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The BEST Way to Experience INSPICIO ARTS

The BEST Way to Experience INSPICIO ARTS





FIFTEEN complimentary editions of Inspicio’s e-Magazine are ready for installation and download to your Apple iPad (preferably) and iPhone from the Apple App Store.


From your iPad desktop or iPhone desktop, tap on the App Store icon.  Search for “inspicio” in the App Store and follow instructions.


We should note that ever since the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world, we have been recording video interviews via Zoom. While the videos present the same high-quality, in-depth content you have come to expect from Inspicio, the quality of the Zoom-recorded video and audio is similar to the mixed results we see every day on TV news programs.


THE CURRENT EDITION OF INSPICIO ARTS features a video interview with cover people JULIA + MAXIM VOLOSHYN, two Kyev-based gallerists who were marooned in Miami by Putin’s invasion of their Ukrainian homeland. They arrived in Miami in December, 2021 to exhibit at the Untitled art fair. Inspired by the Miami art scene, they opened a pop-up gallery in Allapattah in January, 2022, exhibiting work by Ukrainian artists. Following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Brett Sokol wrote an article about the Voloshyns for the New York Times, which brought considerable attention to their plight. Although they intend to continue to participate in international art fairs, their future, along with their 3-year-old daughter, is in the wind.

ADDONIS PARKER, a self-taught Miami-based artist, was commissioned by France to create a portrait of the legendary Josephine Baker, the American-born entertainer and French resistance fighter, when President Emmanuel Macron made her the first Black woman to be inducted into the Panthéon, the nation’s hallowed tomb of heroes. When I interviewed Parker via Zoom, I didn’t realize that he was 6’8” tall because all I saw was his head. I soon learned that his talent is outsized as well, and he has been on a unique journey.

Another Baker portrayed in this edition of Inspicio Arts, is the New York Times and TV journalist PETER BAKER (no relation), who along with his wife, New Yorker columnist and TV journalist SUSAN GLASSER, authored a biography of the consummate Republican politician, former Secretary of State JAMES BAKER (no relation). Our video interview covers a lot of political and journalistic turf, including a discussion of their next book, “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021.”

Architect ELISA SILVA has an impressive resume – Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Rome Prize, to name a few highlights. But most impressive to me is her unusual work combating “territorial inequality” – most especially in the barrios of Caracas, Venezuela. Silva is director and founder of Enlace Arquitectura 2007 and Enlace Foundation 2017. Their projects focus on raising awareness of spatial inequality and the urban environment through public space interventions, informal settlement integration and strengthening rural landscapes. Enlace’s work has been recognized in international biennials, competitions, and design exhibitions.

Another architect doing unusual, innovative work is ERIC GOLDEMBERG. Do you know of any other architect designing “sonic sculptures” that incorporate slime mold? I didn’t think so. Goldemberg grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the son of architects. At the age of 29, he moved to New York City to earn a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design at Columbia University. His sonic sculptures have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and elsewhere.

Yet another innovator is Trinidadian-Miamian musician ETIENNE CHARLES. Charles musical interests are wide-ranging. He is constantly seeking new ways to inspire his audiences through a variety of musical lenses. In fact, when I asked Charles about the biggest challenge for his genre of music, he replied, “The biggest challenge is the concept of genres.” One of the exciting concepts that Charles created is improvising with large-scale video projections of performances by other groups of musicians that his film crew has recorded. As an Afro-descendant, his work is actively connecting the diaspora and drawing lines to regions at the roots of migrations. Highlighting marginalized communities and engaging with them has been his mission.

South Florida is no stranger to New Yorker staff writer and best-selling author SUSAN ORLEAN. Her blockbuster book, “The Orchid Thief,” meticulously documents the experience of slogging through the Everglades seeking the illusive legendary Ghost Orchid. I read the book before ever meeting Orlean, and I marveled at how she could take a potentially dull subject like the history of orchids and turn it into compelling reading. Surprisingly, “The Orchid Thief” was used as the basis for the Academy Award-winning movie called “Adaptation,” starring Nicholas Cage, Chris Cooper (received an Oscar), and Meryl Streep as Susan Orlean. Not many living people can say they were portrayed by Meryl Streep in a movie.

I first met Orlean in 2004 at a fundraiser in Cambridge, where a commissioned portrait by me was being auctioned off. Under such circumstances, I usually provide an existing portrait, so people know what they are bidding on. In this instance, the existing 40 x 30 inch, mixed-media portrait was of young red-haired twins. Orlean purchased the sample portrait because the twins reminded her of herself at that age, and I eventually painted a portrait of Orlean, her husband and newborn son.

Another great talent that I first met in Massachusetts is author, journalist, and filmmaker SEBASTIAN JUNGER. Junger and I surfed the same Cape Cod ocean at Ballston Beach in Truro in the 1990s. When his first book “The Perfect Storm” became an international best-seller, I was inspired to make a portrait of him by the sea. At the time I remember thinking, “This is like what happened when Norman Mailer published his first book – “The Naked and the Dead.” Sebastian is set for life.” And so far, I wasn’t wrong. “The Perfect Storm,” a term concocted by Junger which has become part of our common lexicon, was made into a blockbuster movie starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly, Diane Lane, and Karen Allen. Not content to have to watch others make movies of his books, Junger teamed with Tim Hetherington to make the Academy Award nominated documentary film “Restrepo,” about life in a remote U.S. Army outpost in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. In our video conversation at the Miami Book Fair, we discussed Junger’s life-long association with violence, and his recent near-death experience in Truro, which is the inspiration for his latest work in progress.

Actress GAIL STRICKLAND has appeared in her fair share of terrific movies and TV shows with some of our best actors. The “Drowning Pool” (1975) starring Paul Newman, “Bound for Glory” (1976) starring David Carradine, “Who’ll Stop the Rain” (1978) starring Nick Nolte, “Norma Rae” (1979) starring Sally Field, “Protocol” (1984) starring Goldie Hawn, and “The American President” (1995) starring Michael Douglas.

Strickland also appeared regularly on MANY network television shows, including Seinfeld, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Barnaby Jones, Hawaii Five-O, Kojak, Lou Grant, M*A*S*H*, Alice, Trapper John, M.D., Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Night Court, Family Ties, Dallas, Spencer: For Hire, Murder She Wrote, Law & Order, Melrose Place, Chicago Hope, and ER. Unfortunately, Strickland had to retire from acting because of a progressive voice disorder that began over 25 years ago.

IRA MCKINLEY describes himself as a passionate storyteller, and he has an incredible personal story to tell. His family is based in the West Palm Beach, Florida town of Pahokee on the edge of the Everglades, now celebrating its 100th anniversary. But McKinley grew up in the Ithaca, New York area where he experienced 15 years of homelessness, and several years of incarceration. Somehow, he found his way into a film program at North Hampton Community College in western Massachusetts, where he learned how to be a filmmaker. Now based in South Florida, McKinley’s film “Outta The Muck”, presents the stories of seven generations of his Pahokee family members, as well as the extraordinary number of professional football players who emerged from The Muck. McKinley’s film was presented at the 2022 Miami Film Festival, and other film festivals nationwide.

Poet, writer, author, critic, and educator JEN KARETNICK is the author/co-author of 20 books, including five full-length poetry collections. She is co-founder/co-curator of the not-for-profit organization, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami), and co-editor of the daily online literary journal, SWWIM Every Day. SWWIM publishes, promotes, and celebrates women writers, trans and cis women, nonbinary, intersex, and other gender-expansive communities. SWWIM publishes a new poem every day on its website and has published hundreds of poems in this manner. In addition, Jen worked as a dining critic and food editor for Miami New Times, New Times Broward-Palm Beach, South Florida Magazine, Las Olas Magazine, Lincoln Road Magazine, and MIAMI Magazine from 1992-2020.

My favorite Jen Karetnick tale is her story of buying a home in Miami Shores that was built on the grounds of an old mango orchard and came with 11 mango trees. She and her husband thought it would be lovely to grow their own mangos, but didn’t realize that their trees would produce thousands of mangoes from May to October, which would drop — on their heads, on their cars, in the pool — whenever gravity called. They spent the next 20 years in service to their mango trees, producing every kind of mango recipe, and even writing a book called “Mango.”

There are not enough descriptors for the iconoclast RICHARD SAUL WURMAN. He is a protégé of the noted architect Louis Kahn as both a student at the University of Pennsylvania and as an employee. He has written, designed, and published 90 books on wildly divergent topics – most recently “UnderstandingUnderstanding” – a journey through the myriad ways that he and his many muses have created their own idiosyncratic manners of understanding, and his latest book entitled “Mortality.” He recently was involved with the launch of “The Urban Observatory,” an interactive exhibit that provides the opportunity to compare and contrast maps of cities around the world – all from one location. It aims to make the world’s data both understandable and useful.

But Wurman will probably be remembered most for inventing the TED Conference in 1984, which he later sold to the enduring TED Talks. In our video conversation, Wurman says, “My whole life is based on going from not knowing to knowing. My whole life is based on what I am interested in, not what I am taught.” His TED Conference was a celebration of his passions.

I first met Richard Wurman (b.1936) face-to-face at an opening reception for an exhibition of his watercolors and sculptures at the Coral Gables Museum in 2021. His artwork is first rate. He made the art during the COVID-19 pandemic because he was marooned in his Golden Beach home. It was the first and only (so far) exhibition of his art.

As always, we end this edition of Inspicio Arts e-Magazine with The Last Laugh.

JOSHUA RODRIGUEZ is the latest FIU grad to create a cartoon for Inspicio Arts. Rodriguez says, “I was born with a pencil in my hand. My faith in Christ and desire to create has been an integral part of who I am.” In 2020, he started HumbleDog Design to provide logo design, brand development, comics, character development/design, and a variety of other visual concepts.

Throughout history, the arts and humanities have been an instrument for identifying, discussing, and enacting positive social change. I hope what you read, hear, and see in Inspicio Arts adds value to your appreciation of the arts in Miami and South Florida.

– Raymond Elman, founding editor-in-chief