by decades past can make life merrier. In this artcentric issue, we hope you feel encouraged to add more vibrancy to your world. Whether rocking some mustard velvet palazzo pants or hanging an eccentric new art print in your bedroom, it’s time to live your most colorful life!

IT’S A COLORFUL LIFE Anorak Jacket in Black Cherries $990 – Fall Flavor1 86 | OCTOBER 2022

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Statement Superhero VIEMAGAZINE.COM | 87 C’est la vie
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So Sprezzatura


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To learn more or book your stay, visit


Where a Robinson Crusoe-esque fantasy meets high-end, twenty-first-century travel, the Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives is the world’s largest overwater private villa, elevated above the Indian Ocean. Guests enjoy seclusion and privacy while relaxing in lounge spaces by the infinity-edge pool, working out in the air-conditioned gym, indulging in treatments at the private couples’ spa (complete with a sauna and indoor-outdoor treatment rooms), and sliding down the waterslide into sparkling turquoise waters. By night, enjoy a movie in the private cinema before retiring to one of the two spacious suites. It’s the essential luxe locale for your next holiday abroad!

Photo courtesy of Gili Lankanfushi

A Cultured Stay

The art scene in New York City is among the world’s finest. Thanks to abundant opportunities and diverse audiences, the city offers millions of artists the chance to make a mark—no wonder the streets bleed culture and grit. Conrad New York Midtown, situated amid the most bustling bor ough, Manhattan, keeps the city’s artistic poise at the core of guest experiences, but that’s not all.

Conrad New York Midtown is a Hilton Property that occupies the coveted corner at West 54th Street and Seventh Avenue. Conrad New York Midtown is an elite choice for a swanky stay in the city, close to some of the city’s most famous landmarks, with 562 luxury accommodations (starting at 500 square feet) and exclusive amenities. Here, it’s easy to sleep—even if the city doesn’t.

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The two-story penthouse at the Conrad New York Midtown hotel offers guests the ultimate luxury stay in NYC. Opposite: Leda and the Swan, a hyperrealistic sculpture by Carole Feuerman, welcomes guests as they enter the Conrad New York Midtown lobby.

f the amount of space you get isn’t enticing enough, there are plenty of other indulgences to discover. Notably, Conrad New York Midtown has one of the most sophisticated luxury art collections, inspired by the city’s creative history and exhibiting a refined taste that incorporates classic and contemporary design elements. Conrad New York Midtown is more than a list of luxury amenities that spans past its restaurant and bar, striking views, an expansive fitness center, and more; it’s a love letter to the city. A stay here makes guests fall head over heels for everything that makes New York City irresistible.


A walk down the street from the property brings pedes trians to some of the world’s most famous museums. But no distance keeps hotel guests from seeing some of the most recognized names in art, as the iconic Leda and the Swan, an original sculpture by Carole Feuerman, sits humbly in the lobby. The level of detail in the hotel’s art collection is comparable to a traditional gallery, thanks to the work of Visto Images, a boutique art consultancy based in Paris. Every piece tells a story, working in tandem to tell a larger one—a specialty of Visto, which has curated collections for some of the world’s most prestigious properties.

The hotel’s art—featuring thirty-seven artists ranging from abstract expressionism, pop art, street photogra phy, hyperrealism, and contemporary art—illustrates New York City’s ability to reinvent itself. More recently, the world watched in awe as the city bounced back from the pandemic, reinforcing the indestructible nature on which the collection hinges. Considering the amount of creativity and zeal the city holds, it is a shame that anyone ever contemplated its demise.

Each piece in the Conrad New York Midtown represents a new guise, depicting the pivotal art movements integral to the city’s DNA. They are all unique and intriguing on their own, but even more so as a whole. As a result, the collection makes Conrad New York Midtown the perfect environment for those visiting to experience the arts. Not to mention its proximity to the MoMA, which holds some of the most famous works in the world by artists such as Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, and Vincent van Gogh, to name a few.

Similar to the galleries down the street, the placement of each piece in the hotel holds meaning. No other work in the hotel exemplifies this more than Leda and the Swan. The idyllic sculpture—inspired by the Greek myth in which Zeus disguises himself as a swan to seduce the lovely Leda—sits gracefully behind the hotel’s revolving doors, serv ing as the first impression for incoming guests. The lifelike Leda, in a black-and-gold

swimsuit, reclines on the swan and gives guests a feel ing of luxury and nostalgia from the moment they step onto the property. It is impossible not to marvel at the lacquer on the resin structure, accentuated by 24-karat gold leaf and Swarovski crystals meticu lously placed to resemble water droplets. Feuerman further defines hyperrealism using materials such as fiberglass, armature, primer, automotive urethane paint, and natural and synthetic hair.

Overall, the piece tells a story of strength matched with the struggle to achieve, and nothing defines NYC more than that sentiment. Moreover, it sets the stage for the rest of the hotel experience by encourag ing guests to look closer at what’s in front of them, priming them for the microcosm of the city’s rich and culturally diverse art world inside Conrad New York Midtown’s walls.

Leda and the Swan (above) is far from the only impressive art piece in the hotel. From an original Henri Matisse in the lobby (far opposite) to curated works in each guest room (right), the collection at Conrad New York Midtown features thirty-seven worldclass artists, creating a unique gallery-worthy experience during your stay.

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Acommissioned piece by Blake Daniels further contributes to this gallerywithin-a-hotel in the form of The Fruited Plain. Daniels derived his inspiration from the city’s wild side, which needs no further explanation. He combines figurative elements and a rich color pal ette of deep greens, blues, and purples to portray an urban jungle vibe that juxtaposes the structured city with spontaneous energy best translated through art.

Another anecdote comes from London-based artist Amy Judd, who plays off themes of nature and women in Awakening. The piece ambiguously depicts a woman concealed by the feathers of a bird, a nod to the relation ship between beauty, misfortune, and even death.

Conrad New York Midtown has one of the most sophisticated luxury art collections, inspired by the city's creative history.

Furthermore, Brazilian artist Marcelo Monreal studies the superficial with his digitally rendered collages that reveal the inner beauty of his sub ject with blossoming flowers and foliage. The idea is that people keep their authentic selves hidden, and underneath the mask is where our true beauty lies. It’s an important notion, especially in a city where it is easy to develop a hard shell.

These are only a few stories that Conrad New York Midtown holds, and their resounding messages offer guests something to ponder during their stay. They’re necessary studies of life, struggle, love, and compas sion that NYC has a way of romanticizing in the name of art.


A good night’s sleep is another art form that Conrad New York Midtown has mastered in its 562 luxury accommodations. Gorgeous city and Central Park views are up for grabs and well worth the investment. The interiors are chic yet inviting, with herringbone wood floors, hand-tufted wool rugs, large bay win dows, and sleek Carrera marble bathrooms. But the small details, such as the crowned ceilings, plush robes, thick curtains, high thread count sheets, and Nespresso machines in every room, are what make the stay so sumptuous.

The sense of comfort here makes guests never want to leave, not to mention the convenience of the twentyfour-hour gym and room service that rivals some of the city’s best dining experiences. The property also offers various room layouts to accommodate guests’ needs, ranging in size and price.

Perhaps the most comfortable experience of all lies at the top. The 2,800-square-foot penthouse is the epitome of New York City grandeur, boasting virtu ally unobstructed panoramic views of Central Park, West 54th Street, and the Hudson River. The twostory layout combines contemporary functionality with modern elements that create a cinematic appeal in the space. In addition, fortunate guests can enjoy two master king bedrooms and a spacious living area with a fireplace and oversized sectional. Deep marble soaking tubs, a posh dining area, a dedicated working space, and all the other nuanced elements that create a luxury experience complete the quint essential penthouse experience—of course, words, or even pictures, could never do it justice.

The 2,800-squarefoot penthouse is the epitome of New York City grandeur, consisting of virtually unobstructed panoramic views of Central Park and the Hudson River.
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This page and opposite: Conrad New York

Midtown’s 562 guest accommodations range from spacious studio rooms to apartmentstyle sky suites and a penthouse with incredible New York City views.


Right: Dabble, the onsite bar and restaurant at Conrad New York Midtown, offers the perfect spot for cocktails, light bites, or more substantial meals in a posh atmosphere surrounded by art.


Lucky for Conrad New York Midtown guests, staying close to home for a bite at the hotel’s onsite restaurant is always an option. Whether guests dine in the warm modern restaurant space or their bed, Dabble offers all-day dining and room service for light fare and classic cocktails.

The casual yet elevated atmosphere allows guests to dabble in new experiences. Signature cocktails, such as a lavender martini or passion fruit fizz, are the ideal precursor to nights out on the town. But any expert knows that cocktail hour is incomplete without the beloved classics such as bruschetta and charcuterie that Dabble does so well. More considerable appetites will be satisfied with the steak house burger or the grass-fed ribeye—and of course, dessert is always recommended.


Exploring the city becomes incredibly convenient for those staying at Conrad New York Midtown. The central location is only a short walk from Central Park, Broadway, Times Square, and other Midtown shopping and landmarks, making it easy to fulfill even the most extensive itineraries. As mentioned before, the loca tion is also superior for those looking to continue pondering the arts outside the hotel. The MoMA is a short walk down the street, and the Museum of Arts and Design is right around the corner. The Met, the Guggenheim, and the Museum of Natural History are also within walking distance if you fancy a jaunt through Central Park to get there.

The casual yet elevated atmosphere allows guests to dabble in new experiences.
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Whether in the city for work or play, Conrad New York Midtown makes a luxurious yet comfortable home base for all your activities and a restful night’s sleep (or a power nap). There’s no doubt its attentive and friendly staff take their roles seriously as they fulfill the Hilton brand’s motto, making every effort to ensure guests are taken care of and welcomed “For the Stay” from the moment they arrive to the time they say goodbye.

Visit to learn more or plan your visit, and follow along on Instagram @conradnymidtown for more photos and experiences.

Photo by Matt Jozwiak

Artist Subodh Gupta has built a new installation called Cooking the World at Casanova Gardens at Cipriani, a Belmond Hotel in Venice, Italy. This piece of artwork was constructed using thousands of previ ously owned pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils. The interior has a full kitchen and dining area for guests to enjoy. This struc ture takes culinary art to the next level!

The installation will be on display through November 19. Visit to expe rience the exhibition and book your stay.

Petite pause

Culinary Arts

Photo by Marco Valmarana, courtesy of Belmond
Sleeping Beauty Awakes DISCOVER CASTLE ELVIRA 102 | OCTOBER 2022 Voyager

Left: Abandoned more than a century ago, Castle Elvira was rescued and restored by Steve Riseley and Havey B-Brown, who have transformed it into an elegant boutique hotel.

Above: General manager Giacomo Attanasio and his dedicated team ensure that all guests are treated like royalty.

Photos by Mark Cocksedge

I looked with timorous joy towards a stately house: I saw a blackened ruin . . . The lawn, the grounds were trodden and waste: the portal yawned void. The front was . . . perforated with paneless windows: no roof, no battlements, no chimneys—all had crashed in.

“And there was the silence of death about it: the soli tude of a lonesome wild . . . What story belonged to this disaster? What loss, besides mortar and marble and woodwork, had followed upon it? The calam ity was not of late occurrence. Winter snows had drifted through that void arch, winter rains beaten in at those hollow casements; for, amidst the drenched piles of rubbish, spring had cherished vegetation.”

These paragraphs from Charlotte Brontë’s nineteenth-century novel Jane Eyre capture the moment Jane returns to find Thornfield, the house where she had dis covered what it was to love and be loved, in ruins. They are a fitting description of the sight that met Steve Riseley and Harvey B-Brown when they first saw Castle Elvira in Puglia, Italy, in 2018. Now an exquisite boutique hotel, the castle had been abandoned for more than a century and was as dilapidated and shrouded in the same “lonesome wild” as Thornfield upon Jane’s homecoming.

“We had to hack our way through thirty-seven acres of brambles, weeds, and wilderness to reach it,” says Riseley, “and when we got to it, we could barely see its beautiful pink-and-gold facade for graffiti. Inside, we had to tread carefully, testing the floors step by step in case we fell through them. It was a ruin, but sometimes it’s not what your eyes see that counts, but what your mind envisions. We saw what it could be.”


Riseley and B-Brown found Castle Elvira almost by chance. They had sold their home, a few miles away, as a turnkey—with all contents included—and, unencumbered by possessions, wanted a renova tion project.

Knowing the couple liked a challenge, their realtor looked online for the worst property he could find and showed them Elvira as a joke. Riseley says he knew it was right for them on the strength of that image and remained undeterred even after a site visit revealed it to be in a worse state than the photo had suggested.

“It was a huge undertaking,” says B-Brown, “but we were enchanted by it. We felt it had been waiting for us. There was something so romantic about it, like a scene from a fairy tale—this sleeping beauty waiting to be discovered and brought back to life by love. We thought we could be the ones to make that happy ending hap pen. Plus, my mum reminded me that I had always dreamed of living in a castle, so this was my chance to make my dream come true.”

Riseley and B-Brown say their commitment to restor ing Elvira is a love story, which is fitting given the castle’s past. Its heartbreaking narrative (believed true until proven otherwise) suggests it was built sometime in the 1800s by a couple who gifted it to their daughter, Elvira, on her seventeenth birthday. Eager to show her gratitude, the young girl prepared a magnificent sup per for her parents. Unfortunately, she died that night from a poison mushroom she had picked in the woods. Her grief-stricken parents sealed up the castle and left Puglia forever. Over time, the gorgeous interiors— frescoed ceilings, ornate tile floors, cast-iron filigree window grates—were looted, vandalized, or ravaged

by the elements. The stairs rotted away. Winds howled through paneless windows, and birds nested in the pretty-in-pink turrets. Stone by stone, brick by brick, the castle succumbed to its destitution.

In 2018, when B-Brown and Riseley finally came to its rescue, it was little more than a shell, yet they were determined to re-create a historic property rather than create a pastiche. “Our goal from the start was to retain the essential character of Elvira,” says B-Brown.

“The inspiration for our renovation came from what remained. We salvaged as much as we could, even using old floor tiles to make a table for the restaurant. We wanted the castle’s past to remain visible, to inform its future.”

The couple wanted people to see that history. Look up at the ceilings, which were gently cleaned, brushed, and sealed, and you’ll see the murals as they were found—faded with patches of flaking paint. Look down at the floor, and you will see that the geometric tiles have been re-made to reflect what was there before.

Above: Welcome to Castle Elvira.

Above left: The Princess Suite with a portrait of Amy Andrew by Adored & Adorned (right) and Liminal State, Lilac by Michal Cole

Left: The dazzling elevator that takes guests up to the roof top terrace for evening cocktails

Right: A chandelier by Cattelan Italia has been reconfigured to hang in a circular pattern to mirror the designs depicted in the original painted ceiling.

Far right: Guests are welcome to play the rare, inlaid Bechstein piano.

Photos by Rei Moon
104 | OCTOBER 2022

Craftsmen were tried, tested, and, if necessary, changed until Riseley found people who could work iron, build traditional stone walls, and make banisters and stairs from bare wood. Importantly, he also looked for artisans who shared his vision for an “unfinished” look. “There is a ten dency to overdo properties until there is no trace of what they had once been, and that’s not what we wanted. We made the building’s tradition and heritage our focal points and worked from there, picking up on the colors and motifs we discovered.”

The result is an ode to joy, hospitality, and indulgence. The castle’s original eight bedrooms have been reconfigured to form four luxurious suites, with a private salon per each pair to give guests more privacy. Each suite has a different per sonality, but each adheres to Riseley’s strict aesthetic that nothing must disturb the visual serenity of the space. Consequently, smart televisions were integrated into retro-style mirrors, and a sophisticated, eco-friendly under-floor heating and cooling system eradicated unattractive air-conditioning units.

The couple describes Castle Elvira as a luxury residence rather than a hotel, and their individual and joint tastes are stamped throughout, just as they would be in a home. Those with an eye for design will spot sofas by Arketipo, beds by prestige furniture maker Timothy Oulton, Cattelan Italia chandeliers, IB Rubinetterie brass taps, pure linen bedding, alpaca wool blankets, and pieces by Fornasetti on every shelf and table.

Sometimes it’s not what your eyes see that counts, but what your mind envisions. We saw what it could be.

The lounge, the heart of the castle, is a showstopper filled with more art—including portraits by Adored & Adorned, the collaborative name B-Brown and artistic partner David Scheinmann work under—and a rare inlaid Bechstein grand piano, which guests are welcome to play. Downstairs, the former aquifer is now a cinema, and the terrace on the roof is a heavenly pop-up bar for sundowners.

On the grounds, now planted with fruit and nut trees, herbs, and flowers, is a lovely restaurant for all-day dining. The menu is regional cucina povera, which translates as “poor cuisine” or, in other words, rustic and homemade. Staples include local special ties such as orecchiette served with slow-cooked sausage ragu, tender meatballs, and pizzas made in the wood-fired oven. Dine-anywhere options are also available. Guests can contact the concierge on WhatsApp to have meals and drinks delivered to the pool, their rooms, or the gardens.

Visitors can book suites separately or, B-Brown says, in their entirety for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other celebrations. “Though the castle was the first to open, we also have a two-room cottage, a masseria (farmhouse) with two additional suites, and a onesuite tower with a circular bed and a huge sandstone bath on its roof terrace. Guests can come alone or with all their friends. After nearly two hundred years, Castle Elvira is finally celebrating life. Come join her party.”

Xenia Taliotis was a guest of Castle Elvira. Learn more or book your stay at Rates for a double room with breakfast start from €299 ($305) per night. Exclusive hire of the whole estate (the castle, cottage, tower, and masseria) for up to 22 guests starts from €3,641 ($3,715) per night or €22,938 ($23,403) per week and includes breakfast.

Top: Castle Elvira beneath a setting sun Photo by Air Commission Above: Harvey B-Brown at work in his Adored & Adorned art studio Left: A bed by designer Timothy Oulton beneath Adored & Adorned’s The Fiddlers Photos by Mark Cocksedge
We made the building’s tradition and heritage our focal pointS, and worked from there, picking up on the colors and motifs we discovered.
106 | OCTOBER 2022

The Cipriani, a Belmond hotel, recommends a sunset party overlooking the water to close out a day full of sightseeing in Venice.

Viva Venezia!

of ART and

Opposite: Bruno Catalano sculpture at Galleria Ravagnan, San Marco, during the 2022 Venice Biennale

Photo by Tyson Sadio, courtesy of Belmond Photo by Anthea Gerrie
DREAMS 108 | OCTOBER 2022 Voyager

It’s the late, late show for culture vultures who are also bon vivants—the final golden weeks of that unmissable international artfest, the Venice Biennale. No ordinary visual spectacular, it features world-class painting, sculpture, film, and installations from every corner of the planet in La Serenissima, with its sub limely romantic places to stay, eat, and get lost crossing canals when the galleries are closed.

Why go? Because it’s full of things you will otherwise never see assembled all in one city, given how seldom artists from remote corners of the world get expo sure in mainstream galleries or museums. This 59th Biennale, the first in three years, features the work of 213 artists from 58 countries and is also the first in which more women than men are exhibiting.

Why make the trip now? Because the art critics who spent April and May disseminating the best of what to see are long gone, as are the tourists who crowded the galleries over summer. Their departure leaves only the art to be enjoyed in peace during a warm, gilded fall until November 27, when this year’s show will close.

The variety and quality of its offerings make the Venice Biennale unique. In a single day this summer, I feasted my eyes on sequined, flag-like hangings from Haiti; mysterious watercolors from the Congo; huge, power ful rope-women woven in India; and dreamy videos telling stories of love, loss, and fragile local architecture on the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.


The waterside palazzi, which take on a starring role during Biennale season, are shown in tandem with the main exhibition sites, like Peggy Guggenheim’s exquisite house-turned-museum on the Grand Canal—this year’s home to the best show of the season. The national pavilions showcasing the work of the artist picked to represent each country are now merely the bones of the experience; watch out for eye-popping work elsewhere that never had to go through jury selection. Example: the deconstructed mannequins that stopped me in my tracks while I peered into what I assumed was a fashion boutique on the Piazza San Marco. It was actually the Galleria Ravagnan, and the “mannequins” turned out to be Bruno Catalano sculptures profound with meaning: their elegant hollows represent the memories we lose as we move through life; the suitcases they clutch depict the baggage we keep with us to the end.

Above: The scenic monumental sculpture of a child’s hands, Support by Lorenzo Quinn, installed in the Grand Canal of Venice during the 2018 exhibition Photo by Marco Rubino/ Shutterstock Left: The 16th Inter national Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, 2018 Photo by Tetiana Tuchyk/ Shutterstock Far right: Installation view of Thu Van Tran’s work at the 57th Venice Biennale, 2017 Right: View of the Arsenale during the 58th Venice Biennale, titled May You Live in Interesting Times, 2019 Photos by Bepsy/ Shutterstock
110 | OCTOBER 2022

In 2022 much has changed at Biennale, not only because female artists outnumber men. The tone has turned ever more political—this year’s theme title, The Milk of Dreams, is as much about women being visible as the surrealists it celebrates. Although the war stopped the intended Ukrainian pavilion, the country was still prominently represented by a highly visible tower of sandbags. Slavery and colonialism were addressed in the US pavilion, while the Scandinavians used theirs to showcase the native Sami people whose creative contribution has been overlooked for centuries.

There’s so much more to see than the exhibitions in the Giardini—the gardens that are the permanent home of most national pavilions—and the endless galleries of the nearby Arsenale. Still, these two official sites make the most logical starting point. The central theme pavilion in the Giardini is packed with the highly engaging work of women artists, both living and late-greats like Paula Rego, Dorothea Tanning, and Leonora Carrington, as well as less well-known but equally mag nificent surrealists Remedios Varo and Leonor Fini. Their work is showcased in the slightly subterranean Witches’ Cradle, where two whole rooms are devoted to Rego and her startling installations featuring scary rag dolls and fallen women, as well as the figure paintings for which she is most famous.

Other highlights of the Giardini include the US pavilion featuring Simone Leigh’s massive sculptures of handsome slave women. There is also a fascinating series of what looks like room sets for a 1960s New Wave movie in the French pavilion, created by Zineb Sedira for her highly engaging Dreams Have No Titles Venture from the life-size bar to the living room, with its period movie posters, and the dressing room hung with a rail full of vintage dresses. This is a back-tothe-future fantasy ride that visitors are reluctant to leave behind.

The Giardini is never hard to tackle, thanks to a wealth of shade, seating, and refreshment points, but the Arsenale requires more stamina. I suggest making this stretch of galleries, which seems to extend nearly a mile from one end of an ancient naval building to the other, the first site of the day to tackle after a double macchiato.

The national pavilions showcasing the work of the artist picked to represent each country are now merely the bones of the experience; watch out for eye-popping work elsewhere that never had to go through jury selection.

Arespite from the endless halls, over which Simon Leigh’s tow ering, eyeless black female stands sentinel, comes from screening rooms that seduce with irresistible films and force a slowdown to take in the best. Not to be missed are the tales of love and loss filmed on the Mekong Delta by Vietnamese artist Thao Nguyen Phan. Her unlikely characters include local architectural motifs and the role played in marriage by the controversial durian fruit, famously said to taste like heaven but smell like hell. Don’t ask—just sit, rest your sore feet, take in the beautiful images, and dream of Vietnam and Cambodia through Phan’s lens.

Dreams are in plentiful supply across the lagoon at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the loveliest art museum in Venice—and perhaps the world—at any time of year. This year’s Surrealism and Magic exhi bition features many of the female artists showcased in the Giardini in greater depth and with arguably more engaging work. However, don’t miss the main gallery building for its exquisite wall of blue glass sculptures based on Picasso drawings, custom-made for Peggy by a local artisan. Like the museum’s lovely terrace, they overlook the Grand Canal and offer a welcome pause to reflect on the sheer joy of being in this most visual and haunting of European cities.

When it comes to where to stay and eat, the Cipriani family has dominated the Venice hospitality scene for close to a century. Arrigo “Harry” Cipriani, named after the restaurant founded by his father, is

Above: Building Bridges, located in the harbor, is one of 2022’s most inspiring works at the Venice Biennale.

Left: Visitors enjoying the Norwegian pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale, How Will We Live Together?

Top left: Wind down at Cip’s by Cipriani during your stay.

Photo by Simlinger/ Shutterstock Photo by Simone Padovani/Shutterstock Photo by Richard James Taylor, courtesy of Belmond
112 | OCTOBER 2022

still in attendance, at age ninety, every lunchtime at Harry’s Bar. Any trip to La Serenissima should start with one of their legendary Bellinis made with fresh peach juice. Of course, you can eat here, too, but the view is more special across the lagoon at Harry’s Dolci, which serves all the favorites from the family recipe book in a beautiful waterside setting.

Harry’s Dolci is on the island of Giudecca, down the road from the Cipriani—still the best five-star hotel in Venice, even though the founding family no longer owns it. It is part of the prestigious Belmond collection, so guests are in great hands. Even if you are not staying, don’t miss lunch at the hotel’s glori ous new alfresco seafood restaurant, Il Porticciolo—especially recommended for its raw plate and divine lemon sherbet served in a frozen shell. George Clooney is said to be a fan of the hotel’s bar, but for his stag night, he chose Da Ivo back in busy San Marco, which is accustomed to serving “picky” Americans. The decor of this tiny but perfectly formed trattoria is movie-set Italian, its service impeccable, and its langoustines and beefsteak alla fiorentina to die for. It’s possible to arrive and depart by gondola, given the restaurant’s romantic canal-side location.

Venice has hosted several five-star hotel openings this year, two particularly appropriate for Biennale-goers. The Radisson Palazzo Nani, an exquisite new conversion of a seventeenth-century home, sits on the atmospheric Cannaregio

Canal. It is opposite the Palazzo Manfrin, recently taken over by sculptor Anish Kapoor, who has packed the ancient house with mountains of red wax and piles of scarlet, black, and cobalt pigment, as well as his signature mirrored surfaces. More central is Ca’ di Dio, a luxe medieval monastery conversion behind the Arsenale vaporetto stop, ideally placed to walk to both of the main Biennale sites, with a sidewalk restaurant perfect for people-watching.

Remember that the Arsenale and Giardini are closed on Mondays, while the Guggenheim closes on Tuesdays. Plan a visit accordingly, as all three are unmissa ble—the stuff of memories to sustain the lover of fine art until fresh excitement returns to La Serenissima with the next beautiful Biennale in April 2024.

Learn more or plan your trip at and

When it comes to where to stay and eat, theCipriani family has dominated the Venice hospitality scene for close to a century.




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Bon appétit!


Visit to learn more. Photo by Sansho Scott, BFA Actress AnnaSophia Robb looked stunning in a Carolina Herrera gown at the second annual Fleuriste St~Germain paper flower shop-cum-craft cocktail bar pop-up in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood. Cultural tastemakers, celebrities, musicians, and industry innovators sipped on signature St~Germain elderflower liqueur cocktails concocted by paper floral designer Zoe Bradley and multihyphenate artist Jameel Mohammed. The whimsical paper flowers designed by Bradley, creative workshops, and live jazz performances and pottery by Mohammed were inspired by the current global flower shortage and sought to reimagine the joie de vivre of fresh florals.
Bon appétit!


Pavlova with poached rhubarb and pome granate-beet syrup Opposite: A beautiful rustic table design by Our Food Stories Photos © Our Food Stories, A Year with Our Food Stories, gestalten 2022
118 | OCTOBER 2022

Yeara with Our Food Stories

he holidays are fast approaching, and this year, international publishing house gestalten has teamed up with a renowned food-blogging sensation, Our Food Stories, to create an inclusive menu through its new coffee-table cookbook.

A Year with Our Food Stories is a gluten-free cookbook inspired by a love of local produce and the art of table setting. Delightful and surprising, these seasonal recipes will help you cook simple and delicious vegetarian meals that are best shared with family and friends. From cakes enjoyed in the scented breeze of high summer to warming meals served by the fire in winter, return to the rhythm of nature and cook your way through the year with Our Food Stories

Our Food Stories was founded over a decade ago by photographer Laura Muthesius and food stylist Nora Eisermann. Their cooking journey began when a lack of gluten-free cake offerings in Berlin led them to attempt to bake their own. Ten years on, they share their recipes and romantic inspiration for dining with a global audience. This is their first-ever cookbook. As they put it, their recipes being gluten-free is beside the point: “Everything should simply look and taste delicious.”

Visit to learn more or purchase your copy of A Year with Our Food Stories just in time for the holiday season!


Bon appétit!

Buckwheat waffles with guacamole and fried eggs Photo © Our Food Stories, A Year with Our Food Stories, gestalten 2022
120 | OCTOBER 2022

Buckwheat Waffles with Guacamole and Fried Egg

On the weekend, we love to get together with family or friends for a lovely, unhurried breakfast and inspiring conversations. These joyous and intimate meals keep us going all week long. With Nora’s family, we like to make these super yummy buckwheat waffles topped with guacamole and fried eggs—such a tasty and satisfying combination. If some of your guests have a sweet tooth, too, you can include a nice chocolate granola.


For the Buckwheat Waffles

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups (180 g) buckwheat flour

1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. (70 g) cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

3 1/2 oz. (100 g) unsalted butter, softened

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 scant cup (225 ml) cow’s milk or plant milk

(we use coconut milk)

Coconut oil (or butter) to grease Waffle maker

For the Guacamole

4 ripe avocados (1/2 avocado per waffle)

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 pinch of cayenne pepper

1 pinch of cumin

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of pepper

1 large red onion

2 cloves of garlic, pressed

1 2 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped

For the Fried Eggs

8 eggs

Butter, coconut oil, or vegetable oil for frying Salt and pepper


Make the guacamole. Mash the avocado flesh with a fork, stir in the lime (or lemon) juice, spices, salt, and pepper. Chop the onion finely and stir into the mashed avocado along with the pressed garlic and cilantro. Adjust salt and spices to taste.

Prepare the waffle batter. Mix together the buckwheat flour, cornstarch, and baking powder, and then sift the flour blend. Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites for 30 to 60 seconds. Put the egg yolks aside for later. Beat the butter with the sugar and salt for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the egg yolks one at a time. Next, alternately stir in the milk and the flour mixture by hand using a whisk, and then fold in the egg whites in 3 portions using a silicone spatula. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat and grease the waffle maker, pour in the batter, and cook the waffles one at a time. Fry the eggs in butter, margarine, or vegetable oil over medium heat, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve fried eggs immediately with the waffles and guacamole.

122 | OCTOBER 2022 Bon appétit!

Chef Jim Shirley DOES IT AGAIN


Families visiting Seaside, Florida, this year might have noticed a new little shack tucked between the crowd-favor ite Great Southern Café and the beloved Sundog Books and Central Square Records in the beach town’s main thoroughfare. But more than just a great new kid-friendly pit stop, The Chicken Shack represents a vision of Chef Jim Shirley to bring new flavor to the beach communities of 30-A.

“A huge influence on my career as a chef and restau rateur came from both of my grandmothers, who were the quintessential Southern cooks,” Chef Jim explains. “With The Chicken Shack, our goal is to make not only great traditional Southern fried chicken but also bring other chicken dishes from around the world to our guests. I’m always experi menting in the kitchen and get bored if I’m not coming up with new menu items, so our specials at The Chicken Shack will reflect a spin on chicken

dishes from all over—leading to our tagline for the restaurant, ‘Every Mama’s Chicken.’”

The Chicken Shack opened in the heart of the New Urbanism community in April of 2022 and has since racked up rave reviews from locals and tourists. Staple menu items include the sweet tea-brined fried chicken—breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and tenders— as well as a mouthwatering array of homemade sides, including loaded baked potato salad, deviled potato salad, brussels sprouts slaw, and sweet potato tots in addition to regular tater tots and fries. Chef Jim and the team at The Chicken Shack have also perfected their version of Southern fried chicken sandwiches and buttery chicken biscuits, which guests can also order “Carson-style” with candied bacon and jalapeños. Wings, burritos, and chicken salad round out the menu, while daily specials allow Jim and the kitchen staff to bring in those dishes from other cultures and house specials on a rotating basis.


Asweet-tea brine, rather than the traditional buttermilk, gives The Chicken Shack’s fried chicken a sweeter flavor, and the switch seems distinctly appropriate for the shack whose “parent” is the Great Southern Café. As the iconic Seaside destination is conveniently right next door and the flagship of Chef Jim Shirley’s restaurants, The Chicken Shack even offers the number-one Great Southern dish, Grits À Ya Ya, available with chicken or classic shrimp.

“We’re excited about continuing to refine and expand the menu at The Chicken Shack,” adds Madison Shirley, director of brand and storytelling for the family business. In addition to Great Southern Café and The Chicken Shack, the brand also encompasses The C-Bar, b.f.f., The Bay, North Beach Social, and Farm & Fire, all located in South Walton, Florida.

“This opportunity to put the ‘Jim Shirley’ twist on something as classic as fried chicken has been in the works for a while. As in all our restaurants, we’re commit ted to providing great-tasting menu items with the best quality ingredients and the most sustainable, efficient methods in the kitchen.”

She continues, “The Chicken Shack’s casual walk-up dining experience for the families and visitors in Seaside has also recently been enhanced with online order ing! Now our guests can create their order on our website and pick it up at their preferred time.”

The Chicken Shack is just one of several exciting developments for Chef Jim Shirley this year. He and his executive chef team are headed to the Big Apple with Visit South Walton to participate in Food Network’s fifteenth New York City Wine & Food Festival this October 13–17, where they’ll be cooking several dishes from Chef Jim’s restaurants. Great Southern Café was also recently named a winner of the 2022 Wine Spectator awards—its ninth year earning this distinction.

124 | OCTOBER 2022 Bon appétit!

The C-Bar is another new addition to the Chef Jim Shirley restaurant lineup, between The Chicken Shack and Great Southern Café. This upcycled shipping container plays host to a forty-seat bar focusing on craft cocktails, beer, and a great wine selection, in addition to offering the Great Southern dining menu to those seated at the bar. It joins the frozen-drink bar, b.f.f., located on Great Southern’s other side, in offering guests walk-up options so they can stroll through Seaside or hit the beach with their favorite beverages.

The menu and atmosphere at Farm & Fire, located on the Choctawhatchee Bay just south of the Highway 331 bridge, also got a revamp this year. The changes include the addition of the “boat bar,” a beautiful thirty-foot mahogany bar that was the centerpiece of the now-defunct 723 Whiskey Bravo in nearby Seagrove Beach. The bar, crafted by the master woodworkers at E. F. San Juan in Youngstown, Florida, was rescued by developer Lloyd Blue and repurposed as the new focal point in Farm & Fire’s main dining room.


There’s always something new hap pening at our restaurants,” Chef Jim expounds. “We’re looking forward to heading to New York to represent Florida and South Walton to a global audience and then coming home and continuing to offer our locals creative and delicious menu items and specialty cock tails as we head into the fall and winter seasons. We’re grateful to be part of so many family traditions in South Walton and to tell the story of Florida food through all our restaurants and events.”

Visit to learn more or order online, and head to to learn about all Chef Jim Shirley’s restaurants.

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Joseph Messer

Joseph Messer is the type of artist who understands how to break away from his own tendency towards perfectionism to create truly unique art.

tanding in turquoise, ankle-deep water at Grayton Beach, the 2022 Walton County Artist of the Year aims his camera down at the sugar-white sand where he’s laid out four photos of the sunset in South Walton. He snaps off shot after shot as saltwater and sand swirl over the printed photos.


After he finishes photographing the sun sets, he tears the photos apart and tapes them to another printed photo from a previous session that he has also digitally manipulated. Messer doesn’t leave a single scrap of paper or tape behind. Depending on the results, he might return to the beach with more photos from the day’s photo shoot to repeat the process.

The final result will be a fragmented col lage of sunset colors swirling with other beach scenes and blue painter’s tape.

“It’s a very process-based art,” he says with a chuckle. “I think about if I didn’t have a process that let me give up control, and just know that I have to go through the

steps and keep going and hopefully, something will turn out at the end of it. I think I’d just fiddle with everything to death, and it would take the fun and joy out of it.”

Messer is thrilled to be recognized as the Walton County Artist of the Year. He expresses that vulnerability is a big part of art, and recognition of this magnitude feels like a gift.

“Over the pandemic, I drew a lot of inspi ration from my surroundings,” he says. “Walking the beach in Seagrove, going to Grayton Beach State Park, being with my community, all of that went into my art. And being named Walton County Artist of the Year makes me feel that some of the wonder I saw in those things was seen and can continue to be seen by my community.”

Hurricane Katrina flooded his child hood home in Mississippi in 2005. Messer remembers using the experience in an art project at his elementary school where he was asked to tell his story from the storm.

128 | OCTOBER 2022

“I think it kind of stuck with me to make art in response to things you’re really strug gling through in life. And I went back to that in college where I took photos from that time in my life and started collaging them and working them and manipulating them through Photoshop and physical means,” he says. “I kind of made something beautiful out of these records of destruction and rubble. Painful things.”

Messer continues to use his unique process with collaging to work through his feelings and thoughts.

“For me, art is so important. It could make something really beautiful and amaz ing out of something awful,” he says.

The 26-year-old truly enjoys living and growing in an area that is populated by so many talented artists.

“There are so many galleries here,” he says. “I think it’s cool that you can walk into them and find people who are very interested in hearing about art and very interested in seeing the different ways we make it here.”

As a way to give back to the community and start a new career, Messer is working to get a teacher’s license so he can eventually teach high school art. He reflects that he didn’t enjoy art in high school because he didn’t yet understand that art could be anything that he imagined.

“After high school, I found that art could be a lot of things. And it doesn’t always have to do with perfect perspective, form or lines. I’d love to teach, whether it’s school, workshops or working with students after school. I’d like to introduce them to art that maybe they hadn’t been introduced to before,” he says.

He hopes to be able to inspire students to create art beyond what they might think is possible.

“I’m really thankful and very excited to get involved with the community,” he says. “I want to keep exploring all of the art possibilities that are here.”

To learn more and see some of his latest works, visit

VIEMAGAZINE.COM | 129 Diane Naylor Available at The Blue Giraffe 13123 E. Emerald Coast Pkwy, Inlet Beach, FL 32413 |

Solution on next page




Contemporary Scottish artist who painted White Canoe (2 words)

6 Medium’s perception, abbr.

8 View of Toledo painter (2 words)

10 Motif


Renaissance painter who painted The Wedding of the Virgin

15 “The Second Coming” poet from Ireland


Venetian school painter of Miracle of the Slave

20 Japanese neo-pop painter Yoshitomo _____, inspired by anime, manga, Disney, and punk rock


Backdrop to Jean-Francois Millet’s painting The Gleaners

24 Route 66 and others



French painter and sculptor whose work is associated with cubism, Dada, and conceptual art, Marcel _____

American landscape painter and expressionist of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Jane _____

27 Highlanders, e.g.



Renoir’s first name

2 Label


The Catcher in the ___ (novel)

4 “Give Peace a Chance” co-songwriter

Los Angeles museum




Cheerleader’s cry


First two names of a renowned Flemish artist from the seventeenth century (2 words)

13 Diarist heroine

14 He created the Vitruvian Man

17 Results


Twentieth-century realist painter, ____ Wyeth

Embraces a style, e.g.

Goddess of lyric poetry in Greek mythology

Site of the annual Nobel Peace Prize ceremony

The Last Word

Puzzle on previous page

Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.

“ ”

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Au revoir!


All aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express! For the first time, this Belmond train will offer one-night December excursions to Florence, Paris, Venice, and Vienna. It’s an enchanting option for those looking to experience the festive European season by way of a midnight-blue carriage. If that’s not intriguing enough, guests will enjoy luxurious private cabins and meals by acclaimed Chef Jean Imbert while gazing at the passing winter wonderlands. Bon voyage!

Visit to book your next adventure. Photo courtesy of Belmond
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with Laurie Hood

with Tracey Thomas

with Brittney Kelley

with Jordan Staggs

with Brook Stetler

with Zoltan


with Geoff Speyrer

with Nathan Alan Yoakum

Robbins & Shane Reynolds

with Alexis Miller

with Robert Davis



with Todd








with Brian Kelley
EPISODE 1: “RESCUE ME” ..................................................................................................
EPISODE 2: “VIE ADVENTURES, PART 1” ..........................................................................
EPISODE 3: “PIVOT WITH YOUR TRIBE” ...........................................................................
EPISODE 4: “VIE ADVENTURES, PART 2” ............................................................................
EPISODE 5: “LOVE THE REP” .............................................................................................
EPISODE 6: “FIT FOR LIFE” ......................................................................................
EPISODE 7: “LIFE IS A BATTLEFIELD” .................................................................................
EPISODE 10: “KEEPING THE ARTS ALIVE IN 2021” .................................................................
EPISODE 11: “THE GODFATHER OF NEW URBANISM” ..............................................................
EPISODE 12: “DANCING THROUGH FIRE” ..........................................................................
Danielle Torley EPISODE 13: “SUNSHINE STATE OF MIND” ............................................................................
EPISODE 14: “FEEDING A COMMUNITY” ...........................................................................
Tiffanie Nelson EPISODE 15: “FASHION, ART & MODERN DESIGN” ...............................................................
D. Reeves EPISODE 16: “CHASING WAVES” .........................................................................................
Jonah Allen EPISODE 17: “SOUL-FULL ART THAT HEALS” ....................................................................
Margaret Biggs EPISODE 18: “RACING TO THE FINISH LINE FOR A GOOD CAUSE” .......................................
Corcoran Reverie EPISODE 19: “A CHANGE-MAKER FOR GOOD” .....................................................................
Julian Lennon EPISODE 20: “A VERY MAGNETIC CHRISTMAS ALBUM” .........................................................
Morgan James EPISODE 21: “LOOKING TO THE STARS” ..............................................................................
Jane Poynter EPISODE 22: “ALL THINGS REAL ESTATE” ...............................................................................
Brad Reese EPISODE 23: “KEEP YOUR PLANTS ON” ........................................................................... with Lindsay Tobias EPISODE 24: “THE MAGIC OF TRANSFORMATION” ............................................ with Allyson Justice Longshore EPISODE 25: “THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME: THE SEASIDE STYLE ® ” ........................................... with Erica Pierce EPISODE 26: “THE MAN BEHIND THE CAMERA: A PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNEY” ................. with Chandler Williams EPISODE 27: “ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL” ................................................................. with Christian Siriano EPISODE 28: “A CREATIVE FORCE” .............................................................................. with Ashley Longshore EPISODE 29: “SURFING, LOVING LIFE, AND CHAMPIONING FOR GOOD” ................................ with Dave Rauschkolb WATCH OR LISTEN TO VIE SPEAKS | CONVERSATIONS WITH HEART & SOUL Listen on Spotify | Watch on YouTube | Subscribe on iTunes |


When old-world craft meets new-world technology, an unprecedented level of quality is birthed. At E. F. San Juan, the quality and long-term function of our woodwork are the keys to creating elements that will transform a house into your dream home.