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Contemporary Culture






46 Contemporary Culture

Fall Issue_28



30 Years Celebrating Fashion & Form – An Interview with Diane Roth

TRAVEL + Leisure


The Connecticut Symphonic Winds... Take Note: “This wind ensemble will blow you away –no strings attached!”


Storied Pieces – Designer Cherie Greene talks about the heart of a well loved home



Verne Chaney, M.D. – Man of a Thousand Places



ARCHITECTURE: The Millionaires Club

Philip Johnson’s Wiley House – An internationally Significant House and a Site Chosen by the Architect


At Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts – Pre-College Academy Taps Teen’s Intelligence



The Golden Palate by Fred Bollaci


Events + Gatherings

Specialty Food Markets, The Return of The Customer


Cover story

Parties, Art Exhibitions & Activities



Creating Paradise



Parties With A Purpose – Annie Falk Creates Magical Moments that Change Lives


The Art of The Sketchbook – Artist Bob Calllahan Immortalizes “Silences Seen”

ON THE COVER: A photo of On Golden Pond Wishes, an installation by artist Carlos Betancourt and architect Alberto Latorre unveiled during their Art Basel Miami Studio visit 2013-2014. The installation consists of several hundred gold painted objects inside their pool, in constant motion, moved by the wind. Betancourt asked close friends to bring him small, inexpensive objects that were meaningful, but were ready to part with. “When I work with objects like this, I have a sense that the embedded emotional energy of the object may transcend and the artwork almost becomes a living thing,” he says. “Alberto and I both enjoy to intervene on already existing environments. In this case, it’s our own pool and its general environment, as well as Albert’s pool design that inspired us. There are also childhood memories about my own idea of the absence of pools. The status pools represent is reflected in the gold color of the objects. There is also a battery operated goldfish that swims under and around the objects.” 8



Contemporary Culture

Fall Issue_28



Watermill Center Summer Benefit


Trend-Setting Becker Salon – Greenwich Kicks Off Summer Orphan Tour


Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Raises $1.2 Million in the Hamptons




ART: Inspirations with Fareen Butt – An Intimate Interview



“Time Out of Mind” ­– An IFC Release, Starring Richard Gere, Jena Malone, Ben Vereen and Steve Buscemi. Directed by Oren Moverman.


Decorative Arts

Art: The Art of Giving – Rosa and Carlos De La Cruz, Empowering Tomorrow’s Artists FILM: Triumphant Launch of The Greenwich International Film Festival - Cannes meets Connecticut: Film, Finance and Philanthropy


THEATER: The Off-Beat Players


ON THE BLOCK: Poll Position. Time Will Tell. Lasting Impression.




Venü Magazine’s marketplace for furniture, lighting, textiles, jewelry, art, antiques and accessories



Gallery and Museum listings in Connecticut and New York



The Daisy Column: Miami society, The powerful, The chic, The unique



President, Publication Director Tracey Thomas Features Editor Cindy Clarke Film & Entertainment Editor Peter J. Fox Decorative Arts Editor Matthew Sturtevant Florida Content Editor Daisy Olivera Copy Editors Susan Sullivan, Marc J. Miller Publisher Venü Media Company DESIGN & PRODUCTION J. Michael & Company Contributing Writers Susana Baker, Fred Bollaci, Cindy Clarke, Molly Canfield, Phillip James Dodd, Tammi Flynn, Peter Fox, Sean Granahan, David Green, Marianne Brunson Frisch, Linda Kavanagh, Janet Langsem, James McDonald, Daisy Olivera, Gwen North Reiss, William Squier, Matthew Sturtevant National Advertising Director Sabrina Sheth Business Development Shelly Harvey/Connecticut, Liz Marks/New York INTERN Gabriella Gonzalez Tiffany Visconti (Photography) Legal Counsel Alan Neigher, Sheryle Levine (Byelas & Neigher, Westport, CT) Distribution Thomas Cossuto, Man In Motion, LLC Office 840 Reef Road, 2nd Floor, Fairfield, CT 06824 Advertising Inquiries Editorial Contribution Subscriptions

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. 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 bimonthly 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.



Freesia Afternoon, Oil on Canvas. 40" x 41"



Diane Roth and model Victoria Kaplan at Maggie Norris Shoot at the Glass House

Photo: John W. Eskew

30 Years Celebrating Fashion & Form

Photo: Rachel Lampen

L’Armoire boutique in New Canaan is preparing to celebrate thirty years selling incredible couture. Diane Roth - fashion stylist and owner of

An Interview with Diane Roth

L’Armoire - will be auctioning off thirty exclusive designer items - culmi-

Written by Rachel Lampen

Trust for Historic Preservation, on Thursday, September 17th.

nating in a huge fundraiser for The Glass House, a site of the National

Venu Magazine spoke with Diane - who is straight talking, razor sharp and constantly on the go - about her life in the fashion world. You have managed to survive being in the same New Canaan location for 30 years - how? “I accredit this to the continuity with my team and our discreet professionalism. My ladies join L’Armoire and never seem to leave. We greet all our clientele affectionately, building long-term relationships and apply the same level of service - whether they are buying a $50 item to whatever their hearts desire. It’s all about what works for your life, not the price tag. Krystyna has been with me since 1989, Karen joined in 1991 followed by Stephanie and Stacey.” How would you describe your typical client? “She is between 25 – 95 years old and we empower her to make a lasting impression on people with her overall look, not only with the designer outfit she was wearing. We are always truthful, and that builds trust. “ Why New Canaan? “Because it is a low-key walking town. Clients arrive from out of town and spend the entire day. They have the opportunity to have lunch and shop because everything is accessible.” Diane who once sat on the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce regularly contributes to town events. With a strong philanthropic streak she regularly arranges fundraisers for local charities. 14


Photo: John W. Eskew

If you weren’t in New Canaan where would you be? “London, in a heartbeat – I was born in England and we have hosted several family celebrations there.” What’s Your Favorite Holiday destination? “I adore Italy, so it would be Venice and London.” Who is your Style Icon? “Audrey Hepburn who is timeless, and currently French actress Audrey Tautou is fascinating.” Favorite color? Fushia or turquoise – together is even better. What can’t you be without? “My Great Dane - I grew up with this breed of dog and my girl Cleopatra is the sweetest. My Shar Pei, Satchmo comes a close second.” Why a Fundraiser for Your Anniversary? “I enjoy giving back and wanted to focus on design. So having the iconic Philip Johnson Glass House onboard seemed a natural fit between fashion and form. Their Summer Party is becoming legendary for the guests outfits - a few local clients came to us for inspiration and one made it into W Magazine. For our auction we will have 30 pieces of vintage, one-of-a-kind and limited edition items available. All proceeds will benefit The Glass House, so it will be quite a celebration.” If you weren’t in the fashion industry what would you be doing? “I would be researching International Economics at the American

Finally what does the future hold? “As long as I love doing this, I will continue to do so.”

Think Tank - Brookings Institution. I graduated from college with a double major in Economics / Political Science specializing in Eastern

The collaboration with The Glass House is captured by Director of

Europe and Russia and have always been fascinated by the political

Development, Scott Drevnig who comments: “We are thrilled and

stance in other countries.“

honored to partner with L’Armoire on this exciting 30th Anniversary celebration. The Glass House has a long-standing relationship with the

What’s best about your job?

fashion world, beginning with Philip Johnson’s “Country Happening”

“We work with all ladies, regardless of shape and age – there is no

in 1967 covered by Vogue, which included the Who’s who of the

better feeling than making someone look and feel better than ever.

fashion world. Today we are recapturing this legacy with new partner-

If a woman looks and feels confident, then anything is possible.

ships with fashion houses including Tom Ford, Tod’s, Swarovski, Alfred

We live in a visual world so clothe people accordingly - whether

Dunhill and look forward to more exciting collaborations”.

it’s for a job interview, promotion, seat on a corporate board to Christenings, Bah Mitzvah and high school graduations. Woman

The thirty auction items include vintage and one-offs such as: a Christian

should evolve, so we occasionally take clients out of their comfort

Siriano gown; Maggie Norris black satin beaded and lace jacket; Donna

zone and mix up different styles and colors. The reactions are always

Karen crepe beaded jacket circa1990; Dries Von Noten beaded evening

staggering – I wish I could bottle that moment.”

coat; Jesse Monongye celestial bracelet; Adria de haume signed Cross Purpose book; and an Ellen Christine Hat to name but a few.

How do you relax? “I get up daily at 5am to ride my horses. My one vacation of the year is to take a week off and drive up to Quebec with my Mother, where we go fly fishing for North Atlantic salmon.” She is an accomplished angler and has the trophy on the wall to confirm it. She also has a penchant for fast cars, driving up to Lime Rock Park regularly in her red Porsche Cayman S to participate in Track Days.

L’Armoire stocks remarkable collections from European and US designers. Diane has a great relationship with the designers. Attending her party will be Christian Siriano, Cynthia Rose, Maggie Norris and Make-up artist to the stars – Kevin James Bennett. Auction pieces donated include: a one-of-akind Maggie Norris coat, vintage Donna Karan Jacket and exquisite estate jewelry. L’Armoire, 102 Park Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 (203) 966.1764


Connecticut Symphonic Winds Conductor Charles DePaul

The Connecticut Symphonic Winds... Take Note: “This wind ensemble will blow you away –no strings attached!” Written by Nancy Helle

One of Fairfield County’s less known cultural treasures is com-

DePaul, the professionals say, “I don’t play for free anywhere else but

ing into a well deserved limelight this year. The Connecticut

here - because it’s worth it!” The ensemble also includes many music

Symphonic Winds, a grand wind ensemble featuring 75 talented

educators, as well as talented individuals in other fields, for whom

and skilled musicians, has recently received the honorary title, “The

music is a passion. However, all prospective members must audition

Concert Wind Ensemble of Fairfield”. The honor was bestowed by

prior to being accepted. Ages range from high school students to

Michael C Tetreau, Fairfield’s First Selectman, “in appreciation of the

musicians in their seventies, who meet for weekly rehearsals where

group’s ongoing cultural contribution to the Town of Fairfield and

their passion for making music is contagious, even to an onlooker.

to the greater Fairfield and New Haven counties.” The ensemble’s

Fall concert, “A Lain Fantasy”, will be held on November 14, 7:30

ing its 30th year of performances. Originally founded in Stratford,

p.m at Roger Ludlowe Middle School in Fairfield. “Celebrate the

Connecticut, the ensemble had early performances at the Shakespeare

Holiday Season with the Connecticut Symphonic Winds” is planned

Theater in both Stratford, Connecticut and Stratford-Upon-Avon,

for December 12 at 1 p.m. at the same location.

England, plus Ontario, Canada, as well as venues in Germany, Austria

In 2016 the Connecticut Symphonic Winds (CSW) is celebrat-

The Connecticut Symphonic Winds – which has performed at

and Lichtenstein, prior to its three concerts at Carnegie Hall since 1990.

Carnegie Hall three times - is known for its varied repertoire which

The ensemble has consistently expanded its geographical performing

ranges from classical composers and Broadway scores to movie

reach, as well as its size and breadth of performed music.

soundtracks and cutting edge contemporary music. The rich musi-

cal palette is enhanced by multi-media visual projections, thanks

truly unique as a grand, wind ensemble - with a strong, dynamic sound

to a grant from Pepsico. The November concert, will feature

that expresses the character of each piece in a way that emotionally

David Pressler, a board member and CSW Host says, “CSW is

dynamic projected images of Picasso’s paintings.

moves the audience.”

“We showcase pieces that no other perfomance group does,”

Vin Florentino, CSW president says,”This wind ensemble will

says Music Director and Conductor, Charles Brian DePaul. “We have

blow you away!”

access to European music that is not available in America at this time,

On hearing a CSW summer concert, Pulitzer Prize nominated

such as Andrew Lloyd Weber’s ‘The Woman in White’ score, which

music critic Linda Phillips said,”The Connecticut Symphonic Winds

we will be playing in our March concert.” After studying at Julliard,

is the future of musical performance. As audiences for traditional

DePaul became assistant to former Boston Symphony maestro Erich

classical music are shrinking, many different strains and genres

Leinsdorf, both in the US and worldwide.

of music reflecting a variety of cultures and time frames are being

Another unique facet of the Connecticut Symphonic Winds is

that their concerts are “free” to the public, depite the fact that many

programmed together and creating a synergy for contemporary audiences of all ages.”

of the 75 musicians are full or part time professionals. According to 16


To learn more about the CSW, visit

The Barker Hangar, Santa Monica, CA October 22–25, 2015 |






For event details and tickets, visit WESTEDGEDESIGNFAIR.COM. Enter promo code VENU to receive $5 off the admission price.

From left: WestEdge Opening Night Party, Jenn-Air, Resource Furniture, Martyn Lawrence Bullard & Kathryn M. Ireland, Zia Priven, and Sorelle Fine Arts








Ever the gracious hostess, Cherie Greene welcomed VenĂź Magazine

Storied Pieces Designer Cherie Greene talks about the heart of a well loved home

into her Westport, Connecticut, showroom with the warmth and charm that characterizes her design style: intimate in tone, thoughtful in presentation, and personal in execution. Her love of family took center stage in our initial introductions and I sensed at once just how important the family home was to both her own vision for a life well-lived but to her interior design work on behalf of her clients. She inquired about my children, while sharing glimpses about hers.

Written by Cindy Clarke Photographs by EriCk Vittorino (EVDesigns)

She asked about my passions and we discovered a mutual bond for international travel and traditions that spanned cultures and centuries. She regaled me with stories about her adventures around the globe, her love affair with Paris and her travels in China. I listened in rapt attention as I vicariously accompanied her to romantic French salons and grande maisons gilded with treasures and taste, then traveled with her across the globe to Asia where she found inspiration in the traditional British colonial architecture in places like Singapore



garden, an original oil painting, fabrics that play with color and design in new ways – Cherie injects a hint of daily life into all of her projects and is often surprised by the way it plays out in her design projects. “I think we are all subtly influenced by those intangible influences that are out there in the atmosphere.”

Whatever project she is tasked with, she

tries to utilize existing elements whenever she can, reinterpreting them creatively so the project transitions thoughtfully and purposefully. Her professional touches play out in understated elegance without being “fussy,” in tailored accents that are simple and classic and in an overall scheme that evokes a sense of comfort and a hint of whimsy.

Does she have a signature style I ask?

“My work is collaborative and reflects my goal her ability to pull together a seamless look,

of letting my client’s vision shine through.

that for all intents and purposes, appears to

I listen and learn. I investigate and interpret.

have evolved gracefully over the years.

And I introduce elements that are distinctive-

Drawing upon a carefully sourced amal-

ly stylish, individually inspired and uniquely

gam of furnishings, fabrics and decorative

theirs. And because each project is a reflec-

accessories, Cherie introduces each detail

tion of my client’s lifestyle, it becomes their

with the appreciative eye of an artist and

signature style, not mine.”

and Hong Kong, rekindling memories of my

the impeccable taste of a design connois-

own eye-opening trips there not long ago.

seur. Her personal tastes run the gamut from

formed beach houses, family estates, upscale

Her experiences, like mine, live on in keep-

English chintzes and French aesthetics to

apartments and more for her long-time clients,

sakes she brought home with her: paintings,

contemporary interpretations of whimsical

now lifelong friends, throughout the world.

pottery, and furniture that not only may rep-

chinoisere, a recurring design theme in Euro-

resent great value but are greatly valued by

pean décor since the 17th century that reflects

Cherie and her family.

a meld of Chinese artistic influences. She is

an astute collector of Chinese porcelains

That, I quickly surmised, was the es-

sence of Cherie Greene Interiors and the

hued in celadon and bisque, often travel-

reason why she has earned an impressive

ing back to mainland China to bring more

25-year reputation as one of Fairfield Coun-

treasured pieces back home for her clients

ty’s most sought after designers, with a

and her showroom.

client list and portfolio that is timeless and time-honored.

“The best design evolves,” she explains.

“By adding layers, one at a time, and blending

The most successful projects, she tells

them with the personal tastes and heirlooms

me as I sink into the couch in her studio living

of the family, you can create a home that

room, are ones that start with a conversa-

genuinely reflects the lives of the family who

tion, include an armchair tour of her clients

reside there.”

catalogued product and décor preferences,

and are ultimately inspired by her their dis-

ette around a single item, like the wonderful

It is not unusual for her to create a pal-

tinctive personalities and lifestyle. After all

lamps she found in Palm Beach for a client,

she says, “my approach to design is rooted

of the 70-year-old mohair jade-colored

in storytelling. What I do is create a visual

sofa that belonged to her client’s husband’s

testimony honoring who the clients’ are and

grandmother, or her client’s collection of

what’s important to them.”

antique tin soldiers. “When you start with

something you love, you can layer a fabu-

To achieve her goals, she pairs well loved

Two decades rich, her work has trans-

pieces with modern-day finds, blending

lous design around it.”

old and new to create a signature style that

speaks volumes about her clients, as well as

finds in her every day world – a flower-filled

Always influenced by the beauty she

Visit her showroom at 123 Post Road, Westport, Connecticut from Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm and find an ever-changing gallery of contemporary art by noted artists, transitional furnishings, antique pieces, Asian-inspired, artisan-crafted accessories, an array of custom colors in paints and fabrics that fill the soul and interior vignettes that invite warm conversations that can literally transform lives.




Philip Johnson’s Wiley House An Internationally Significant House and a Site Chosen by the Architect Written by GWEN NORTH REISS Photographs by MICHAEL BIONDO

world and the modern. It combined the double-height drama of the glass-enclosed volume and the rough masonry base that contains the lower-level spaces. The design allowed for a public, formal, transparent realm with a 15-foot ceiling (and a sleek galley kitchen), along with four comfortable and private bedroom spaces with light marble floors—each opening on grade to full views of the lawn. “The client can

Of the six houses Philip Johnson designed

design downstairs as he pleases,” said John-

in New Canaan, Connecticut, the Wiley house

son, “the architect can design the pavilion

is the only one that contains a singular glass

above.” The house has a lighting plan

pavilion to rival the volume of his architectural

originally designed by Richard Kelly who also

masterpiece, the Glass House. Articulated

planned the subtle lighting at the Seagram

with vertical mullions that add a sculptural

Building, the Glass House, and Louis Kahn’s

aspect to the living space, the dramatic glass

Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

pavilion sits crosswise on a stone plinth that

Sensitively restored and expanded by

a laundry room, and a bathroom equipped

creates terraces on both sides.

Roger Ferris + Partners, the property now

with Japanese soaking tub, shower with

This 1953 house is part of New Canaan’s

includes a pool house, garage, and art

wrap-around marble bench, and fixtures

internationally known legacy of mid-century

gallery. Double-paned glass and five full

by Philippe Starck for Duravit. Though the

modernism. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

baths bring this classic into the 21st century.

house and estate have been thoroughly

stayed in it once when visiting Johnson in

The pool and the art gallery (a reconstructed

updated, with many luxurious touches,

New Canaan according to Franz Schulze’s

19 th-century barn with its own lower-level

the vintage swimming pool with its diving

biography of Johnson. Johnson chose the

family room) form their own courtyard sepa-

pad remains--a twin to the circular pool at

site himself for its sloping lawn and the stand

rate from the house itself. A new pool house

Johnson’s Glass House.

of towering hickory trees that now create

built into the hill features exquisite lighting,

a cathedral space around the house.

Significant in the history of modern

architec ture and known internationally,

For Philip Johnson, this house repre-

the Wiley House is an elegant composition

sented a dialogue between the ancient

of structures with the privacy of an estate

and an exhilarating glass volume at its center--perched above the ground in treehouse mode, under the boughs of mature hickory trees.






INTERNATIONAL-STYLE MODERN This 5.5 acre property in prestigious Delafield Island offers everything the discerning buyer seeks. Designed by a collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938, this residence combines unsurpassed style with the highest quality materials, echoing elements of the Guggenheim Museum. Curved walls capture exceptional light; extensive gardens, slate floors and flagstone terrace overlooking expansive lawns and mature trees. Master suite with fireplace, dressing room office with built-ins and private terrace. Private and secluded yet convenient to train, beaches and town. 27 Tory Hole Road, Darien, Connecticut $2,895,000 Contact Inger Stringfellow 203.321.9361

GELBIN STUDIO Mid-Century modern Usonian perfection on two plus acres with privacy and peace. Allan J. Gelbin, apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed this house as his own studio/home. Meticulously refurbished by current owner with attention to authenticity and detail; the house and property are in immaculate condition. Offering includes some original interior furnishings and Gelbin works of art. The perfect New England country retreat! 24 Skylark Lane, Weston, Connecticut $1,450,000 Contact Inger Stringfellow 203.321.9361 Susan Blabey 203.979.7774

26 Cherry Street, New Canaan, CT 06840




AT LYME ACADEMY COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS: Pre-College Academy Taps Teens’ Imaginations By Suzanne Zack

Photo by Suzanne Zack


he superhero Batman may evoke thoughts of darkness and conflict for most people, but not Luke Hoffman. An aspiring cartoonist who’s entering 10th grade at Lyme-Old Lyme High School in Connecticut, Hoffman thinks using a softer tact would deliver more punch to the younger set, so he recast the tale as a comedy for an illustration class at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts this summer. “He’s doing something very bold,” says the class instructor, noted illustrator Jon Sideriadis. “When you think of Batman, you think of the Caped Crusader, a dark Gotham City setting, violence and brutality. Luke comes from a background of more light-hearted stories. He came in the first day with a Duff beer hat from the Simpsons. That’s how we initially connected.” Humor, not drama, is definitely the ticket for Hoffman. His reframed Batman had the Joker sporting a “kick me” sign instead of brandishing a gun. He was pleased with the end product. His interest in cartoons, movies and television, plus frequent trips to Disney World, have him focused on a career in animation or voiceovers. “I want to work for Pixar or Disney,” he asserts. It’s no surprise that Sideriadis, a faculty member at the college with expertise in science fiction, fantasy, and experience in feature films, television shows, and video games, connected easily with Luke and the other 14 teenagers in his class, “Illustration for Comics and Cartoons.” The class was part of the school’s new Pre-College Academy, which offered students with beginning to advanced level art training the opportunity to study with accomplished instructors from the college this summer. Sideriadis, who holds a bachelor’s degree in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a master’s degree from the Hartford Art School, provided an introduction to the comic and cartoon genre by sharing a large collection of books with the class, including the popular Japanese version, Manga. He then led the students through the fundamental elements of comics by sharing slide shows on storytelling, character development, genre and set, and tools and techniques. As a warm-up exercise, they took a page from one of the comics, identified a poor flow or readability issue and improved upon it. They then indulged their imaginations and created their own story and characters. “A lot goes into the class because they’re creating their own worlds and they have to execute finished pieces,” Sideriadis notes. “By the end of the course, they will have done five fully drawn pages, and one to three fully inked pages.”





When founded in 1976 in Old Lyme, Conn., Lyme Academy offered a full array of fine arts courses so that members of the community could explore and cultivate their artistic skills. In recent years, with the emergence of the BFA programs, community focused outreach dwindled to only a few courses a year. However, that number jumped to 18 this summer alone, following the recent establishment of the Center for Arts Programming, aimed at engaging with the community by sharing the expertise of the school’s faculty with aspiring artists. In addition to the illustration class, five other pre-college classes were offered this summer: 3D Modeling and Digital Sculpting; Animation; Sculpture, Drawing, and Painting. This summer also saw the reemergence in adult studio art workshops, critiques, lectures, and studio courses. The center’s new Pre-College Academy offerings have met with an enthusiastic response, which has been extremely gratifying to the

center’s new director Marguerite d’Aprile Quigley. She is a passionate advocate for arts and culture and previously served as head of communications at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts and director of external affairs at the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Forty students enrolled in the classes this summer, most from within a 35-mile radius of Old Lyme, but others came from more distant points in Connecticut, including Stamford, Trumbull, Andover, and Willington. Still others made their way to the Old Lyme campus from as far away as California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New York. “We are delighted with the strong response to the Pre-College Academy,” said Campus Dean Todd Jokl. “The caliber of skill in these young artists is impressive. The fact that many of them enrolled in multiple courses testified to the interest we had anticipated. We are honored to be able to serve the community and help shepherd these young people along on their artistic paths.”

Word of mouth helped to boost enrollment. For instance, a student from Trumbull, Mitch Vecchione, who enrolled in the illustration class, told a cousin who lives in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., about it. She also signed up and stayed with Vecchione and his family during the duration of the class. Vecchione found the instruction at the college to be top-notch. “I’ve had hands-on, individual attention and really learned a lot,” he said of the three classes he took this summer. “I want to learn as much as possible. After this class, I’m going to start on my portfolio. I’m really excited and hopeful I can attend the Academy.” Students taking classes generally had been drawn to art at an early age and found that the college’s offerings helped them refine their existing skills. Zoe Matthiessen of Ivoryton, Conn., has been drawing since she was a child, and just graduated from Valley Regional High School

Photo by Suzanne Zack

Photo by Lilly Birk

Photo by Suzanne Zack

Photo by Lilly Birk

in Deep River, Conn. She’s also taken several art classes at the college. “It’s great! It’s a really good school,” she says. In the illustration class, her main character brought people to another world and played a game of chess with them. “It’s got pretty deep and dark tones.” Outside of the classroom, during the past year she has been doing character design for a friend’s Chapbook. To develop the characters she and friends routinely role-play, in person and via texts. “It’s a lot of fun,” she says. “We put a lot of work into the characters. They’re based on people we know and others that are imagined. It’s not what most teenagers do today, but we enjoy it!” Because of interest expressed in the classes by high school students in New London, Conn., who were unable to get transportation to the campus in Old Lyme, a satellite classroom will be established in the education studio at the

Lyman Allyn Art Museum this fall. Quigley, who is anxious to collaborate with institutions all along the shoreline, found the accessibility of Lyman Allyn Art Museum to be well situated for New London, Norwich, and many coastal Connecticut high school students. The late afternoon classes will be taught by a Lyme alumna, Teresa Bonillo, who is a native of New London and an art teacher at Stonington (Conn.) High School. The end result will be a win-win for all. Registration for the center’s fall classes opens on Sept. 15. Classes offered will include portrait painting, figurative drawing, landscape painting, and photography among many others for both high school and adult artists.





events + gatherings


Jennifer Bangser EDirector of Marketing & Public Relations Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County

Arts & Cultural Gems Abound in Fairfield County, for Residents and Tourists Alike Fairfield County boasts some of Connecticut’s top tourist attractions – and many are long-standing members of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County: Weir Farm National Historic Site, Phillip Johnson Glass House, Bruce Museum, Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, and Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. As the Director of Connecticut’s Office of Tourism, Randy Fiveash observes, “There are tremendous arts and cultural offerings in Fairfield County… It’s a region of many varied cultural venues close to one another so visitors can fully experience the creativity and inspiration of this superb Connecticut destination.” And there is a positive economic spin from these offerings: the economic impact of tourism in the region, closely linked to arts & cultural programming, represents over 400 million dollars in annual tax receipts for the state; plus, 23% of the dollars travelers spend in Connecticut happens in Fairfield County! There is indeed a plethora of arts and cultural nooks and crannies out there and here are some additional cultural gems to explore and support: The Bartlett Arboretum, Stamford Home to a rare and historically significant natural preserve, the Bartlett Aboretum is like no other in this region. It is a living museum adorned with majestic trees, charming gardens, wildlife, walking trails, natural habitats and landscapes. The Arboretum hosts a wide range of innovative classes, a certificate program in Master Gardening and Arboriculture, gardening symposiums, summer concerts, garden tours, and conducts an acclaimed summer nature camp. Wilton Historical Society, Wilton The Wilton Historical Society includes two 18th century homes, two 19th century barns,

and a working 19th century Blacksmith Shop. Workshops and demonstrations include: carding/spinning wool, hearth cooking, and hand-forged tool making. There’s a permanent collection of 19th century trade and craft tools, toys, costumes, artifacts, and works on paper. Tours of colonial and period rooms are offered daily. The Society organizes changing exhibitions that include contemporary work, and a Toy Train exhibition held each holiday season.

The New Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, Westport The Levitt Pavilion produces one of the largest and longest-running free outdoor festivals around, featuring close to 60 nights of music and entertainment free to the public, each summer. The festival features music from established and award-winning artists as well as emerging ones, from local bands to national and international acts, plus other performing arts like dance and comedy. Each season, the Pavilion welcomes over 50,000 patrons to Westport. Shows are free. BYOLawn chairs and blankets! Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is one of the earliest and finest surviving second empire style country houses ever built in the United States. The museum offers tours of the 62-room mansion as well as educational programs and curated exhibits on the material, artistic and social culture

Looking for something different to do? is the place to find out what’s happening in Fairfield County any day of the week—featuring theater, exhibits, music, history, science, family fun, classes and local artists. Click on Pick a great event to attend. Then Go—bring your family, meet your friends or fly solo.™ is presented by the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. For more information contact the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County by emailing, calling 203-256-2329, or visiting the Web site at 26


of the Victorian era. Events occur year-round and include a September flea market, a haunted basement tour in October, Victorian Tea in November, a holiday open house in December, plus the ever popular old-fashioned ice cream social each June. Discovery Museum and Planetarium, Bridgeport: A hands-on, interactive place for all ages, the Discovery Museum and Planetarium features see-hear-touch explorations of science, technology and ideas. The Museum includes a 124 seat planetarium, Connecticut’s only Challenger Learning Center, plus the Space and simulated Moon Base Discovery play area. The recently upgraded Henry B. duPont III Planetarium offers traditional star and full dome planetarium shows daily. And adventure awaits in the adjacent Adventure Park, offering some of the state’s best treetop climbing trails and zip lines.

Franklin Street Works, Stamford Franklin Street Works is a not-for-profit contemporary art space, café, and social gathering place with free Wi-Fi and craft beers. Located in renovated row houses around the corner from UCONN’s Stamford campus, the gallery embraces innovative art and exhibition practices, a DIY attitude with a workshop approach, and includes three galleries and a café. There are approximately three original contemporary art exhibitions each year, most of which include works by emerging artists and address current issues at play in contemporary art and curating.

Guests enjoyed learning about the vast and allinclusive membership of the Cultural Alliance

Annie Keefe, Associate Artistic Director of the Westport Country Playhouse, with Cultural Alliance supporter, Howard Aibel

State Senator Bob Duff, Elisabeth Morten and James Naughton holding their new legislative citations

Terry McGuiness and Lance Lundberg

Naughton, the Westport Country Playhouse’s Annie Keefe ,Allison Stockel of the Ridgefield Playhouse and Board President Cindy Vaccaro, celebrating Allison’s winning bid which included wine donated by Ann Sheffer

FCBuzz’s Gypsy Jazz Night

Cindy Vaccaro with arts patrons, Scott and Lisa Hobbs

On June 5th, over 175 dedicated arts and culture patrons, from across Fairfield County and beyond, attended the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County’s “FCBuzz Gypsy Jazz Night,” at a stunning location on Fairfield’s Sasco Hill Road. The night was not only a celebration of the Cultural Alliance’s work supporting the more than 300 artists and cultural organizations that make up its membership, but an opportunity for patrons to share in the honoring of two unwavering supporters of arts & culture in Connecticut: Two-time Tony winner and Fairfield County resident, Actor James Naughton and Arts Patron extraordinaire, Elisabeth Morten. The benefit was hosted by Liz Fox, who co-chaired the event with well-known arts supporter Ann Sheffer of Westport, along with corporate sponsors from Westport Resources, Cohen & Wolf, P.C., Berliner Law Offices, LLBH Private Wealth Management,  The Tallman Building Company, and Fairfeld County Bank. Held at Fox’s stellar estate, with panoramic views of Long Island Sound, supporters, members and friends of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County celebrated the work of the Alliance while enjoying sangria, a bohemian inspired buffet and the lively and enchanting gypsy-swing four-piece band Caravan of Thieves, fresh off a national tour.

Cultural Alliance supporters Lila Steenbergen, Darlene Krenz with outgoing Board President and honoree Elisabeth Morten

Photos by RoseMarie Wallace

CAFC board member Susan Becker with her husband, Todd

Caravan of Thieves performing at FCBuzz Gypsy Jazz Night at Liz Fox’s home on Sasco Hill Road in Fairfield

Lew Wallace of the Western Connecticut Cultural Alliance with Jodi Felton David Squires, Bill Felton, Arlene Scanlan, David Scanlan enjoying the lovely grounds

Richard Epstein of the Norwalk Symphony, Westport Arts Advisory and WPKN, enjoying the evening with classical pianist, Frederic Chiu, and Jeanine Esposito



events + gatherings

By Janet Langsam CEO, ArtsWestchester

Celebrating Milestone Moments 50 Years in the Making Photo: Margaret Fox

Top, Pope Benedict XVI in Yonkers, NY in 2008. Bottom, First Gay Wedding in a Westchester County Court House, 2011


rtsWestchester, New York’s largest, private not-for-profit arts Council, is celebrating 50 years of keeping the arts alive and vibrant in Westchester County this year. We have launched many new cultural initiatives such as a five month festival of new artistic work and increased arts education residencies in Westchester schools. This October, ArtsWestchester’s downtown gallery will feature a unique crowd-sourced photography exhibition presented in conjunction with The Journal News. Through the Decades: Picturing 50 Years in Westchester is part of ArtsWestchester’s 50th anniversary celebration and will take the viewer through important moments in Westchester County’s last half century. Milestone moments will be presented through the eyes of the people who experienced them - - Westchester residents, amateur and professional photographers. There will be iconic images such as Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Yonkers and President Obama’s visit to the Tappan Zee Bridge project, images documenting the changing physical and social landscape of the County, milestones in arts and culture, celebrity neighbors,

Photo: Mark Vergari for The Journal News

shared tragedies and economic development in our towns and cities. Through the Decades opens in White Plains on Sunday, October 4th with a

reception from 4-6pm and runs from October 6 through November 21, 2015. The exhibit is a must-see for anyone interested in photography as the exhibition positions photojournalism not only as a form of primary documentation, but also as a captivating art form. And, if you love the arts- - save the date Friday, November 20th for a party that has been 50 years in the making. Come celebrate the golden anniversary of ArtsWestchester at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester which will be awash in gold. Led by Gala Dinner Chair Farooq Kathwari, Chairman and CEO of Ethan Allan Global, Inc., supporters and friends of the arts will gather to help celebrate the power of the arts at an annual party that has become legendary. This year’s Gala celebration featuring dinner, dancing and a silent auction promises to be an “over the top” evening with ArtsWestchester style and Ritz-Carlton pizzazz to raise funds to support the programs and services of ArtsWestchester. Since our founding in 1965, ArtsWestchester has been bringing the arts to everyone in Westchester -- not just in concert halls, theatres, and museums but also in schools, daycare centers, community sites and senior centers. Serving more than 150 arts organizations, 1300 artists, 43 school districts and audiences numbering over one million, ArtsWestchester has been building the arts in Westchester for five decades. Be part of the fun and support our work at this year’s 50th Gala event. For ticket and journal advertising information, visit or call (914) 428-4220, ext 326. This is one arts celebration you don’t want to miss!

ArtsWestchester is privileged to have been selected by BNY Mellon to show these works. For more information about the exhibit and ArtsWestchester, visit or call (914) 428-4220. ArtsWestchester is located at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, NY. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 12-5pm.

For more of Janet Langsam’s cultural musings, be sure to visit her blog at For a full calendar of arts events visit: CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE 28 On display José Feliciano, “cuarto” guitar used to record his classic, “Feliz Navidad”

“Chip” Daniani of The Remains, who opened for the Beatles US Tour



events + gatherings

Erick Vittorino, Quinn Carrol, OtacĂ­lio Dutra, Zuzana Mizerova, Shelly Harvey

Mark Elmore, Tracey Thomas

Angela Graham, Cherie Green

Erick Vittorino, Robin Hammond

Ana Nelson, Andra Vabell, Veronica Brandhuber, Isabella Garrucho/Trimper

Celie Campbell, Carder Gilbert

Preview at Cherie Greene Interiors Cherie Greene Interiors hosted an opening previewing the work by, Won Lee, Paul Manes, Kyle Andrew Szpyrka and Erick Vittorino. All artists are represented by Isabella Garrucho Fine Art on May 21st. Craft cocktails were provided by Broken Shed and Spiked Seltzer. Photos by Tiffany Visconti Kyle Andrew Szpyrka

Carder Gilbert, Jack Noonan, Suzan Visconti

Jens Buettner, Tim Sturtevant, Matthew Sturtevant

Alex Trimper, Cherie Greene



Suzanne Tanner Meisel

Maria Lourdes Vilas, Kyle Andrew Szpyrka, Alex Trimper, Lu Gass



events + gatherings

Cathy Mackay and Denise Stone

Patti Spaght, Fairfield Museum executive director Michael Jehle, Howard Schatz IMAGES event committee members Georgette Pascale, Rosinne Chlala, Jen Hinkle, Mary Kate Kelly


at the Fairfield Museum featuring the work of Howard Shatz

Renowned Sherman, CT photographer Howard Schatz was the featured artist of this spring’s IMAGES photography exhibition help at the Fairfield Museum. Shatz and winners of the Museum’s 7th Annual Juried photography exhibition were honored at the Fairfield Museum spring gala on May 14th that featured food by Festivities and specialty drinks by Harvest Vodka. The event was made possible by the generous support of Pascale Communications, Southport Galleries, Fairfield University, BMW of Bridgeport and Venü Magazine.

Finley Shaw, Mary Kate Kelly, Jen Hinkle Howard Schatz gives a tour of the exhibit

Photos by Lisa Garcia

Missy Palmisano, Sally Cummings, Joan Frost Maura Bauersfeld, Packer Wilbur

Tricia Donovan, John Donovan, Christine Jewell



Anne Estelle and Rebecca Jensen

Cello Superstar Yo-Yo Ma Meets Innovative Orchestral Collective The Knights for Family Concert and Colorful Evening Program at Caramoor

events + gatherings

Yo-Yo Ma and the Knights perform at Caramoor in 2010, conducted by Eric Jacobsen; photo Gabe Palacio

One of the most famous musicians on the planet, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, comes together with the electrifying collective The Knights for two concerts at Caramoor on September 27, in a partnership that demonstrates the festival’s passion for fostering ground-breaking collaborations and projects. As summer draws to a close the musicians present two varied programs in the picturesque outdoor performance space of the Venetian Theater. At the featured concert of the day, the Knights present Mendelssohn’s youthful “Italian” Symphony and Giovanni Sollima’s Federico II, and are then joined by Yo-Yo Ma for Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul, a “a distinctive and personal contemporary work” (New York Times) that was written for the cellist in 2006. At the 1 pm family concert — which includes interactive games, quizzes and discussion for all ages — Yo-Yo Ma performs Dvorák’s popular Song to the Moon from the opera Rusalka in a special arrangement by The Knights. Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony is then followed by Ascending Bird, an arrangement of a traditional Persian folk melody by The Knights’ Colin Jacobsen and virtuoso santur player Siamak Aghaei that musically retells the fable of a bird’s attempt to fly to the sun. There will be a free shuttle from Katonah train station to Caramoor running throughout the day. The Knights themselves are regulars at Caramoor, visiting nearly every year. In 2014 they performed programs with both jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and classical violinist Gil Shaham, illustrating not only the great scope of this ensemble but also Caramoor’s support for such dynamic programming. As Caramoor CEO Jeff Haydon commented: “Caramoor is proud to continue its multi-year residency with the Knights Orchestra. Many of its members started their careers at Caramoor and we are excited to collaborate with the Knights on this project with Yo-Yo Ma.” This fall/winter season also sees Caramoor offer other wide-ranging musical experiences for both children and adults, including performances by the guitar-and-mandolin duo of Billy Strings & Don Julin (Oct 17); the St. Lawrence String Quartet (Oct 24); pianist Cyrus Chestnut and his trio (Nov 7, presented in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center); the Aizuri Quartet, Caramoor’s newest quartet-inresidence (Nov 15); and cellist Edward Arron and friends (Nov 22).



events + gatherings

Photos by Forest Johnson

World’s Largest In-Water Boat Show Increases Fun Factor and VIP Allure 56th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show ® Set for November 5 – 9


offering registered guests the convenience of onsite valet parking, entry to the boat show and all-day access to the Windward Club, an air-conditioned, VIP lounge located at the Swimming Hall of Fame, which will feature gourmet food and a premium open bar. Other perks include access to a dedicated concierge inside the hospitality venue to schedule a variety of private boat show events. QuintEvents is known worldwide for delivering high impact official experience packages at prestigious events such as the Kentucky Derby, the Super Bowl, the NBA All-Star Game, the Breeders’ Cup, the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas and Scottsdale Collector Car Auctions and Formula 1™ events in Mexico, Austin and around the world. One-day VIP Boat Show Experiences passes are $399 per person for Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Three-day passes are available for $1,099 per person. The Blue Party On Friday, Nov. 6, the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center will glow blue for a fun-filled night specially planned for exhibitors and featuring entertainment, music and fashion at the show’s Sailfish Pavilion. Raffle tickets and great prizes will benefit the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, a non-profit organization that annually serves more than 11,000 children with special healthcare needs in Broward County. In addition to the Blue Party, the Convention Center will feature an amazing display of boats under 50 feet and complimentary attractions for the whole family, including fishing and boating workshops by the IGFA School of Sportfishing, Hook The Future kids’ fishing clinics, and marine seminars and an art exhibit by The Blue Wild. There also will be live water sport demonstrations at the AquaZone, a 15,000 gallon, 25-foot-by-50-foot pop-up pool.

The 56th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), set to take place in the “Yachting Capital of the World” from Nov. 5 to 9, is unveiling new attractions this year to further enhance the show experience for the thousands of boating enthusiasts and marine businesses from around the world who attend the world’s largest in-water boat show. “This is an exciting year for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show as we roll out enhancements designed to make this the best show ever for our exhibitors and attendees,” said Brett Keating, vice president of consumer marketing for Show Management, the organization that annually produces the Fort Lauderdale boat show. “We’re elevating the overall experience in many different ways, ranging from very attractive VIP packages to a Friday night Blue Party at the Convention Center especially for our valued exhibitors. Even before you arrive, you’ll notice attractive new touches when you visit the new FLIBS website and see our new logo.”

About FLIBS FLIBS is the world’s largest in-water boat show, covering seven locations with nearly 1,500 boats displayed across more than 3 million square feet of exhibit space. The show’s convenient network of parking, ground transportation, water taxis and riverboats transports visitors to see an amazing array of boats, marine products and accessories on display, from astonishing super-yachts, fishing boats, runabouts and boats for every budget, to fishing gear, marine art, jewelry and more, all valued at more than $4 billion. The show draws more than 1,000 exhibitors from more than 30 countries each year. The 56th Annual Fort Lauderdale Boat Show will take place at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center, the Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

VIP Boat Show Experiences Experience the show like a royal! Show organizers have partnered with QuintEvents for the VIP Boat Show Experiences program,

For more information, visit: Venü Magazine is proud to be a media sponsor


Travel + Leisure

Verne Chaney, M.D. Man of a Thousand Places By Jeff Blumenfeld

It was a dangerous mission, as dangerous as military service gets.

signment to a battalion aid station with the 23rd Infantry Regiment,

During the Korean War, medical corpsmen were among the brav-

2nd Infantry Division as a battalion surgeon.

est. When an injured solider frantically yelled “Medic!” it was a

corpsman who came forward with a trauma kit, splints, i.v. fluid,

Captain Chaney was compelled to inch through an active minefield

and a stretcher. Verne Chaney was one such man, a graduate of

to reach three medics wounded by an underground mine. Carefully,

the Virginia Military Institute.

meticulously, Chaney crawled through the mines, probing his way

with a bayonet, leaving behind a trail of bandages for the Republic

One day after the Korean War erupted on June 25, 1950,

Chaney, a 27-year-old World War II veteran from Kansas City,

of Korea (ROK) stretcher-bearer to follow. Suddenly the South Korean

Missouri, an Eagle Scout, the son of a World War I first sergeant

stepped outside the line – a deadly mistake. When a booby-trapped

who served with Harry S. Truman, resigned as a resident in surgery

North Korean body suddenly exploded, the ROK serviceman lost a

at Johns Hopkins Hospital to volunteer with the Army Medical Corps.

leg and Chaney was hit by shrapnel. While Chaney’s injury was not

life threatening, he was evacuated to a M.A.S.H. hospital where he

He was assigned to the 8076 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital

(M.A.S.H.) in Korea for five months. Chaney then volunteered for as-

Albert Schweitzer and Verne Chaney


During the month-long battle for Heartbreak Ridge in 1951,


recuperated before returning to duty.



Verne Chaney and Dalai Lama

Verne Chaney with Tony Bennett & Zero Mostel

Chaney considers his three years working as a medical corpsman

in Korea, and at a frostbite clinic in Japan, his finest hours. He would go on to receive a Silver Star for Gallantry, the Bronze Star for Valor, the Purple Heart and French Croix de Guerre, becoming one of the highest decorated doctors in the Korean War.

His time on the battlefields of Korea exposed the young doctor

to incredible pain and suffering, and solidified his resolve to eventually devote his life to helping people in need.

Today, wartime medals hang framed in a modest two bedroom

There are publicity stills taken with Danny Kaye, Tony Bennett

Upper East Side Manhattan apartment where Chaney, now 92, and

and Shirley MacLaine – Hollywood stars enlisted, often shamelessly,

his wife Harriett of eight years, live amidst a lifetime of artifacts

to help raise needed funds.

attesting to an extraordinary career leading Dooley Intermed

International, a New York-based non-profit founded by Chaney,

his work, that she accepted the title of national chairman of the

dedicated to providing crucial assistance to those who lie beyond

foundation. She would often write to potential donors, even

the reach of traditional healthcare.

calling them directly.

The teak furniture with ivory inlays, the antique opium weights

The singer Peggy Lee was so enamored with Chaney and

“You’d get a call from Peggy Lee – who’s going to turn

and scales, dancing women sculptures from Laos and Thailand, a

down a call like that? She was a marvelous door opener,”

carved, almost life-sized baby elephant, framed Angkor Wat temple

Chaney remembers.

rubbings – all recall a time when Chaney was lauded by politicians,

holy men and Hollywood stars alike.

a residency in thoracic surgery at the University of North Carolina

Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, Chaney volunteered in 1956

One file folder contains a lock of famed African medical

Following discharge from the Army, and once completing

missionary Albert Schweitzer’s hair. There’s a 1964 photo showing

to work as Chief of Surgery at Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti.

Schweitzer in Africa, wearing his trademark bowtie, white shirt

For his humanitarian efforts, he was awarded a commendation

and khakis, gazing up at Chaney, tall and lean, sporting a porkpie

by the State Department and by the U.S. Haitian Ambassador.

straw hat, pocket protector, and looking like ­­­­­­an extra from the

TV show “Mad Men.”

private practice in Monterey, Calif. Within two years he had four

He remembers one day flicking a fly off Dr. Schweitzer’s arm.

offices and was so busy, he added a partner.

“Don’t do that. It’s my fly,” he was admonished by the Nobel

After 15 months, he returned from Haiti and entered into

His volunteer work gained further meaning in the summer of

Prize-winning physician, who believed in the sanctity of all life,

1960 when he received a call from Dr. Thomas A. Dooley III, the

no matter how small. Schweitzer would later agree to become an

“jungle doctor” himself, a charismatic medical missionary from a

honorary chairman of Dooley Intermed’s National Advisory Council.

comfortable St. Louis suburb who in the 1950s captivated the Ameri-

Going Hollywood

can public with his aid to the people of Asia. During the Eisenhower years, Dooley’s remote medicine missions – 17 in all – were estab-

Another image shows a young Chaney holding hands with His

lished in impoverished areas of 14 Asian countries using millions of

Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, whom he met through the world

dollars donated by those he had inspired.

famous author, explorer and broadcaster Lowell Thomas.

Navy in the 1950s serving in Vietnam and was appalled by the plight

“You don’t grab hold of the Dalai Lama’s hand, he holds

yours,” Chaney said while showing the photo to a visitor. 38


Chaney recalls, “Dooley was a former ship’s doctor in the U.S.

of refugees of the First Indochina War (1946-50) who had no medical

Travel + Leisure

Dr. Tom Dooley and Dr. Verne Chaney

Making His Mark Chaney’s innovative fieldwork is widely heralded, such as a solar powered refrigerator he developed for carrying perishable vaccines over long mountain passes.

“We put it together with solar cells hooked to a battery which

powered the refrigerator. It was heavy, not very practical, but it was effective in keeping vaccines cool in the field,” he said.

Chaney also dressed his staff in distinguished yellow uniforms

instead of the usual white. His “Goats For Kids” program solicited contributions to buy goats for undernourished children in Africa.

He created medical clinics out of houseboats – nicknamed

“showboats” ­– that traveled the rivers of southeast Asia packed to care. He thought he could do something about it and believed the

the gunwales with medical supplies, decorated with flags and ban-

brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations.

ners, and blasting recorded music to help attract patients – “Tijuana

Brass” was a favorite. The floating clinics had a certain theatrical flair,

“He was good looking, charismatic and loved publicity – he loved

being on the radio. Dooley knew that positive publicity could well

featuring movies, even puppet shows for children. Each houseboat

lead to private, corporate and government support,” Chaney recalls.

was named after a Disney character. The Laotians, first afraid, grew to love the boat they called “Mikka Moush.”

“This is Your Life”

In November 1959, Dooley was particularly thrilled to be on Ralph

Dooley Intermed Today

Edwards’ popular television show, “This is Your Life.”

The work of Dooley Intermed International continues today, with

multiple medical projects focused primarily in Nepal, Nicaragua and

Tragically, as Dooley was being celebrated on national television,

he was dying of a cancer that claimed his life in January 1961 at the

Thailand. Many outreach projects cost a modest $25,000, yet benefit

age of 34.

hundreds and even thousands of impoverished villagers in the forgot-

ten corners of the world. Recently Dooley was involved in helping

With the permission of Dooley’s mother, which she granted

immediately, Chaney gave up his lucrative practice to establish the

earthquake victims in Nepal recover from the worse earthquake to hit

Thomas A. Dooley Foundation in San Francisco in September 1961,

that landlocked country in 80 years.

named in honor of the man the media called, “The Splendid Ameri-

can,” the Laotian people called “Dr. America,” and some considered

ment, and remains in touch with his adult sons Christopher and

a saint.

Steven. His body – tormented by land mines, crushed by a 1993 tor-

Under the aegis of the Dooley Foundation – Intermed Interna-

nado in Petersburg, Va., that almost took his life – is no longer strong

tional, medical assistance projects continued in Cambodia, Hong Kong,

enough to travel beyond visiting his wife’s suburban home in New

Laos, Vietnam and with Tibetan refugees in northern India.

Jersey and the occasional American Ballet Theatre performance.

These days, Verne Chaney spends his time mostly in his apart-

Albert Schweitzer once said, “No man is ever completely and

“Dooley’s Dollies”

permanently a stranger to his fellow-man. Man belongs to man.

In need of volunteers to assist overseas, Chaney turned to a Pan Am

Man has claims on man.”

employee he was dating at the time, a woman who wanted to do-

nate her time and energy to Dooley Intermed. Chaney reasoned that

today thanks to the inspiring leadership and service of Verne Chaney,

stewardesses, as they were called at the time, were medically trained,

a selfless humanitarian who for over five decades has been passion-

traveled the world anyway, and perhaps could receive the neces-

ately driven by the belief: “the war against hunger, disease and igno-

sary time off. He unabashedly approached Juan Trippe, founder of

rance is unending, and must be fought by men and women united by

Pan American World Airways, and secured his agreement that any

a consciousness of the brotherhood of man.’’

Such was the guiding principle of Tom Dooley, and it lives on

employee sufficiently interested in supporting Chaney’s humanitarian projects would receive an airline ticket and time off. It would be with-

For more information about Dooley Intermed, log onto

out pay, but at no loss to seniority.

Trippe’s staff was aghast. “They told him they were running an

airline, not a charity,” Chaney recalls.

International Stewardess News began calling them “Dooley’s

About the Author: Jeff Blumenfeld, a frequent contributor to

Dollies.” Adds Chaney, “It was a very important program during

Venu Magazine, is editor of, and author of

our early years. Over 200 stewardesses took part, and not just from

an adventure sponsorship book titled, Get Sponsored: A Funding

Pan Am. Twenty-five other airlines joined in. Besides helping the

Guide for Explorers, Adventurers, and Would-Be World Travelers

needy, it created positive public relations for Dooley Intermed.”

(Skyhorse Publishing, 2014). CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE




Photographs by: Jonathan Wallen

The Millionaires Club “Build a clubhouse fit for a gentleman, and hang the expense”. The instructions of J.P. Morgan to architect Stanford White. By Phillip James Dodd



City, in the late nineteenth-century was reflected in the growth of

copied, were the ultimate social symbol of an Imperial elite that

The London Clubs, which the New York clubs unashamedly

gentlemen’s social clubs. With their exclusivity and opulent surround-

had conquered half of the world, built the British Empire, and ruled

ings they set a self-congratulatory tone for a privileged few. Ostensibly

it for over two hundred years. Club membership comprised of the

established for the pleasure and entertainment of their members, in

aristocracy and gentry, Members of Parliament and civil servants, high

reality these gilded palaces brought together, under one roof, the

ranking military officers, financers and industrialists. Membership to

titans of American finance and industry – and became the backdrop

the right London Club was imperative for one’s social standing, as

for many of the political and business transactions that shaped this

that person would forever be defined by a single club affiliation.

nation. The stories of these magnificent palazzos and their affluent

founders chronicle the social life of the Gilded Age, at a time when

found in London, New Yorkers sought to become members in as many

their power and influence was supreme in the land.

private clubs as possible. Indeed, the ultimate status symbol of the


However, unlike the exclusive and aristocratic club memberships

architectural significance, The Metropolitan Club is probably best known for the story of its founding.

The origins of the club go back to 1889, and two of Americas

most powerful men - John Pierpont Morgan and William K. Vanderbilt. Both were members of the exclusive Union Club; both were at the epicenter of the nation’s ever-growing railroads (which at the time accounted for nearly 40 percent of shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange); and most importantly, both were men at the height of their wealth, power and influence. The story goes that in an attempt to curb the growth of the rival Pennsylvania Railroad, Morgan enlisted the help of John King, President of the Erie Railroad, with the promise of membership to the venerable Union Club. Lacking any social etiquette, King’s nomination for membership was promptly rejected – or blackballed - by the club. Some would have you believe that Morgan took personal offence to his dear friend being humiliated, or that perhaps he was just bitter about not getting his own way. In truth, Morgan’s business success - and in particular his manipulation of the railroads - depended on his rivals being fearful of his far-reaching power and influence. To have this reputation even slightly questioned was unthinkable, potentially dangerous, and something which Morgan had to react to immediately.

As coincidence would have it, around the same time, Vanderbilt’s

new brother-in-law, Dr. W. Seward Webb, was also blackballed by the Union Club. Webb was a Columbia trained physician, and by all accounts not a particularly likeable person. Yet, by marrying Eliza Vanderbilt he was now a member of one of the most powerful family dynasties in New York – and to reject him “was” an insult to the entire Vanderbilt name. Left: The West Lounge, includes carved wall panels which depict the Labors of Hercules, was designed by the French decorator Gilbert Cuel. Right: The entrance courtyard, located on sixtieth street, is screened by ornate wrought-iron gates that the AIA Guide to New York City would later say was designed to “keep we plebs at bay”.

And so, Morgan and Vanderbilt, along with a who’s who of other

leading New York families (Whitney, Astor and Rockefeller), teamed together and decided to found their own club – “one so dazzling that the Union Club would melt in the heat given off by its incandescence”. Instantly crowned as “The Millionaires Club”, they summoned the

day was to be referred to as a “clubman”. In an era of unrestrained

most gifted architect of the day, Stanford White, with instructions to

opulence, when princely spending was rampant, membership in

“build a clubhouse fit for a gentleman, and hang the expense.”Well,

multiple clubs made ambitious men feel wanted and successful – it

that’s the legend. In reality, the formation of the club was more likely

made them feel noble, no matter their social upbringing. Accumulated

born out of necessity rather than revenge. 1890’s New York was the

wealth alone did not guarantee acceptance into the higher echelons

very height of the Gilded Age - a time when the richest and most

of society - one had to be a gentleman, and as Emily Post in the first

powerful men in American were intent on a creating a new metropolis

edition of Etiquette noted, “The perfect clubman is another word for

that would not only become the nation’s cultural capital, but one that

the perfect gentleman”.

one rival the great cities of Paris, London and Rome. To flaunt their

The first such club in the United States was the Philadelphia Club,

newly acquired wealth they needed buildings rich in grandeur and full

founded in 1830. New York’s first club, The Union Club - also referred

of historical reference; they needed a gathering place, a club, where

to as the “Mother of Clubs” - was established in 1836. Others quickly

their tastes and achievements would be reflected; they needed a

followed - The Union League, The University Club, The Harvard Club,

clubhouse to rival any of the male bastions found on London’s Pall

The Players, The Century Association, The New York Yacht Club - to

Mall. The solution was the creation of The Metropolitan Club - the first

name just a few. In their early days, these social clubs inhabited mod-

of New York’s truly palatial clubhouses. And like all of the important

est rented rooms in townhouses located downtown. But the urge to

buildings of its day, it was not designed as mere clubhouse, but a

impress soon led to the construction of increasingly opulent clubhouses,

monument of a city within a city.

each designed to reflect the status of its membership, and each in

competition to attract the very best gentlemen of the day.

Reform Club in London, designed by Sir Charles Barry some sixty

Perhaps the most lavish of these new clubhouses was The Metro-

years earlier in 1837. Inspired by the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, the

politan Club - a magnificent white marble Italian palazzo located on

Reform Club would become one of the most influential buildings of

the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sixtieth Street. Ever since its comple-

its day, and the source of inspiration for Stanford White when tasked

The design of The Metropolitan Club is based upon that of the

tion in 1894, it has remained one of New York’s most recognizable

with designing a clubhouse to rival any of London’s most exalted

buildings, the epitome of the American Renaissance, and a Beaux-Arts

gentlemen’s clubs. Resembling a palace from the Italian Renaissance,

masterpiece in design by the great Stanford White. Yet despite its

the palazzo style is particularly well fitted to an urban environment. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE




Left: A detail of the ceiling in the West Lounge - which was painted in Paris by Perili, and then shipped over to New York for installation. Right: Commanding the intersection of fifth avenue and sixtieth street, the design of the Metropolitan Club is based upon that of the Reform Club on London’s Pall Mall, designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1837.

It is also easy to understand why Morgan, Vanderbilt, and the other founding members of the Metropolitan Club would find the style of architecture so appealing. Not only was it the style endorsed by the British, and chosen to represent their Imperial elitism – it was also the style of Florentine Merchant Princes during the Italian Renaissance. And after all, wasn’t J.P. Morgan America’s version of the Lorenzo de’ Medici?

From the onset, the building was expected to be expensive and

White fulfilled all expectations. The buildings monumental presence can in part be attributed to the use of white Tuckahoe marble on its exterior – the same material Stanford White had used in his earlier

While the exterior of The Metropolitan Club was purposefully

design for the Washington Memorial Arch – paired with a Vermont

restrained, great time and money were lavished on its opulent interiors.

marble for a subtle contrast. This design is extremely restrained by

Pedestrians passing by are offered a sneak peak in the evenings, as

White’s standards – yet it is a design that exudes confidence, and

the West Lounge becomes fully illuminated for all to see. Taking up

suggests the dignity, wealth, power and unflinching self-esteem of

the entire length of Fifth Avenue (made possible by the decision to

its members. Typical of the palazzo style, the focus of exterior orna-

place the entrance on Sixtieth Street), the room measures 85 feet by

ment is reserved for the cornice and frieze, which White adapted

40 feet, and is 25 feet high, and is one of the most spectacular rooms

from that at the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. However, here the pro-

in the city. Elaborately designed and detailed by French decorator

jecting marble and copper cornice has been masterfully over-sized

Gilbert Cuel (not Stanford White), the room is based on the celebrated

to better command the open spaces of Central Park and Grand

Galerie d’Hercule of the Hotel Lambert, built on the Ile Saint-Louis

Army Plaza opposite. The windows on the second floor – the

in the heart of Paris in 1640. Decorated in the Louis XIV style, the

piano nobile – that house many of the principal rooms, are framed

highlight of the West Lounge is perhaps the six ceiling paintings which

by a stone carved surround featuring acanthus leaves, and a medal-

were executed in Paris, shipped to New York, and installed by French

lion with the letter “M” in its center. Some have conjectured that

craftsmen. The extensive use of French artisans aroused the indigna-

this stands for “Morgan” rather than “Metropolitan”.

tion of the Ornamental Plasterer’s and Shop Hand’s Society, who sent

a written protest to Stanford White, protesting the use of foreign labor,

The entrance to the building is located on Sixtieth Street,

accessed off a courtyard that is screened by a one-story Tuscan

and refusing to handle any material not made in New York.

colonnade. Linked with elaborate wrought-iron, there are three

gates (the center one being designed for carriages), with the

before in New York City, members of the self-titled Millionaires Club

ear construction commenced – MDCCCXCII (1892) – integrated

when not conducting business were known to pass their valuable time

into the design.

by placing bets on who or what would go by the window next.

Within this spectacular room, surrounded by an opulence not seen

Phillip James Dodd is a well regarded expert on classical architecture and interiors, whose designs can be found in Manhattan, Greenwich and Palm Beach. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed The Art of Classical Details. His latest book An Ideal Collaboration: The Art of Classical Details II will be released in October 2105. 42


The Golden Palate by Fred Bollaci Birthday wishes, Italian style, that promise many happy returns! No matter how many birthdays I have celebrated in my life, I look forward to each one with the anticipation of a little kid about to have his biggest wishes come true. As you may know from reading my column, I am passionate about great healthy gourmet food, with Italian cuisine being a family favorite due to my Italian heritage. So it should come as no surprise that I often choose to celebrate my birthday at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. Last year on September 30th, I enjoyed a birthday lunch at Ristorante Caterina de Medici at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, happily dining on an insalata mista and a perfectly grilled salmon, with a glass of Barolo. The restaurant is as authentic as you can get. The setting resembles a Tuscan villa with its own herb garden. Its simple, classic Italian food is prepared and served by some of America’s future great chefs. Halfway through our meal, I remarked to my dining companion that the only thing I could think of for my birthday that would top this, would be to attend a culinary schoolin Tuscany. Before I could manage a sip of my espresso, my cell phone rang. It was my good friend, Sandy Loevner from Florida. After wishing me a “Happy Birthday,” she got right down to business. “Fred, how would you like to attend cooking school in Tuscany?” she asked. It was like she had overheard my conversation. “Absolutely, it has always been a dream of mine,” I responded. Sandy is a fellow food and wine connoisseur who has served as chair of the prestigious Florida Winefest & Auction, an annual event in Sarasota that has contributed over $8 million to children’s charities since its inception in 1993 One of their partner companies is Toscana Saporita, a premier cooking school located near Lucca, Italy, owned by renowned chef and cookbook author, Sandra Lotti. Sandy was scheduled to spend a week at Toscana Saporita, but something came up and she couldn’t go. She surprised me by asking if I would like to take her place. Then, she said, “Just one thing, it is in two weeks!” A dream come true! Ten days later, I landed in Rome en route to Toscana Saporita, looking forward to what would be one of the finest culinary experiences of my life. While in Rome, I had the privilege of naming my first 75 Golden Palate Italia recipients with the expert guidance of fellow connoisseur, Roman friend and Advisory Board Member, Giorgio Cazzaniga (his father is a world famous jeweler,, some of my Roman favorites include: Nino (Chianina steak), Dal Bolognese (people watching and Bolognese cuisine), Checco er Carettiere (Carbonara), Osteria Romana di Simmi (Bill Clinton’s favorite), Pizza Re’, Giolitti (gelato), Caffe’ Sant’ Eustachio and Tazza d’Oro (coffee and granita di caffe, respectively), Camponeschi (tripe and zabaglione), and Molo 10, Quinzi e Gabrieli, Assunta Madre, and La Rosetta (seafood). A few days later, I was off to Tuscany to cook! Toscana Saporita conducts classes in the spring and fall each year at a beautiful working Tuscan “agriturismo” (farm). Students stay in a villa where famed composer Puccini


Left: Sandra Lotti, founding chef of renowned Tuscany, Italy cooking school, Toscana Saporita, Fred Bollaci Enterprises inaugural Golden Palate Partner Italia and 2015 Charter member. Below: The Golden Pear Cafe, a 30-year Hampton’s, Long Island legendary bakery cafe in Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, and Sag Harbor. Chef and owner, Keith Davis, is a Fred Bollaci Enterprises Golden Palate Partner, 2014 Signature member, and 2015 Charter member.

once lived. I was in heaven! During our culinary classes, the school’s founding chef, Sandra Lotti, and son Alessio, along with, Chef/Instructor, Chris Covelli from the U.S., showed us how to expertly prepare fresh pasta, sauces, pizza, meat, seafood, dessert, and more! In addition to being honored as one of my inaugural Golden Palate Italia Partners, I recently named Toscana Saporita my first 2015 Charter Member in Italy. I am looking forward to attending the Advanced Class in November 2015. Anyone seeking the experience of a lifetime, should attend Toscana Saporita. Please tell Sandra Lotti I sent you! For a complete list of my Golden Palate Italia Partners, and to read more about my travels in Italy, visit and follow me for more healthy and tasty destinations! Back in the states, I am thrilled to announce The Golden Pear Café a Hamptons legend for nearly 30 years, as my second U.S. Charter Member for 2015! The Golden Pear, with locations in the Hamptons’ oceanfront resort villages of Southampton, East Hampton, Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor, is one of my favorite East end eateries. The Golden Pear features some of the best breakfast, coffee, lunches, and baked goods on the east end, as well as many fresh, “lighter gourmet” options including chopped salads, vegetarian chili and a spa breakfast burrito. Their signature line of organic coffees and organic trail mixes, as well as the full line of Golden Pear products, can be enjoyed all year long. If you haven’t experienced this much loved “home away from home” café, where everything is made from scratch—you must. Please tell chef owner, Keith Davis, I sent you! In Good Taste, Fred

For more information please visit CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


Travel Appetite + Leisure: Destination NorwaY

Photographs by: Tom McGovern

Specialty Food Markets The Return of The Customer Informed, Hungry, and Pro-active – Consumers Really Do Care About What They Eat By Linda Kavanagh

Chris Palumbo of the Fairfield and Greenwich Cheese Company

Greenwich Specialty Food Market Owners - a Gathering of the Minds


This article was originally slated to run as “The Return of the Specialty

Food Market”. But, did these fabulous butchers, cheese mongers,

to stop and smell the cantaloupe, standard grocery stores stepped

coffee roasters and bread makers ever really leave? The short answer

up and simplified our lives. Commercially known supermarkets

is “No”. The long answer is in the form of a question directed towards

became everything to everybody – supplying the gamut from the

But as life became more complicated and people had less time

the consumer; where did you go?

butcher shop to the fish market, to a cheese counter and even a bakery.

Before there was Whole Foods, Trader Joes and multiple mega

Prepared foods soon popped up in the form of rotisserie chickens,

supermarkets in every town, a trip to the market involved several stops

salad bars and “hot buffets”. It was remarkable then and remains the

on the road to a family meal. Personally, I have fond memories (circa

norm in our food culture now.

1970) of visits to the Meateria pork store for fennel sausages, pop-

ping into Cassone’s Bakery for loaves of semolina bread, and the best

shall we say, “re-occurred”. Chefs began taking back their restaurants

was the pungent smelling cheese shop where wedges of Parmigiano

and connecting with their farmers and suppliers. Cooking shows started

Reggiano were hand cut from an enormous cheese wheel. Dare I say

shining a light on the beauty of a home cooked meal. And in-depth

Throughout the 1990’s a wonderful food phenomenon occurred; or

it? Yes, grocery shopping was even considered to be enjoyable back

reporting on the state of our food system and our eco-agri culinary

then. Most of us took for granted the freshness, quality and locality of

climate came into light. Throughout 2000-2010 name brands got their

the food. Pre-packaged? Never. Mass produced? No such thing.

butts kicked by store brands, and this now educated consumer began


placing product demands on the mega stores. Today just about every major grocery outlet carries organic, as well as locally sourced food

Fleisher’s Craft Butchery

items in addition to standard goods. Having a choice in what and how

there’s no comparison to a freshly butchered by hand, bone-in pork

we eat matters. It’s the world we live in now.

chop, as opposed to a cellophane wrapped piece of meat that’s been

sitting in the refrigerator case for who knows how long.”

Due to this new found epiphany consumers are getting back to

basics. Real food, responsibly sourced, and properly stored, prepared

and presented. As simple as a cheese shop, or as exotic as a spice

food and owning a business, studied the craft of butchery with Fleisher’s

market, specialty markets are not only part of our food vernacular, they

Organic and Grass Fed Meats in Kingston, NY, learning about nose-

are a form of recreation and one of the most sought after food destina-

to-tail butchery. In 2012 Ryan opened Saugatuck Craft Butchery in

tions besides restaurants, both where we live and travel to. People are

Westport, CT, a neighborhood butcher shop steadfast in their mission

once again finding the joy in food.

to provide local, grain and grass fed, all natural, humanely-raised meat.

Ryan, a former finance guy, who instead followed his passion for

This year, Craft teamed up with its mentor, forming Fleisher’s Craft During a recent gathering of likeminded specialty food market owners

Butchery, which recently opened a new shop on a wonderfully delicious

in Greenwich, Connecticut, the passion for their niche food seg-

street among their fellow specialty food markets in Greenwich.

ment was equally as palpable as their devotion to a responsible

Fleisher’s Craft Butchery features beef, poultry, pork, lamb, sau-

food system. Many came from non-food related fields, trading their

sages and grinds, in addition to meat stocks, prepared foods and

MetroCard in for a pick-up truck.

cooking essentials. Their educational series includes; Butchering 101;

Owners of the Fairfield and Greenwich Cheese Company,

Sausage Making; Knife Skills & Poultry featuring Victorinox; and Grilling.

Laura Downey, a former retail buyer with William Sonoma and her

Much of the butchery is clearly on display, adding to the experience

partner Chris Palumbo, a chef by trade, quite simply met at a party

and illustrating the team’s dedication to the craft.

and a conversation ensued about the need for a real cheese shop

“Education is key, “says Ryan, “knowing where your food is com-

in the area.

ing from and how it is handled is important. As with most specialty

“Even with our combined strengths, there was a huge learning

shops who are doing it right, we are in control of what we pass on to

curve,” says Laura, “We knew that in order to do it right we would need

our customers. And while there’s no doubt that we should be eating

to immerse ourselves within the cheese world and become experts in

less meat in general, for both health and sustainability reasons, let’s

our field. Having the customer trust us and our products is essential in

at least eat the best meat possible for the sake of both.”

maintaining, as well as growing our customer base.”

Both Laura and Chris are certified by the American Cheese Society

Certified Cheese Professionals (ACS CCP), a certification that only a few hundred people have nationwide. Their customers reap the rewards of the duo’s travels to dairy farms around the world and the relationships they have with the artisans, which enables them to fill their shop with the best cheese and accoutrements possible. Monthly

Did you know that only about 50% of a cow gets consumed, while 90% of a pig can be eaten in one form or another?

cheese classes are intimate and decadent affairs covering everything

Next door to both the butcher and the cheese shop is Fjord Fish

from basic cheese making principals and tastings, to pairing cheese

Market, an oasis for fresh fish, prepared seafood dishes, sushi, and

with wine, beer and cider.

specialty products to accompany your fish selections. Owner Jim

“Our job and our joy is taking the guess work out of the equa-

Thistle is a former corporate guy who saw a business opportunity in

tion for our customers. We have them sample and explore the

an existing local fish market which was ready to be taken to the next

cheese world along with us, “says Chris, “And while we know we

level. The original market in Greenwich opened in 1990 and has

can’t compete with large chain store cheese counters price wise,

since opened locations throughout Fairfield County, CT. In keeping

we’re confident in the quality of our cheese (cut to order from large

with today’s sustainable food practices, Fjord puts an emphasis on

wheels) and the overall experience we provide.”

traceability in sourcing and only purchases whole fish, cutting every

piece by hand.

“You can’t beat that,” says Ryan Fibiger, Owner and Head Butcher

of the neighboring butcher shop, Fleisher’s Craft Butchery, “Just as

“From where the fish was caught, if it’s farm raised or wild, our

transparency in what we’re providing to our customers is a key element CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


Travel + Leisure: Destination NorwaY Appetite

Fjord Fish Market Hand Cut Whole Fish

Glenville Wine Shop’s Paul Laveris

to our success, “explains Jim, “Mislabeling, which is basically fraud, runs rampant in the food biz. Information about what we are putting into our bodies should never be hidden or misleading. “

Fjord adheres to strict guidelines, both from an industry stand-

point and through self-imposed standards. For example, Jim refuses to purchases anything from Asia, stating how their fish farming and harvesting processes is less than substandard and the product gets shipped to the states often dripping with chemicals. And quality is never sacrificed for the sake of a lower price point, as eating a premium and responsibly-sourced product should justify the price.

“Many of us never left, but instead weathered the storm, “explains

wine expert Paul Laveris of the oldest running(pre-prohibition) wine

Miami’s Proper Sausage

and spirits shop in Greenwich, now Glenville Wine & Spirits, “Even our customers began shopping at Costco and discount wine warehouses. But there’s a fundamental difference between us and them, which goes

black pepper, and mace, and of course that wonderful fatty Berkshire

beyond customer service, product knowledge, and the wine offerings

pork. They started out by selling their tasty encased meats at local

themselves, “he says, “It’s about the experience –the act of seeking

farmers’ markets. Online chatter and media accolades, combined with

out and purchasing that great bottle of wine in a more intimate setting

customer raves immediately followed and in 2013 the Proper Sausage

with a personal connection to the shop, and perhaps with the owner

store was introduced to the greater Miami area. In addition to their

who you trust to guide you through your selections.”

signature sausages (The Proper, The Dub, The Fig & Blue Cheese, The

Proper Chorizo, The Romagna, The Wynwood Porter, and The Lamb &

Harissa) Proper Sausage features meat and poultry from local sustain-

Our Greenwich markets owners are optimistic about the slowly

shifting buying habits of consumers. Greater awareness translates into

able farms, locally grown produce, boutique wines, and craft beers.

responsible purchasing, which leads to a healthier food lifestyle.

“Healthy animals – healthy you!” touts Freddy Kaufmann of

Another Miami market destination that practices its art in its purest

Miami’s popular Proper Sausage,” It’s all relative. A fresh attitude

form is Zak the Baker. Upon leaving his pharmacology studies in the

leads to progressive thinking, which leads to smart purchasing and ulti-

states to instead travel throughout Europe, apprenticing with cheese

mately you are eating responsibly for the planet and for your body.”

makers, bakers, and organic farmers, Zak Stern returned to his home


original proper sausage in 2011. Its main ingredients were fresh sage,

Proper Sausage is just that; properly made sausage which starts

town of Miami and in 2011 and set himself up in a one stove kitchen in

with all natural Heritage Berkshire pork. Like its beef counterpart, Kobe

Hialeah and began making his sourdough bread completely by hand,

beef, Berkshire pork is known for its beautiful marbling which results in

the process for a single loaf taking a total of 20 hours. He originally just

a moist textured product. Freddy, a trained chef, and his wife Danielle,

sold to Miami’s top restaurants and markets, but ultimately the customer

who hails from England where “proper” sausage is made, created the

demand could not be ignored. Success brought this humble baker to


“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti

Melting Pot Food Tour guests enjoying a tasting from Monsieur Marcel

Miami’s Zak the Baker

open his current bakery and café space in Wynwood’s funky art district. “Miami’s Best Sourdough Bread” gets its acidic tang from a pre-ferment “mother yeast” Stern started six years ago in Israel where he packed it in a tiny bottle and brought it home with him. He replenishes it nightly by feeding it water and flour and it continues to basis for every loaf of bread he makes. Multigrain, walnut & cranberry, Jewish rye, or olive & za’atar…it all begins with the mother yeast. Zak the Baker is an old world baker practicing his craft in a new world culture.

The specialty food market segment overall grew 19.2% between 2012-2104

Jon Escobedo from Huntington Meats at LA’s The Original Farmers Market cutting A Dry Age Tomahawk rack from its primal state

tive culinary talents throughout the city. One of the most popular tours is The Original Farmers Market tour, a 2.5 hour stroll that includes an overview of the Market’s intriguing history, stories of the legacy fami-

Los Angeles is home to one of the country’s largest specialty

lies who have been part of this landmark location since its inception,

markets, The Original Farmers Market. This downtown institution has

and a tasting of signature items from a variety of market vendors. A few

been feeding hungry locals and tourists alike since 1934. Robin Williams

market favorites on the tour include; Huntington Meats & Sausages,

once referred to the market as a “culinary amusement park”, with over

Tusquellas Seafoods, Littlejohns English, Toffee House, Monsieur

100 artisans, cheese makers, farmers, butchers, chocolatiers, spice

Marcel Gourmet Market, and Dragunara Spice Bazaar.

markets, fisheries, bakers, ice cream shops, restaurants and more!

“The Original Farmers Market is one of our most popular tours,”

Lisa and Diane Scalia of Melting Pot Food Tours have been con-

says Lisa, “Many of the vendors have store fronts of their own throughout

ducting culinary tours throughout the LA area since 2008. The sisters

the ccity but still choose to set up shop at the market due its immense

venture into the kitchens, restaurants and markets of the most innova-

popularity and the camaraderie among their fellow vendors.” CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


Cover Story

The cheerful front door, designed and painted by Latorre, echoes the pool terrace stripes.

Creating Paradise

Artist Carlos Betancourt and architect Alberto Latorre put their contemporary spin on a 1930s bungalow, while preserving its character in one of South Florida’s most historic neighborhoods Written by Daisy Olivera Produced by Daisy Olivera in collaboration with Carlos Betancourt and Alberto Latorre Photography by Zoltan Prepszent



Above, Carlos Betancourt and Alberto Latorre at their pool. Inside the pool: a few sculptural elements taken from artwork installation titled: On Golden Pond Wishes, 2013-14 by Carlos Betancourt in collaboration with Alberto Latorre. The black and white terrace floor pattern was designed by Latorre, inspired by iconic Miami Beach architect Morris Lapidus’ black and white ground lines on Miami Beach landmark, Lincoln Road. Chair sculpture on bridge by Betancourt, titled Let Them Feel Pink, La Silla, 2012. Left, Cheeky message via original vintage letters acquired from the historic National Hotel on Miami Beach, re-arranged to spell tan.



Cover Story

In the dining area, cleverly angled tables designed by Latorre can be positioned end to end for a seated dinner for 18 or pushed together as drafting tables with hidden drawers that store supplies. Simple wood stools tuck neatly out of the way and the also-angled buffet cabinet features a built-in champagne bucket. The light blue sculpture on the table is Cake Atomic, a 2011 collaboration between Betancourt and Latorre. The large work behind the sofa is El Portal I, 2011 by Betancourt; Ohhh Baby is by Dan Cole; the metallic blue sculpture is Of Things Past, How Much I Love You II, 2012 by Betancourt; the work of various artists is displayed on the shelf above the custom-made sofas, designed by Latorre which also incorporate hidden storage.

When the need arose to find a space in which to live, work and also be able to create art, Carlos Betancourt and Alberto Latorre set out from their South Beach high-rise on a determined, yet exhaustive hunt that took them to more than 40 Miami properties. Just when discouragement and frustration were setting in, they arrived at a quaint oasis that seemed preserved in time: the Village of El Portal. Not one to dismiss this as a coincidence, Betancourt insists it was meant to be. “About 20 years ago, I was lost driving around Miami and found myself in a magical neighborhood that I thought would be great to live in,” he says, “I remember because the area had a monumental Ceiba tree, wild birds and the rare, old Florida, tropical lushness. I was never able to find the area again, until this house was listed.” Since a newly-constructed, oversized home was not on their wish list, the idea of a quirky, yet stylish bungalow instantly appealed to them, explains Betancourt. With the surprise of a classic pool and a terrace

Inside the Art Deco fireplace is En La Arena Sabrosa 2003 (elements from a 7,000 sand castle artwork installation by Betancourt), on the TV screen an image of Appropriations del Mar y Amor 2014, an installation which was a collaboration between Betancourt and Latorre for Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s restaurant Lario’s On The Beach. To the right of the television is An Amulet for Light, XII, 2012 by Betancourt. On the shelves are a collection of various artists’ work including Kahinde Wiley, Tomaselli, Arnaldo Roche, Rene Cox, Naomi Fisher, Jose Bedia, plus vintage toys and artifacts. Custom, shallow cabinets hide the sound system.

that would provide ample space for private, outdoor entertaining, it was, says Latorre with a laugh, “a done deal.”


burial ground -- the first archeological site in South Florida to receive

In El Portal, you won’t see luxury towers. Instead, prime examples

historic designation. The landscape and history resonated with Latorre

of Miami architecture abound, from Spanish and Mediterranean

as well because it was reminiscent of the El Yunque National Rain

Revival to Mission style and Mid-Century Modern. Peacocks and

Forest in Puerto Rico. “We had an immediate, primal reaction when

native wildlife roam the narrow, meandering roads that were carved

we saw the neighborhood,” says Latorre, who was born on the island

into the land around the massive trees by pioneers close to a century

to Puerto Rican and Ecuadoran-Chinese parents, “I grew up around

ago. It was home to one of a dozen Tequesta Indian villages that

Taino Indian artifacts and Aztec and Mayan pottery collections that

existed within Miami-Dade County and includes an ancient, tribal

were my father’s. Being near this archeological site felt natural.”


An aerial view of the pool and the lush vegetation that surrounds it.

Betancourt, also born in Puerto Rico, was raised by Cuban par-

ents who emigrated there, then moved to Miami when he was 14. A deep connection to the island that shaped his childhood is evident in his artwork, which explores issues of beauty, nature and memory. His inspiration is partially rooted in family photo albums that his mother created. “At times,” he confides, “it was pretty much the only thing we had left as we moved often. I am also intrigued by the memory imbued in objects and the attachment and nostalgia that they may evoke because of this symbiotic relationship.” Being a fan of history also influences his work, which is in important public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, the McNay Art Museum in Texas, the Palm Springs Art Museum and the New Orleans Art Museum, among others. His work has also been included in multiple solo and group exhibitions, as well as art fairs such as Art Basel and Arco. Latorre, a University of Miami School of Architecture grad, specializes in design and management of residential, commercial, institutional and parks and recreation projects as well as interior and furniture design. Also versed in the visual arts, Latorre is Betancourt’s studio director and has collaborated with the artist on a variety of art installations, from site specific artworks for the exceptional contemporary artwork collection of Celebrity Cruises, to Miami International Airport, Zoo Miami and Miami-DadeCounty’s Animal Shelter; all commissions awarded by the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places Trust.

The photograph of Bettie Page is by Bunny Yeager. On the pedestal, Gold Cake Atomic, 2011

They were introduced 18 years ago by mutual friend Richard

Blanco, the fifth presidential inaugural poet of the United States (who

also participated in the ceremony marking the formal reopening of

Shortly after buying the home five years ago, they dove in to add

Both are very hands on and have solid knowledge of construction.

the U.S. embassy in Cuba in August). With many longtime friends like

sophisticated elegance and function to the humble gem, which, in

Blanco, they entertain often as a respite from their intense, creative

the style of the 1930s, was a warren of dark, claustrophobic rooms.

schedule and the frequent travel for work and inspiration. All the

A previous owner added a large master bedroom and bath to the

more reason this home needed to be the ideal sanctuary in which

existing two bedroom, one bath home and demolished some walls,

to stop, unwind and recharge.

but Latorre took it further. He reconfigured the kitchen, expanding it

The renovation was a significant collaboration between the

into the dining area, adding a breakfast bar and pushing it out into

two, outlined by Latorre’s analytical, problem-solving mind. “I had

the side yard, doubling its size to add a pantry and laundry room. The

to invent new storage everywhere I could,” he says. “When I designed

two smaller bedrooms serve as a studio and office and the former

the furniture it was to create flow and continuation and give the

pass-through holds library shelves.

appearance of more room. I tapered them and gave them angles

to fool the eye.”

themselves at the front of the house, extended the entertainment

An outdoor deck and lounge, which Betancourt and Latorre built



Cover Story

Cake Atomic, 2011 (artwork collaboration between Carlos Betancourt and Alberto Latorre); majestic African wood carvings; a rare textbook of Andy Warhol Prints (Brillo) and vintage 1950s ceramics on the top shelf; the photograph on the wall is Sunday Afternoon in El Yunque by Betancourt. River rocks surround the window which was created to frame one of the oak trees on the property.

area and cocktails are usually served there under swaying palm trees. “Because of how we entertain there had to be an easy flow from the

Colorful necklaces by the Masai tribes from Kenya hang next to Masai warrior spears. Inside the cabinet various indigenous Taino, Aztec and Pueblo Indian artifacts along with  vintage objects and postcards from Miami Beach.

moment guests come in,” explains Latorre. The exterior was just as important as the interior. Surrounded by century-old, massive oaks, different layers of vegetation were added, with ferns at ground level, then bushes and tall hedges. “Not manicured, we wanted that wild, natural feeling,” he emphasizes. A variety of palms, Kapoks and Gumbo

visually. The fireplace mantel is also angled and deceptively-shallow

Limbo trees were mixed in along the perimeter of the property, along

wall shelves add dimension without bulk. They were carried into the

with Ficus, Papyrus, Bamboo and Banana trees to border the pool.

kitchen and other rooms as an ever-evolving gallery. Crisp, white

The front gate, which was designed and painted by Latorre,

walls were de rigueur since Betancourt’s colorful art, as well as other

foreshadows the radiating stripes of the pool terrace. It’s flanked by

artists’ work they collect, is displayed throughout. The built-in sofas

hedges punctuated with flowers chosen for their fragrance, which

are covered in a nubby linen and the streamlined bases provide even

Latorre describes as “aromatherapy for our guests.” Jasmine and

more storage. “Elements I’ve used are informed by neo-futuristic

ylang-ylang perfume the night air, while gardenias enhance the day.

architects of the 1950s, Eero Saarinen and Morris Lapidus,” explains

Others flowers were planted not just for their beauty and color, but

Latorre. “Their architecture was joyful and optimistic.” Polished

to attract butterflies and humming birds. There’s also an herb garden,

black floors add depth and sophistication. “The glossy, dark floors in

which is a must for Latorre. Adds Betancourt, “we celebrate life with

the house bring to mind the shimmering surface of ponds and rain,”

food and dancing and Albert is extremely talented in the kitchen. We

he says.

are grateful to have traveled extensively, so we usually serve a fusion


of Latin and world flavors, especially Mediterranean.”

say, outrageous, design decision was put into play. Latorre wanted a

Central to their entertaining is the pièce de résistance which

When it came to the pool terrace, an unconventional, or some would

at first glance seems relatively simple. “It had to be multi-purpose,”

smooth, imperceptible flow to the exterior, so black matte paint was

Latorre explains, pointing out the angled, sleek, white tables in the

the choice for the wood deck surrounding the pool, the small bridge,

dining room. “They had to work for three different functions. End-to-

the pavers and benches. River rocks the color of charcoal were added

end we can seat up to 18 people for dinner parties. We use one as

for texture. “It allows for the transition so the colors of nature stand

our everyday dining table and the other drops down to coffee table

out, since the greenery is so strong,” he states. The showstopper,

height. But they’re also our drafting tables. The tops can be set at an

unveiled during the Miami Beach Art Basel Studio Visit program, was

angle and storage underneath holds supplies.” The dining room buf-

the next phase; the black and white explosion of radiating stripes

fet is topped with gleaming, white quartz as are the kitchen counters

surrounding the pool. The way the light penetrated throughout the

and living room cabinets, which reflect light and expand the space

house provided inspiration says Latorre. “I was also inspired by the


More custom furniture designed by Latorre creates a cozy outdoor lounge at the front of the house. Artwork is Shopping Cart Atomic, 2011 by Betancourt; oversize photographic print on vinyl is After September, 2002 by Betancourt

explosions of the Re-Collections series,” he says of Betancourt’s work. “It’s also an evolution of what happens at the front gate.”

most cultures and playing dress up is also very liberating and ritualistic. Music is a powerful engine to memories and I like that.”

The idyllic setting is everything they imagined and is still a

To achieve the pattern on the pool deck, the center point of the pool

compelling work in progress. “The house itself and life events guided

was marked off with a string and the two DIYers drew lines with chalk

many of our design decisions,” states Latorre. As Betancourt adds,

and long pieces of wood, then painted the entire design themselves.

“we are very fortunate to be a team, as we are inspired by similar

“That controlled the geometry, but there’s a studied randomness, since

interests and our work ethic is the same. When we collaborate, it is

some lines are wider than others,” says Latorre. “Carlos and I also built

effortless, and we both dedicate long hours for creativity and work.

the bridge across the pool in time for his mom Teresita’s 70th birthday

Yet we are both aware of the importance of being independent

costume party. It was built as a photo-opp for her!” That is one of many

in many ways, especially creatively, and that allows for projects

legendary fêtes the two are known for. Says Betancourt, “her party was

to evolve organically and successfully. Albert is an immeasurable

Fellini-inspired, mixed with a Celia Cruz Cuban theme. An event loaded

source of talent and I am extremely fortunate, as it is a relationship

with syncretism; it was a very memorable affair! Dancing is endemic to

full of joy and celebration.”

Carlos Betancourt “Imperfect Utopia” Mixed-media artist Carlos Betancourt and his influential studio, Imperfect Utopia, helped to launch the Miami art scene in the 1980’s. Betancourt’s oeuvre is a lush explosion of radiant, eccentric colors in which he explores the kaleidoscope (multi-racial, multi-lingual, trans-cultural) of Caribbean and American culture. His work alludes to issues of memory, beauty, identity, and communication. He bends the lines between art, photography, and nature in his photographs, collages, painting, installations, and conceptual pieces. Betancourt’s imagery reinterprets the past and present and offers it in a fresh context. He is inspired by Puerto Rico, Miami, his extensive travels and various artists. This exuberant volume explores Betancourt’s body of work, with more than 250 images and texts by art critic Paul Laster, art history professor Robert Farris Thompson and United States Inaugural Poet, Richard Blanco. Betancourt’s artwork is included in the permanent collections of various museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The National Portrait Gallery. Book release October 2015.  Pre-order at, or Betancourt’s exhibit, Re-Collections, opens November 18, 2015 at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico. The mid-career, solo exhibit includes some of the artist’s most iconic artworks and site specific installations. Betancourt’s artwork is represented by Walter Otero Contemporary Art. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE



Parties With A Purpose

Annie Falk Creates Magical Moments that Change Lives By Cindy Clarke

Annie Falk, two-time author, culinary artist and ardent philanthropist, was born to party. Tea parties were her specialty as an imaginative third grader, but instead of catering to an audience of agreeable teddy bears with make-believe tea and pastries, she whipped up fresh squeezed lemonade and made some of the best rice krispie treats that her guests of honor, neighborhood children all, ever tasted. That she set her Lilliputian table with the care and consideration afforded the most elegant dinner parties was a given even then. But that she thought of and attended to all the details – drop cloths over the swing set, TVs at the ready and a cash box at the front door for charitable donations – with the bigger picture in mind was all the more unusual for this naturally talented hostess.

As far as Annie is concerned, parties are not just great opportuni-

ties to bring people together for a good time, they’re also the best way to bring people together at one time for a great cause.

Over the years she has regaled royalty, entertained headlining

entertainers and catered to heirs of fortunes and fame with the same flawless execution, exquisite taste and dignified decorum they are not only accustomed to but expect. Her delighted guests and co-hosts have included the likes of John Travolta, Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise and Usher among them. And her favorite parties range from her fantasy-filled Mad Hatter tea party and a Made in Hollywood event to a Sweet 16 Halloween ball, a dune dinner that even awed Oliver Stone, a multi-day Thanksgiving feast and more. Many were held to raise awareness and funds for heroes in uniform, the American Heart Association and The March of Dimes, along with a variety of arts associations and other non-profit organizations. The quintessential hostess, Annie pulls every event off like a pro, happy to make her guests happy so they can make the charities she supports happy too. “Parties have a purpose,” she says.

The spirit of entertaining, she tells me, is about giving back, about

appreciating what life has given you and sharing it with others who can enjoy it as well. While party planning has become her signature avocation, she makes party magic for others “as a gift.”

“Giving of oneself is the greatest gift you an offer humanity,”

she says and she lives by her words every day, dedicated to making a difference and an impact.

Born and raised in New York, Annie grew up in the entertainment

industry and worked as an actress, model and dancer before honing her skills as a corporate event planner. Blessed with an organized 54


As far as Annie is concerned, parties are not just great opportunities to bring people together for a good time, they’re also the best way to bring people together at one time for a great cause.




mindset and a penchant for planning, she studied business management and finance in college and parlayed her financial expertise into the lucrative field of investments, a skill that has served her well throughout her life. She moved to Palm Beach with her husband Michael and her two daughters in 2004, where she quickly became actively involved with a host of non-profit organizations and humanitarian causes, including the one that launched her charitable culinary calling, the Children’s Home Society of Florida.

“When we first moved to Palm Beach a little more than 10

years ago, Michael and I were invited to an invitation only ‘Ultimate Dinner Party,’ a progressive dining affair that involved several hosts and hostesses whose unabashed hospitality and generosity in opening their homes to us on behalf of the Children’s Home made a huge impression on us.”

After that event, she was determined to do all she could to help

bring awareness to the important work the Children’s Home did. Her fundraising efforts, including her first breakout cookbook, Palm


Beach Entertaining, whose proceeds directly benefitted the Children’s

ambiance of her parties.

Home Society, culminated into the momentous events that have been

As her career ramped up, Annie “was fortunate to study cooking

changing lives ever since.

in the south of France in Provence under the legendary Michelin-

starred chef Roger Vergé at his flagship restaurant, Le Moulin de

Today, she’s a sought after party-planner for celebrities, socialites

and like-minded philanthropists living along the gilded shores of Palm

Mougins – who made it his mission to help me learn the basics as

Beach where she spends her winters and for those whose sprawling

quickly as possible.” Vergé was renowned as “the very incarnation of

estates reign over the chic star-kissed sands of the Hamptons where

the great French chef for foreigners,” whose cooking style focused

she and her family have summered for decades. No matter how

on fresh, local ingredients, in a departure from traditional classic

high her celebrity status has soared, her motives remain as pure

French cuisine. His style was “the antithesis of cooking to impress —

and homegrown as the menus she serves guests in both places,

rich and pretentious,” he wrote in the preface to his first cookbook,

each honed in on a philanthropic cause that adds to the feel-good

“Cuisine of the Sun.” “It is a lighthearted, healthy and natural way of


lavish dinner parties on Long Island’s East End, from Southampton to Montauk, came naturally to Annie, who offers readers an insider glimpse of the invitation-only intimate soirees that take place behind the storied privet hedges of magnificent Hamptons’ estates. Hosts profiled in her book included Marie and reform politician Bill Samuels; Judith and Rudi Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City; equestrian Georgina Bloomberg, the youngest daughter of billionaire Michael Bloomberg; lifestyle retailer Christopher Burch; and skin-care guru Peter Thomas Roth and his wife Maureen. They share recipes and eye-candy photographs that tempt with a taste of the good life all in an effort to help the Peconic Baykeeper keep life good for the surrounding bay.

Marie Samuels, who partners – and parties – with Annie in Palm

Beach and the Hamptons, “Marie and I are artists at heart,” shares luncheon secrets in the book, inviting guests to enjoy the art of entertaining at her “funky” beach house. The Samuels are avid art collections and dedicated patrons to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Armory Art Center and Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue so dining in their home is always rife with color and conversation. The table and the environment are extensions of her cooking which combines the products of the earth like a bouquet

interest in contemporary arts and her creative spirit so guests will

of wild flowers from the garden.” Annie confessed that she could

find that her intimate dining décor resembles a virtual art installation.

barely crack an egg before she landed under his tutelage, return-

Her entertaining mantra is to mix the unconventional with simple

ing home with a bevy of farm to fork culinary skills and techniques,

pleasures to entice lively dialogs and add an element of surprise and

French inspired, Mediterranean flaired, that never fail to make mouths

lots of laughter. “No one has ever accused me of being a boring

water and satisfy the most discriminating appetites.

hostess!” Her contributions to the book and to Annie’s mission embody

her passion for facilitating person-to-person connections between

“I accompanied his chefs to the local market each morning,

learning how to select the perfect ingredients to cook a farm to

curators and patrons on behalf of artists.

table meal that honored the plate and the palate.” They taught her

what’s in season, when, and to master the most nourishing, healthful

tips for entertaining in paradise, making every affair ultra-special for

ways to cook.

the guests. Manners matter, as does dressing both table and host-

Annie said that her cooking skills served her well as an event


Interspersed throughout both of her books are Annie’s acclaimed

ess for the occasion. Making guests feel comfortable is key so pay attention to allergies and dietary restrictions. Keep floral arrange-

“I also learned that food can be grown and raised in responsible

ments low so guests can connect with each other eye to eye. Fresh

ways,” she said, adding that this awareness, coupled with environ-

is best from seasonal flowers to locally produced and prepared food.

mental concerns, grows more important with each event she supports

Mixing the beauty and richness of nature as much as you can helps

and each gift she bestows through her work.

create an occasion to remember. After savoring the visual feast she’s

At the 2015 launch of her second book, Hamptons Entertaining,

immortalized in print, I am pretty confident that people must walk

Annie announced that all proceeds of the richly detailed cookbook

out of her events awe-struck to a chorus of compliments that can

were earmarked for the Peconic Baykeeper, “the only independent,

be best summed up in just six words.

not-for-profit advocate solely dedicated to the protection and improve-

“Wow! Now THAT was a party!” And when you remember that

ment of the aquatic ecosystems of the Peconic and South Shore

her events are all part of her philanthropic efforts to make life more

estuaries of Long Island, New York.”

memorable for others, the magic lasts lifetimes.

The Falks summer in the Hamptons. Glamorous, privileged and

definitely party central for the rich and famous, life in the Hamptons is centered around the sea. The notion of stewardship for the ocean is pervasive here and Annie is one of it most dedicated proponents.

The idea of compiling a cookbook showcasing 18 of the most

For more information about Annie Falk and Palm Beach and Hamptons Entertaining, visit CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE



Art OF THE Sketchbook Artist Bob Callahan Immortalizes “Silences Seen” By Cindy Clarke

Stamford designer and watercolorist Bob Callahan has been paint-

nooks and crannies, where artists, writers and other creative types

ing the town every since I met him decades ago. His work immortalizes

liked to hang out over a frosty beer or a glass of wine. I had called

“silences seen” and moments marked in time. This fall he will once

him for an appointment after I had seen his work on a calendar – a

again be demonstrating the “art of the sketchbook” during a special

cleverly illustrated and graphically attractive month-by-month planner

appearance as Artist-in-Residence at the grand Ocean House hotel

that made use of beer steins to depict disappearing days – and a

in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Visitors are invited to stop by that iconic

Red Cross poster I can clearly envision in my mind’s eye more than

porch and see how Bob draws inspiration from his daily sketchbook,

30 years later. Bob had painted the organization’s signature cross

interpreting what he sees into watercolors that capture the essence

white with a scant amount of bright red filling in the bottom leg.

of the subjects he paints.

Visually poignant and still relevant today, you really didn’t need to

read the tag line, “Suppose we run out just when you need blood”

Ocean House) has asked me to be a guest at the Ocean House

to get Bob’s message. But then that’s the point.

3 times a year. While there I sketch and take lots of photos. We’ll be

Bob is a visual thinker. He communicates ideas through design,

producing a book at the end of the year titled ‘The Ocean House

presents marketing solutions graphically, and engages the reader

Sketchbook.’ I have been going there for the past 40 years so many

with images that evoke a response.

of my sketches and watercolors will be of the hotel in days past.”

was a cocktail napkin, his brush, a fountain pen. I explained that

Those of us who have had the good fortune to see his imagina-

During our first meeting, Bob sketched while I talked. His palette

tion – and his hands – at work as he paints, draws, finesses, adjusts,

I worked for a solar energy company that needed a logo for its rollout-

aligns, etches and sketches are especially excited to head up to

advertising launch to homeowners in the northeast, in the New York

Rhode Island to watch him paint and learn a few tricks of the trade.

Times, for the next Sunday edition. That gave him less than a week

Bob doesn’t just sit in silence as he works his visual magic. He

to come up with a notable icon that would in effect become the

explains, demonstrates, suggests, challenges and charms, creating

brand standard for a new company. I knew it was a formidable task

art designed to impress and make a lasting impression.

to ask of anyone at such short notice and that the odds of getting

I first met Bob Callahan at Tumbledown Dicks in Old Greenwich,

something brilliant, quickly, for our budget, was a pipe dream. After

Connecticut, back in the 1980s. The restaurant no longer exists but at

all there’s a saying in the creative world that goes something like this.

the time it was a very popular English-style pub, rife with book-filled

“You want it fast, cheap and good. Pick two.” I was already impressed


Explains Bob, ever humble, “Chuck Royce (who built the new


During a special appearance as Artist-in-Residence at the grand Ocean House hotel in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, visitors are invited to stop by that iconic porch and see how Bob draws inspiration from his daily sketchbook, interpreting what he sees into watercolors that capture the essence of the subjects he paints.

with his work so I posed the all-important question, hoping to get all three. Could he do it?

He looked at me, smiled, and handed me what he had drawn

as he asked, “Is this what you had in mind?” In the 20 minutes it had taken me to sum up our company’s product and goals, Bob had created a trademark logo that made that solar company hot right out of the gate, all on the back of a napkin, in an intimate pub, over a glass of beer.

Bob likes to disrupt expectations. He says “the solution to a

problem lies within the problem itself.” In the 30+ years that I have worked with him, I have seen Bob make goldfish smile (think Pepperidge Farm), books glow (New York @ Night, And Then There Was Heaven), ads sing (Stamford Symphony, Yale Rep), packaging move (UPS, Dictaphone), brochures sell (Arrow Electronics, Heany Industries, Plaza Realty), non-profits profit (Bruce Museum, Avon Theatre) and clients applaud. The list is endless, the projects are diverse, and the awards he has received for them over the years are numerous and well deserved. No matter what the subject or industry, the thread that binds them together is Bob’s talent in giving them life and longevity with the stroke of a pen, technological or traditional.

For the business world, he has the unique ability to transform his

clients’ communications goals into campaigns that talk to customers who listen. For the arts world, he orchestrates pitch-perfect promotions that never fail to fill the house. For fellow authors and artists, he infuses passion with compassion to draw out the very essence CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE



of the work the world needs to see. He often puts himself into the

the star attractions and he is currently working on a book of original

picture, in the form of his own photography, eye-candy excellent, and

watercolor lighthouses that shine a beacon on historic nautical land-

in original sketches and watercolor vignettes that give his work and

marks around the world.

message an even greater visual impact.

Not surprisingly, his 55+ year career as an artist and graphic

designer has taken him up the corporate ladder, into design firms,

That his talent is now being put on view for the world when

he is the Artist-in-Residence at the iconic Ocean House, ranked the #1 Top Resort in the Continental US and the #5 Top Hotel in

publishing houses and out on his own. He has been a guest lecturer

the World in 2014 by the readers of Travel & Leisure magazine, is

at the University of Connecticut, an avid participant at the annual

a rare opportunity to become part of Bob’s artistic vision as he

International Design Conference in Aspen for more than 30 years,

interprets what he sees before him as he paints en plein air or on

and an actor, singer and narrator (Peter and The Wolf) with the

the porch on October 3, 4, 10 and 11.

Stamford Symphony. At 80, he still retains a loyal client following, working tirelessly and timely on projects that merit continued professional recognition.

In his free time he is a painter, photographer and author. He

has been featured in one-man art shows where his watercolors were 60


For more information about Bob Callahan, visit /bobcallahandesign or For reservations and directions to the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, visit.


Clockwise from top left, Performing Artist; Hadley Spanier, Sadie Bennett, Danny Bennett, Lucie Bennett; Christophe de Menil, Daniela Zahradnikova and Fern Mallis, Sara Herbert-Galloway and Robert Wilson.

Watermill Center Summer Benefit ‘Circus of Stillness... The Power Over Wild Beasts’ raised over $1.9 Million to support The Watermill Center’s year round residency and education programs. Written by Sara Herbert-Galloway Photographs by STEVE MACK/S.D.MACK PICTURES One of my favorite Hampton’s events is the Watermill Center Summer Benefit. This year marked the 22nd anniversary. It was named ‘Circus of Stillness... The Power Over Wild Beasts’ and raised over $1.9 Million to support The Watermill Center’s year round residency and education programs. Host and Watermill Center founder, Robert Wilson, was dubbed by the media as the world’s foremost avant-garde theatre artist, stage director and playwright.  Robert Wilson is a visionary who goes above and beyond to create what most people can only imagine. Over 1200 guests from around the world attended the event on July 25. The diverse list of guests gathered together to honor Inga Maren Otto, international philanthropist and long-time supporter of The Watermill Center. When we entered, we progressed single-file to the sound of distant drums, walking through a narrow pathway of bamboo trees lit by tiki torches. After ascending stairs, performance artists and waiters emerged beneath Cleon Peterson’s 10-foot-tall red wood figure.

As we walked through the 8.5 acres of land, we were escorted along a path of hypnotic visual entertainment—a rock band in a small hut, an artist dressed in tubes, an artist doing a balancing act, and performers sleeping on beds in the woods draped with canvas covers painted by Radames “Juni” Figueroa’s. Guests cooled off near a performance artist dressed in silver, who stood in ‘rain’ pouring down from the trees. We walked through a tunnel of light and were surprised by a drone flying above us, only to be led back into the forest to view an artist covered in paint and performing a yoga dance on a canvas. Sierra “Rosie” Casady of CocoRosie performed with her band, and another artist wore horns hung from trees with white swathing all around him and sticks below him, as if to represent an animal being sacrificed. A lady slept on a bed of stone nearby, with what appeared to be a metal pendulum hanging over her. The evening featured a collaborative installation by resident artists Cirkus Cirkör , a cloud sculpture by celebrated

artist Daniel Arsham, and over two dozen site-specific installations by artists participating in the 2015 International Summer Program featured alongside the works of renowned visual artists, Cleon Peterson, Basco Vazko,  Gary Garay, and Radamés ‘Juni’ Figueroa, among others. Additional highlights included the silent and live auctions hosted by veteran auctioneer Simon de Pury, which featured over 125 lots donated by world-renowned and emerging artists, such as: Marina Abramovi, Uta Barth, Annie Leibovitz, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, and Ursula von Rydingsvard.   The Watermill Center is a place for young and emerging artists to work, learn, create, and grow with each other. Watermill is unique within the global landscape of experimental theatrical performance, and regularly convenes the brightest minds from all disciplines to do, in Wilson’s words, “what no one else is doing.”  True to form, Circus of Stillness was an event similar to no other.




Left, Jim Luce and Sara Herbert-Galloway. Above, Becker Chicaiza. Right’ Victor de Souza, Ellen McGrath, Dustin Lujan.

Trend-Setting Becker Salon Greenwich Kicks Off Summer Orphan Tour Written by John Laing The first stop of the Orphans International Worldwide ( East Coast Summer Orphan Tour was in Greenwich this July, coordinated by J. Luce Foundation (www. Board member Sara Herbert-Galloway and hosted by Becker of Becker Salon ( Proceeds were used to support the university studies of graduates of Orphans International Worldwide Indonesia in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The orphanage was opened in 2001 and today many of its students are studying in the local university there. “I adopted my son Mathew as an infant in 1996 which inspired me to create Orphans International,” J. Luce Foundation founder Jim Luce told Venü. “Today, we have a rule named after him that states simply we support the children in our care the same way we would support our own. Matt today is in college – as are the children we raised in Indonesia. So we continue to support them – with the help of our friends in Greenwich!” The tour is in support of on-going educational projects in Haiti, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka - as well as Nepal in the Photos by Mangala Weerasekera, senior photojournalist, Sunday Times of Sri Lanka, who spent his summer in the U.S. as the Official Photographer of the Orphans International Worldwide Summer 2015 East Coast Orphan Tour. 62


wake of their devastating earthquake. It has been presented with support of the J. Luce Foundation. “I joined the Board of the Luce Foundation to make a difference,” states actress and philanthropist Sara Herbert-Galloway, a Greenwich resident. “The decision to hold our event at Becker Salon was because my dear friend, Becker Chicaiza, believes so much in giving back to our community. When I mentioned our upcoming Greenwich kickoff to Becker in conversation at the Greenwich International Film Festival, he immediately said that he would love to host the kickoff party for us at his new salon.” “It was an easy decision for me to support Orphans International,” Becker told Venü. “Having been raised in Ecuador, I have seen first-hand the need in the developing world to help children – especially orphans, the most vulnerable members of humanity. Living in France and the U.S., I understand that I can serve as a bridge between cultures, and between those who have plenty and those who have almost nothing. It inspires me to be this bridge.” Other events were held at Incognito Bistro (, NYC, for orphans in Indonesia, Dix Hills, Long Island for orphans in Sri Lanka, and Space16 ( in Southampton with Daniela Zahradnikova for Tibetan orphans. The final stop of the Tour will fea-

ture a garden party on Sunday, Sept. 13 in Darien with Lennart and Karin Mengwall for children orphaned by the recent earthquake in Nepal. Two more Summer Tour events are being planned by this charity, one in conjunction with the United Nations for Haitian orphans, and another in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn for children orphaned from the conflict with Palestine. The Summer Tour will end with a benefit concert performed by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary in Ohio. Peter was awarded the Orphans International Humanitarian Prize in 2010. This will be his fourth concert on behalf of the organization. Next year the Summer Tour will grow to include London, Chicago and San Francisco. To be on the mailing list, sign up on-line ( If you would like to contribute to the Greenwich fund for the Indonesian orphans, you may do so on-line ( qyx6hlf). Checks made payable to “Orphan International Worldwide” may be sent to 540 Main Street, New York, N.Y. 10044. OIWW is an IRS-approved 501(c)3 charitable organization registered in new York State. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.


Top row from left, Ming Lee, Russell Simmons and Aoki Lee, Sara Herbert-Galloway and James Lipton. Bottom row from left, Sara Herbert-Galloway and Barry KlarbergDr. Benjamin Franklin Chavis , Jr., Soledad O’Brien; Dave Chappelle, Danny Simmons.

Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Raises $1.2 Million in the Hamptons Written by Sara Herbert-Galloway Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the RUSH Foundation and raised $1.2 million at the summer’s annual ART for Life Benefit July 18 at Fairview Farms in Bridgehampton, NY. Dave Chapelle, Michaela and Simon de Pury, Ava DuVernay and featured artist Wangechi Mutu were honored for their support of the arts, career achievements, and overall commitment to RUSH Arts communities. Over 900 guests dressed in 1920’s attire added flair to the evening’s festivities. Surrounded by sequined dresses, feather boas, cigarette holders, head dresses, spats and fedoras, it felt as though we were in a scene from The Great Gatsby. Longtime RUSH friend and supporter Soledad O’Brien hosted the event and read a personal letter sent to the organization by President Obama. The letter recognized that RUSH has helped enhance the lives of

youth through their art programs for over two decades. It was touching to watch Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki, present a $150,000 gift to the RUSH Teens program from Kimora, who was unable to attend. Honoree David Chapelle then spoke about how the RUSH Arts program helped save his life as a teen growing up in a rough neighborhood. One of the evening’s highlights was when Simon de Pury invited James Lipton from The Actor’s Studio to the stage. Together, they auctioned off two guest seats in the front row of the Actors Studio during the taping of a show lunch and photos with the celebrity being interviewed and Jim Lipton. After a bidding war, Jim Lipton doubled his donation, raising $30,000 that evening. The next day, a third bidder came

forward and contributed another $15,000, thus raising a record-breaking $45,000 for 6 seats at The Actors Studio. Some of the notable guests in attendance, aside from those featured in photographs, were DJ M.O.S., Angela Simmons, Kevin Liles, Sonya Richards Ross, Sherry Bronfman, Morgan O’Connor and Marc Ledder. Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing inner city youth across New York City with significant exposure to the arts, as well as to supporting emerging artists with exhibition opportunities. During an interview with Hamptons Mouthpiece, RUSH Founder, Russell Simmons said, “ Our goal is to have kids exercise their creative muscles. We want young people and others to be able to express themselves.” To learn more, visit  CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE




Inspirations With Fareen Butt An Intimate Interview By Adina Rusu

Fareen Butt with privately commissioned artwork, 11 x 33 ft, 2012, London, the artwork is embedded with topaz, diamonds, and aquamarines.

I first met Fareen three years ago at her solo exhibition in Monaco. The very moment that I saw her paintings, I was struck by their power and piercingly intense nature. I approached her, introduced myself and said, “I am certain that though many people can feel your works, very few can process the complexity within their simplicity and the energy that radiates from this equilibrium.” We then had an eternally memorable discussion about Vedic philosophy, exchanged many ideas. Our conversation became a beautiful friendship. Over the years, I can say that the joy in knowing Fareen and her artworks is the juxtaposition of the ever-changing with the never-changing, uniting in a masterpiece creation and a dear friend. AR: Fareen, how long have you known that you want to be an artist? FB: I would say, since before I could talk perhaps. I did not know that I would be an artist of course at that tender age but drawing symbols to try to express myself and communicate with my parents was a regular occurrence. AR: Your art is affected by so many cultures and traditions around the world. How were you introduced to these cultures? FB: My parents have travelled with us since we were born. We would regularly visit relatives and travel over oceans and continents. By the time I was five years old, I had visited Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. 64


AR: Can you specify some of the influences in your art and when you first discovered these influences in your life? FB: A major influence in my art are minerals and geological landscapes. As a teenager, I travelled extensively around the USA and the world generally. Among the most breath taking and surreal locations, more other-worldly experiences I would say than just locations, were the Azure Caves of Chile and the Cave of Crystals in Mexico. To be so surrounded by the light, colour and cymatic vibrations of such monumental works of Nature was spiritually powerful, individually humbling and creatively inspiring. Another few are the views over places such as The Grand Canyon or the Himalayan Range. To me they are a testament to something Omnipresent and beyond our limited, humanly comprehension. For a moment, to capture and convey that which impossible to capture or convey… This is the spirit that I attempt to capture in my artworks. In college, I took a course on numerology, in which numerology was explored through various cultures and traditions including Vedic Cosmology, the Kabbalah, the Fibonacci sequence, The Golden Ratio, Feng Sui and the I Ching. Such principles continue to fascinate me still. Witnessing such concepts in spaces like the Iglesia Sagradia Familia never cease to fill me with inspiration. One of my favourite quotes is Gaudi’s “Originality consists in returning to the Origin.” In my more abstract works, there is the pursuit of the landscape of the mind and the idea that in order to experience everything consciously, we must be clear and open to it. They

Mirage Canyon 19, Minerals including gold, rubies, topaz , 6ft x 10ft together, 2010

are influenced by perceptions of scientific (the Rorschach Test) as well as philosophical (the Vedas, Buddhism) explorations of colour. When I was eight years old, one day a scientist from NASA visited our class and discussed the recent new studies being conducted on colour and its effect on the human physique and psyche during space travel. Intrigued since, again in college, I took a course on the subconscious trigger colour has on the human psyche and its applications in product design and advertising. An example of such an experience recently occurred on a visit to a private collection in Belgium. Witnessing such an intensely, bloody, primordial red while sitting under Kapoor’s “The Edge of the World” evoked feelings of returning to the moment of Creation, of my conception, of the beginning of Consciousness of my consciousness. And, I feel intensely passionate about the artwork of Rothko…. To the point that I wish there was a separate word onto itself for the passion that one feels for artwork in general… especially seeing what it can do during art auctions, I believe it is a unique emotion in and unto itself. AR: Like feelings for good friends. I am sure that in the art world, you have had more and less favourable experiences with galleries and dealers. Which would you say is amongst the most favourable? FB: It’s true that it takes all sorts as they say… the art world and its used car salesmen… At the moment, I am very fortunate to work with Newel Gallery in New York. They are a unique gallery with a unique clientele, steeped in American design history and tradition. Through them, my works have been placed into the homes of notable private collectors by collaborations with exceptional American and international designers. Guy and Nicole deeply and truly appreciate the works of their artists. That is very rare to find… Every time that their artists bring in a new work, their eyes light up. They immediately stop what they are doing to take a moment and see the work “live”. To an artist, a work sometimes is never really done, so I have suggested further embellishment to which they will actually say, “No, don’t touch it any more, no more gemstones! It’s just so perfect the way it is!” Other individuals include many wonderful friends who providentially saw my work and were inspired to assist in placing it into prominent collections such as the real estate holdings of the Sultan of Brunei and the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi. AR: And who are some of your collectors? FB: Well, their profiles include writers, bankers, developers, artists and designers in New York and the United States, to royal and banking families in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. AR: And you have a fantastic presence here in Monaco too!... I remember when we first met and you mentioned that some of

Akasa 138 , Oil and mineral pigments on canvas , 5ft x 5ft, 2013

your works have been inspired by specific moments of sensation and environment. Can you share something on this? FB: Yes, I can. There is one work, Akasa 139, which was inspired by a trip to Dubai. The very first place I visited was the Armani Club and Residences in the Burj Arab. Arriving at about 2 am, I felt a stark contrast of the deep, endless ocean of midnight sky against the harsh, erect steel grey building piercing at it. And, the heat and humidity was just everywhere, like an endless ream of wet heavy velvet! Another one, Akasa 137, was inspired by this very region and by the rich azure colour of the Cote d’Azure, as created by the unique light in this part of the world. This azure blue is like no other anywhere else in the world. From the Mountainscape Series, Mirage Canyon 19 is one of my personal favourite. It combines the Wisdom and Time permeating in the Grand Canyon with its powerful form as a natural landscape. These aspects are brought forward as the work is essentially created by various hues of 22kt and 24kt gold. It is heavily adorned with rubies, as a symbol of evolution, of blood and the fiery energy of Creation. It is also adorned with citrines, associated with manifestation and the life-sustaining power of the sun, and cognac diamonds, associated with strength through humility and a strong connection with the earth. Wow, it’s always such an incredible pleasure to hear what goes into creating your artworks Fareen. Seeing them is just wonderful, but hearing about your inspirations is all the more amazing. Thank you for sharing your inspirations and I look forward to the directions you take with your fascinating creations. FB: Thank you, Adina. It’s a well anticipated surprise to me as well!

Adina Rusu is a writer and private consultant for planning and strategizing exclusively tailored events for luxury and philanthropic firms. She is based in Monte Carlo, Monaco. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE




The Art Of Giving Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, Empowering Tomorrow’s Artists By Susana Baker

View of first floor exhibition, “Beneath the Surface”. Left to right: Sterling Ruby SP113, 2010. Spray paint on canvas. 125 X 185 Inches. Sterling Ruby Monument Stalagmite/CDC SHIV, 2010. PVC pipe, foam, urethane, wood, spray paint and formica. 219 X 60 X 36 Inches.Sterling Ruby SP175, 2011. Spray paint on canvas. 160 X 160 Inches.


The de la Cruz Collections, (Miami, FL) current exhibition “Beneath the

Rosa, the de la Cruz Collection serves as an extension of the couple’s

Surface” was recently ranked number two of the ten “Best Private

home, which has been accessible to the public by appointment, for

Museum Shows On View Worldwide Right Now”, by ARTnet News.

the past 20 years.

Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz inaugurated their museum in Miami’s

Design District to showcase and share their world class collection with

have been collecting contemporary art. When they moved to Miami,

the public. The Collection takes pride in showing incredible works from

they invited the public to view their impressive private collection on

established contemporary artists including Christopher Wool, Felix

display in their Key Biscayne home. As their collection grew, so did

Gonzalez-Torres, Sterling Ruby, and Rob Pruitt.

the demand for appointments to see their home gallery. In 2009, they

opened their own de facto museum in Miami’s Design District—The

This 30,000 square foot building with it’s high ceilings, allows for

For over three decades, Rosa de la Cruz and her husband Carlos

monumental installations to be experienced by the public. Such as the

de la Cruz Collection.

18 foot Stalagmite by Sterling Ruby, or the six panel digital paintings

totaling 18 x 56 feet by artist Wade Guyton. Founded by Carlos de la

collection annually. The Collection is more than just additional space

Cruz, the chairman of soft drink bottling conglomerate, and his wife,

for the couples ever-growing collection of art. The space allows them


Rosa and Carlos never stop looking for new talent and rotate the

New World School of the Arts Summer Travel Program: For 2015, the graduating New World School of the Arts BFA class traveled to London and Venice.

In 2009, Rosa de la Cruz and her husband Carlos opened their own de facto museum in Miami’s Design District—The de la Cruz Collection.

to take their passion to the next level. The Collection has become a

Foundation, as well as the community, these programs have become

place for the community to enjoy an array of free classes, lectures,

key in the empowerment of our students, offering not only the financial

scholarships, workshops and travel programs. Rosa and Carlos de la

support but the cultural enrichment necessary in expanding the horizons

Cruz believe “art should be public” and opening the Collection to the

of our young artists.

public has proven to be just the beginning of the their dedication.

The generous work of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz is not only

In addition to providing a free public space for art enthusiasts, the

admirable, but enriching to the community. Their concerted efforts help

couple has made special efforts to support current and future artists.

to inspire a new generation of great designers, architects and artists.

Since its inception, the de la Cruz Collection has dedicated itself to

the educational enrichment of local students through the develop-

Florida 33137. It is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at

ment of scholarship and travel programs. These programs have been

no cost. For more information, visit

The de la Cruz Collection is located at 23 NE 41st Street, Miami,

established to benefit the students of New World School of the Arts and the Design and Architecture Senior High School.

Students are encouraged to expand their knowledge and skills

through exposure to world-class institutions, such as SVA and Parsons, and cultural sites all over the world from New York to the great metropolitan cities of Europe.

Placing an emphasis on learning through experience, these pro-

grams place young scholars in direct contact with professionals in their respective fields, offering opportunities that are nothing short of life changing. Through the support of the John S. and James L. Knight

About the Author: Susana Baker, award-winning Tourator (historian tour guide/ art curator) received a Proclamation for outstanding community outreach and programs in the arts by Miami Dade County Mayor Gimenez; was recently honored by Hunter College 100 Top Latino in the Nation. Creative Founder of The Art Experience, a company that since its inception has become the number one company in South Florida to privately curate group or individuals through Miami’s Art Districts. Winning the distinguished “Certificate of Excellence for 2015” by TripAdvisor. For a private curated tour of the Design District, Wynwood, Little Havana or South Beach go to or for Art Basel go to Or call 305-767-5000. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE




Triumphant Launch Of The Greenwich International Film Festival Cannes meets Connecticut: Film, Finance and Philanthropy By Peter Fox Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

In 2006, there were 155 film festivals held in North America. Of that number, only a handful could be considered to be “important” or relevant- meaning: Distribution and acquisition deals were made there, new artists were discovered and anointed as filmmakers to watch, or deemed as “bankable” by industry heavyweights in attendance. Sundance, Tribeca, and the American Film Institute festivals have sat atop of the list of important festivals since their inception.

Today, due to the geometric rise in films that are produced as

Regis Philbin & Kathie Lee Gifford arrive at the Greenwich International Film Festival’s Changemaker Honoree Gala at l’escale at the Delamar Hotel

a result of the growth in filmmaking technology, the number of film


festivals has nearly tripled. Yes, there is a film created on an iPhone,

independent film. Third, star power. Movie stars make films possible;

(currently the festival circuit, Tangerine), which has gained critical acclaim

an unavoidable fact of life for a filmmaker.

and will almost certainly gain distribution. But the number of film

festivals that are considered important has not grown in proportion

North American film festivals. Upon my arrival on June 6th at the

with the number of films being made. As more films enter the produc-

Delamar Greenwich Harbor hotel in Greenwich, it was obvious that

tion pipeline, access to opportunities for mainstream production has

I was in attendance of an event that would become a part of history;

Enter the Greenwich Film Festival into the realm of important

become increasingly difficult to access. To have one’s work screened

sort of like being present at the very first Cannes or Tribeca festivals.

in a theater with a live audience has never been easily achieved, but it

A yacht carrying Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford

is now more difficult than ever. Theaters are dominated by tent-pole

pulled into port to a swarm of press photographers positioned on

franchise films, or by art house distributors who are beholden to screen

the dock. The group was quickly escorted from the vessel to a red

the films of the “indie” arms of such production titans as Sony, (Sony

carpet, and then a cocktail reception, where the guests of honor, Harry

Classics) Paramount, (Paramount Vantage). The independent filmmaker

Belafonte and Mia Farrow, would be honored for their humanitarian

has very few options; barriers to market entry and industry decision

work during the course of their lives with the GIFF’s Changemaker award.

makers are harder than ever to access. This change in market condi-

Mr. Belafonte, later feted during dinner with three hundred or so invited

tions has fueled the growth of film festivals over the past ten years, as

guests, spoke to the audience at the close of the evening. The evening’s

filmmakers will try just about anything to get their work before a live

festivities, which were co-hosted by Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford,

audience on a big screen, whether industry decision makers are in

honored Mr. Belafonte and Mia Farrow for their lifetime of humanitarian

attendance, or not-which is most often the case.

work with children as ambassadors with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. The

For a film festival to be considered important, it must offer the

organization recently launched a program for aspirating filmmakers in

filmmaker several elements: First, access to members of the film-

lesser-developed countries, entitled the One Minute Juniors program.

making community who are directly connected to, or who they have

The films, each one minute in length, were screened on the opening

the power to green light a film. Second, access to members of the

night of the festival, and were in equal parts heart-wrenching and

filmmaking community who are able to arrange distribution of an

whimsical. Jodi Patkin, the Senior Public Relations representative for


Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

L-R: Regis Philbin, Ginger Stickel, Wendy Stapleton Reyes, Harry Belafonte, Pamela Belafonte, Colleen deVeer, Carina Crain & Kathie Lee Gifford at the Greenwich International Film Festival’s Changemaker Honoree Gala at at L’escale at the Delamar Hotel

Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

Harry Belafonte receiving the inaugural Greenwich International Film Festival’s Changemaker Honor from Regis Philbin at L’escale at the Delamar Hotel

the program: “There are a lot of ways that art can help kids in terms of psycho-social support, and in helping them tell their stories, and what’s important to them around the world. So, this festival is actually celebrating and supporting our One Minute Juniors program. It’s a way that we really teach kids how to be storytellers and how to do something about how they might want to share their experiences with the world through the medium of film. They’ll chose an issue that’s important to them, whether its violence, or hunger, or climate change, and they have one minute to tell that story through film. And they’re taught how to

Maria Alyonkhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at the Greenwich International Film Festival, June 6th 2015

use the camera, and how to use their creative voice as well.” Library and the Massey Theatre at Greenwich Academy. The commute The sense of the festival’s global reach was unmistakable, and was evi-

between events left one with the feeling that you were in a very artistic

denced not only by the presence of UNICEF, as well as the impressive

and civilized community that was not just temporary. The events were

slate of films chosen from around the world, but by the A-list sponsors

scheduled in such a way that allowed festival goers constant engage-

for the event, which included Bentley, Town & Country, The Wall Street

ment with the dozens of films, Q&A sessions, and workshops, if they

Journal, JetBlue and Morgan Stanley. The importance of linkages

chose, or the opportunity to enjoy downtown Greenwich between

between the worlds of finance, philanthropy, and film were not lost

events. Quaint sidewalk restaurants and taverns offered festival-goers

on the organizers of the event. “There’s interest in film and capital in

a wide array of choices and all were quite busy, complete with the

Greenwich. They’re interested in investing and supporting the film

unmistakable buzz of movie star sightings.

community” said Wendy Reyes, Founder and Chairman of the Board of

the Greenwich Film Festival. “We’ve already surpassed our dreams of

event which dictates its significance in the industry. With that thought

As with any important film festival, it is the global reach of the

putting together filmmakers and financiers.” Part of the programming at

in mind, the GIFF did not disappoint, and hit the equivalent of a

the event included several events that matched filmmakers with finan-

grand-slam home run on its first at-bat. The slate of films was hand

ciers. “There are already quite a few future projects which are already

selected by a jury from a pool of entries from all over the world. This

in the works,” (as a result of connections made at the festival).

festival, while supporting new filmmakers, has also set the bar at a

The screenings and events were staged at locations which were

very high level; there were no clunkers in this group of films, which

mostly within walking distance of downtown Greenwich and were

came from places like Germany, France, Columbia, Russia, as well

well organized. The guides and staff members at each event, without

as the United States. With its well capitalized support base, connections

exception, welcomed the attendees and press with genuine kind-

to Hollywood’s A-list, and genuinely knowledgeable group of orga-

ness and courtesy ( For those of you who have attended Tribeca or

nizers, The Greenwich International Film Festival will almost certainly

Sundance, you’ll appreciate this). Some of the venues included the

be grouped at the top of the short list of the world’s most important

Greenwich Bow Tie Cinema, the Cole Auditorium at Greenwich

film festivals in the very near future. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE




The Off-Beat Players “Often, I will tell people to come see our show,” says Kim Malara, Founder and Director of the Off-Beat Players. “But, if you really want to know us, come backstage.” By William Squier

in special education while working as a counselor in camp for children with disabilities when she was growing up in lower New York State. At the same time that she was working toward making special education her life’s work, she was also attracted to the stage. “I didn’t perform myself,” she says. “But, the technical side was something that always interested me. So, I surrounded myself with people who were involved in theater.” Do that and you might run into Willy Wonky, Snoopy, Sister Mary Amnesia,

Conrad Birdie, Thorough Modern Millie, Audrey Two or any number of

theater company, The Famous People Players, that caused her realize

colorful characters from the musicals that have graced the Players’ home

that the two worlds could be combined. “They were way ahead of their

in the Arch Street Teen Center in Greenwich, Connecticut. But, drop by the

time,” she recalls. “Because they had people with and without disabilities

vaulting, historical building on almost any day between the end of the school

in their performance group. It was inclusive, which was unheard of. And

year and the non-profit theater company’s midsummer performances and

the creativity that Diane Dupuy, the woman that founded them, used to

you’re definitely in for a visit that’s truly unique and inspiring.

pull it off was even more mind-boggling.”

“You’ll see something that you don’t see very often,” Malara

explains. “Kids, teens and young adults, with and without disabilities,

For example, Malara knew from experience that people who were

shy about drawing attention to themselves were afraid to go onstage

sitting and talking, supporting each other and enjoying each other’s

because there was no place to hide. And she was impressed that Dupuy

company.” They’re everywhere, doing what kids in a show do: rehearsing

and her collaborators had solved that particular problem by creating a

lines, belting out songs, hauling props, building scenery and making the

show that used a great deal of black light puppetry, rendering many of

multi-level space ring with their laughter. It’s a living, breathing example

the performers all but invisible. “I was fascinated by that,” Malara insists.

of the mission of the Off-Beat Players: to use the performing arts to break

“So, I followed them to see how they developed.” And, years later, she

down the barriers that separate young people that are differently abled.

employed some of the same type of creative solutions to make her pro-

“That’s the real power behind this,” Malara feels.

The Off-Beat Players is the realization of a dream that Kim

Malara had nearly three decades ago. Malara first became interested 70

Then, Malara says that she saw a documentary about a Canadian


ductions as accessible and inclusive.

Malara got the chance to form a theatrical troupe of her own, the

Anything’s Possible Players, in association with ARC of Greenwich in 2001.

“I started gathering a group of young people around me,” she explains.

“Some of them are still working with me today.” First, she enlisted the aid

show’s Greenwich run couldn’t be there the night of the performance. I

of Betsy Bergeron to serve as the company’s music director. Bergeron,

stepped in. So, in one night, I did the technical side, directed and acted

whose “day gig” is Director of

in an Off-Broadway show. Other than the night I proposed to my fiancé,

Upper School Music at Greens

it was the best night of my life!” But, as singular an event as that was,

“It was nuts!” Librandi remembers. “One of the performers from the

Farms Academy, has continued

life-changing experiences appear to be the Player’s stock and trade.

in that capacity until this year

when she handed over the

the kids with special needs,” Malara recalls. “What we discovered is that

“When we went into it, we thought that the benefit would be to

reigns (to a veteran of 11 Player’s

the benefit is even greater for the kids without disabilities. They see life

productions) and stepped back

completely differently when they leave here.” Jimmy Librandi echoes her

into a supervisory role. Then,

sentiments. “We always find a way for our performers to do what seems

Malara began looking for ways

impossible,” he explains. “That breaks down your certainties of what

of attracting kids into the pro-

someone can and cannot do. It stretches your understanding of what the

gram. She credits one young

word disability means.”

man in particular with helping her to get the ball rolling.

tion policy. Everyone who tries out is cast. Then, the creative team gets

“Brian Ciccone had a sister with disabilities and I’d worked with

Realizing the company’s inclusive mission starts with a “no-cuts” audi-

her,” Malara says. And she knew that the Ciccone family had been very

busy figuring out the best fit for each performer. “We’ve had kids with

involved with the Special Olympics. So, Malara approached Brian for

very significant disabilities, with walkers and in wheelchairs; kids who were

help after seeing him onstage in a Greenwich High School production

nonverbal; a kid who was blind for a couple of years,” Malara explains.

of West Side Story. “His response was, ‘What do you need? I’m on it,’

“Our goal is to give everyone a moment. To make sure there’s something

she recalls.

special in the show for every single kid in the cast.”

What Malara needed was a cast for her inaugural production,

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. “He started making phone calls

“My production team really gets engaged in trying to make it work,”

Malara continues. “It’s exciting and runs the gamut of creativity. The

and got all of these kids to come to the auditions,” she exclaims. And

immediate focus is, ‘How can we get a kid who may not be comfortable

Brian Ciccone returns to Greenwich every summer from a teaching

talking too much to say a line. Onstage. In front of 150 people?’ Or get

position La Salle Academy in Rhode Island to either direct the productions

someone who may be shy to dance with someone else? How are we

or choreograph musical numbers.

going to knock down those walls? It’s the same for everyone. We’ve seen

typically developing kids that were intimidated by being onstage gain the

When Malara left ARC in 2007 to teach special education at

Greenwich High School, the Anything’s Possible Players evolved into

confidence to do it.”

the Off-Beat Players. To support the work the group was doing, Malara

applied for and was awarded non-profit status for the Players as a

an ongoing process. “We’re always trying to get more out of everyone

Librandi points out that developing each participant’s potential is

charitable and educational organization. She did so with the help of

who walks in the door,” he says. “There are some kids who have been

her newly formed Board of Directors mostly drawn from the parents

involved with the company for close to a decade. And every year we ask,

of children that had been involved in the shows – a group that she

‘How can we take it a step further?’ We have no idea what the ceiling is!”

cannot praise highly enough.

And it feeds into the company’s ultimate goal: to enable all of the kids to

“This is not easy work,” Malara insists. “It’s passionate work. If you

work toward a unified purpose. “If they don’t work together, the product

don’t have people who are willing to say ‘This is important’ and make it

isn’t going to be as good,” Malara emphasizes. “So, they come together

a priority, it won’t continue. They have made sure that it was a priority.”

and support one another.”

She points out that many of her volunteer board members continue to

serve well after their children age out of the program – which includes

Malara says that she finds her reward. “My staff will say the same thing,”

kids from later middle school through the first few years of college.

she insists. “Some of our favorite moments have been when someone is

Another holdover from the group’s earliest days is Jimmy Librandi.

singing or doing a scene that they’ve worked on. Everybody knows they’ve

“It’s exactly who I am,” Librandi says, summing up his fourteen-year-long

been struggling with it. It could be a kid with special needs or sometimes

Being there to witness those moments of mutual support is where

stint with the Players. Now a fifth grade teacher at the Julian Curtiss

it isn’t. And everybody gets quiet. And when it’s over, the place erupts!

School in Greenwich, Librandi joined the group in its’ second season.

‘You did it! You’re the best! You’re awesome!”

“I had always worked with kids who had special needs and I’d always

“Theater gives kids a form of expression that’s safe,” Malara

done theater,” he explains. “And all of my friends were already there! So,

concludes. “We had one young lady who was very shy and reserved

it was a match made in heaven.” Over the years Librandi has served in

and not all that interested in interacting. But, when we went around the

just about every capacity: as an actor, tech director, assistant director and

room and asked what everyone learned from being in the Off-Beat Play-

co-executive director of the company.

ers, she said, ‘I learned how to hug.’ I sit there when I hear something

It was as the director of the Players’ production of Urinetown that

like that and I don’t even know what to say! That’s the power behind

Librandi had one of his most memorable summers. In 2012 the Players

it.” And it’s what brings Kim Malara, Jimmy Librandi and so many the

decided to mount the irreverent musical satire. By then, the show had

Off-Beat Players back summer after summer to put on a show.

enjoyed a three and a half year run on Broadway, national tours and a London production. But, when the musical’s original producers, the Araca Group, learned of the Greenwich run, they extended an unusual invitation: a chance for the Off-Beat Players to present a one-night-only performance in the Chernuchin Theatre -- Off-Broadway house where Urinetown was born.

The Off-Beat Players is a non-profit charitable and educational organization that raises money through ticket sales and a yearly winter fundraiser. If you’d like to help them out, you can visit their website at or send an email at to inquire about making a donation. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


Film + Entertainment

Fox on Film by PETER FOX:

“Time Out of Mind” An IFC Release, Starring Richard Gere, Jena Malone, Ben Vereen and Steve Buscemi. Directed by Oren Moverman. 117 minutes. This film has not yet been rated. In theaters, September 11, 2015.


ne of the most hotly anticipated screenings at the first annual Greenwich International Film Festival, was Oren Moverman’s Time out of Mind, starring Richard Gere. In a departure from his signature screen portrayals of handsome, athletic and wealthy American lady-killers, Gere delivers a tour de force performance as George Hammond, a haunted, destitute vagrant who is kicked out of his temporary squatting place-a bathtub- in an abandoned building by the merciless building manager, capably played by veteran Steve Buscemi. Fearlessly exploring the plight of the homeless in no-holds barred fashion, Moverman

and Gere lead us through the current state of the homeless in New York City. Having no place to go, we follow George on the streets of Manhattan, to a park bench, the subway, a laundromat. He follows a woman down the street, around corners and eventually, to a bar where she enters and begins her shift . The woman is Maggie, (Jena Malone) George’s estranged daughter. The soul-crushing moments where George peers at Maggie through the window of the bar, with the sounds of the streets, the manner in which passersby avoid him, are rendered with gritty realism. When George begs a stranger to hand his daughter some tattered photos, his separateness from the world around him

could not be more visceral. At once non-didactic and intensely political in its intimate snapshot of American poverty, “Time Out of Mind” is also a fascinating exercise in form, one that achieves its immersive effect by alternating between

visual deprivation and aural overload. Bobby Bukowski, the versatile d.p. who lensed Moverman’s first two features, here favors purposefully disorienting, limited-vantage compositions that keep us from getting our bearings, and he’s fond of shooting Gere through windows and screens, conveying a sense of the character’s trapped state and the city’s many invisible layers. The soundtrack, meanwhile, continually seethes with the natural sounds of urban life, with traffic, fire-engine sirens and other people’s conversations forever spilling in from outside the frame; few recent films have so convincingly depicted the hell of not being able to sleep in silence. Executed in a plot-free observational mode that relatively few American independent filmmakers have attempted this side of early Ramin Bahrani, this simple story of a vagrant slowly grasping the depths of his despair is New York neorealism par excellence, bearing patient, resonant witness to the everyday trials and indignities suffered by America’s homeless population.

All photos courtesy of Alison Rosa/IFC Pictures 72


Unfolding deliberately over the course of two hours, Moverman’s spare, soulful character study will prove a challenging sit for non-festival audiences, but couldn’t be more deserving of careful handling by an equally brave and uncompromising distributor. After George’s attempt to re-enter the building from which he was expelled is shot down by Buscemi’s character, George is left with no choice but to join the long line at Bellevue, Manhattan’s largest shelter for homeless men. Without cinematic frivolity, Moverman’s documentary style direction works perfectly here as George is subjected to every indignity imaginable, groveling through interviews for meal vouchers, a shower and a bed. After he checks- in, he meets Dixon, (an older, African-American roustabout played by Ben Vereen), who makes it clear that white people are not welcomed with open arms by the mostly black population at the shelter. Throughout the film, it is difficult to forget that we are watching Richard Gere. As we follow George stumbling around Manhattan in search of a place to sleep, eat and just breathe, its not difficult to imagine that Gere, in his previous roles as a gigolo, financier, or captain of industry, has now arrived at the future fate of several of the characters he’s previously portrayed. Indeed, there is a moment where Gere sends the audience a wink from one such character; when George tries to reenter the abandoned apartment from the film’s opening scene, he uses his foot to ring all of the front-door buzzers at oncereference to his Jesse Lujack character in the brilliant 1983 remake of the Truffaut/Godard classic, Breathless. One was

was also left to wonder how New Yorkers just marched past Mr. Gere, in the character of George, as he begged for change on the city streets. (The sequences were shot by placing Gere on the streets, cup in hand, with the camera and crew well out of view; no extras were used). Time Out of Mind represents a huge leap forward for writer-director Overman, who employed Truffaut influenced minimalism to bring home

nowhere to be found here, and one can almost smell the stench of the street emanating from George. As George is guided through the ways of surviving on the streets by Dixon, he desperately seeks to reunite with his daughter, Maggie, who rejects his every effort. We learn that George once had a beautiful wife who died of breast cancer. Left with thirteen year old Maggie, he sends her to live with relatives. Depressed,

the plight of the homeless in America. Gere nimbly slips into the shoes of destitute George with the same ease that he’s employed to portray highflying characters in his earlier films. We believe every second of his pain and isolation; the illustrious and vain machinations of those characters are

he takes to drinking, and is eventually downsized from his job- an all too common, now very familiar American story. After a misguided utterance by George at the shelter causes Dixon to lose his bed, George is now solely possessed with the task of regaining a connection with Maggie.

In that regard, his fate is then tied to his ability to gain a duplicate of his birth certificate; a daunting task for a homeless person with no identification. We endure the pain and humiliation of the process with Gere, as well as the film’s heartbreaking final meeting between Gere and Maggie. Overman explores the distance between the homeless and the rest of the world by photographing George through the windows of bars, waiting rooms and the like. Most of the story is delivered in camera shots without dialog, instead using the angry sounds of restless New York; frightening and intimidating when experienced through the point-of-view of George. On that note, the voices of passerby engaging in everyday speech seemed downright hostile. The creative sound edit choices, coupled with representations of the nightmarish processes that homelessness imposes on those seeking help shelters and social service agencies make this a very political cinematic statement. While the film will almost certainly be limited to an arthouse release, (It was certainly not created with a mass audience in mind), because of Gere’s involvement, (he also produced) the film could potentially stay around longer than most films in this genre. Uncompromising in its message and delivery, Time Out of Mind is not a film for the general moviegoing public. (At the Toronto Film Festival, no fewer than 20 people walked out of the screening). But the film is not only a study in alternative cinematic storytelling; it is a brave, bold achievement by director Overman and the film’s star, Richard Gere; each at the top of their game.




On The Block:

Poll Position. Time Will Tell. Lasting Impression. by Matthew Sturtevant


Poll Position Bonhams annual Festival of Speed Sale in Chichester England saw spectacular figures, with the ex-Works Racing Aston Martin Ulster Team Car, LM19, sold for £2,913,500, one of the highest amounts ever achieved for a pre-war British sports car and smashing the existing record for a pre-War Aston Martin. A pre-war ‘Works’ racing car of excellent provenance, the Ulster was built to compete at the highest level of endurance racing, with appearances at Le Mans, the Ards TT, the Mille Miglia, the RAC TT, and with the additional cherry on the cake being the 1936 French Grand Prix outing, driven by none other than the brilliant Dick Seaman. James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director and auctioneer on the day, said: “We’ve had another phenomenal sale at Goodwood, with excellent figures achieved across the board as we offered some highly sought after, truly top tier collectors’ motor cars.”

livestream, a rare enamel, ivorymounted and paste-set musical and automaton clock from the late 18th century was sold for $3.8 million (including buyer’s premium). This makes it the highest auction result in Germany in 2015 and the most expensive object that Auctionata has sold since the start of its livestream auctions in May 2013. The rare masterpiece of Chinese clock-making stems from the Guangzhou workshop and was offered for a starting price of $341,000. After a fierce 10 minute bidding battle between 6 bidders from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and New York, the museum-quality piece was ultimately sold for $3.8 million to the well-known business man and investor Liu Yiqian from Shanghai. Imperial Chinese clocks from the Guangzhou workshop are among the most sought-after works of art from the Qing Dynasty. Only very few of them are privately owned, and have ever been available on the art market.

Time Will Tell The online auction house Auctionata located in Germany has set a new world record for an Asian work of art sold in an online auction. In its 259th auction ‘Important Asian Art’, on June 20, which was broadcast online via

Lasting Impressionism Sotheby’s London Impressionist and Modern evening sale on June 2015 realized the second highest sale total ever held in London raising $280 million proving that this market is far from done. Although, in


recent years Impressionism and modern has taken a back seat to it’s younger upstart the contemporary art market it shows that there is still plenty of life left for the elder art market. The first version of Edouard Manet’s famous “Le Bar aux Folies Bergère” (1881) fetched $26.5 million against a $23.5 million to $31 million estimate. The vibrant cafe scene last seen

on the block sold at Sotheby’s London for $7.7 million. Not a bad investment. Gustav Klimt’s 1902 “Portrait of Gertrud Loew” lead the sale hammering down at $39.1 million the second highest price at auction for a portrait by the artist. Truly proving that this boat has not yet set sale. Photographs: Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd. 2015



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Gallery + Museum GUIDE

CT Bridgeport

ESSEX Cooper & Smith Gallery 10 Main Street, Essex, CT 06426 Tel: (860) 581-8526 Web: Hours: Wed - Sat, 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM Sun, Noon - 6:00 PM Cooper & Smith was conceived as a venue to encourage and promote emerging talent alongside established artists looking to expand their market for new work.

City Lights Gallery 37 Markle Court, Bridgeport Tel: 203.334.7748 Web: Hours: Wed - Fri 11:30am-5pm; Sat 12- 4pm, or by appointment


City Lights Gallery presents local, regional and emerging artists to Bridgeport and its visitors. The gallery hosts various community-based exhibits and events such as: Artists’ Receptions, Arts/crafts classes, Open Studio Workshop, Lunch Time Art Demonstrations, Movie Night Series, Concerts and Music, Private and Corporate Rentals. _______________________________________

Hair in the Classical World Oct. 7 – Dec. 18, 2015

Housatonic Museum of Art 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport Tel: 203.332.5052 Web: Hours: Sept-May, Mon - Fri 8:30am-5:30pm; Thurs until 7pm, Sat 9 - 3 pm The Museum has one of the most significant collections of any two-year college in the country and includes works by master artists such as Rodin, Picasso, Matisse, Miro and Chagall. Both art enthusiasts and casual observers have the rare opportunity to engage daily with original works of art and artifacts on continuous display throughout the College and campus grounds. The Museum also presents lectures, programs and changing exhibitions in the Burt Chernow Galleries for our students and the community at large, serving as a rich cultural resource for the Greater Bridgeport area. _______________________________________ Schelfhaudt Gallery University of Bridgeport 84 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport 203-576-4696

Bellarmine Museum of Art Fairfield University, Bellarmine Hall Tel: 203-254-4046 Web:

Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery Fairfield University, Quick Center for the Arts Tel: 203-254-4062 Web: DANCE: Marc Mellon • Jane Sutherland • Philip Trager Sept. 18, 2015 - Jan. 15, 2016 Hours: Mon - Fri 11-4pm Fairfield University 1073 N. Benson Road _______________________________________ The Fairfield Museum + History Center Explore the Past, Imagine the Future 370 Beach Road, Fairfield Tel: 203.259.1598 Fax: 203.255.2716 Web: Hours: Open daily 10am - 4pm ON VIEW NOW: Creating Community: Exploring 375 Years of Our Past. Ongoing Fairfield’s Fairways – 120 Years of Golf Jun 11 - Oct 11 Picturing the News: The Distinctive Vision of Harry Neigher and Frank Gerratana, Sr. Sept 10, 2015 - Jan 18, 2016 Handcrafted: Artisans Past & Present Oct 25 - Mar13, 2016

18th Century Wedding Shoe, Fairfield Museum Collections



Presenting a selection of enduring American Masters and Contemporary artists, we invite new clients and seasoned connoisseurs to explore the values of fine art collecting. _______________________________________ Troy Fine Art 3310 Post Road, Southport (Fairfield) Tel: 203.255 .1555 Web: Hours: Mon - Fri 9:30am-5pm, or by appointment in your home or office at your convenience. Fine Art Gallery, Exceptional Design, Conservation Framing, Perfect Installation. _______________________________________


Bruce Museum 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich Tel: 203.869.0376 Web: Hours: Tue-Sat 10-5pm Sun 1-5pm A regionally based, world-class institution highlighting art, science and natural history in more than a dozen changing exhibitions annually. The permanent galleries feature the natural sciences that encompass regional to global perspectives. _______________________________________ Flinn Gallery Greenwich Library, 2nd Floor 101 W. Putnam Avenue, Greenwich Web: Tel: 203.622.7947 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm; Thur 10am-8pm Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 1pm-5pm The Flinn Gallery is a non-profit, education oriented exhibition space that presents art in all mediums from a wide range of periods, visions and techniques. _______________________________________ Michael Florio Gallery 135 Mason Street, Greenwich Tel: 203-858-5743 Web: Hours: Mon-Fri by chance or appointment Michael Florio Gallery brings thirty years of expertise to collectors of emerging artists, contemporary art, investment grade marine art, and rare curiosities. The gallery hosts regularly scheduled artist receptions and works closely with major collectors and museums in helping build their collections and acquiring precious objects of great historical value. Located in downtown Greenwich with free and easy parking.

The Schelfhaudt Gallery at the University of Bridgeport produces a varied and eclectic number of shows each academic year. Exhibits include works from students, alumni, local, regional and nationally known artists and associations such as the New York Type Directors. The Schelfhaudt Gallery is also host to the Innovators Entrepreneurs events, film screenings and multiple symposiums.


Southport Galleries 330 Pequot Avenue Tel: 203.292.6124 Web:

Gallery + Museum GUIDE

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Melinda R. Smith Exhibition Opening Reception Wednesday, October 7th 6-9 pm

Michael Florio Fine Art

135 Mason Street, Greenwich 203-858-5743


Linda George

Rose-Marie Fox

93 Main Street, New Canaan CT • 203-966-7660 •

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Gallery + Museum GUIDE

MADISON Susan Powell Fine Art 679 Boston Post Road Tel: 203.318-0616 Web: Hours: Wed-Sat 11am-5pm Sun: Anytime by appointment The gallery specializes in Contemporary Realism, and Impressionism, with monthly exhibitions featuring nationally-known and emerging artists.

New Canaan Handwright Gallery & Framing 93 Main Street, New Canaan Tel: 203.966.7660 Fax: 203.966.7663 Web: Hours: Mon-Sat 10-5:30pm

The Gallery is free and open to the public.

Norwalk Center for Contemporary Printmaking Mathews Park 299 West Avenue Norwalk, CT 06850 Tel: 203.899.7999 Web: Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 12- 5pm | Admission Free Dedicated to the art of the original print, the Center annually hosts 4 major exhibitions, a members’ exhibition, artist talks, over 75 printmaking workshops, and programs for schools and colleges. _______________________________________

Handwright Gallery & Framing provides a full range of framing and installation services for the Fairfield County area. The gallery offers original paintings including watercolors, oils, and pastels along with sculpture from traditional to contemporary. Our gallery represents emerging and award-winning regional artists. _______________________________________

Leclerc Contemporary At Fairfield Co. Antique and Design Ctr. 19 Willard Road, Norwalk, CT 06851 Tel: 203.826.8575 Web: Hours: Mon - Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5 and by appointment.

Silvermine Arts Center 1037 Silvermine Road New Canaan, CT 06840 Tel: 203.966.9700 Web: Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat 12pm-5pm; Sun 1pm-5pm Extended Gift Shop: Nov 8- Dec 23


Sept 19th – Nov 1: Graffiti Art, Unknown: Deconstructing Graffiti Culture; Portraits in Prints, New York Society of Etchers Gerald Saladyga, Invented Worlds/Surrogate Landscapes; Roger Mudre, Nocturnal ing Opening reception: Sat, Sept 19th, 5:307:30pm Plus Through October: Carole Eisner: Painted Sculpture (outdoor exhibit) Nov 8 – Dec 20: Glass Exhibition; Peter Petrochko; and Selections from the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection Opening reception: Sun, Nov 8, 2-4pm

New Haven Fred Giampietro 1064 Chapel Street New Haven, CT 06510 Tel: 203.777.7760 Web: Hours: Mon-Sat 11-6pm, or by appointment _____________________________________ Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel Street Tel: 203-432-2800 Web: Temporarily closed for building conservation . REOPENING SPRING 2016 ______________________________________ Yale University Art Gallery 1111 Chapel Street (at York Street) Tel: 203-432-0600 Web:


Hours: Tue-Fri 10am–5pm Thu (Sept–June) 10am–8:00pm Sat–Sun 11am–5pm


Brand new upscale contemporary art gallery located just off Westport Avenue. Featuring new art exhibits every 6 weeks.

Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery 96 Bedford Street, Stamford, CT Tel: 888-861-6791 Web: Hours: Mon by appt. Tue-Sat 10am-6pm Sun closed The Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery was founded by contemporary artist Fernando Luis Alvarez with the goal of providing other artists with what he always yearned for from a gallery, yet which he never received. Franklin Street Works 41 Franklin St, Stamford, CT Tel: 203-595-5211 Web: Hours: Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun: 12 -5:00pm Thurs: 12-7pm F ranklin Street Works is a new, not-forprofit contemporary art space, café, and social gathering place in Stamford, Connecticut. It produces original on-site and off-site exhibitions, artist projects, and related programming. Located in renovated row houses on Franklin Street, the two-story space includes three galleries and a café.

Old Lyme Chauncey Stillman Gallery Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme Tel: 860.434.5232 Fax: 860.434.8725 Web: Hours: Mon-Sat 10-4pm Exhibitions, free and open to the public, include a broad spectrum of professional, student and alumni artwork throughout the year. _______________________________________

The Cooley Gallery 25 Lyme Street Old Lyme, CT Tel: 860-434-8807 Web: Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-5pm _______________________________________ Diane Birdsall Gallery 16 Lyme Street, Old Lyme 860 434 3209 Web: Hours: Wed-Sat: 12-6 pm Sun: 1-4 pm _______________________________________ Florence Griswold Museum 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme Tel: 860.434.5542 For hours, admission, special events visit: “Home of American Impressionism.” Historic boardinghouse of the Lyme Art Colony, modern gallery with changing exhibitions. Gardens and grounds to enjoy.

Ridgefield The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum 258 Main Street Tel: 203.438.4519 Web: Hours: Tue-Sun 12-5pm The Aldrich is dedicated to fostering innovative artists whose ideas and interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. The Aldrich, which served an audience of over 37,700 in 2011, is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States, and the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art. _______________________________________ Ridgefield Guild of Artists 93 Halpin Lane, Ridgefield Tel: 203.438.8863 Web: Email: Hours: Wed-Sun 12-4pm For a complete calendar of events and offerings, please visit our web site at _______________________________________ Watershed Gallery 23 Governor Street, Ridgefield Tel: 203.438.44387 Web: Hours: Tue-Fri 11-6; Sat 11-5; Sun 1-5 Watershed Gallery represents artists from around the world – and around the corner – in a range of media, from painting, printmaking and works on paper, to photography and sculpture. Rotating shows highlight artists who produce abstract and loosely representational art, and who create an emotional connection with the viewer. _______________________________________

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914 764 8689 27 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY, 10576


Artisans Past & Present

Katherine Evans • Color Awakenings

October 25, 2015 - March 27, 2016

Kari Lonning, Rainbow Carrots Basket, 2015

Fairfield Museum and History Center

370 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT | 203-259-1598 Open Daily 10am - 4pm |

On View: October 10, 2015—November 1, 2015 Cooper & Smith Gallery, 10 Main Street, Essex, CT Opening Reception Saturday, October 10 from 5:30—8:30

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Gallery + Museum GUIDE




Amy Simon Fine Art 1869 Post Road East, Westport Tel: 203.259.1500 Fax: 203.259.1501 Web: Hours: Tue-Sat 11-5:30 and by appt.

Kenise Barnes Fine Art 1947 Palmer Avenue Tel: 914.834.8077 Web: Hours: Wed-Sun 12-6pm

Amy Simon Fine Art specializes in work by mid-career and emerging artists, contemporary blue chip editions and Asian contemporary art. The gallery’s inventory and exhibitions reflect its eclectic interests and expertise in these areas. Amy Simon works with collectors worldwide. It is our mission to introduce clients to work that we are passionate about. _______________________________________

We are a gallery and consulting firm that represents emerging and mid-career investment-quality artists. Our program includes over thirty artists working in a variety of mediums. The gallery mounts seven exhibitions annually, and participates in art fairs in Miami, Santa Fe and New York.

Neuberger Museum of Art 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase Tel: 914.251.6100 Web: Hours: Tue-Sun 12-5pm; Closed Mon and Holidays. Admission: Adults $5, Students $3, Seniors (62+) $3.

Picture This Custom Framing & Fine Art and Nylen Gallery 772 Post Road East, Westport Tel: 203.227.6861 Web: Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm Sat 10am-5pm Framing: Creative presntation and preservation solutions for every kind of art. Digital art services offred as well.

ManhattAn Castle Fitzjohns Gallery 98 Orchard Street, NY, NY Tel: 212-260-2460 Web: Hours: Mon-Sun 12-7pm Located in a 3,000 square foot two story locale situated in Manhattan’s Lower East Side (LES), Castle Fitzjohns Gallery represents a wide range of emerging and midcareer artists, as well as select secondary market pieces from our collection.

_______________________________________ Westport Art Center 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport Tel: 203.222.7070 Fax: 203.222.7999 Web: Hours: Mon-Fri 10-4; Sat 10-5; Sun 12-4 _______________________________________ Worrell Smith Gallery 611 Riverside Ave, Westport CT Tel: 203.297.3059 Web: Hours: Monday-Saturday 10-6PM Westport’s newest gallery for contemporary and modern. Featuring a rotating exhibition schedule as well as a constant offering of modern sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, and art.

NY _______________________________________

Pound Ridge The Lionheart Gallery 27 Westchester Avenue Pound Ridge, New York Tel. 914-764-8689 Web: Hours: Wed-Sat 11am - 5pm; Sun. 12- 5pm and by appointment.Those traveling a distance would be advised to call ahead, as the gallery is occasionally closed for private viewings with collectors. The Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge, New York is located in Northern Westchester’s Hudson River Valley on the border of Stamford and New Canaan, Connecticut. The Lionheart Galley has beautifully lush grounds with a pond and a aviary garden. Gallery Director Susan Grissom curates each exhibit from work chosen from the artists’ studio. The gallery carries an inventory that consists of painting, printmaking, fine art photography, Mixed Media and Sculpture. They also have a small works gallery with affordable works of art and art books.

Westchester County’s premier museum of modern, contemporary, and African art and an integral part of Purchase College. From the mid-century American art and African art that form the core of the collection to the presentation of about ten changing exhibitions each year that range from retrospectives of the work of one artist to thematic surveys of contemporary art to newly-commissioned artist projects, we continue the commitment of founding patron Roy R. Neuberger (1903-2010) by championing the art of our time.

RYE The Rye Arts Center 51 Milton Road, Rye, NY Tel: 914-967-0700 Web: Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30 -7:00pm Sat 9:30-1:00pm _______________________________________

RI Providence

ArtProv Gallery 150 Chestnut Street, 3rd Floor Providence, RI 02903 Tel: 401.641.5182 Web: Hours: Wed -Fri, 11am-2pm or by appointment Through September 25 Clothing Optional: A Figurative Show October 7 - November 20 Two Views: Sterling Mulbry and Ewa Romaszewicz


A.I.R. Gallery 111 Front Street, #228, Brooklyn, NY Tel: 212-255-6651 Web: Hours: Wed - Sun 11 am - 6 pm A.I.R. Gallery’s goal is to provide a professional and permanent exhibition space for women artists to present work of quality and diversity. _______________________________________

Oct 21- Nov 30th 2015 The Paper Show _______________________________________ In The Night Garden, 2012, by Sterling Mulbry, oil on panel, 24” x 49”



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150 Chestnut Street, 3rd Floor Providence, RI | 401 641 5182 See website for current exhibit

WED-FRI 11am-2pm & by appointment Showing at SPECTRUM Miami Dec. 2-6

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PHOTO: Zoltan Prepszent

PHOTO: Zoltan Prepszent

Left, Standing: Marielena Villamil; Swanee DiMare; Aaron Glickman; Nathalie Cadet-James; Elysze Held; Mary Louise Young; Carol Surowiec; Venu’s Florida editor Daisy Olivera. Seated: Paul DiMare; Nick D’Annunzio; Christina Martin; Marile Lopez. (not pictured) Betty Brandt, Lucy Morillo. Right, Couturier Rene Ruiz.

Left, Diamond Ball chairs Ana Figueroa Cisneros and Tony Cisneros; Center, Lucy Morillo, artist Romero Britto; Right, Christy and David Marti.

Miracle Makers Features Rene Ruiz Fashion Show

One of the most attended luncheons during the season is the “Miracle Makers Luncheon and Fashion Show” hosted by the Women’s Committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. Co-chairs were Irene Korge, Bronwyn Miller and Migna Sanchez-Llorens. South Florida’s most ardent supporters and philanthropists were honored and I was thrilled to be among them. The 15th annual Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne included a cocktail reception, a silent auction and a full runway show by internationally renowned designer, Rene Ruiz, known for his entrance-making cocktail dresses and gowns. BBBS is a donor and volunteer supported organization that transforms the lives of at-risk children through supportive adult mentor relationships. This year’s honorees were Betty Brandt; Nick D’Annunzio; Aaron Glickman; Elysze Held; Nathalie Cadet-James; Marile Lopez; Christina Martin; Lucy Morillo; Carol Surowiec; Mary Louise Young and Mariaelena Villamil. Paul and Swanee DiMare were the organization’s 2015 Power Couple.

PHOTO: Zoltan Prepszent

PHOTO: Zoltan Prepszent

Left, Miami Symphony conductor Eduardo Marturet and wife Athina Klioumi. Right, Nancy and Jon Batchelor.

Top, Featured artist Alejandro Vigilante, actor William Levy, MIPAC founder Dr. Julio Gallo in front of Kate Moss work by Vigilante. Bottom, Alicia Gorbato, Anna Kournikova, Steve Watson.

MIPAC: New Art Space on Brickell

MISO Hosts Fashionable Fundraising Brunch The first Big Hats & Bow Ties Brunch fundraiser for the Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO) was such a hit last year, it required an encore. Maestro Eduardo Marturet and wife Athina Klioumi were gracious hosts at Estiatorio Milos, the authentic Greek restaurant on South Beach. The unique fundraiser combined marvelous music, Greek cuisine and flowing champagne for a chic, delightful afternoon. Ladies went to great lengths to find the best chapeaux, many of which, came from, the cleverly-named website founded by journalist and known fashionista, Suzy Buckley Woodward. Co-chairs were Criselda Breene, Tina Carlo, Trudy Courey, Iran Issa-Khan and Sam Robin. Follow Daisy on Twitter @DaisySociety, for more on Miami society



The Miami Institute Private Art Collection (MIPAC) art space launched with an exciting one-man show by Argentinian Pop artist Alejandro Vigilante during a celeb-filled VIP cocktail reception. MIPAC is the brainchild of facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Julio Gallo and Steven Watson, co-founders of the Miami Institute for Age Management. Dr. Gallo, an avid art collector, displays part of his vast collection in his offices and on the 15th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel and Towers. These include American, Latin American masters and Contemporary artists. Dr. Gallo and his personal art curator, Alicia Gorbato, host a select group of art collectors every Thursday for personal tours throughout the art space.

VENU #28 FALL 2015  

Carlos Betancourt, Alberto Latorre; Verne Chaney, M.D.; L'Armoire, The Glass House; The Wiley House; The Metropolitan Club, NYC; The Golden...

VENU #28 FALL 2015  

Carlos Betancourt, Alberto Latorre; Verne Chaney, M.D.; L'Armoire, The Glass House; The Wiley House; The Metropolitan Club, NYC; The Golden...