VENU #47 SPRING 2022

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE

Issue_

47


ELITE ELEVATED EXCEPTIONAL A network of the nation’s top performing real estate strategists and analysts in coastal and waterfront communities nationwide.

Navigating From Harbor To Home SUSAN VANECH LIC. RE SALESPERSON M: 203.685.2348

ANGELA SWIFT LIC. RE SALESPERSON M: 203.253.5292

compass.com

Susan Vanech and Angela Swift are real estate licensees affiliated with Compass Connecticut, LLC, a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws.



Still Life with Watermelon, Oil on Canvas 36” x 38” Through the Window, oil on canvas, 28” x 22”

www.julieleff.com www.julieleff.com

203.434.8655 203.434.8655

julie@julieleff.com julie@julieleff.com



Spring Issue_47

80 SPOTLIGHT 12 Derby Day: The Sport of Kings and Queens

16 WineaPAWlooza: Best of Class Vintners Support Animals

20 Photographer Profile Sara Kerens

FEATURES

Stephanie Dillon, Sustainably Yours

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Unlock the Equity of Your Luxury Assets at Shutter Speed

66

Jesus Rojas: A Retrospective ON THE COVER IMAGINE, by Guy Stanley Philoche, featured on page 80 4

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

48

72

72

Behind the Camera with Ron Galella

80

Cover Story Guy Stanley Philoche For the Love of Art

90

Lucia Kaiser: Uncut, Unedited and Uncaged

Ron Galella

48


56

STYLE 44 Fashion 4 Development Sustainable Living is the New Fashion

Juan Carlos Ariano

PULSE 98 M usic Chrystabell x

Vital Neuro Explores the Spectrum of Frequency

APPETITE 24 The Golden Palate Palm

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Beach County -- Start Spreading the News.

25 Venü Vines The Results for the AFWC’s All Americas Competition

26 Venü Vines Honoring Michel Rolland

REAL ESTATE 30 Compass Let’s Get Phygital with Susan Vanech on Real Estate NFTs

66

16 28

DESIGN 34

allas Design Scene D Q&A with designer Brenda Houston

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andala Lab: An interactive M space where emotions can turn to wisdom CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Spring Issue_47

114

106

TRAVEL 106 Savannah A trip down Perry Lane

TRANSPORT 110 Yachting A Green Guide to Boating

WELL-BEING 113

rounding Bringing G Medical Advice Back Down to Earth

116

022 Global Wellness 2 Trends

VENÜGRAM 120

Spring by Meriç DağlI

IN EVERY ISSUE 8

Publisher’s Letter

10 Masthead

116

113 6

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


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Alex Katz, Margit, 1993, oil on canvas, 90x66 in., Courtesy of Marlborough, New York


What better way to herald spring than with a look at people who never fail to seize

PUBLISHER’S LETTER

found his voice. His is a story that gives us all permission to Imagine.

the day with that unbridled optimism and

Music to our ears is the soul-sooth-

fearlessness that nature herself embod-

ing therapy of Vital Neuro™, an innovative

ies. It doesn’t matter how harsh the winter

names, Jackie Kennedy, Marlon Brando, Liz

neurotech platform that integrates music,

or daunting the future, because for them for

Taylor, John Lennon, to name a few, doing

sound, and brain monitoring in real-time

each new season promises an inspiring new

ordinary things. There’s a name for photog-

to alleviate stress and anxiety. As you will

palette that is theirs for the making.

raphers like him, paparazzi, and it tends to

read in Kami Sloan’s interview, singer, and

Take Lucia Kaiser, a formidable force of

incite controversy whenever it’s used. But

actress Chrystabell teams up with the medi-

nature herself, whose life story reads like an

unlike the camera-toting stalkers the famous

tational brand to explore the spectrum of

adventure novel, part fantasy, part fairy tale,

love to hate, Ron Galella has legions of

frequency. Music is Chrystabell’s medicine,

all captivating and soon to be celebrated as

fans of his own, including many of the stars

and she is on a mission to share its comfort-

a TV series. Her curiosity took her around

whose photos are immortalized in his 22+

ing powers with the world. Her timing

the world, her charms opened doors and

books. And while his pictures are one-of-a-

couldn’t be better.

her courage created careers and connec-

kind treasures in themselves, it is his affable

Sustainability is a fashionable lifestyle

tions that belie the life-changing challenges

personality and innate passion for photogra-

choice for Founder of Fashion 4 Development,

she faced. And as you’ll read in our article,

phy that makes him one too.

Evie Evangelou, and to address the crucial

she can’t wait for her next chapter to unfold.

Our cover artist Guy Philoche expresses

threats of U.N.’s Climate Change report, she

his feelings in colors bold, bright and brim-

sparked a global campaign that pushes the

Photographer Ron Galella made a name

ming with insightful messages both nostal-

CODE RED Initiative, motivating individuals to

for himself by catching celebrities with big

gic and nuanced. Hailing from Haiti, raised

be more conscious in their daily practices of

in Connecticut and now rooted in New York,

what they eat and wear and teaching brands

Neither can we.

he followed his dream from illustrious art

how to adapt to healthier business practices.

schools to streets culturally illusive where he

Just what’s needed now to nurture Mother Nature in-order to sustain our future. We hope that as you read about our exceptional tasting dinner with legendary winemaker Michel Rolland, world-renowned for his unrivaled wine expertise, the rescue animals at the heart of Napa Valley’s beloved wine auction, WineaPAWlooza, Dr. Sinatra’s grounded health advice, Jesus Rojas’ visual language and the mind-blowing interactive architectural designs of the Mandala Lab at the Rubin Museum of Art, you’ll enjoy the shared optimism that defines this issue. Happy Spring!

Cover Story Guy Stanley Philoche Imagine, 2022 Mixed media on canvas 72 x 60 inches Cover story on page 80 8

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

Tracey Thomas Publisher/Editor-in-Chief


Since opening in the early '90s, BiCE Palm Beach was one of our first restaurants to open in the USA, and host to many generations of both American and international clients. Situated in Via BiCE on Worth Avenue, this location brings the creativity of “old style” of Milanese cooking to one of the finest resort cities in America.

Venü Magazine's kick-off to the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair and the Palm Beach International Boat Show TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2022 4:00-6:30 pm Join us for Cocktails and Hors d'Oeuvres RSVP TODAY call 561-835-1600 or email: bice-event@venumagazine.com

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At Literacy to Legacy Mentors, We Educate, Inspire, + Motivate People to Master Their Financial Lives + Live Prosperously at Any Age Through Personal Finance Education + Mentoring.

FILM & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Peter J. Fox EDITORIAL & MARKETING Lisa Mikulski DECORATIVE ARTS EDITOR Matthew Sturtevant LUXURY & LIFESTYLE STRATEGIST François Wolff Belizaire CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Fred Bollaci, Judy Chapman, Cindy Clarke, Diana DeLucia, Ivonne Gamboa, Maral Papakhiani, Robin Phillips, Megan Reilly, Kami Sloan PUBLISHING PARTNER Venu Media Company VP OF SALES DEVELOPMENT Camille Giacomazza NATIONAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lisa Stiehl SALES Susie Earls

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THE SMALL PRINT: No responsibility can be taken for the quality and accuracy of the reproductions, as this is dependent upon the artwork and material supplied. No responsibility can be taken for typographical errors. The publishers reserve the right to refuse and edit material as presented. All prices and specifications to advertise are subject to change without notice. The opinions in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Copyright VENÜ Magazine LLC, All rights reserved. The name VENÜ Magazine is copyright protected. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without written consent from the publisher. VENÜ Magazine does not accept responsibility for unsolicited material. This is a quarterly publication and we encourage the public, galleries, artists, designers, photographers, writers (calling all creative’s) to submit photos, features, drawings, etc., but we assume no responsibility for failure to publish submissions.


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SPOTLIGHT: Derby

Day

DERBY Day

The Sport of Kings…and Queens

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


By Robin H. Phillips | Photos by Stuart Walls / Woodstock Studio CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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SPOTLIGHT: Derby

Day

thoroughbred horses raced one and a half miles. While the high style of the Derby is something many of us are familiar with today, a horse race was not an event most American women would feel comfortable attending back in 1875. A typical upper-class American woman would most certainly have eschewed the drinking and gambling that normally takes place at a racetrack. Clark, knowing that European races were a spectacle designed to entertain both sexes and were an event for those in high society, set out with his wife’s help to entice women to join their husbands for the day. Their PR campaign invited Louisville ladies to come and picnic at the event. The key, though, was to announce that “full morning dress” was required – code for wearing their best fashion which included the finest in millinery. From then on, Derby was

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as much an event about fashion and style as it was about the nation’s finest race horses.

here are few sporting traditions

Like most other beloved American sport-

as steeped in history as the “Run

ing events, you don’t have to be physically

for the Roses,” aka the Kentucky

present at the race to watch, cheer, and

Derby, held at Churchill Downs in

celebrate it in style. Countless events happen

Louisville every May. And few sporting events

across the US every Derby day, from parties at

inspire such stylish, cultured and fashionable

hip bars and restaurants in Los Angeles, New

merry-making that Derby does. From the big

York, and Washington DC, to public tailgating

feathery and flowery hats to the sterling cups

events in affluent suburbs. One such Derby

filled with mint juleps, to the shiny colorful silks of the jockeys and the glistening coats of the ponies, this exciting race—lasting on average two minutes—is something millions of fans look forward to each year. The Kentucky Derby is an American classic—a tradition that began in 1875. The father of the event, Meriwether Lewis Clark, was the grandson of William Clark – of the famous explorer duo Lewis and Clark. In the 1870s, Clark visited Europe where he attended England’s Epsom Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris Longchamps. Blown away by

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

party much loved in its community takes place the pomp and circumstance of these events,

at Southport, Connecticut’s historic Pequot

Clark was inspired to create an American

Library. The Derby Party Fundraiser was

version to celebrate the “sport of kings.” With

started in 2009 by Graham Michener and his

the gift of land from his uncles John

wife, Jane. Southport residents, the Micheners

and Henry Churchill, and after

loved taking their kids to the Pequot library.

formally organizing a group

They were especially drawn to the grand

of local race aficionados

expanse of lawn that stretches out in front

comprising the Louisville

of the historic building designed by noted

Jockey Club, Clark and the

American architect Robert H. Robertson. “We

Club raised funds to build

noticed that this was an underutilized great

a permanent racetrack in

lawn,” explains Jane Michener. “We envi-

Louisville, Kentucky. On May

sioned a festive, fun Derby Day Party which

17th, 1875, the racetrack gates

would be both a “friendraiser” as well as a

opened to the very first Kentucky

fundraiser.” Graham was a board member of

Derby. While a cheering crowd of about

the library, and together with staff and volun-

10,000 looked on, fifteen three-year-old

teers there, they created the first Derby Party


Photo by_Daren Whitaker

Five Derby Deets

(YOU MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW)

1

The Kentucky Derby trophy is made of 14

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The Derby is called 'The Run for the Roses'

karat gold and stands on a jade base. It’s 22

inches tall and weighs 3.5 pounds.

because the winner is awarded a blanket

(that weighs about 40 pounds!) sewn with over 400 roses post-race.

3

Almost 120,000 mint juleps are served every year. That many drinks requires 1,000

pounds of fresh mint, 60,000 pounds of ice,

and 10,000 bottles of bourbon.

4

As one of the most prestigious venues at Churchill Downs, Millionaire’s Row boasts

one of the best vantage points at the track. For the 148th Kentucky Derby packages start at $799.

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If you attend, you might see Kim Kardashian, Tom Brady, a former US President or some-

one from the British Royal family. Famous folks love the Derby!

BONUS FACT: If all deadlines are met, it costs over $50,000 to enter the race.

event. The tradition continues today – and

auditorium to watch on the big screen. Since

Please visit www.pequotlibrary.org to learn

this year marks its post-pandemic return.

no one wants the fun to end, there is even

more about this vibrant library, educational,

“After a two-year hiatus, we are thrilled

an after party with a DJ and dancing. It’s a

arts and cultural institution. For information:

to be hosting our Derby Day fundraiser on

celebration of community, fashion, and the

(203) 259-0346 ext. 115. Follow Pequot Library

May 7 ,” says Stephanie Coakley, executive

magic of this historic race. ☐

on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

th

director of Pequot Library. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and it is evident that Pequot Library’s patrons and friends are very much looking forward to supporting the Library at this trademark annual event.” Pequot’s Derby party is quite a sight to behold and the event sells out fast. The festivities start with tailgaters parking their cars in a horseshoe pattern on the Great Lawn, with elaborately decorated and themed trunks facing the library. Tailgaters and individual ticket holders stream into the event, donning their dramatic hats and stylish Spring apparel as they mingle with other guests, enjoy drinks in the spirit of the day, and delicious local cuisine. A few minutes before the race, everyone convenes in the CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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SPOTLIGHT: WineaPAWlooza

N A PA VA L L E Y ’ S B E LO V E D W I N E AU C T I O N ,

WineaPAWlooza Returns In-Person: Best of Class Vintners Support Animals with Luxury Lifestyle Auction Lot

W

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By Maral Papakhian

hat does an animal parade, cult

in-person, June 2022, supporting Jameson

Compared to the likes of well-known Destin

wines like Scarecrow, Harlan, and

Humane, the Bay Area’s beloved domestic

Charity Auction, Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s

Tusk, and a two-day gathering of

animal rescue and sanctuary. This extremely

Carnivale du Vin in New Orleans, and the High

the industry’s leading minds and talents all for

limited capacity, grand lifestyle event sup-

Museum Wine Auction in Atlanta, WineaPAW-

the sake of animal welfare have in common?

ported by the wine world’s elite and attended

looza raises between $1M-$2M annually to

It can only be WineaPAWlooza! Napa Valley’s

by serious collectors nationwide has become

support Jameson Humane and is ranked

favorite cult wine auction since 2014 returns

the star auction of Napa, Sonoma, and beyond.

within the top 10 wine auctions in the nation.

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


“Because of WineaPAWlooza, which has raised $9M since 2014, Jameson has been able to help thousands of animals and their humans in our community and beyond through vital programs that work across the inextricable web between animal welfare, our community, and the environment.”

Crenn, alongside some of the brightest stars in Napa, like Jaime Araujo, Hugh Davies, Amanda Harlan, Alycia and Angelina Mondavi, Will Phelps and Elizabeth Neumann, Samantha Rudd, and Anthony and Suzanne Truchard; private weekends with Superbowl Champions and world-renowned athletes; your very own barrel of wine crafted by wine-

O

maker superstars like, Russell Bevan; and ne would be hard-pressed to find a more appealing combination:

Monica & David Stevens

large formats of the impossible to acquire, Screaming Eagle, to name a few.

animals and wine. When gorgeous

The two-day event kicks off in June 2022

rescue animals are the stars of the show

with an exciting and thought-provoking con-

alongside unattainable cult classics from the

versation between wildly successful business

likes of Philippe Melka, Russell Bevan, Heidi

innovators in the food sector and pioneers

Barrett, Helen Keplinger, Andy Erickson, Aaron Pott, Thomas Rivers Brown, Jesse Katz, and more, it is not difficult to see why WineaPAWlooza has become the darling of premiere wine auctions. Auction lots in years past included trips to France visiting old-world bucket list estates like Leflaive, Dujac, Roumier, Bonneau du Martray, Roulot, Lafon-Rochet, Lafarge, Comte de Vogüé, and even Domaine de la Romanée-Conti; dinners by Michelin-starred chefs like Dominique CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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SPOTLIGHT: WineaPAWlooza

and leaders in sustainable technology and practices in the wine industry, all atop the revered and premiere AVA of Pritchard Hill overlooking sweeping views of the beautiful Napa Valley below. Founder, Monica Stevens, speaks to this kickoff event as crucial to Jameson’s mission, “because of WineaPAWlooza, which has raised $9M since 2014, Jameson has been able to help thousands of animals and their humans in our community and beyond through vital programs that work across the inextricable web between animal welfare, our community, and the environment. Our work and our goals are more than simply

Creamery, and wine industry leaders in sus-

rescuing animals. The kickoff Evening in Con-

tainable innovation like, Carlo Mondavi of the

versation is an essential piece of the puzzle

electric Monarch Tractor.

for Jameson. We aim to spread awareness

than just a party with delicious wines and

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plant-based foods - we want to take our mis-

famous Beckstoffer Farm Center in Napa.

sion to the next level and champion solutions

Guests revel in the opportunity to meet and

to the most critical issues facing our local and

mingle with 50 of Napa and Sonoma’s most

global communities - to inspire that not only

celebrated vintners and winemakers who

are we (the Napa and Sonoma Valleys) world-

attend the event to hand-pour their special

lass in wines and hospitality, but we are world

and reserve wines for the evening. You will

class in innovation and compassion as well.”

be hard-pressed to find many auctions that

The Evening in Conversation is a 90-minute

enlist, and in fact require, the attendance of

panel discussion with innovators in the food

the cult winemakers, vintners, and proprietors

system such as Petaluma-based Miyoko’s

to pour the likes of their largely unattainable

and education and provide real solutions to our climate crisis, including the people and animals affected. It is essential to have more

he second half of the weekend, and perhaps most anticipated, is the Grand Tasting, Animal Parade,

and Wine Auction, all taking place at the

“Jameson Humane’s evolution and the way our community responds to wildfires is still in process, which is why disaster preparation, response, and recovery programs continue to lie at the heart of Jameson’s animal welfare work.”

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


wines – no general winery staff permitted

animal welfare work. Six years and seven

to represent at this highly exclusive event!

disasters later, we stand committed to forging

Following the Grand Tasting, guests are trans-

a new path for the disaster preparedness,

ported to the Wine Auction via Animal Parade,

safety, and education of humans on behalf

as they delight in the wholesome and inadver-

of our beloved animals in the region,” says

tently often hilarious parade as ambassador

Stevens. In addition to the live auction lots, a

animals from Jameson Humane’s sanctuary

selection of e-lots will be available just prior to

march the guests from the Grand Tasting to

the weekend’s events for both ticket holders

the glamorous Wine Auction. The event of

and non-ticket holders to access.

the weekend is hosted by world-renowned

W

Auctioneer and personality, Fritz Hatton, who is sure to get those paddles flying with his high energy callouts complete with fun cos-

ineaPAWlooza provides Jameson Humane the opportunity to tackle issues on a larger scale, not only

• A 7-day per week Helpline to assist those

tume changes throughout the evening. The

limited to disaster relief and preparedness

in need with a variety of requests.

Auction event showcases delicious locally

and local animal rescue needs for the Bay

• Senior Citizen Pet Wellness Program

sourced, plant-based food and free-flowing

Area community. “Case in point: when

maintaining activity and care for seniors’

premium wine from the vintners in attendance.

COVID-19 hit, Jameson Humane kicked

companion animals.

Of course, no party would be started off right

into high gear, providing those in 26 states

• Community Animal Assistance Program

without a glass or two of bubbles – only the

tens of thousands of pounds of food at no

(CAAP) ensuring animals and humans are

best for WineaPAWlooza guests! Wear your

cost, helping save hundreds of animals from

able to stay together through subsidized

wine country finest, enjoy a photograph with

starving or being surrendered or abandoned.

medical care, food, behavioral training,

a rescue animal on the red carpet, and bid to

This need led to the creation of an adjunct

landlord deposits, and more.

win an incredible lot to remember for a lifetime!

program: Napa Valley’s first Community Pet

• Temporary housing and animal care assis-

Tickets for WineaPAWlooza are $2,000

Pantry and Disaster Supply Program, which

tance for those fleeing domestic violence or

for the weekend’s events. This lifestyle

plays a crucial role in ensuring animal needs,

experiencing housing insecurity.

wine auction has extremely limited capacity

like food and supplies, are met year-round,

• Pet Pantry and Disaster Supply Program

and includes ~15 of the most exciting and

disaster or not,” says Stevens.

developed during the wildfires and COVID-

B

19 pandemic to provide free pet food for

never-before-seen auction lots including the final Fund-A-Need lot which benefits an organization in need selected by Jameson, or a dedicated Jameson project or program. Last year’s Fund-A-Need raised $300,000 and

ecause of funds raised during

families who are unable to provide for their

WineaPAWlooza and throughout the

animal companions.

year, Jameson can provide:

• Spay/Neuter Assistance program for guardians who need monetary assistance.

was split between the Napa, Sonoma, and

• Disaster and wildfire response for the

Solano Community Animal Response Teams

Bay Area, including partnerships with law

(CARTs) and the Napa Community Emergency

enforcement, fire fighters, first responders,

Response Team’s (CERT) to ensure Fireline

the Community Animal Response Teams

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and

(CARTs), and the Community Emergency

ASAR (Animal Search and Rescue) supplies

Response Team (CERT). ☐

are available for frontline responders to help animals when they need it the most, particu-

Those seeking access to this annual

larly during the life-threatening fires that have

beloved Wine Auction, to view additional

plagued California during the past several

e-lots in advance of and during the

years. “Jameson Humane’s evolution and the

auction, for proxy bidding, or for more

way our community responds to wildfires is

information, should visit: JamesonHumane.

still in process, which is why disaster prepa-

org/2022-wineapawlooza or contact

ration, response, and recovery programs

Arwen Gallenkamp at:

continue to lie at the heart of Jameson’s

Arwen@JamesonHumane.org CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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PROFILES: Photograhper

Sara Kerens

Sara is a visual storyteller, with an eye for people, a heart for social justice, and a responsibility to document the world around her in an honest way. BY ROBIN PHILLIPS

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


1. Train arriving in Austria from Slovenia with refugees seeking asylum 2. Fashion Editorial for Platformme Magazine 3. Christian Siriano Bridal shoot 4. Yes Way Rosé book

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hotographer Sara Kerens was that kid in college who always had a camera around her neck. She liked to document

and find meaning in seemingly mundane life. She realized early that photographing people made them feel visible and gave them a voice.

5. Fashion editorial for Selvedge Magazine on location in the Amalfi Coast 6. Backstage for Christiain Siriano in the fall of 2020

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To this day, she loves sharing people’s stories through her photography. A native of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, she spent time throughout the state as well as England before planting roots in New York City. Her passion is capturing the human experience – and she is equally stirred by fashion, travel, commercial, and documentary work.

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As a visual storyteller, she has photographed iconic figures such as Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher, Coco Rocha, Cardi B, Lil Wayne, Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, Fabien Cousteau, and Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng. Long-form projects are particularly meaningful for Sara. Collaborating with her Syrian CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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PROFILES: Photograhper

1 friend Majd, she traveled through Turkey and Europe, inspired by him and current events,

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to document and tell the stories of refugees escaping traumatic events in their homeland. Her book Displaced focused on the individuals and lives behind the unfolding tragedy. The International Center of Photography (ICP) nominated Displaced for its prestigious Infinity Award, and selected it for a month-long installation in NYC. A versatile artist, Sara partnered with Yes Way Rosé on many of its projects and the company’s first lifestyle book. She also enjoys working on local and national projects with brands like American Express and TikTok.

1. Shot during fittings for Christian Siriano 2. Backstage for Christian Siriano FW22 3. Refugees landing during a storm on the shore in Skala Sykaminias, Lesvos in Greece. 4. TOME lookbook for Vogue 5. Fashion editorial for Solstice Magazine

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For the past ten years, Sara has been one of designer Christian Siriano’s go-to photographers. After a brief but kismet meeting in a Dallas Neiman Marcus, Sara began working for Siriano and since then, she has photographed his shows and collections. Not one to shy away from a little chaos, she has captured some of the behind-the-scenes beauty that happens backstage at New York, London, and Paris Fashion Week. Her work has been featured in several top publications worldwide. No matter the subject, Sara’s work seeks to develop understanding and connection through the common humanity in all of us. ☐ @sarakerens 22

www.sarakerens.com

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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RESEARCH. EDUCATE. PROTECT AND RESTORE.

A Green Guide to

BOATING

BECOME A GREEN BOATER Scan the QR code and download CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE ‘A Green Guide to Boating’

16


APPETITE

By Fred Bollaci

“Start Spreading the News”

Palm Beach County’s Sizzling Hot Restaurant Scene Welcomes Many New York Notables

Increasingly a winter, and year-round playground for New Yorkers and the international “Who’s Who,” Palm Beach has welcomed several legendary New York restaurants. Le Bilboquet, affectionately called “Bilbo’s” debuted on Worth Avenue, bringing beautiful food to its beautiful patrons (don’t miss the Cajun Chicken Salad). La Goulue, another Upper East Side favorite, serves classic French bistro fare. Almond, a favorite in Bridgehampton and Manhattan, opened on the North End, joining Sant Ambroeus, the gorgeous café, and ristorante with sibs in New York and Milano. Swifty’s, another UES landmark, also moved south, now poolside at the stylish Colony Hotel. LoLa 41 and the chic new White Elephant Hotel bring a touch of Nantucket glamor. Longtime island favorite Trevini, relocated two blocks east on Sunset Ave to a beautiful new space, still featuring excellent Italian and Gianni’s gracious hospitality! In West Palm Beach, The Ben, part of the Autograph Collection, is THE place to stay and play! It doesn’t get more convenient or comfortable with a beautifully featured rooftop pool, two full-service restaurants, Spruzzo on the rooftop, and Proper Grit adjacent to the stunning lobby downstairs. Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, steps from the Palm Beach International Boat Show site, The Ben pays homage to Old Palm Beach with a hint of Italian sophistication. Other recent additions to West Palm include RH Rooftop, a dramatic space with stylish American cuisine atop Restoration Hardware’s flagship store. Grandview Market, located not far from the Norton Museum, is a popular new food hall. If you haven’t visited the Norton in the last few years, it underwent an extensive renovation and now features a lovely restaurant. 1: Peach Melba, Le Bilboquet 2: Burger at Swifty’s at The Colony

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3

3: Bucatini Amatriciana, Santucci, 4: Prime Porterhouse Steak, Avalon, 5: Pasta with Beurre Blanc and Caviar, Sant Ambroeus

Now for a quick visit to some old and new favorites. Nothing beats drinks or bites at the Square Grouper overlooking the famed lighthouse and inlet in Jupiter. The Woods (owned by Tiger) and Guanabanas are also fun. La Masseria in Palm Beach Gardens has its roots in NYC and Rhode Island, where people know a few things about Italian food! In West Palm, we love Avocado Grille for cocktails and tapas. Zuccarelli’s has the best NY pizza and Italian (everything is made from scratch). The Regional by Lindsay Autry (Top Chef and James Beard nominee) features elevated Southern cuisine. Ristorante Santucci is a hip, Sicilian-inspired spot near Rosemary Square. In Lake Worth and Boynton Beach, the area’s best Greek is Chris’ Taverna. Real Wok serves the best dim sum in Palm Beach County. For great Detroit-style pizza, go to Pizza Panz—think Sicilian with a crunchy, cheesy edge! In Delray Beach, the Delray Market is an expansive food hall with something for everyone in a gleaming contemporary space. Avalon Steak & Seafood by NYC’s Host Restaurant Group brings beautiful, upscale steakhouse meets beach cuisine to Atlantic Avenue. Lionfish (sustainable seafood), Hawkers (Asian), and Amar (Lebanese) are all new

For more information about Fred Bollaci Enterprises, visit: www.fredbollacienterprises.com 24

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

5

additions worth checking out, which join a long list of favorites including Tramonti, Dada, Cut 432, and Caffé Luna Rosa. For your New York Deli fix, visit 3G’s in Delray and Ben’s Kosher Deli in Boca. In Boca Raton, seafood lovers will kvell over Copperfish (from Maryland) and Luff’s Fish House. Francophiles will adore La Nouvelle Maison (contemporary French), Kathy’s Gazebo Café (Old World French Continental), and Côte France (best pastries). Tucci’s is my favorite coal fired pizza! A Farmer’s Table can’t be beat for the area’s best farm-to-table restaurant (Boca and North Palm), and Fries to Caviar gives everyone something to toast to! “The Boca Raton” (FKA Boca Raton Resort & Club) is undergoing a massive makeover, and is bringing in an exciting array of new restaurant concepts by NYC’s Major Food Group (Carbone, Parm) which will be available exclusively to resort guests and members (Flamingo Grill and Sadelle’s among the first to debut). Gallagher’s, another NYC landmark is set to open in Boca in 2022! These exciting developments should put to rest any doubt South Florida is indeed “The Sixth Borough” of New York. Start spreading the news and bon appetit! ☐


VENÜ VINES: AFWC

Best Wines of the Americas The Results are in for the AFWC’s All Americas Competition BY FRED BOLLACI

Best of Show Sparkling: N/V Breathless, Late Disgorged Brut, Russian River ($59) White: 2019 Bee Hunter Semillon, Anderson Valley ($42) Red: 2019 Silver Spur, Aglianico, Comanche County, TX ($59) Dessert: 2019 Ferrante Vidal Blanc, Ice Wine, Grand River Valley, Ohio ($30)

The event took place at FIU Chaplin School of

Best of Class

Hospitality & Tourism Management in Miami on January 15th, 2022. Over 250 wines were

Cabernet Franc: 2016 The Winery SF, North Coast ($40)

evaluated and judged by five, four-member panels of industry professionals including

Cabernet Sauvignon: 2018 Ehret Family, Hillside Reserve, Knights Valley ($115)

educators, distributors, retailers, journalists, restaurateurs, and sommeliers. Star judges

Chardonnay: 2019 Bee Hunter, Anderson Valley ($60)

including writer Peg San Filippo, sommelier Jenn Schmitt, educator and reviewer Ray Sholes, restaurateur Angelo Romano, writer

Dessert: 2019 Ferrante Vidal Blanc, Ice Wine, Grand River Valley, OH ($30)

Sunny Fraser, sommelier Ervin Machado,

Fruit Wines: Barefoot Fruitscato Mango ($7)

and Sara and Monty Preiser, publishers of “The Preiser Key ” and vintners (Shadowbox

Ervin D Machado, Shari Gherman, Daniel Gonzalez

Cellars in Napa). All spend hundreds of hours each year evaluating wines. According to

front of the wine-loving public. Currently the

Shari Gherman, certified sommelier and

AFWC runs three contests: All Americas (these

president of the AFWC “Panels of inde-

are the results of it) The Invitational, and THE

pendent judges who taste wine, as these

Rosé Competition. Since inception, the AFWC

people do, are able to arrive at non-biased

has donated more than $1.1 million to multiple

conclusions that benefit the consumer and

charities. Venü Magazine has been a proud

the entire industry,” citing the Texas winner

media partner of the AFWC since 2015. Along

as an example. “Silver Spur is a small winery

with Shari Gherman, we cordially invite you

in a state not known for top wines, but it won

to attend AFWC’s many charitable food and

Best of Class for ‘Other Single Red

wine events that take place throughout the

Varietal’ AND Best of Show Red.

year from Palm Beach to Miami-

You can bet that it would not have

Dade Counties. Attendees have

won either but for blind tasting.”

the opportunity to enjoy hundreds

The results yielded a number of

of excellent wines that were part

exciting and a° ordable options.

of the competitions. It’s a fantastic

Judge Monty Preiser said “Each

way to expand your wine knowl-

of these winners is special, and

edge and palate, as well as

fairly priced. The consumer

network and meet other wine

should run to find them.” The

lovers in South Florida. Cheers

full results are on the AFWC

to your good health!

website: americanfinewinecom-

For more information about the

petition.org

American Fine Wine Competi-

The AFWC began in 2007,

tion, upcoming events, and full

determined to find small, inde-

competition results, please

pendent wineries, find the best

visit:

they produce, and help get their name in

www.AmericanFineWineCompetition.org

Merlot: 2018 Ehret Family, Bavarian Lion Vineyard, Knights Valley ($55) Other White Single Varietal: 2019 Bee Hunter Semillon, Anderson Valley ($42) Other Red Single Varietal: 2019 Silver Spur, Aglianico, Comanche County, TX ($59) Petite Sirah: 2019 Bricoleur, Kick Ranch, Fountaingrove District, Sonoma ($55) Pinot Noir: 2019 Papapietro Perry, Pommard Clones, Russian River Valley, Runner up Best of Show ($80) Red Blend: 2019 Zina Hyde Cunningham, Redwood Valley, Zin & Petite Sirah ($48) Red Bordeaux Style Blend: 2016 The Winery SF, BDX, North Coast ($50) Riesling: 2020 Winery at Black Star Farms, Arcturos, Dry Riesling, MI ($17) Sake: Yomi, Junmai Ginjo- The Afterlife, NV, Oregon ($18) Sauvignon Blanc: 2020 Okapi, Napa Valley ($30) Sparkling: N/V Breathless, Late Disgorged Brut, Russian River ($59) Syrah: 2018 VIE, Canihan Vineyards, Sonoma ($45) White Blend: 2018 ONX Estate, Field Day, Paso Robles, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, & Grenache Blanc ($20) Zinfandel: 2020 Ehret Family, Knights Valley, Sonoma ($60) CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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VENÜ VINES: Michel

Rolland

The “Traditions in Wine Excellence Award” Dinner

HONORING

Photos by Michael J. Fiedler

Michel Rolland By Diana DeLucia

Michel Rolland and Fernando Silva

I 26

n the Fall of 2021, members and guests

were treated to a charcuterie and French

Liu, guest sommelier, presented Wines and

from the renowned GlenArbor Golf

Cheese Board followed by passed Hors

Champagne including Gosset, Champagne

Club in Bedford Hills, New York, arrived

d’ouevres including Foie gras and Duck

Brut, Grande Reserve, NV France; Yacochuya,

at an exquisitely decorated dining

Toast, Duxelles Chevre Stuffed Goug-

Torrontes, Salta, Argentina 2020; Mariflor,

room and patio that overlooks the 18th

ers’, Baby Lamb Chops, Tuna Tartare

Malbec, Uco Valley, Argentina 2017; Chateau

green in fall splendor on the valley below

Spoons, and Brandade Croquettes with

Malescot, St Exupéry, Margaux, Bordeaux,

the expansive Mark Finley designed,

Saffron Garlic Aioli prepared by Michael

France 2016; and Château Fontenil, Fronsac,

30,000 square foot clubhouse. Guests

Ruggiero, Executive Chef, and his team. Wei

Bordeaux, France 2015.

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


“The Michel Rolland and GlenArbor Golf Club Dinner collaboration was bliss for the senses and intellect. Bravo to the GlenArbor team for the exceptionally smooth execution of this highly anticipated dinner. Presently, due to travel restrictions, having a non-U.S.-based Winemaker at dinner is extremely rare. However, having a legendary Winemaker such as Michel Rolland at dinner is an entirely next-level honor. As a long-time wine lover and member of the Wine and Spirit business, sitting, sipping, and speaking to Monsieur Rolland has been such a career highlight.” ­­­–Wei-Liu The agenda of the evening was to celebrate the fourth “Traditions in Wine Excellence Award’ honoree, Mr. Michel Rolland. Silva kicks off the schedule with a heartfelt speech honoring Mr. Rolland. “The Traditions in Wine Excellence Award has reached a new height, with the exclusive and unique presentation to the most prestigious consultant winemaker in the world, Mr. Michel Rolland, at GlenArbor Golf Club on October 15th. I appreciate the continuous support and entrepreneurial vision of the Gregory’s and the staff of GlenArbor Golf Club.

“To be honored is always a great pleasure. Life is lovely when we are in a beautiful place like GlenArbor Golf Club, with charming people, wine lovers, and a chef creating exquisite cuisine. Thank you, Fernando, for presenting our tasting of beautiful wines. ​ Congratulations GlenArbor!”

Wei Lui and Jessica Perez

Since its creation, The Traditions in Wine Excellence Award at GlenArbor has brought a new and refreshing concept to the wine tastings events, with creativity, vibrancy, and exclusive special guests from around the world!” –Fernando Silva. The French dinner began with a classical bread service followed by the first course which was a Poached Sea Bass with Dill Tomato Broth, Potato Fennel and Rouille, paired with Mariflor, Sauvignon Blanc, Mendoza, Argentina, 2019; the second a Short Rib Bourguignon with Fall Vegetables and Braising Liquid Reduction paired with MR, Michel Rolland, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California 2016. After the second course, Rolland, who was uncharacteristically vocal, shared his life’s stories from his beloved industry which spans CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

27


VENÜ VINES: Michel

Rolland

Fernando Silva, Wei Liu, Michel Rolland

Virginie Rolland, Diana DeLucia and Agnieszka (Agnes) Florek

over 40 years.

28

Matthew Sturtevant and Tracey Thomas

Congratulations GlenArbor!” –Michel Rolland.

“To be honored is always a great plea-

Attending this event was one of the few

sure. Life is lovely when we are in a beautiful

times I was present as a guest and specta-

Director seamlessly worked with his team to ensure that communication between the dining floor and the kitchen is seamless.

place like GlenArbor Golf Club, with charm-

tor, and I witnessed Silva at his finest as he

At that moment, the details that accom-

ing people, wine lovers, and a chef creat-

addressed the room with artistic flair and

pany the planning of this and other events

ing exquisite cuisine. Thank you, Fernando,

historical tales of each wine’s journey to

occurred to me. There is more to the evening

for presenting our tasting of beautiful wines.​

the table. Charl Marais, Food and Beverage

than the Food and Beverage team. A promi-

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


nent fixture of the evening’s success lies with Jessica Perez, Director of Concierge and Assistant Director of Events. “It has been an honor to be a member of the GlenArbor team since 2015 and see our Traditions in Wine Excellence Award Dinner grow for the last four years. Fernando Silva, GlenArbor’s Wine Director, and Sommelier, never fails to raise the bar for our membership and elevate our wine program. Thanks to his efforts, some of the world’s top wine connoisseurs have graced us with their presence. I am proud to say I have had the privilege to meet people such as Laurent Drouhin, Jean-Charles Boisset, and the recipient of the 2021 Award Michel Rolland. For everyone who attended and serviced this unforgettable evening, I am sure you will forever cherish it as I will. My contribution to such events is to plan and help execute to the standard our members are accustomed to and

As the conversations and bonds grew

manage their reservation and seating needs.

during the evening, Marisa Hernandez,

truffles followed.

Creating eye-catching yet simple touches in

Executive Pastry Chef, served Classic Prof-

décor and printed materials is what I am all

iterole, Praline Crème, Salted Caramel,

about! Together the entire Food & Beverage

Plum Compote paired with Château Lafau-

Past Honorees:

and Culinary Team make each time a success.

rie, Peyraguey, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France

2018 - Laurent Drouhin, Maison Joseph

Specials Guest Wei Liu is always a pleasure to

1997 followed by a much appreciated speech

Drouhin

be around and is full of knowledge and sophis-

by Ruggiero and a standing ovation for

2019 - Jean-Charles Boisset, JC Collection

tication.” –Jessica Perez

his culinary team. Coffee and house-made

2020 - Sir Nick Faldo.

Many thanks to all that attended this event. ☐

Fernando Silva and Michel Rolland

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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REAL ESTATE: NFT

30

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


Let’s Get

Phygital Imagine you are thinking about a home purchase in 1996. Simultaneously, you’ve been hearing about this new thing called the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Y

ou don’t pay much attention to the constant drip of stories, but eventually you realize it isn’t going away and you should understand what the Internet is and how it’s relevant to your world.

Fast forward 26 years and we are on the cusp of another revolution. You’ve been hearing about cryptocurrency, bitcoin, NFTs, crypto mining, and

even virtual real estate. What is all this stu˜ and how will it change your life? Rich Hopen, of COMPASS, expressed these thoughts directly with the COMPASS community and in his Crypto News for Realtors newsletter. COMPASS principal agent, Susan Vanech, shared with Rich that she was the first real estate agent to list a home in Connecticut for cryptocurrency in 2017 and is now the only agent in Connecticut to list a home with an NFT attached. Rich reached out to Susan as he leads the COMPASS crypto and real estate group that explores, educates and informs agents about the crypto world. Rich was curious why Susan chose to have digital art created as an NFT and included in the sale of a physical property. “I was inspired by the conversations

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

31


REAL ESTATE: NFT

see a resurgence of interest and requests to tour the home, but ultimately, the buyer will purchase the home using US Dollars with the NFT ownership transferred as well. This will be Connecticut’s first Phygital real estate transaction! To learn more about creative marketing solutions or to share your NFT and real estate happening at Art Basel in Miami among art-

stories please contact Susan Vanech, she

ists, tech geeks, family o˛ ces and even the

continues to be curious!

cannabis world. There was such a variety of audiences and participants that it felt impossi-

Susan Vanech, Real Estate Strategist

ble to ignore the potential crossover of NFT’s

Team SVP

into real estate,” Susan shared. “Days later

203-685-2348

I sat with my 17-year-old son and asked him

SVP@compass.com

to teach me everything he knew about NFT’s and how he could imagine integration into what I do in real estate as an investor as well as a strategist for sellers and buyers in unique markets.”

Susan was most fascinated by the concept of the Phygital world. At the art show, she saw the digital art of a jacket created in memory of Kobe Bryant. Steps away, the physical jacket was displayed on a mannequin. Susan’s first thought was to bring some digital art as NFT’s into homes as staging but she knew there was more that could be exciting to explore. After collaborating with her son, they engaged a digital artist to create a piece of art that is essentially a 3D digital rendition of the home, had it “minted” and listed it for purchase using Ethereum. Rich is curious to know if the home will draw a new audience based on this unique exposure. Susan shares the home did in fact

32

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


Photo by Brian Spurr @bespurr

s t e el p o i n t e b o a t s h o w s . c o m | @ s t e el p o i n t e b o a t s h o w s CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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DESIGNER: Brenda

Houston

Dallas Design Scene Q&A WITH DESIGNER BRENDA HOUSTON

34

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

By Megan Reilly


B

renda Houston has long been captivated by the allure of gemstones, crystals and min-

never seen before. Dallas is finally coming

erals. She gives these exquisite materials pride of place in her opulent tables, lighting,

into its’ own, and we are able to keep and

decorative accessories and wallcoverings. What makes Brenda’s work so unique is the

encourage great designers to stay in Big D!

nature of these one-of-a-kind materials, and the way she crafts them into her couture furnishings,

Dallas has always had a strong art movement

creating ‘jewelry for the home’. She has steadily been growing a loyal following, counting A-list

and that is finally crossing over into design

interiors firms, celebrities, royal family members and luxury hoteliers among her clients.

where people are beginning to appreciate

Brenda launched her namesake design studio

investing in their interiors. And whereas L.A.

in Dallas in 2008. And although she has lived in

and N.Y. rely heavily on their Design Centers,

L.A., New York, and Italy and traveled all over the

Dallas has small communities of designers

world sourcing materials for her collections, she

and artists scattered throughout the city,

keeps coming back to Dallas for good reason.

making it really fun to get out and explore.

I recently sat down with Brenda to chat about how the city has taken off in recent years and its

MR: Your favorite insider Dallas destination?

burgeoning design scene.

BH: The Tins neighborhood in Dallas across the Sylvan bridge is a secret underworld of

Megan Reilly: What makes Dallas special and the spot you keep coming back to? Brenda Houston: I launched my company in Dallas because it made sense economically at the time. I was living in New York when I started the company, and I could never have taken a year off to develop designs, So the cost of living here in Texas afforded me the time I needed. And strategically, because it is right in the middle of the US, I can hop on a plane anytime to get to the west and east coasts so I never feel I am missing out. MR: We keep hearing how Dallas is booming, and people are flocking to Texas from elsewhere. How do you see this affecting the city first-hand? BH: I have always thought of Dallas as a town that thinks it is a big city but acts like a small town: now that is all about a change! Dallas is growing dramatically and is on track to be the third-largest metropolis in the US. We have an enormous amount of Angelinos and New Yorkers moving here and you can see their influence in new home designs, landscaping, and interior design. Still, you can get a lot done with just a handshake and that speaks to the heart of Texans. MR: Tell us about the Dallas design scene? How is it different from the design communities you’ve been a part of elsewhere? BH: The influx of new artists and designers arriving here from other parts of the US is creating an incredible dynamic and influence that I have

You can find Brenda Houston Designs showroom in the Dallas Design District at 1216 Manufacturing street, Dallas 75207 (by appointment). She also is represented by Profiles - New York, Maison Gerard - New York, Issarch - Dubai, CEDesign - New York, LA Design Concepts - Los Angeles Discover her collections at: www.brendahouston.com New for 2022 is Brenda’s latest website, offering her designs to the public for the first time at www.Wallcovetings.com

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

35


DESIGNER: Brenda

Houston

left: Kips Bay Living, detail from opening spread above: Mica Sheets: GILD, PEARL & SAGE top right: Capri Lamp below: Accento Ruso Ammonita tabletop

MR: Your favorite way to spend a weekend day in Dallas? BH: I would start off with breakfast in Bishop Arts followed by a bike ride along the Trinity. Then I’d walk through the Nasher Museum or the DMA, before heading to Tei-An for dinner and drinks at The Joule. MR: Best thing about Dallas? BH: All the new growth! To see a city, grow so rapidly and quickly is exhilarating and I love being a part of it! Our downtown skyline finally competes with the best of the best bigger cities!

fabulous artists that now call Dallas their home. Developed by Butch McGregor, this neighborhood contains the studios of Dan Lam, James Rizzi, Michael Reeder and many others. One would never know what hides behind these graffiti-covered warehouses, but boy is it worth it! MR: Any other spots design aficionados should add to their lists? BH: Knox Henderson is becoming a great neighborhood for design retailers such as Restoration Hardware, Serena and Lily and Grange

MR: Worst thing about Dallas? BH: The weather. If you don’t like 30 degree mornings, just wait, it will be 80 degrees by the afternoon! The weather is never dull here, but does make it hard to organize your closet! Thanks for these insider tips Brenda. We can’t wait to visit! ☐

Hall, but I still favor the Dallas Design District (DDD) for true, distinctive offerings like those found at Garde. The DDD offers a number of small showrooms from local artists and that is where you can truly find the one-of-a-kind and custom pieces that make a statement. Our new showroom is located in the DDD. MR: Top places to eat, socialize, hang? BH: Network Bar - to socialize, Ten Ramen - to eat, Midnight Rambler - to hang, Tei-An - to eat, Eataly at North Park Mall – to eat, drink, shop and socialize! 36

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

MEGAN REILLY covers the interior design and home furnishings industries, and is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of WestEdge Design Fair, a tradeshow and lifestyle event taking place in Los Angeles and Dallas. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, two great destinations for all things design-related.


for the

of design

COMING TO DALLAS

SEPT. 16-18, 2022

DALLAS MARKET HALL, DESIGN DISTRICT

EXPLORE THOUSANDS OF THE LATEST PRODUCTS AND DESIGN IDEAS FOR YOUR HOME VISIT WESTEDGEDESIGNFAIR.COM FOR TICKETS AND DETAILS CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

37


DESIGN: Mandala

Lab

Photo by Liz Ligon

38

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


A universal

connection Mandala Lab: An interactive space where emotions can turn to wisdom BY KAMI SLOAN

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

39


DESIGN: Mandala

Lab

esigned by Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm

enlightenment within one lifetime through

Peterson Rich Office, the architectural and conceptual

philosophical practice. “We took our cue

vision of the Mandala Lab took its inspiration from the

from the premise that to have a deeply under-

Tibetan Buddhist Mandala, the Sarvavid Vairochana Man-

stood physical journey; it must be felt to be

dala. Buddhist practitioners use mandalas as visualization

effectively witnessed, voices Tim.” The role

tools to help achieve enlightenment.

of cognitive neuroscience plays an integral

Divided into four quadrants pointing to the cardinal

part in the four different psychological exper-

directions with a central circular chamber – the nucleus

iments. “We took the approach from Dr. Lila

of the Mandala represents the Rubin Museum’s spiral

Davachi, Professor of Psychology at Davachi

staircase. Each quadrant features an activity informed by

Memory Lab- Columbia University, that any

the Mandala’s insightful teachings about a particular emotion, and its corresponding wisdom

interaction however small it may seem ampli-

envisioned as a sensorial experience, “The Mandala Lab is an orientation exercise because it

fies the ability for us to register memory more

uses the circumference of space and the four cardinal directions as a compass for self-inves-

strongly than passive knowledge. Even by

tigation and orientation of your energy management within the universe,” says Tim McHenry,

reaching and touching a screen makes a stu-

Deputy Director at the Rubin Museum.

dent or practitioner register the relationship

The architecture was the impetus for the entry and exploration of The Mandala Lab with the transformative ability to create a healing space of empathy and connection, as well as it allows for open views, interactive dialogues, and perspectives. As Tim mentions, “Both Nathan Rich and Miriam Peterson had a supreme understanding that light could not only be used to illuminate but can be seen as a larger metaphor for healing and understanding. We wanted our family visitors to engage with the art itself in a meaningful and visceral way- both school and family programs around the elliptical staircase on one floor in the gallery tower.” “The majority of the Rubin Museum galleries are designed for the display of artworks and objects,” say design principals Nathan Rich and Miriam Peterson. “This new space is designed for collective experience. The floor is deliberately more open and connected than the other five levels of the Museum. Individual spaces are separated from one another by a translucent scrim, allowing for interactive experiences that are physically distinct but visually interconnected.” “At its core, The Mandala lab invites you into a communal sensorial experience where you get to explore different afflictive emotional states through sight, touch, smell, and hearing in each of the four cardinal directions, South, West, North, and East – through recalibrating your awareness that you are not only alone in this world, but there are others, and those others are you,” says Tim. You get to interpret and process your thoughts and emotions. “Reactions to these experiences underscore or amplify the subsequent visitor’s experience; that’s kind of a Rubin Museum thing; it’s what we do for a living. To engage the visitor, it’s like tilling a garden and making it more and more fecund with contributions of people who come through.” True to the particulars, tantra is about reaching a form of understanding and 40

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

Photo by Rafael Gamo

15% more than if they just sat there.” Photo by Rafael Gamo


Photo by Rafael Gamo

by the COVID-19 pandemic. “In Buddhism, the five kleshas are the key distresses that are the source of our suffering. “Tantric Buddhist practitioners use mandalas as visualization aids to help transform these emotions,” says

“The Mandala Lab is an orientation exercise because it uses the circumference of space and the four cardinal directions as a compass for self-investigation and orientation of your energy management within the universe.” Patrons can engage with a scent and memory library with contributions from six artists and

Tenzin Gelek, Senior Specialist, Himalayan Arts, and Culture. “With the Mandala Lab, we’re using Buddhist pearls of wisdom coupled with creative and interactive artworks and experiences to understand, unlock, and heal these difficult emotions within ourselves. This ‘mental gym’ invites us to face life with renewed wisdom and insights.” SOUTH QUADRANT

Journey Portal

FROM PRIDE TO EQUANIMITY

master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel; participate in a synchronized breathing activity with the

At the start of the journey, guests are invited

aid of a newly commissioned pulsing light sculpture by New York-based artist Palden Weinreb;

to recognize a “prideful” state of mind and

take part in a gong orchestra with eight gongs suspended over water curated by international

get to see what others have acknowledged.

musicians; and more. As you get further into the space, your journey examines feelings of

This first activity is designed to impact peo-

pride, attachment, envy, anger, and ignorance - known as “kleshas” in Buddhism that cloud our

ple’s perceptions, first of themselves and

understanding of the world around us.

humankind, a first step toward the wisdom

The Mandala Lab aims to offer tools for coping mechanisms for the day-to-day challenges, and emotional burdens brought about by personal and societal complexities—all heightened

of equanimity, which is an abandonment of judgment. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

41


FEATURE

Photo by Liz Ligon

“In Buddhism, the five kleshas are the key distresses that are the source of our suffering. Tantric Buddhist practitioners use mandalas as visualization aids to help transform these emotions.”

Laurie Anderson, Sanford Biggers, Tenzin Tsetan Choklay, Amit Dutta, Wang YaHui, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The west quadrant serves as a flexible space for learning with family and K–12 school programs. In partnership with Emory University, the Rubin is developing a social, emotional, and ethical learning curriculum to help children and youth self-regulate and manage stress during a critical period in their lives, giving them the

WEST QUADRANT

Scent Library

FROM ATTACHMENT TO DISCERNMENT In this quadrant, you encounter a curved counter custom-made by PRO with six stations, each with a scent selected by an artist and created by master perfumer Christophe. You get to contribute an emotional response to each scent, then view a two-minute video created by the artist about

42

tools to navigate change and their emotions with confidence and clarity. NORTH QUADRANT

Breathing Alcove

FROM ENVY TO WISDOM OF ACCOM-

their memory attached to this scent. By watching these videos and reading previous visitors’

PLISHMENT

memories associated with the same smell, you’ll perceive how diverse—and sometimes radically

Visitors will find a serene space for engaging

different—our reactions can be to the same stimulus. Feelings of association and attachment

in the most fundamental activity of human

to the memory and scent may start to shift to a more empathetic awareness of others’ expe-

life— breathing. They will encounter a com-

riences, touching on the wisdom of discernment. Scent library participating artists include

missioned, site-specific sculpture by New

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


York–based contemporary artist Palden

Photo by Liz Ligon

Weinreb that pulses with light, emulating the regulating pace of mindfulness practices worldwide. Visitors will engage in a collective, synchronized breathing activity, fostering a sense of community and engagement rather than separateness. Instead of coveting or competing with the achievements of others, individuals are motivated to move toward an appreciation of others, known here as the wisdom of accomplishment. The north quadrant is round with retractable mesh walls, allowing participants seated around the perimeter to be visually aware of one another during the breathing practice. Indirect lighting and acoustic dampening walls will enhance a sense of focus and calm. EAST QUADRANT

Gong Orchestra

FROM ANGER TO MIRROR-LIKE WISDOM Habitués will find eight gongs of different shapes, sizes, materials, and pitches—designed by eight international musicians and sourced from around the world —suspended over a long basin of water in the center of the gallery. When striking on a gong and lowering into water, you feel the vibrational energy of its sound warp until it dissipates. When we get angry, there’s a pent-up energy, an unrelentless oppression that overtakes us. This exploration metaphorically challenges us to keep the gong in water until the surface is calm and the reflection of ourselves is visible. Not only is this a practice of patience and clarity, but a mirror-like wisdom that eases your mind into a hypnotic state of stillness which brings you back to center. Participating musicians include Billy Cobham, Sheila E., Peter Gabriel, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Sarah Hennies, Huang Ruo, Shivamani, and Bora Yoon. EXITING THE MANDALA LAB FROM IGNORANCE TO ALL-ACCOMMODATING WISDOM Tim expounds, “Beyond an exposition of Himalayan art and its ideologies, the posture of the Mandala Lab is being more aware of your own sensibilities and emotional state of mind, “a reality check “- creating a little bit of distance between what you may feel about an event and the event itself.” Not only will you be able to reflect upon how you confront your emotions, but it lends itself to giving you an interpersonal self-discovery, “a snapshot” of your reactionary responses with the instrumental tools to navigate you through times of stress and discomfort. Serving as one of the city’s first cultural healing spaces in the aftermath of 2020, education and experiential learning is broadly shared and witnessed as a foundation to their curriculum, helping children and their families during unruly and turbulent times. Photo by Liz Ligon

Whatever you walk away with, it will leave a lasting memory of wholeness and oneness. RubinMuseum.org | pro-arch.com CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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CODE RED

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Artist: Stephanie Dillon Photography: Jeff Remas Model: Chelsea Wichmann Creative Direction: Kami Sloan


FASHION: Philanthropy

Sustainable Living is the

New Fashion We Don’t have time, Code Red for Humanity

T

he VIP Sustainable Goals Banquet

“It’s a fashionable lifestyle choice which

goal of the campaign,” sheds light Evangelou.

that took place at the Pierre hotel

was developed to communicate and excite

Citizen-T, founded by artist Stephanie

in cooperation with the United

people about the benefits and possibilities

Dillon made hand-painted jackets and

Nations Mission of Italy in October

of sustainability. It is the way forward to a

recycled tees in collaboration with designer

‘2021 hosted by Evie Evangelou, President

healthier you and a healthier world beginning

label, Burnett New York, inspired by the UN’S

and Founder at Fashion 4 Development

with the lifestyle basics: Food and Fashion.

urgent commentary, “Code Red for Human-

(F4D), sparked the global campaign “Sus-

Through your daily choices of what you eat

ity to support the call in a race against the

tainable Living is the New Fashion” with its

and what you wear, you not only impact

clock to create a “net-zero” environment

focus on an end-to-end solution in building

your life but others on the planet. Inspiring

that reduces, reuses, and recovers excessive

a circular economy and partnering with the

and motivating individuals to be Conscious

streams of global consumption that converts

world’s most significant social network on

Consumers, to develop Conscious Brands and

to valuable material resources.

climate action, We Don’t Have Time (WDHT).

to adopt Conscious Business Practices is the

Dillon Says, “Seventy-three percent of

Ralph & Russo Graced the Runway in 2016

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FASHION: Philanthropy

clothing that’s bought is sent to landfills,

business operations with the investment for

whereas 95 percent of it could be used or

a resilient and regenerative future. It’s the first

recycled. Isn’t that staggering to you? Do you

non-for-profit to unlock commitments scaling

know how much we throw away? We have

transformative actions towards the SDGs and

enough T-shirts for seven generations, and

link the Paris agreement to execute measures

people should stop manufacturing them and

toward systemic change.

use what we have. Artists could champion this

Jeanine Ballone, F4D’s Managing Director

cause; ethical abiding citizens could buy into

of Solutions and Lead at The World Collective,

it, and we could save the planet one t-shirt at

asseverates. “We need to ‘move the needle’

a time.” “It was all business the day I met Evie.

to create an ‘economy of collectives.”

I’m happy to collaborate and foster her vision.”

Renowned for its annual First Ladies Lun-

Setting the bar, Evangelou created The

cheon on the opening day of UNGA since 2011,

World Collective – A global consumer goods

Fashion 4 Development (F4D) has celebrated

industry platform that’s geared to provide a

and honored over 40 game changers on the

database of scalable innovations across the

global stage over the years in their efforts to

supply chain, along with educational support programs that help implement successful 46

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First Lady of Malta, Michelle Muscat, Donna Karan, Evie Evangelou, First Lady of Iceland Dorrit Moussaieff

advance, educate, develop, and fuel crucial programs for underserved communities


around the world while highlighting leading and upcoming fashion designers. Leaders from philanthropy, fashion, entertainment, politics, and diplomacy, as well as private sector CEO’s that were honored in the past, have included: Madam Ban Soon-Taek, President Macron, Paul Polman, Natalia Vodianova, Diane Von Furstenberg, Victoria Beckham, Nobel Prize recipient Mohammad Yunus, HRH Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway, Charlize Theron, Franca Sozzani, Livia Firth, Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi, Arianna Huffington, Annie Lennox, Nadja Swarovski, Tina Brown, Naomi Campbell, IMAN, Donna Karan, Caroline Scheufele, to name a few. At the helm, Evie sets the standard to preserving culture, empowering women, and advancing social development and economic growth of communities worldwide with compassion and empathy. This is the real work of a humanitarian. ☐ For more information or inquiries on

Victoria Beckham at F4D’s First Ladies Luncheon 2015 on opening Day of the High Levels Meetings of UNGA

how you can make a difference, go to: www.fashion4development.com www.wedonthavetime.org

Evie Evangelou & Ellie Goulding

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we buy... 48

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FEATURE

Zero SAVE BY

Sustainably yours,

Stephanie Dillon PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF REMAS

D

LIES Mixed media, projection photography

Dillon’s artistry takes an uncharted route

“Heroes,” DAVID BOWIE, “Stand or Fall,” THE FIXX,

in the juxtaposition of her commentary,

“Get the Balance,” DEPECHE MODE, “Please Read

depicting the degradation of social unrest

the Letter,” ALISON KRAUSS and ROBERT PLANT,

and environmental inhumanities. Between the

and “Strawberry Letter 23” by THE BROTHERS

brushstrokes of her canvas and penned disciplines,

JOHNSON to name a few.

a contemplative ambiguity engages the viewer with

At the root, Dillion’s passion project is Citizen-T,

a spatial simultaneity. The complexion of her work

an apparel company she founded in ‘2020 which

is palatable, both tender and depraved, averse, qui-

involves sourcing clothing and discarded items

etly vehement - deliciously riveting with exemplified

from landfills and then recycling them. Stephanie

messages of disillusionment through a vulnerable

collaborates with other artists and the charitable

and observational lens. We get a bird’s eye view

organization: FASHION 4 DEVELOPMENT in her

into the cavernous depths of Stephanie’s existen-

tireless pursuit to save the planet.

tial expressionism and activism arising at her own

“As an artist, one way to be remembered is to

policies of truth. Dillon implies, “I do not view myself

become hyper-cognizant of what you’re leaving

as a healer; art gives me the vehicle to heal from

behind in terms of your words, in terms of your

my experiences, desperate to be seen and heard.”

material things. So, art is one of those things that

Music is an extension of her paintings. When

when I’m not here, my paintings still will be, as well

asked about what artist or song she’s drawn to

as my writing. “It’s all or nothing; half-heartedness

when painting, she mentions “Eminence Front,”

and in-betweens will not suffice, not when we’re out

THE WHO, “Slippery People,” TALKING HEADS,

of time.” — Stephanie Dillon

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CHANEL CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Left: SWIRLS & SPATTER This page: LOVE CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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FEATURE

Creative Direction: Kami Sloan Models: Chelsea Wichmann , AJ Knapp MUAH + body paint: Nikki Copeland Lead Digital Artist: Daniel Enrique De Leon Silhouette Photography: John Ciambrone Graphic Design: Tim Ravenna Lighting Assistant: Ken Carlson Art collaborators: Jon Linton, & Linnea Maas stephaniedillonart.com citizen-t.com CEMETERY CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Photography by Juan Carlos Ariano Presenting models Dunja & Nataniele

Sculpture by Morgan Robinson Paintings by Frank Arnold 56

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FEATURE

la mode de l’art vivant Unlock the Equity of Your Luxury Assets at Shutter Speed

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Painting by Melanie Giguere Sculpture on the left by Santiago Medina 58

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FEATURE

The rare beauty of high art contributes to its tangible intrinsic value. As alternative asset classes generally hold or appreciate in value, it should come as no surprise Paintings by Frank Arnold

using them as loan collateral is an effective financing strategy. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Painting FEATURE by Bruce Rubenstein

“One of the best advantages to owning artwork is how strong returns have been across periods of time compared to other traditional assets.” Mary Ann Cohen Owner, Mac Art Galleries

Traditional sources of capital can often be too slow, invasive, or burdensome to address a situation or meet an opportunity. 60

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FEATURE

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Ferrari Portofino M ferrarifl.com 62

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FEATURE

Luxury assets can yield impressive returns. Yet, unlocking their equity through private sale or auction takes significant time and effort and may have unexpected tax implications. Borro makes it easy to capitalize on the true value of luxury assets without the wait, and, more importantly, without the need to sell. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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(Acrylic sculpture Michael Enn Sirvet 64

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FEATURE

Alembika.com beatriceb.com dicekayek.com jnby.com maliparmi.com karinagrimaldi.com inearnestofficial.com papucei.ro redvalentino.com rolex.com studiorundholz.de unitednude.com Representation: Model Dunja M.//@ Select Model Miami Model Nataniele R.//@ Next Models Miami MUAH: Natalia Fernandez Photo Assistant: Edward Perdomo Production Assistant: Chelsea Wichmann Creative Direction: Kami Sloan Graphic Design: Daniel Enrique De Leon

Location: MAC FINE ART Delray Beach Special Thanks to Owner: Mary Ann Cohen macfineart.com

The leader in confidential, non-bank loans that use borrowers’ luxury assets as collateral. BORRO.com CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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FEATURE

Jesus Rojas: a retrospective

Art NUSTAS

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MUJER PANTERA

“Academics don’t necessarily define the outcome of an artist. Education is one thing, and art is another. What an artist can say or doesn’t say has nothing to do with the erudition of information. Art is about subjectivity.” – JESUS ROJAS

of

color TWINS

and

DYPTICH

light BY KAMI SLOAN

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FEATURE

esus Rojas defines the most authentic aspect of what an “artist” represents in its most simplistic terms. Since his inception onto the art scene, he has never strayed away from his creative cultural origins. The composition of his canvas is a testament to the vicissitudes of his graphical elements and orchestration of color. Rojas mentions, “My visual language is very particular. I just found a language in which I can muster into my own.” Jesus has an insouciance for the poetic vernacular and the romanticized notions of art. He goes on to say, “I’m very straightforward. I like to work from the color provided by the tube and mix it. People don’t realize how hard it is to create certain colors I produced. They look very pure. I don’t like to muddy colors. It took many years to develop this process.”

Top Right: SPIRIT OF LIFE

We are simply drawn to the physicality of his work and the conceptual re-occurring themes that his paintings embody –

Below:

Mandala in Buddhism as a symbol of unity

MATERNITY

and consciousness, the coexistence between animals and man as a metaphor for oneness on this earth - and the concept of creation in the dualities of femininity and masculinity with an infinite exchange of how we view the world. “The marination of these concepts come; naturally, I look for simplicity as an essential prerequisite of artistic expression,” says Jesus. The main draw of his oeuvre is the element of surprise, the brilliance of bright colors, and sensual forms that create the entire whimsical effect. “I’m not going to tell other people what they see in my work. My own pieces surprise me. What people say about my paintings varies. It’s a matter of filter and perception.” – A cultural perspective from his childhood in Peru. “I see this erotism as natural as the creator- my love for animals, my love for human beings, my love for the vibrancy of life.” For nearly 47 years, Jesus has exhibited in his native homeland Peru, Argentina, and across the United States. His passion for his art and lighthearted quality is attributed to the development of his niche. There’s an air of sensuality and intrigue that’s simply part of his undeniable DNA. “When children look at my work, they tend to look at the positivity of

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“My visual language is very particular. I just found a language in which I can muster into my own.” viewer. Often people think the images might be airbrushed, but upon closer inspection you can see the thousands of brush strokes creating an everchanging rainbow of composition. It’s been an unfolding story to collect his work over the years. I feel he has a great genius for color and a magic of his narrative to these mythological creations and compositions brought to life in his art.” – Doug McCraw, the colors. To have the ability to bring a smile to a child is a humbling experience”, says Jesus.

Doug McCraw and Jesus Rojas

Founder of FATVillage Jesus Rojas Art of Color & Light is the first

There was a black and white period when he came to Florida and,

retrospective of Peruvian artist Jesus Rojas.

as Rojas describes it, regained his love for color and the Caribbean.

This exhibition encompasses work that spans

He reminisced about the mountains of The Andes. His appreciation for

over 25 years, and is on view at Project Space

illustration stemmed from the American illustrator of children’s books,

in FATVillage through April 30th.

Maurice Bernard Sendak. This set the foundation for several storybook pictorials that Rojas did. “Jesus Rojas, a Peruvian artist living in Miami, is a master of color that he translates into canvases that share a magic and power to the

With palettes of color, frolicking, cavorting, intertwined into shapes of animated canvases of deft, these are the prolific compositions of Jesus Rojas. ☐ CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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THE NEXT CHAPTER OF

FATVillage “The world will increasingly see more technology and technological innovations happen. The art world has been ‘analog’ for quite a bit, and with digital worlds taking over, we’re shaping a new era in where the physical and the digital can live hand in hand. Artwork can be fully physical without any digital notion, like a painting or sculpture. It can be half a half in where there might be a digital version of the artwork, or a piece can live totally in digital realms, like ideologies around a ‘metaverse’ or ‘digital gallery’ of things. This makes it such an important time for the art world. Where traditional galleries might have a hard time adjusting to this ‘experimental nature in where things like ‘phygital’ might be hard to adjust to, art hubs like FATVillage can be more flexible and push for these new trends to co-exist amongst old ways of presenting and representing art. “– Anouk Wipprecht

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FATVillage, a downtown historic warehouse

co-op spaces, creative labs, film studios, and

district, is in the process of going through

even a fine art print cooperative. This aggre-

a new transformation. Techies, designers,

gation of talent and disciplines has provided

artists, and creative professionals make up

a creative cluster that has continued to

the community that has been a part of Fort

evolve over the years, making the unique-

Lauderdale’s magic. Just miles north of Miami

ness of FATVillage special.

and a couple of blocks away from the Bright-

“This has comprised cutting-edge exhi-

line high-speed rail train, FATVillage further

bitions, art performances, theater, music

develops integration with artists and design-

presentations, concerts, and many creative,

ers. Many artists from the South Florida area

experimental productions. A particular

have found a home in FATVillage’s years of

outstanding result of this creativity was a

exhibition. This creative art hub has evolved

venue in FATVillage that became Arts Up!

into an ecosystem, providing a HOME for

Concepts where the art became an instal-

Photo courtesy FatVillage


sitions to Food, Art, and Technology. This transition has happened due to a continuing focus on food and design as culinary art. This targets those interested in an organic, cultural dining experience. The emerging transformation of FATVillage will stay true to its roots and authentic history of a warehouse district based on the industrial grit of this place. This new sustainably designed food art and technology mecca infused with art will be unlike anything South Florida has experienced today,” voices Doug. “Art and Technology have been colliding Fashion Tech designer Anouk Wipprecht Photo by Criss Gomez

since the dawn of times but have never been so obviously connected as they are now. Partly because of technological innovations, somewhat because artists, designers, engi-

lation of experience within the height and

launched companies with its resident artists

neers, architects, and whoever wanted to

expanse of the space. The interdisciplinary

and tenant creatives partnerships. Art Light

join started to share or borrow skills, cocre-

fusion would see more ideas incubated in

Space has done several public projects,

ate, or emerge themselves in one another’s

FATVillage. One exciting project in FATVil-

including a water tower, commercial devel-

discipline. Another is because hardware and

lage was to provide a creative environment

opments, interactive murals, and public art

software haven’t been as affordable and

to present Anouk Wipprecht with a space

projects. This experiential, participatory, and

readily available as ever before. An artist

for the maker documentary, ‘A LEAGUE of

immersive way of engaging the viewer has

wants to craft emotions, an engineer wants

EXTRAORDINARY MAKERS,” says Doug

resulted in a new and exciting experience

to create perfection, an architect wants to

McCraw, Founder of FATVillage.

in the art world. This blurring of the lines

make beauty and history, and they all start

creates a transition between visual art and

to meet in the middle. Hence, the reason

a viewing experience.

why these modern-day times are so fasci-

“A League of Extraordinary Makers is a documentary series that celebrates and chronicles the Maker movement worldwide.

“A new direction of this artistic and

nating; we have access to tools that have

Set against the backdrop of different regions

creative process will be a unique experi-

never been so readily available for any of

and economies, it explores extraordinary

ence with the culinary arts. FATVillage will

us to use whatever discipline you are in.”-

maker narratives from hobbyists to entre-

have a new food lab and exciting new food

Anouk Wipprecht

preneurs, artists to coders, designers to

collaborations. The FAT in FATVillage tran-

www.fatvillage.com | www.story-tellers.in

changemakers. The movement that started by default in garages is now resetting the future. Paving the way for designers like Anouk to reshape the present and reimagine the future of fashion technology. Spaces like FATVillage are a playground for makers to experiment with reality, to challenge the boundaries of their realms, to collaborate and intersect.” - Storyteller Films, Mumbai. FATVillage incubates artists blending them with professional business design and technology on-site. This produces art, not in the traditional sense or not how we are accustomed to seeing it. FATVillage has

Photo by Criss Gomez Model AJ Knapp

Photo courtesy FatVillage


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Ron Galella

Behind the Camera BY CINDY CLARKE

Jackie Kennedy and Ron Galella

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FEATURE

Before I set out to interview celebrity photographer Ron Galella, dubbed, and I quote, “Paparazzo Extraordinaire” by Newsweek, “the Godfather of the U.S. paparazzi culture” by Time magazine and Vanity Fair, and “arguably the most controversial paparazzo of all time” by Harper’s Bazaar, I wanted to know where the term itself originated.

enthusiastic about the countless celebrity photographs he took years ago as he is today, Ron Galella is an original much like his pictures are. He learned his craft while he was serving in the US Airforce where he was tasked with working in the lab, then taking photographs at official events. He took his skills with him when he left the service after five years, and gave them wings when he continued shooting the high life. He fell in love with photography during his years in the Air Force, he told me, and learned all he could about the process, from taking pictures to developing film and even attending the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena to study photojournalism. “I was also interested in celebrities from day one,” he said. “Even when I was at the ArtCenter, I would crash premieres just to see them.” That passion for photography and movie stars came together to launch his rather colorful career as a paparazzi persona, both loved and loathed by some of the bestknown celebrities in history. Take Jackie Kennedy, for example, by far Ron’s favorite subject. His photos of her number in the thousands, most of them shot in New York City where she lived and worked. His favorite and best-selling picture is one he calls “Windblown Jackie,” named by Time Magazine in 2016 as one of their “Most 100 influential Pictures.” And

Paparazzo is an interesting Italian sounding word after all, which the dictionary suggests is rooted in the surname name of a character named Paparazzo in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film, La Dolce Vita. In the movie, Paparazzo is a news photographer who accompanies his bold tabloid journalist colleague Marcello (played by Marcello Mastroianni) in getting headline-worthy celebrity stories. Both men are ruthless in their quest for catching celebrities in compromising situations, but Paparazzo comes across more as a loveable hooligan than one of the invasive camera-toting predators some associate paparazzi to be today. Which is exactly how I found the man behind the camera, a now 90-something Bronx-born, Italian descent Ron Galella, to be. Gentle, unassuming and as

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he remembers every vivid detail of how he got that priceless shot back in 1971, as if it were yesterday. “On that particular day, I saw her walking along Madison Avenue and followed her. At one point, I hopped in a cab so she wouldn’t see me. When I pointed her out to the cab driver, he honked at her and she looked right at me – and my camera. The wind was blowing and it was a great picture. It is my most famous picture of all time.” There’s more to the story about his photographs and interactions with Jackie, including the two lawsuits she very publicly won against him, citing his constant invasion of her privacy, but that didn’t


stop him in the end. “Jackie will always be my favorite subject,” he admits. What really attracted and inspired him every day was being able to capture a celebrity doing what ordinary people do, spontaneously. He wasn’t interested in posed

TOP: Marlon Brando and Ron Galella RIGHT: Michael Jackson and Madonna LEFT: Betty and Ron Galella

shots. He wanted the “real them.” So he did what other photojournalists do in the course of their assignments and went after in-the-moment pictures that were both newsworthy and original. And yes, when it comes to photographing famous figures who want to control when and how they are portrayed, he did get into trouble along the way.

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Marlon Brando, not known for his friendliness, actually punched Ron so hard that he broke his jaw. “It happened after he was a guest on the Dick Cavett show. I followed Dick Cavett and him to China Town, with another photographer. Brando knew about the court battle with Jackie. He asked Cavett, ‘Which one is Galella?’ And he said, ‘The tall one.’ Brando called me over and said, ‘What else do you want?’ They both had sunglasses on even though it was at night, and so I started to say it’d be nice to get a shot without the glasses, and before I said that, he socked me. He knocked out five teeth and broke my jaw. And I believe

“My second best-selling picture is the one of John Lennon looking at Mick Jagger. It was taken at the American Film Institute at the Century Plaza Hotel. I sneaked in and used a long 300-millimeter lens to get that picture.

that was all payback for Jackie.” Ron did sue Brando and won. “But it wasn’t about the money,” he added. “I didn’t want him to think he could

Ron for following Elizabeth Taylor and him to Mexico

punch other photographers and get away with it.” Ron

where they caught him hiding in a cave adjacent to

famously donned a helmet the next time he approached Brando with his camera in hand. Then there was Richard Burton. Burton was angry at

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beach where they were filming a movie scene. He actuRIGHT: Windblown Jackie BELOW: Andy Warhol

ally took all of the film out of Ron’s camera, along with the key to his hotel room where he had his men destroy


all 15 rolls of film he had taken of Elizabeth Taylor that week. They also beat him up for good measure before he spent 45 minutes in a jail cell with one of Burton’s bodyguards. Ron eventually sued them and lost the case without getting any remuneration. “The worst thing was that they destroyed all of my art, my photography,” he lamented. With highly coveted high-profile photographs in his portfolio, Ron takes his craft very seriously and tries to photograph his subjects in the best light. “My second best-selling picture is the one of John Lennon looking at Mick Jagger. It was taken at the American Film Institute at the Century Plaza Hotel. I sneaked in and used a long 300-millimeter lens to get that picture. It’s a great picture because of the composition and the one focal point of Mick Jagger facing the camera. The lighting was tremendous because CBS had it all lit up for TV.” Look closely at the woman facing John Lennon and you’ll see a young woman named May Pang who was having an affair (with Yoko’s blessing) with John during the time he and Yoko were having problems in their marriage. May Pang is still in contact with Ron decades after the photo was taken. That’s another side to Ron Galella that most people don’t associate with the paparazzi. Longtime friends with columnist Liz Smith, praised by Andy Warhol, thanked by Suzanne Somers, Robert Redford, Helen Gurley Brown, Ali McGraw, Frank Sinatra, Priscilla Presley and others whom he sent photographs he had taken of them, and hired by some of the biggest magazines, including Life, to take pictures of star-studded events, ever polite Ron Galella has made friends throughout the industry.

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ABOVE: Sophia Loren and Ron Galella LEFT: John Lennon and Mick Jagger

He even had an informal contract with Steve McQueen allowing him to take pictures for 10 to 15 minutes in exchange for not taking any unauthorized photos of the movie he was shooting with Ali McGraw. Ron handwrote and kept his promise, reading it to me during our interview. His words speak volumes about his integrity and many celebrities he candidly photographed were impressed by his unfailing sincerity. While he is an expert at sneaking into events uninvited – it’s easy to enter through the kitchen he advises – he has his standards and techniques, all of which he freely shares with aspiring celebrity photographers in his 22 published books. Among them, trust your intuition. Be persistent. Never give up. Find a loophole. Dress right. Ask a celebrity to participate – it worked wonders with Beatle

unrehearsed, spontaneous, no appointments allowed. We finished our conversation with a nostalgic look back at the famous photographs he has taken in his 60-year career, many of which are icons we’ve all seen and admired. Among them are unforgettable shots of Michael Jackson and his right hand, Madonna, Sophia Loren, Paul Newman, Queen Elizabeth and Jackie, of course. He remembers them all and remembers them well, taking great personal pleasure in the memories they created for him and the world. You can see some of his best works in his books at rongalella.com/books and you can learn more about the man himself by watching the documentary film Smash his Camera. To order books or original photographs, contact Barbara Galella at barbie65g@aol.com. If you do, we can almost guarantee that the next time you bring your camera along for that once-in-a-lifetime photo of someone you’ve admired from a distance, you’ll think of Ron Galella and let nothing stop you from giving it your best shot.

Paul McCartney. Communication sometimes pays off. Always act like you belong. There’s more. To be a great paparazzi, he says, you need to catch celebrities off guard. Your photos must be CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Hints of his native Haiti announce themselves in artist Guy Stanley Philoche’s expressive use of color, blocked, bold and beckoning with a lifetime of emotions thoughtfully layered within.

For the Love of

Guy Stanley Philoche

COVER STORY

Art

BY C I N DY C L A R K E

Photography: Zspop Editing Male Grooming: Kendall Dempster 80

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A

COVER STORY

glimpse of his Connecticut schooling – the beginning of a love affair with art during a high school field trip, mastering mediums at Paier College then upping his game at Yale – comes through in paintings perfectly executed and unfailingly engaging, voicing

LEFT: No comment Series Kimberly 60x70 mixed medium on canvas RIGHT: No comment Series

thoughts and feelings locally born and univer-

Saba

sally appealing. But it is in New York, where he

60x70 mixed medium on canvas

has lived and evolved for some twenty years, that defines him today as the people’s artist. His art is all about communication, delivered with a playful magnetism and philanthropic intellect full of possibilities and impossible to resist. We had the good fortune of meeting Guy during Miami Art Week (Art Basel), where his art and his heart captured ours. Like his paintings, he radiates enthusiasm for life in all its incantations, turning memories into moments immortal and important. That he and his work had us at hello is a given. That his love for humanity, unconditional and unfailing, took it to a new level of admiration is the reason why the world should know more about him. Our conversations, like his art, revealed the personal side of his public persona and his steadfast dedication to sharing his craft not only with an audience of inspired admirers but with aspiring artists as well. As he tells it, Guy really didn’t know much about art as a child, growing up as he did in a family of athletes whose passion for sports 82

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dominated the household and whose dreams for their sons didn’t include the idea of his becoming a starving, struggling artist. What he did know was that he loved cartoons and comics books and that he was pretty adept at copying images, creating picture-perfect lookalikes that don’t come easy to anyone other than the artistically talented. Photo by Michael Foster

“I remember a time when I was in my fourth-grade art class drawing a picture, and my teacher came over to my desk and asked me if I


traced the picture I was working on. I didn’t know what to say because I didn’t know what tracing was. I did know that you could put something in my face and I could draw it but her comment didn’t mean much to me then. I had my ‘Oprah aha moment’ in high school when we took a field trip to a museum, and

I saw Rothkos and Picassos, along with Monets and other greats that took my breath away. That’s when I fell in love with art and realized that was what I wanted to do for a living.” His parents, West Indian traditionalists who emigrated to America to give their children a better life, weren’t so eager to come on board with his plans. “They wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer or get a government job CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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old and worked his way through school

Photo by James Weber

attending classes by day, bartending at night and weekends. It was a grind and the most difficult time of his life, he admits, but worth every late night and lost night’s sleep. He dabbled in a variety of genres before finding his niche in contemporary art, channeling the vibrant color palette and style of 20th-century abstract artist Mark Rothko and making it his own. His first series of works, “Untitled,” pays homage to the influence Rothko had on his work. Rothko’s work is all about expressing human emotions through immersive works that bring viewers to tears. According to experts at the Museum of Modern Art, “Rothko painted to plumb the depths of himself and the human condition. For him, art was a profound form of communication, and art making was a moral act.” When Guy’s Untitled series first debuted in New York with tactile, abstract expressionist paintings, it turned heads in the art world, with critics and collectors alike proclaiming that “his colors drew people in but the texture and

where I would benefit from a lifelong pension. After all their sacrifices on our behalf, they did not want to see me struggle to make a living or scrub toilets as my mother would often say. They strongly opposed the path I wanted to choose and made it very clear that they would not support me in this fantasy of mine. Even then, I really didn’t blame them for thinking that way, but I was determined to follow my dreams come what may.” After graduating from high school, he kissed his parents good bye and headed off to art college on his own dime. He was 17 years 84

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OPPOSITE PAGE: Untitled series 48x60 mixed medium on canvas Private collection


His first series of works, “Untitled,” pays homage to the influence Rothko had on his work.

break up of space was ingenious.” Philoche wanted his viewers to immerse in his work, feeling, touching and smelling it to engage all their senses.” The paintings did what he hoped, selling well, launching his career and moving people with the power of art. Untitled, introduced when he was relatively unknown after a decade of pounding the pavements in the city, rightfully catapulted him into an elite group of talents whose work hangs with the movers and shakers of the city he loves. You’ll find his signature pieces in


FEATURE

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the esteemed corporate collections of money men from Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Barclay Investments. You’ll see them in the star-studded residences of George Clooney, Uma Thurman and Tommy Hilfiger. You’ll view them in galleries in Palm Beach, Greenwich, New York and Nantucket and shows exhibiting the world’s best. And you’ll recognize them by the inherent sense of humanity, each stroke of the brush masterfully, thoughtfully and intentionally infusing the canvas with his personal, palpable perspectives on life. Robust sales from that first series opened doors and floodgates for Philoche, who seized the momentum to show the world how

Photo by James Weber

I was raised in a family where failure was not an option so I persevered until I achieved my goals. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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that New York is dead. To remind people of

he feels about life in pop-culture series that portray the nostalgic games

all the great things New York represents, Guy

his family played during his youth, heroic cartoon icons that evoke

came up with a new series that combines the

the age of innocence in works titled Love and Revolution, high-flying

two things he loves to do in New York City:

interpretations of the value of money with dollar bills doubling as paper

take pictures of everyday sights and capture

airplanes and butterflies, and his playful painted reasons why he, we, will always love New York. Each series is stamped with his goal of making people smile, of giving them pleasure and filling their senses with joy, gifts he enjoys and shares through his art. “Art saved me,” he tells us, in an explanation so genuine and heartfelt it’s not difficult to fathom. He came to the United States from Haiti as a little boy, moving with his family, a trio of sons in tow, to Connecticut to start a new life. He didn’t speak the language and was daunted by the cold climate. He found solace and his newfound communication skills in the cartoons he watched on TV, making friends with the colorful caricatures as they taught him to speak English and provided the inspiration for the drawings he made in his room while his brothers played sports. Later, when he experienced his first eye-opening field trip visit to an art museum which housed works by some of the most famous artists in the world, works he wanted to touch, something clicked inside of him that changed the course of his life forever. “I vowed then and there that I was going to make art that people can touch.” He did that and then some, making art that can touch people as well. “Putting myself through art school was a gift,” he said, adding that had his parents paid for his college education he may not have had the drive to take the journey he has been on for the last twenty years. “I was raised in a family where failure was not an option so I persevered until I achieved my goals.” That perseverance included knocking on the doors of countless galleries that weren’t interested in his work, stuffing Village Voice newspapers in high-net worth neighborhoods with some 2,000 flyers of his work every Wednesday night at midnight in hopes of a sale, and personally transporting his artwork on a dolly he pushed from his Upper East Side apartment to a lower Manhattan gallery for his first exhibition because he couldn’t afford to rent a van. “My apartment was my work space. During the day I would paint all day and at night I would make my rounds and invite people over to look at my work. I turned my bed into a couch for business meetings and lived out a duffle bag for years. And thank goodness for Subway’s sandwich promotion ‘buy one, get one free’ that enabled me to eat during the leanest of times.” Through it all he kept right on working, undeterred and uniquely dedicated to his craft. “I don’t have the luxury of articulating my feelings sometimes. So therefore, I express my feelings in art.” He did that during the pandemic when he got tired of people saying 88

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LEFT: New York, I Still Love You Series Subway token 48x48 mixed medium on canvas Right: New York, I still love you Series Hamilton 48x48 mixed medium on canvas

enjoyable moments in time in his paintings. “Just remembering why New York is New York resonates with people. When we did the big reveal of this series in Art Miami, we realized how much people still love New York. The paintings were right on the mark and it was so gratifying to see how much they meant to the people who bought them.” Comprised of 10 mixed-media paintings, the collection was exhibited by Cavalier Gallery where he is


currently represented and quickly became a highlight of Miami Art Week. They were also timely. That’s another talent that Guy brings to the table, the ability to be ahead of the curve. “Sometimes as artists,” he explained, “your audiences aren’t even born yet.” A perfect example is his “No comment” series, painted a decade go, featuring powerful women who had high profile jobs but who weren’t part of that proverbial boys club culture. “I thought these were probably some of the most powerful works I had ever done and I was super excited. I remember shopping them to my dealers and collectors. And guess what, nobody wanted to touch them,” he explained. Fast forward 10 years later, after the much publicized “Me Too” movement, and those works have sold out. How did he stay confident in the days before his big break? He powered through it knowing he had something people wanted. Talking to him, we also knew he worked hard to be the best he could be

because as he said before, success was his only option. “What you need to know about me,” he said, “is that no one opened doors for me. I was that kid that went through the back door and through the window just to get to the room. Now I actually have a seat at the table in the room. Being an artist is not for everybody but, I’m making it my obligation to make sure I open doors for people who want to try.” That’s another thing about Guy Stanley Philoche. While determined and tenacious on his own behalf, he does not have that competitive edge. Instead, he is interested in sharing the spotlight with other deserving artists. To that end, he has made good on his promise to buy a painting whenever he sells one of his, launching a collection of original works, which today is valued at more than $100,000, by artists ready for their close-up. Serendipitously, I happened to watch a Kelly Clarkson show recently where Guy was a featured guest. During the show, Guy surprised a talented young painter by buying one of her pieces and showcasing it in an exhibition of new works. The look of sheer joy and happy tears on her face were mirrored on his and I knew I had just witnessed the unabridged secrets of Guy’s success. Work hard, be kind and bring joy to those around you. And when it comes to purchasing art, buy what you love, buy what you love, and buy what you love. ☐ About the Artist Guy Stanley Philoche is an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist and philanthropist whose mixed media abstract realist paintings voice richly textured, colorful images of daily life, past and present, in themed series that blend nostalgia with unspoken cultural commentary. He is represented by Cavalier Galleries, with locations in New York City, Greenwich, Connecticut, and Nantucket. For more information, please contact Cavalier Galleries at 212.570.4696 or visit, www.cavaliergalleries.com CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Lucia and Dionne Warwick celebrating Life together after one of her concerts


LUCIA Kaiser FEATURE

Lucia and Mikhail Baryshnikov I was Chairwoman and totally responsible for bringing him to Honolulu to perform for one time only this was at the Honolulu Club afterparty I threw for him

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H FEATURE

er birthday party, fittingly over the top in every way, revealed a lot about the Lucia Kaiser her friends knew and loved, and as newly minted acquaintances of this lovely lady, we reveled in the opportunity to get to know her better. Among

the VIP guests we mingled with, on hand to celebrate her in the style she so obviously adored, were A-list celebrities, gifted musicians, media moguls, cover girl models and invited intimates, luminaries all, who clearly enjoyed shining the spotlight on the birthday queen.

Personal well wishes came from far and wide, crossing COVID-closed borders all over the world in message form so they could join her

entertainment industry? We were excited to find out.

in spirit and not miss her big day, heartfelt notes from best friends

We had the delightful opportunity to speak to her about an adven-

Quincy Jones and Dionne Warwick among them. As you might expect

turous life lived on her terms and the self confidence that kept her safe

for an Emmy-winning entertainment industry insider, fabulously gifted

along the way. What she shared is the stuff of movies and romance

performers, from jazz to opera to salsa stars, sang, played and danced for her, wowing the room with talents like the ones she booked during her reign with Johnny Carson. Guests sipped on exquisite, très chère Louis XIII cognac, barrel-aged to rare perfection, crystal toasted with the very best French champagne, and indulged in a luscious dream cake as decadent and picture pretty as Lucia herself. And the setting in a beautiful spacious New York City loft apartment in Soho that owned

novels, with royal intrigues, passionate affairs,

There was one surfer who was really mad that we were allowed to join them and he rammed me with his surfboard, making it look like an accident. I ended up in the emergency hospital with my foot in a cast.

spectacular city views was equally as warm and welcoming as everyone knew Lucia to be.

daring escapades and a star-studded line up of jobs, saviors and lovers that had us riveted from the start. As she tells it, she was born to travel, having arrived in the middle of an ocean crossing during her parent’s voyage from Sicily to America to start a new life. Her mother, an Old World Roman Catholic, became a Jehovah’s Witness, and often sent her eightyear-old daughter out on the streets in their Bronx neighborhood to peddle the nationally

syndicated Witness publications: “The Watchtower” and “Awake”

Which begs the question: how did a girl from The Bronx like Lucia

Magazines. Even then, Lucia (then known as Sandra) instinctively

climb to the top of a traditionally cut-throat, couch-casting career and

knew how to make the best of any situation she found herself in,

not only remain remarkably her own person, but also gain recogni-

selling 25 cent magazines and pocketing a nickel from each sale

tion as one of the best-liked, universally respected women in the

for her own calling. All the while she was breezing through school with exceptional grades, skipping a year before graduating from high school at the tender age of 15. Money and Hawaii was on her mind then so, with a fake ID in hand, she auditioned for an American musical variety show that would set the stage for her life in show business. She was cast on the spot as a caged go-go dancer on Hullabaloo, a TV showcase for leading pop stars featuring major

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musical artists and hosted by a different top-name star each week, including Sammy Davis Jr. who would become one of her dearest lifelong friends. When he found out that the pretty raven-haired dancer was underage, he took her under his wing. Her time dancing was cut short when her mother got word that her young daughter was dancing inappropriately on television and proceeded to march down to the NBC studios to rescue her from evil. She actually saved the money she made dancing on the show and was able to fund her way to the life of luaus and leis she dreamed of – and off she flew to Hawaii to make her obsession with a place where the wealthiest of the wealthy lived in an ocean-lined paradise come true. Fearless and fun loving, she dove right into Hawaiian life, modeling hats and bikinis for a living and getting her feet wet – then winning 2 back-to-back women’s championships – in surfing competitions, before a collision with another surfer sidelined her. In those years, she told me, women could only compete against women; she wasn’t allowed to officially challenge the men. “Did that

stop her?” I asked, knowing the answer before she had a chance to tell me her story, one of many I would discover where she stood up for women’s rights. She recalled that she and a girlfriend were allowed to surf Opposite page: Kevin Costner & Lucia at Bill Clinton’s inaugeration party at Ethel and Robert Kennedy’s home Top: Lucia at Bette Midler’s birthday party Left: Johnny Carson Photo by Ron Galella

with the guys in a casual contest. “There was one surfer who was really mad that we were allowed to join them and he rammed me with his surfboard, making it look like an accident. I ended up in the emergency hospital with my foot in a cast.” “That’s when I returned to New York and landed a job with Johnny Carson,” she added, somewhat nonchalantly I thought, as CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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if getting a job with the late great king of late-night television was something anyone, let alone a woman, could easily do. But Lucia is not just any woman. Carson called her the gutsiest

Clockwise from top left: Donna Summer, Steffan Kaiser and Lucia

woman he had ever met with more balls than any guy he ever met, first

Dolly Parton and Lucia

hiring her as an intern, one foot in a cast, the other in a very sexy high

Muhammad Ali being honored and Lucia was his special VIP guest

heel shoe, then promoting her in the coveted role as Talent Booker for his television show, the first time a woman would hold this position. She also took on the job as show publicist, again making waves in a

Tony Curtis and Lucia

“Are you kidding me?” he said, trademark Johnny Carson expression on his face. “Do you, did you ever look in the mirror?” Laugh track, then serious again. “And you turned out to be one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met in my life.” And from all accounts he meant it. Lucia and Johnny would work closely

high-profile role that made people stop and take notice. She was just

together for five years, he fully confident in

19 at the time and had landed one of the most powerful positions with

her abilities to do anything she set her mind

one of the most powerful celebrities on TV. She remembers asking

to, he was always confident in her value as

Johnny why he ended up interviewing her.

an exceptional executive. What she endured behind the scenes reinforces the person he believed her to be. “I was sexually harassed many times over the years because of my looks but I never once gave into their demands. In fact, when

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FEATURE

I went on to make a lot of money for women in my day, sadly never equal to what men were paid, and traveled the world because of it. I’ve lived all over and have experienced so much.

I told Johnny about the men who were harassing, or inappropriately propositioning me - some who were from his powerful inner circle, and told him I was leaving, he said, ‘No, you’re not leaving, they are.’ And he fired them just like that.” To say that Lucia was ahead of her time is a given. Blessed with beauty and brains and the self-assuredness to live life on her terms, she never thought twice about compromising her standards. Never one to be intimidated, no one, no man, was going to tell her what to do no matter how omnipotent he considered himself to be. “And I always paid my own way,” she added proudly. “I had an uncle who early on warned me about the dangers I would face as a woman. He described exactly what could happen, leaving no

profile as a Revlon Lipstick Girl, making her

details to the imagination, if I were to be sexually assaulted or trafficked

agency a success from the get-go. It is also

to someplace I couldn’t escape from. I never forgot his words and

where her fortune and fearlessness grew – as

gratefully share them with parents and young children whenever I can.”

did her disdain for men who would denigrate

She ended up leaving the Johnny Carson show to head up an

women.

all-women’s advertising agency as President at the extraordinary offer of a man who recognized the many assets she brought to the table. She had top-tier connections and social contacts from her job with Johnny Carson – think Joan Crawford, Burt Reynolds, the Rat Pack, and a wide range of headlining superstars – and from her very visible

The Alliance Francaise Org. Honoring Lucia’s dearest friend Quincy Jones with Morgan Freeman and all the A-Stars from Hollywood

“Disgusted” with the man who backed the business, she ended up closing the agency after a year. Following that chapter, her need for wanderlust emerged again and this time she decided to take an extensive trip throughout Europe with Amsterdam being the first stop. The entire trip was filled with too many adventured to be told - some highlights including getting stopped and held at Check Point Charlie for 24 hours in East Germany for being mistaken for another woman; getting caught at a Marine Base in Naples, Italy for sneaking in to visit a boyfriend and again almost getting arrested and told she could never come back to Naples, just to name a few. During another trip to Rome, after being smothered by an ardent admirer who followed her, she flew to Egypt, a dream destination for Lucia who had studied Egyptian art and wanted to see The Pyramids, her trip resulted in imperial intrigues in Anwar Sadat’s royal

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Photo by Jeff Smith

FEATURE

While she mentioned having a gun held to her head for some act of cultural disobedience, she assured me she had the freedom to come and go from the palace as she pleased. Living the life of a princess was not a bad deal for her, a kid from the Bronx. That is until her partner explained that she was to be taken away the very next day and he didn’t have the power to stop it. When she voiced her horror at the Prince’s plans, he helped her escape in a thrilling edge-ofyour-seat story that is destined to be retold on the big screen and one that underscores her life’s mission today. While she supports an array of causes on behalf of the homeless and the helpless, she has been especially focused on making the world a better and safer place for women and children and by bringing awareness to the very real dangers

Photo by Jeff Smith

of sex trafficking, having experienced it

palace, a passionate six month relationship with a handsome courtier which sadly ended when an ultra-powerful Saudi Prince who wanted to purchase her from her lover to be part of a “high class” subversive sex trafficking ring - He threatened her life when she would not comply. Listening to her stories, my imagination raced back in time to the days of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, where their ever-watchful enemies were always ever present, when kidnappings and murders were rampant, and star-crossed lovers fled to safety by any means possible. 96

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Clockwise from top left: Françcois Belizaire, Mikaela Rae, Paulette Cleghorn and Lucia Lucia’s Birthday celebration in SOHO, NYC, December 4, 2021 Rita Cosby, Bob Tate, Lucia and Tomaczek Bednarek Opposite page: Surprise Birthday Party for Lucia’s husband Steffan Kaiser in Honolulu Hawaii

firsthand. “Were it not for my friend in Egypt, my story would have ended very differently and I wouldn’t be here today to tell it. I could have been one of those women who are forever


To say that Lucia was ahead of her time is a given. Blessed with beauty and brains and the self-assuredness to live life on her terms, she never thought twice about compromising her standards.

After her husband Steffan Kaiser’s tragic and untimely passing, Lucia turned her attention to documentary filmmaking and philanthropic causes, winning two Emmys in the process and making a huge difference in countless lives. She has received The Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Cannes Film Festival, Philanthropy and Leadership in Pioneering Women in the Business Entertainment Industry for breaking barriers for women, an incredible HBO Legacy Award for her role as President of Bruce Lee’s Film Company in Hong Kong, The Lifetime Achievement Humanitarian Award from GEM (Global Empowerment Movement Organization) at The United Nations and was chosen at The Davos International Forum in Switzerland as

lost to a world of slavery. What he did by warning me and secreting

one of the 100 Most Influential Women in America just to name a

me away on a boat bound for Beirut and a flight to the US, Egyptian

few. She’s raised millions for Charity, including building a ballet school

law enforcement would never have dared do, and I owe him my life.”

in Hawaii, was one of the original founding members of The Maui

“I went on to make a lot of money for women in my day, sadly never

Film Festival and continues to support causes dear to her all over

equal to what men were paid, and traveled the world because of it.

the world. And after making many an actor and actress household

I’ve lived all over and have experienced so much. If you saw pictures

names, she’s now back home in the New York metropolitan region

of me from the past, you’ll know that I have always been able to blend

where film companies are in discussions to finally produce a movie

in with different nationalities, from the time I was kidnapped to South

and a TV series about her.

America to my days passing for an Egyptian with my sun-darkened

This time, they won’t have to embellish the script to make her story

skin and long black hair to a visit to Israel where the locals thought

a riveting box office hit because all of the scenes in Lucia Kaiser’s

I was a local”

life, as unimaginable as they are, are the real deal. We can’t wait to

That blending in opened doors to cultural experiences few Amer-

sit in the front row. ☐

ican women have. Her travels and the travails she encountered along the way were in turn dangerous and delightful, pitting her against good men and bad until she met the love of her life. While traveling in Hong Kong, she agreed to accompany a man to meet a potential employer which led to her job as president of Bruce Lee’s Film Company, a role traditionally held only by men in a centuries-old chauvinistic society. Riding head-to-head with machismo motorcycle racers – Steve McQueen taught her how to ride – While motorcycle racing in Bangkok she got into a terrible accident and ended up in an army hospital with soldiers from Vietnam. She jumped out of a plane 32 times, letting nothing hold her back from soaring through life her way. And while she admits to being a real player back then with no interest in marriage or children with a bevy of men at her beck and call, meeting a handsome golden-haired stranger in a Munich Disco Club and going home with him on that first night lasted 23 blissful years of marriage she’ll never take for granted. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Of S und Mind Chrystabell x Vital Neuro Explores the Spectrum of Frequency

BY KAMI SLOAN

Music is the universal language” that crosses cultural

“Our psychophysiological and emotional life

and societal boundaries. The frequencies and vibrations

depends on the efficiency and relevance of our

it gives off not only unify us as a people but celebrate

brain operating system to the time and era we live

our humanity - our life - our core existence. Did you

in. Currently, our operating system and unconscious

know that sound can be an elixir of life when your brain

physiological responses are out of tune with our

is guided and bathed in therapeutic sonic waves? The

socio-psychological life and actual reality”, shares Dr.

communicative response sound has on our psyche

Kamran Fallahpour, Ph.D. Founder & Chief Science

and physiology plays an integral role in impacting our

Officer at Vital Neuro.

well-being. Vital Neuro ™ is a neurotech platform that

Venü converses with singer and actress Chrystabell

integrates music, sound, and real-time brain monitoring

and Dr. Kamran Fallahpour, Ph.D., about their collabo-

to alleviate stress and anxiety.

ration and the healing power of music. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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VENÜ: How did you meet, and how did the collaboration initiate? CB:The story essentially is indicative of how my favorite connections are made – which is where you tap into a situation, and you feel like there’s an alignment that is happening without trying or forcing. This is often when magic can happen. It was the case with this collaboration. I was making a music video for “Suicide Moonbeams”, one of my favorite songs on Midnight Star, with Melana Abramov, a director who has been very significant in my life, as a guide and a giver of insight. We collaborated on expansive projects that contributed to my spiritual evolution. Our reciprocation process was that I would star in a short film that she was directing, and she would direct my music video. Through the course of bringing the team together to create the video, Melana met FashionTech designer Anouk Wipprecht, and all the pieces after that came into alignment for the video and the experience– Kamran was one

the brain-computer interface to change people’s frequencies, helping

of those pieces. If I were the type of artist who made jingles brands and

to shift from one locked brain mind-space to another, which is a more

products, I don’t think I could have written a more appropriate song for

expansive, more inclusive, better place to be. We are at a place in our

his product. My song lyrically mentions “tuning in” to frequencies that

society and the planet where our focus is fixated on the wrong variables.

can change the paradigm of your reality. You can focus here, or you can look over there. Kamran created a tool you

Vital Neuro’s™ mission is to provide the tools to shift conscious planes away from places of anxieties, stress, and obsessive values. Our planet needs it! We believe we can

can use for the process. Bring it on! I thought it was

make an impact of change.

remarkable – a lovely alignment. When you get

My scientific background in neuroscience

things that start to feel like “The Cosmic Yes”,

and clinical psychological research led me to

you go with it.

develop Vital Neuro™ in delivering a platform KF: I certainly agree with you on multiple levels,

and a lifestyle product that guides our brain

there was a strong synchronicity between

plasticity direction towards a better state of

everything that was happening. Anouk

mind. Human beings have an unconscious

expressed that a collaboration with Chrystabell

operating system, an autonomic nervous system that’s always on autopilot. If we spend too much

would be the right match for how I foresaw Vital

time in fight or flight state, then we lose a sense of

Neuro’s™ direction. I was looking for a brilliant artist to engage with musically, to co-produce music that would have a scientific impact based on neuroscientific principles. When I initially spoke to Chrystabell over the phone, I thoroughly enjoyed

what humanity is all about. We believe that neurotechnology in that regard has the potential to help make a giant leap forward in human consciousness.

her style of music. At this point, I wasn’t privy to the song. When I met her on the set at the video production, I realized the deeply profound layers

VENÜ: What has music given to you on a deeper level?

of what she was singing about. She sung about the process we use with

CB: Music, in general, has been my medicine when I needed a friend and a complete support system for my emotional welfare. As an artist,

Kamran Fallahpour, Ph.D. Founder & Chief Science Officer at Vital Neuro

I want to be someone who can offer comfort to others knowing the depths music has given to me in certain moments in my life. My life purpose is significant; it’s a life dedication that is deeply rewarding. All the sacrifices that you could perceive are made. As artists, we want to reach out to so many people and being supported is a bit of a bridge to cross. Sometimes you feel like you’re not making the right choice as a lifelong artist, musician, creator performer, and you’re waiting to get on the other side during the midst of that journey. Music is my mantra, and other meditations + TM. I’m deeply and soulfully aligned in what I feel my soul purpose is. Everything else is inconsequential. I’m exactly

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where I should be – I’m right on time, and I hope people get this. VENÜ: Can you share how you collaborate with David Lynch? CB: David is an example of another microcosm-another massive cosmic yes in my life. I was blessed to meet someone at Creative Artists Agency who not only saw me as an artist and supported my vision but was one of the only people on the planet that David trusts to carefully select people for possible collaborations. I would say that when meeting David it was “love at first chord”. We’ve nurtured a musical partnership spanning more than two decades. As humans, we enjoy sharing time and space. His influence has been nothing less than profound in my life as a person and an artist. In Twin Peaks, season 3, our characters essentially mirror the personal dynamic we share, and now it’s immortalized in this phenomenal piece of art that continues to reconnect us on this plane. VENÜ: Please explain what the new album MIDNIGHT STAR means to you. What’s the message? CB: My whole endeavor was to lift and orally massage out of a dip or valley. I felt a bit enlivened and inspired. In past projects, my musical references have been on the darker side of things as with red wine, hot baths, and dark dreamscapes.. KF: Which has its own beauty, by the way. CB: All of that brought me to where I am now. I’m still drawn to that time and place, but the space, time, and dimension that we’re moving into is more electric - more ephemeral, ethereal in nature. Things don’t have to be so heavy. We can get the upgrades faster- be more open to information and surrender without asking so many questions. This album, for me, is about offering “diamond raindrops,” sparkle – a tiny opening with possibilities of seeing each other in this way. There’s no need to get fixated with other directions- shake it up, clear the debris. There’s a mystical side, a hero’s journey. MIDNIGHT STAR takes you on an adventure that is enthusiastic about the peaks and valleys; there’s a sparkling Merkabah on this trip, and I was like – ok, let’s go!

VENÜ: How did you feel when you put on the headsets for the first time? How did it move you? KF: The music currently being played through the headphones is music that we’ve composed and produced based upon neuroscientific principles. The music we hope to collaborate with Chrystabell also includes SM, (Suicide Moonbeams). Its an iconic song that matches our vision well and is an excellent example of positivity in its messaging. It’s challenging to compose and produce upbeat music that doesn’t sound trivial and shallow. Chrystabell has achieved this in her work by giving meaning, drive, positivity, and a profound message. This is very difficult to achieve. CB: The idea that Vital Neuro incorporates this scientific understanding and awareness in raising frequency is fascinating and ultra, ultra, cool. KF: We look at Vital Neuro ™ as a music and meditational brand that couples a fashion-savvy lifestyle with a cognitive approach. “Our brain can rewire and optimize when given precise real-time information about its functions using sensor technology and brain-computer interface.” Vital science produces a deep relaxed state, reduces stress, improves sleep, enhances focus, increases energy, and simply makes you feel happier. Get the shift you need with Vital Neuro.™ ☐ www.chrystabell.com | www.vitalneuro.com CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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PULSE: Music

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Directed & Edited by: Melana Abramov Photographer: Yanni De Melo Fashion Tech: Anouk Wipprecht Make-Up: Maggie Strunk Hair: Crystal Pratt Studio: Robot Studios CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Oh Savannah A trip down Perry Lane BY CINDY CLARKE

T

The last time I was in Savannah

her art-rich townhome, each flavored with

simply won’t do. Like an exemplary valet

was a virtual drive-by stop en

the sensibilities of a city long-revered as the

staff that doesn’t just open doors for you,

route to the airport for lunch with

“Hostess City of the South.” That I would

but that introduce themselves, like Alex did,

never again experience such a mem-

Spring Island. I didn’t know anything about

orably authentic welcome by a

her sister – or the city – but I was game to

stranger in an unfamiliar place

say hello and enjoy a good meal before my

was something I resigned

might add, inside the hotel

flight. Turns out her sister was none other

myself to, because even as

they love working at. And

than cookbook author and caterer Susan

a well-seasoned traveler,

Pops, the congenial gent

Mason. A local culinary legend and an irre-

this visit was a true rarity.

pressible grand dame of Savannah society,

That is, until my next visit

Susan serves up elegant southern hospitality

to Savannah at the Perry Lane

with her distinctive Auntie Mame flair in the

Hotel.

stately homes of the city’s oldest families

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and hand you a bottle of water, or a

the sister of a friend I had just met in nearby

I am prone to superlatives when

bottomless glass of champagne, as they invite you, warmly I

in the seer-sucker suit who offers you insider tips and a complimentary drive to city landmarks you may want to see. And the hospitality team who

and the celebrities who come to town. I was

I discover some place worthy of words that

refill your champagne as they fill you in on

intrigued by her stories and tell-all walk to

don’t yet exist because the ordinary ones

all the hotel’s amenities – and Adelaide

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TRAVEL

Harcourt’s artful adventures – you’ll discover during your stay. And Laura Cunningham, the beyond-knowledgeable concierge who not only knows the ins and outs and hidden gems of a city steeped in squares, haunts, and SCAD-designed treasures, but who is a member of the elite Clefs d’Or, famous for orchestrating golden key access where others can’t and for keeping the word “no” out of their vocabulary. And that is only in the first 30 minutes of an unexpectedly memorable stay at this award-winning hotel, aptly set in the heart of the historic district. Newly built and opened in 2018, the elegant Perry Lane Hotel, rated #1 in Savannah, is the epitome of past made perfect, and then some. A refreshing blend of understated luxury and all-out home-inspired comforts – think morning coffee, all day long; 5:00 PM cocktails, creatively concocted, generously poured, and gratis of course; sink-in-soft Luxury Collection beds that hug you to sleep; spacious rain showers that may have

ready to pack for a whirlwind trip, are hung

Thoughtfully put together by NINE dots ART

closet style as an irresistible homage to her

from the perspective of a single collector,

whimsical flair.

Miss Adelaide Harcourt, the collection gives

The art is part of the appeal of the hotel.

a well-deserved nod to the local art scene.

you rethink drying off and getting dressed; and dining venues that pamper your palate with seasonal fare and chef-proud specialties – this is not just any Marriott Luxury Collection hotel. For one thing, it’s managed by Sage Hospitality Group, purveyors of perfection when it comes to top-tier guest service and satisfaction. At Perry Lane, the smiles and friendliness of their exceptional team of hospitality professionals, from the front door to the front desk to the rooftop bar, are genuine give-aways for the happy home ambiance you’ll indulge in at the hotel. Add the striking design and vintage chic décor, intimately informed by the imaginative tales of the hotel’s most famous resident, Miss Adelaide Harcourt, whose eclectic travel memorabilia, artwork and collected treasures line the halls, walls, nooks and crannies of the hotel, and you’ll agree there is wisdom to their vision here. Adelaide’s penchant for artful design is also evident in the hotel’s gift shop, MUSE, where clothing and accessories, CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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TRAVEL

There are over 1,200+ works of art, not counting the unique objets d’art and antiques, displayed throughout the hotel.

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There are over 1,200+ works of art, not count-

work by Paul Gauguin and one by Sandy

ing the unique objets d’art and antiques,

Skoglund. Guest favorites include a capti-

displayed throughout the hotel. They include

vating picture of little boy blue blowing his

pieces by 81 artists with ties to The Savannah

horn made from a cancelled check collage

College of Art and Design (SCAD), 75 artists

innovatively created by a SCAD student, and

from Savannah, 23 international artists, one

the two expressive little sculpted men who


affable and talented barkeep at the Wayward, before indulging in regionally fresh Southern cooking at The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market, where the shrimp and grits tantalized with delectable Savannah tradition and our ever-attentive hostess made sure everything was to our liking. It was. Which brings me back to my first time in Savannah when I was greeted like a long-lost friend by a fascinating resident who uncannily has lot in common with the globe-trotting Adelaide at the Perry Lane Hotel. A visual passion for art and travel. Curated treasures that speak volumes about the interests they share. A fondness for reverie. A love of life. Fine food and fun with friends who are welcomed like family. And a place alive with the spirit of Savannah, where the door is always open and the memories last lifetimes. It’s no wonder I plan to make my way back guard the ballerina wall near the elevator

easy to navigate city with cobbled charms,

to the rooftop Peregrin bar and are oft the

majestic moss-draped oaks and horse-

target of new collectors who would love to

drawn carriages at every turn.

bring them home.

When we got hungry for a different taste

to Perry Lane soon, friends in tow. ☐ For more information and to book a stay at the Perry Lane Hotel, a Luxury

The 167-room boutique property is also

of the city, we returned to the hotel for sig-

Collection Hotel, Savannah, please visit:

ideally located within walking distance

nature drinks personally concocted by the

www.perrylanehotel.com

of Savannah’s must-see sights, midway between fountained Forsyth Park and the riverfront, a block from Bull Street. You can take in a panoramic overview from the Peregrin, the hotel’s undeniably alluring rooftop bar, complete with a sun-kissed pool, before heading out to wander through 300 years of architectural history past its cottages, early row houses, Georgian colonials, Federal homes, Victorian mansions and art deco addresses like we did with Jonathan Stalcup, SCAD graduate and architectural historian extraordinaire. Or you can hop aboard a trolley for a narrated ride past the city’s 23 park-like squares, engaging with “true” tales about the haunted houses and ghosts of the city’s illustrious and literary heritage. Weather and energy permitting, you can pedal to the parks on one of the hotel’s complimentary bicycles, seeing the sights eye-to-eye like the locals do. Savannah is an CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Become a Leader in Ocean Conservation:

A Green Guide to Boating BY IVONNE GAMBOA

T

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he International SeaKeepers Society, a

appointed based in London to start expansion

non-profit organization that facilitates

of programming in Europe.

oceanographic research, education,

SeaKeepers Asia focuses on introducing

and conservation, enables the yachting

marine science and conservation through the

community to advance marine science and

Educational Outreach Program dedicated to

raise awareness on global ocean issues. Sea-

youth. The chapter covers the territories of

Keepers accomplishes its mission through the

Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia,

DISCOVERY Yacht Program, which comprises

Philippines, Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia,

scientist-led expeditions, citizen science trips,

and Thailand. Since its inception, the chapter

educational outreach events, and commu-

has engaged with 14 schools and participated

nity engagement activities. Vessel owners

in over 55 projects focused on marine con-

and captains can participate in a 10-minute

servation. The efforts in Asia are founded

instrument deployment while en route to the

on creating better local awareness of our

next port, to an afternoon outreach trip with

oceans’ current situation to build a sense

children, to week-long expeditions with a

of appreciation and commitment to protect,

team of researchers and scientists. Program-

conserve, and restore the marine ecosystem

ming in the United States is accomplished

where possible.

through its headquarters in Miami, Florida. In

Since early 2021, SeaKeepers Asia and

2015, SeaKeepers expanded with a chapter

SeaKeepers Headquarters have estab-

in Singapore headed by Director of Programs,

lished the Carbon Impact Program (CIP),

Gail Tay and in the fall of 2021 a position was

which was launched to the public in Asia

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YACHTING: Seakeepers

in November of 2021. The CIP is a hub of resources that include a carbon footprint calculator, blogs that cover topics on eco-conscious living, a recognition page that spotlights vessels implementing sustainable practices, and A Green Guide to Boating, a manual that highlights tips and resources for recreational boating.

“Do not leave shore without a copy of ‘A Green Guide to Boating,’ a wonderfully rich source of wit and wisdom about how to explore and enjoy the ocean with a light touch, and of inspired ways to safeguard ‘what’s under the boat’ – Earth’s living blue heart.”

advantage of our water planet by abusing her as an endless resource and a universal sewer. In order to do our part, we must not take what she offers; we must nurture and protect her as well. ‘A Green Guide to Boating’ is an excellent common sense ‘relationship therapy’ book which helps us find a

Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, Marine Biologist, Oceanographer, Explorer, Author, Lecturer & National GeoExplorer in Residence.

balanced relationship with our life support system, our ocean planet.” – Foreword by Fabien Cousteau, Ocean Conservationist &

“Do not leave shore without a copy of ‘A Green Guide to Boating,’ a wonderfully rich source of wit and wisdom about how to explore and enjoy the ocean with a light touch, and of inspired ways to safeguard ‘what’s under the boat’ – Earth’s living blue heart.” - Foreword by Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, Marine Biologist, Oceanographer, Explorer, Author, Lecturer & National GeoExplorer in Residence. Vessels now have a comprehensive guide to adopt good boating practices that protect the ocean and reduce their carbon footprint. A Green Guide to Boating offers plenty of advice, resources, and examples. To download a copy, scan the QR code or visit WWW.SEAKEEPERS.ORG/A-GREEN-GUIDETO-BOATING/ “People of the sea: boaters, divers, surfers, fishermen, and vacationers alike have always had an integral relationship with our ocean world. For too long, we have taken CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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YACHTING: Seakeepers

“People of the sea: boaters, divers, surfers, fishermen, and vacationers alike have always had an integral relationship with our ocean world. For too long, we have taken advantage of our water planet by abusing her as an endless resource and a universal sewer. In order to do our part, we must not take what she offers; we must nurture and protect her as well. ‘A Green Guide to Boating’ is an excellent common sense ‘relationship therapy’ book which helps us find a balanced relationship with our life support system, our ocean planet.” Fabien Cousteau, Ocean Conservationist & Documentary Filmmaker

Documentary Filmmaker SeaKeepers is supported through the generosity of donors, many of whom provide vessels as donations to the charity. In working with industry partners such as Camper & Nicholson’s International, Northrop & Johnson, and more, SeaKeepers is able to accept donated vessels that will help support ocean conservation, education, and exploration. Donating your vessel can immediately eliminate ownership costs and considerably reduce

Scan the QR Code to download a copy of A Green Guide to Boating 112

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

your income tax burden. For more information on the vessel donation program, go to www. seakeepers.org/yacht-donations-program/ yacht-donation-program-details.


WELL-BEING: Grounding

Sardinia, Italy | Photo by Reiseuhu

GROUNDING Bringing Medical Advice Back Down to Earth BY CINDY CLARKE There have been a lot of hit and misses in the news of late,

what worked and what didn’t in terms of a healthy lifestyle. But

especially when it comes to the mixed messaging in media-re-

today, with the great mask debate, heart health reversals, EMF

leased medical advice surrounding COVID. But this is not new

controversies, multiplying misdiagnoses and more muddling

news. Throughout the centuries, clinical studies have trumped

access to the answers we seek, it is increasingly difficult to

or trounced published studies that came before, illustrating

know who and what to trust in our quest to live longer and

conflicting medically sanctioned recommendations when it

better.

comes to our health.

I came across the term “medical never minds” recently

There once was a time when everyone thought it was cool

and wondered why so many publicly touted findings, once

to smoke. It was OK that coke had cocaine in it, and radium

sacrosanct, are later refuted by the very scientists and medical

cure-alls and deep dark suntans, now deemed dangerous,

professionals we look to for sound guidance. I was reminded

were considered healthy. Modern day medicine and health

of a conversation I had with cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sina-

organizations put an end to all that, learning through research

tra who shared that doctors, health officials, scientists and

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WELL-BEING: Grounding

learn that they had been wrong in believing that people would die earlier with high cholesterol. That was a total paradigm shift for them and they had a difficult time accepting it. But the science showed them the facts. Up until that time, we doctors grew up with the notion that the higher the cholesterol, the fewer years a person would live. In other words, higher cholesterol predisposed them to strokes, heart attacks, dementia and more. But now we know that cholesterol is vital for protecting neurons, and the workings of the brain among other things.” “What is constant is that medicine is always changing. What we considered dogma 100 years ago is a fallacy today. One of the hallmarks that good doctors are privy to is the myth fallacy. Sometimes a myth becomes fact and the dogma becomes the fallacy. I’ve seen that happen in my own lifetime when we treated gastric ulcers by surgically cutting them out Photo by KoolShooters

and cauterizing them. Twenty years later it was discovered that gastric ulcers were caused by, H Pylori, a bacteria, that could be treated with

researchers can provide deep expertise and

have, the more tools you have in your tool

vital perspective, but they are also fallible and

chest and the more versatile you are. That’s

have their own biases.

the basis of conventional training. Then there’s

Many studies are refuted over time. Paid researchers embark on studies wanting certain results. We tend to think of the scientific

A highly respected researcher, author and

non-conventional training, like what the Ameri-

integrative health practitioner, Dr. Sinatra is

can College of Nutrition does, where you learn

frustrated by misrepresentative health claims

about energetic medicine, herbal medicine,

too. He explained that a third of the medical

vitamins, minerals, and the like. That’s not

what we want to be true, but in fact it’s easy

literature doctors read today in top-of-the-line

taught in medical school, and as we know there

to manipulate results and arrive at conclusions

medical journals has been declared fraudu-

are so many other lifestyle choices that impact

you hope for, especially if there is money on

lent. Research is a big part of that misleading

a person’s health.”

the line.

process as being objective, rigorous, and even ruthless in separating out what is true from

science because of the way it’s conducted

In the last few years especially, we have

So what can we believe when we want to

and calculated. “Studies underwritten by

seen a lot of misinformation come to light. Even

know what’s best for our health, especially as

pharmaceutical companies tend to report data

doctors admit that you can go to five different

we age?

based on relative rather than absolute risk. It’s

doctors and get five different opinions. There

“You can look at all of the studies that

a difficult concept to understand. But when you

are so many variables when it comes to health.

celebrate healthy lifestyles without promoting

are talking about relative risk, it is really only a fraction of what really occurs.”

114

antibiotics,” said Dr. Sinatra.

“For years and years, we doctors believed

products. These studies take into account the

that cholesterol was the villain in heart disease

choices people make in terms of their well-be-

“Doctors learn by trial and error,” he

until the Framingham Heart Study proved

ing, with no profit margin coercion influencing

continued. “They go to medical school, take

otherwise. When I was a young cardiology

their findings. From unbiased research, ongo-

an internship, do a residency and maybe a

doctor, I participated in this decades long study

ing clinical studies and anecdotal observations,

fellowship, all the while training and observing

by sharing data. I remember towards the end

we know that we can improve our health by

and experiencing the real life-and-death issues

of the study, doctors, who had preached that

changing our habits and lifestyles, including

doctors face every day. The more training you

cholesterol was the enemy, were surprised to

eating organic foods, exercising every day

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


and avoiding harmful toxins in our diet and environment. In many cases, we can even reverse diseases naturally, without turning to prescribed medicines. People who have discovered the secret sauce to a healthier life have also added grounding to their daily routine,” said Dr. Sinatra. “In my fifty years of practicing medicine, I believe the greatest health discovery I’ve ever made is grounding.” Grounding, the simple act of connecting to the freely abundant, nourishing energy of the Earth’s surface, skin to soil, has been scientifically and medically proven through numerous studies to have significant positive effects on our physiology. It helps to restore

Photo by Cleo Stracuzza

energy, heighten feel good endorphins, improve circulation, calm heart rates, alleviate stress, and help assure a better night’s sleep, returning the body to a naturally balanced state of homeostasis the way nature intended. It also reduces inflammation – the culprit

behind rising health problems today, including

Similarly because of the warm climates of the

heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, high blood

Blue Zones, people are enjoying the outside

pressure, chronic pain and even cancer. The

all year round and doing a lot of swimming,

Earth’s surface keeps our bodies in balance

hiking and walking, common activities these

through a constant exchange of electrons and

communities share. They are also great ways

electric vibrations that literally recharge us with

to get grounded if you are barefoot or wearing

positive healing energy. That’s the essence of

natural leather footwear.

grounding and you can do it while you are

Researchers who have studied the lon-

out walking, swimming, gardening or doing

ger-life phenomena of the Blue Zones attribute

anything that puts your body in direct contact

their longevity to their down to Earth lifestyle

with the earth.

practices. Dr. Sinatra believes that grounding

Take a look at the health revelations of

Photo by Kevin Wolf

has a lot to do with it.

people who live in the so-called Blue Zones,

“Grounding is the antidote for millions of

the places where longevity and centenarians

people. And it's free. Unbelievable. I can't get

rule. The Blue Zones are areas of the world

over it myself. I believe in this 100%. Grounding

where people live 100 years or more, with less

is the greatest free thing you can do for your

stress, more connections and fewer incidents of

body. And it's the greatest kept secret. Only

dementia and disease. These regions include

a small part of the population knows about

the Mediterranean, the Greek Island of Ikaria,

this. Once the public realizes that this is free,

Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Costa Rica’s

and it is healing, especially in this enormous

Nicola Peninsula and Loma Linda in California.

inflammatory time we live in, it will have an

Common lifestyle factors among the residents

incredible effect. If you ask me, it's the best

include natural physical activity, like walking or

healing modality I have come across in my 50

hiking, and gardening, often growing their own

years of practicing medicine. The breadth of

fruits and vegetables in keeping with a fresh

validation from trustworthy data and real-life

seasonal diet.

testimonials is absolutely enormous.”

Research shows that gardening can boost

As Hippocrates said, “Nature itself is the

your mood and well-being while also providing

best physician.” And with centuries-long evi-

a physical activity that’s rewarding and produc-

dence to support that heralded dogma, that

tive. Gardening is also one of the best ways

is one piece of medical wisdom that you can

to tap into the restorative powers of the Earth.

count on. ☐ CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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2022 GLOBAL WELLNESS TRENDS OUR WONDERFUL FUTURE

LIQUIDROOM, Melbourne, Australia

WELL-BEING

BY JUDY CHAPMAN

L

ike many others around the globe, I returned home at the start of 2020 to

Each year the GWS releases its annual well-

take comfort in a place that felt clean,

ness trends forecast based on the insights of

Ellis, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO. Here’s a look at several of the wellness trends featured in this year’s report…

healthy, and safe. My family home happens to

hundreds of global executives of wellness

A New Dirt-y Wellness - The health of the

be in Byron Bay, Australia, a beautiful region

companies, economists, doctors, investors,

world’s soil—and the impact of soil exposure

renowned for being at the frontier of many

academics, and technologists.

wellness movements; organic food co-ops,

What makes this year’s 110-page report

regenerative farming, off-the-grid homes and

particularly inspiring is the global shift

retreats, and most significantly, a community

towards wellness, sustainability, naturalism

dedicated to sustainability and self-reliance

and self-reliance!

when it comes to personal and planetary wellbeing.

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Summit (GWS).

“One thing that this forecast makes clear

on human health—become far more important. Think: “soil-bathing” - Beth McGroarty - VIP research, GWS. “Human,” derived from the Latin word “humus,” meaning rich, living soil. Did you know that Soil is our planet’s

is that the future of wellness will be anything

most extraordinary ecosystem? One handful contains 50 billion life forms and for millions

This brings me to the wellness trends high-

but a ‘restart’ of 2019. What consumers now

lighted in the 2022 Global Wellness Trends

need most, what they perceive as ‘true well-

of years, the microbial stew that is living soil

Report produced by the Global Wellness

ness,’ has profoundly changed” , says Susie

did its job: from cycling nutrients to plants

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


to capturing vast amounts of atmospheric carbon.

blood.

evident in the global growth of outdoor survival

Most of us are aware of how industrial

That said, we must act fast to restore the

schools, foraging, homegrown produce, and

soil if we want to be able to feed the world,

agricultural methods have quickly decimated

TikTok #ecohacks. And it’s a trend that’s very

fight climate change, and protect human

much in line with the larger shifts towards

the world’s soil microbiome: one-third of all

health. That isn’t some “trend” it’s our very

back-to-basics wellness. Just as wellness is

farmlands is intensely degraded to the extent

future.

returning to the fundamentals, Next-Gen Natu-

Next-Gen Naturalism -

cation of one’s life and consumption, placing

that we are now living in what is known as a ‘soil crisis’. We are soil-deprived and no longer bathing in all that bacterial and fungal richness.

‘The return of self-reliance’

ralism requires a Marie Kondo-esque simplifia refreshing focus on the natural world and

Mounting research indicates that the

Written by Skyler Hubler and Cecelia Girr, ‘Next

soil and human microbiomes are anciently

Gen Naturalisim’ is one of the most inspiring

ness that forces us to rethink how we use

connected, and that soil exposure has an

trends for 2022.

our natural resources, how we source our

impact on everything from food to mental health and our immune system.

For decades, the concept of progress has

food, and ultimately—how we prepare for a

been praising automation, rewarding the busi-

shaky future. Because in unpredictable times, preparedness equals peace of mind.’’

However, the good news is there are many

nesses who deliver convenience on-demand,

trends emerging to get people back to some

and admiring nature from a safe distance—

soil bathing.

glorifying it without respecting it. However,

There’s an unprecedented greening of the

according to this trend, the looming threat of

urban landscape and at wellness resorts, the

global upheaval is forcing us to change our

farm—and increasingly the regenerative farm—

ways. As we collectively reckon with the fragil-

is becoming as important as spa and fitness.

ity of our planet and the instability of our food

Think: soil-to-guest, beyond farm-to-table.

supply chains, we’ll see a long-overdue return

New regenerative agriculture (techniques that restore soil’s biodiversity) is the hottest topic in farming and will now become a hot topic in wellness. “Regen,” or “soil-certified,” will be the next food label, because it’s far more meaningful than “organic”, not only for its huge environmental impact but because soil health is the true lens into food’s nutritional value. In wellness real estate, regen-agrihoods are a real trend to watch. There’s also an incredible research boom in decoding the soil microbiome and unriddling how it impacts human health (through what we eat, through exposure). There are

ancient practices. It’s a no-frills kind of well-

to self-reliance. After years of unlearning ancient skills— from how to start a fire to how to grow our own food—we’re finally getting our hands dirty again and taking pride in DIY projects. This shift is called Next-Gen Naturalism. Next-Gen Naturalism challenges us to turn old practices into proactive solutions. By learning how to work with nature, rather than against it, we can get back to the timeless skills that once kept us alive. This self-sufficiency boom is already Resorts World Sauna Aufguss

Wellness Travel: Seekers, Welcome

Post-pandemic travelers are ready for adventure and engagement

As an avid wellness seeker for the last two decades, I resonated with ‘Wellness Travel, Seekers, Welcome’ trend presented by Elaine Glusac, a New York Times journalist and freelance writer. ‘Intention is the future of travel this year,’ says Glusac. ‘Social indicators such as the “great resignation,” record retirements and global nomadism reveal profound commitments to work/life balance and personal growth and happiness.’ Gluscac explains the travel industry is rolling out the welcome mat for intentional travelers. These new experiences world tap into a sense of purpose, a desire to grow creatively and intellectually and flourish in

engineering interventions that help the soil

new environments. From underwater breath-

thrive, so that we thrive. The future will be as

work in the Caribbean to exploring trauma

intuitive as it is high-tech.

while hiking the Canadian Rockies, the travel

Wellness businesses are getting people

industry is seeking to satisfy our thirsts for

back to the soil in so many simple ways;

intellectual, spiritual and physical experi-

whether gardening, farming, foraging, or

ences. Just some of these include:

forest bathing. A recent Finnish research created ‘forest floor’ playgrounds daycare centers and in just a month the children showed significantly increased T-Cells and other important immune markers in their

Exploring ancient wisdom

From camping in a Sami lavvu or teepee in

northern Sweden to learning Haida weaving and language in Haida Gwaii, Canada, indigCONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

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Connecting with community After years of social distancing, travel operators aim to satisfy our social cravings with rich community-based tourism offerings. For example, Noble House Hotels & Resorts has partnered with a technology firm to create a platform where guests will find area recommendations and tours to encourage local spending. Says Glusac, as the industry recovers from the crippling pandemic, travel offers a myriad of ways for intentional travelers to fulfill their personal missions. In 2022, it’s clear that future trips will provide an opportunity for travelers to reclaim their lives, improve their health, and discover their purpose.

OTHER 2022 WELLNESS TRENDS… 'MARRDJA BOARDWALK' Tourism and Events, Queensland, Australia

Senior Living -Disrupted

A wrinkle in time no more!

According to leading aging experts, 90 will be the new 40 within a decade. The exponen-

enous experiences are growing as travelers seek out the original locals and native popu-

Whether it’s ocean surfing as therapy in

lations reclaim their homelands.

Mexico or raising and releasing monarch

Learning to grow your own food

butterflies at the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas, adventures are increasingly positioned

During the pandemic, as global awareness

as wellness quests. An example is Native Like

of climate change and sustainability grew,

Water runs “coastal distancing” retreats in

many resorts vowed to source more locally,

Mexico focused on surf therapy and healthy

including from their own grounds. Resorts are

eating to address depression, post-traumatic

increasingly offering guest activities themed

stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma.

around foraging, beekeeping and regenerative practices.

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Healing through nature

engaged with personal growth into old age. In this trend, Laura Powell examines new models for intergenerational living environments that can set the stage for reducing age segregation, while increasing social connections, decreasing loneliness, and resulting in better health and wellbeing outcomes for all residents.

Emotional healing journeys

The devastation of the pandemic has also elevated emotional healing programs. At

Lifelong learners who want to make a differ-

Miraval Resorts & Spas a new grief and loss

ence can now participate in citizen-science

program nurtures guests through major life

programs. There are expeditions allow-

transitions, while San Diego’s California

ing passengers to contribute to work being

Golden Door has seen a boom in post-Covid

carried out by scientists in Antarctica. An

recovery demand.

example is Quasar Expeditions’ where the

Says Nicole Hernandez, who works as

18-guest yacht Conservation will engage

The Traveling Hypnotist, offering hypnotism

scientists and passengers in archipelago

sessions at Four Seasons resorts in New York

research, monitoring the impacts of intro-

City and beyond. “The pandemic showed us

duced species and tourism.

what really matters and realigned our values.”

CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE

tial jump in longevity means that people are retiring later and focusing on being active and

BILLY TEA SAFARIS' - Tourism and Events, Queensland, Australia


Healthier, more youthful, and more active

ity and augmented reality to merged reality

than their cohorts in previous generations, this

and haptics, the coming wellness metaverse

incoming senior class doesn’t “feel old” and

will create vast opportunities for each sector

doesn’t want to be defined by age, nor socially

of the $4.4 trillion global wellness economy.

segregated by it. That’s why today’s age-seg-

More about the 2022 Global Wellness Trends Report

regated models of senior living communities are no longer cutting it with a new generation that doesn’t believe in the concept of being put out to pasture upon retirement.

Every year, The Global Wellness Summit (GWS)

Urban Bathhouses & Wellness Playgrounds

releases an annual wellness trends report that illustrates the new directions in wellness around the world. This year's 110-page report

A˜ordable wellness is coming to a city near you

goes in-depth on the major shifts ahead in nutrition, wellness travel, wellness real estate,

Whether it’s new or renovated bathhouses

women’s health, men’s wellness, healthcare,

featuring hydrothermal bathing (saunas,

MEA REGENERATIVE COMMUNITY (Modern Elder Academy)' located in Baja, California Sur, Mexico

steam rooms and pools), large-scale wellness water resorts or public parks, cities around the globe are suddenly making the pursuit of wellness accessible, affordable and inclusive. Sauna bathing (and communal sweating) is becoming more popular and playful. New public playgrounds that merge nature and art with wellness are also transforming cityscapes—with new manmade beachfronts, scenic boardwalks, pop-up wellness classes, and even water sports becoming available in very unexpected places: like New York, Paris, London, Sydney, Madrid, Tokyo, and more.

Health & Wellness Coaching Gets Certified Coaches trained in the art and science of motivating healthy changes have been the missing link in both healthcare and wellness

Even though the world spends $8.3 trillion a year on healthcare and $4.4 trillion on wellness, we can’t stem the tide of chronic diseases? Behavior change is the toughest nut, but the positive news is the certified health and wellness coach (HWC) is finally here. A certified HWC is trained in evidencebased, nuanced conversational techniques that get people developing the intrinsic motivation and confidence to hit realistic wellbeing goals. Unlike the 15 minutes doctors give you,

technology, sustainability and spas. ☐ Visit the website below for more information: www.globalwellnesssummit.com.

a certified HWC can spend around 50 minutes a week for at least 3 months. This trend explores how rigorous training and certification programs are now in place and how more insurance companies are covering. It looks at an avalanche of digital health companies plus change: resorts like Mexico’s Cartesiano are now incorporating HWC and Six Senses and Canyon Ranch are opening urban wellness centers for more “everyday” coaching. More doctors argue these coaches need to be central to all primary care - because behavior change comes from within.

Wellness Welcomes the Metaverse

Health & wellness are attractive to the Metaverse which needs to diversify beyond

gaming The metaverse is happening…it isn’t a

MEA REGENERATIVE COMMUNITY (Modern Elder Academy)' located in Baja, California Sur, Mexico

Judy Chapman is an International Spa Designer and consults for hotel, spa and wellness brands around the world including Menla Mountain Retreat in the USA. Judy

maybe. With wellness front and center in

also develops white label skincare products

consumer’s minds—and at the forefront of

for spas and individuals. She is the former

business and government strategies around the globe—the world is seeking new technologies that can far better engage and impact the health of many more people. From virtual real-

Editor-in-Chief of Spa Asia magazine and author of several books on wellness and spas. Judy is currently based in Byron Bay, Australia. www.judychapman.com.au

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“SPRING”

VENÜGRAM

SPRING Photography by Meriç Da°lı

“S˜°˛n˝ ad˙s ˆˇ w life and new beauty to all that is.” ˜ Jessica Harrelson ˜

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Margot Nimiroski

Memories of the Sea, acrylic on canvas, 72”x 72” 2021

@margotnimiroski

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w w w. m a r g o t n i m i r o s k i . c o m

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203-907-8881

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