Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10 - Reverb10 Prompt - Wisdom

Gave my old laptop in excellent condition to the grandkids of the woman who cleaned my apartment in Atlanta.  Made her life better as she didn't have to sit around in the library after a day of hard work while the kids waited in line to use the computer.  In fact, I centered most of my giving on these four little girls.  Information about Women's History Month and a book from the website - anything to add some education on top of what they get in school.  Another joy, mentoring at Kipp Strive in Atlanta via the Wren's Nest former home, now a house museum, of the gentlemen who wrote the Uncle Remus books.  Met some super people, was happy to learn about a school that does what a school is supposed to do - enrich, educate and enliven.  Loved meeting my 5th grader mentee, Kwesi, and working with him to write the essay about his grandfather which was included in a book published in time for the Decatur Book Fair.  He is a cutie patootie and so bright.  Good decisions both - got me out of my box and out of the house among kids.  Ignited fire in my soul encouraging kids to write.  Loved getting the book reports I assigned.  Being with kids is wondrous, calming, inspiring and joyful.  Noisy, aggravating and exhausting too.  Spend more time with kids in 2011 was a wise decision and is on my to do list for 2011.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9 - Reverb10 Prompt - Party

My 30th High School reunion - had avoided previous reunions but the stars aligned on this one - best friend Hillary came in from Cap d'Antibes and we met up with dear Jimmy before heading off to the event.  Bonus time spent with Alessandra and Juliana her adorable daughters - we went to Big Apple Circus with Paulette (grand mere).  So we came into the house on the grounds of the Merchant Marine Academy three-strong.  DJ playing 80s dance music - didn't sound good to me then and hasn't improved with age.  So busy talking to people I barely remembered that I didn't make it to the buffet - heard I didn't miss anything.  In the middle of this a member of the class entered in full Scottish regalia playing the bagpipes in remembrance of our classmates who are no longer with us.  Odd choice as most of us are Jewish.  Didn't remember the piper nor most of those pictured on the screen without accompanying names.  Cut out as soon as we could and headed off to Scobee Diner - closed early - little did we know that in the following weeks Scobee would close permanently followed by an auction of the guts of our favorite hang-out.  Who would want an old booth, grease embossed counter top and those gnarly rotating cake display units.  It was a great evening, haven't stayed out until 4:30 am in I don't know how many years.  Good to connect with my history and those I don't have to explain where I come from to.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beautifully Different - Day 8

What makes me "beautifully different," is that I care and people sense that along with my generosity of spirit, information, time and money.  I give whatever I have because I believe that tomorrow will bring me more of whatever I need.  I've been told that my smile is infrequent but worth waiting for.  Had a client once who said that I "give good leg" his vernacular way of complimenting me.  It is all what is in my head and heart and that's what I look for in others - physical beauty comes and goes, changes with the trends though classic beauty is always in style.  Nothing better than a crisp white button down shirt, jeans, a good belt and pair of sneakers, hair back in pony tail (wish there was an elegant way of describing this hair style) and some simple but "good" jewelry.  Think the Hepburn women - my style icons and their charitable way of living is my working model - Audrey with Unicef and Katherine with the cultural center in Connecticut.  Doing well by doing  good is my modus operandi.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


HIllary, Me and Jim at my 30th High School Reunion -
now that's something to write about.

Writing is what I do.  Always on the lookout for a way to jump start my day and have employed Julia Cameron's Artist Pages for at least a decade.  For those who don't enjoy a journal and pen here's a super new place to get your 3 pages written  I like the mind dump so much that I am willing to try it online and do it twice a day.  Wondering what to send me for the holidays?  Mont Blanc Cartridge refills.  Not expensive and much appreciated. Another super application for writers of any stripe is - locks out everything but the writing until you tell it otherwise.  Plays subtle music which helps me concentrate and you can silence this as well.  If you are stuck or too easily distracted put down the Ritalin and check out these two programs.  Back to writing...

Reverb10 - Day 7

Community - among my favorite words.  Found community upon my move to East Hampton by reaching out to publisher Marty Shepard at a neighbor in Sag Harbor.  Received a warm welcome with open arms and a first invitation to visit him at the "office."  His German Shepherd, Monty, is my new bff.  Left with an armful of books including his current memoir, ON THE RECORD.  Read it in one clip.  Second invitation, dinner to meet his wife and business partner, Judy, and three wonderful writers who also make this super cold part of Long Island their home year-round.  Jenny, Joan and Mary.  What a treat.  Third invitation is for dinner tonight.  Can't wait to discover more about my new friends.

Reverb10 - Day 1

It is day 7 on Reverb10 but my day 1 so I'll kick this off by covering the prompts in the first six days together.  One word from someone who writes for a living - hah!  Breathe, that's it.  Breathe in life, family, friendship, love, writing, reading and the glorious winter weather in New York.  Writing - what can I eliminate that doesn't contribute to my writing?  Shopping - do it all online and only for those who truly deserve gifts.  One moment this year?  When I drove off route 27 and arrived in East Hampton - early morning, crisp air, sun that didn't burn, trees lots of trees but no palm trees.  I had arrived home and my body relaxed and my mind ramped up.  Cold weather is where I belong.  How did I cultivate a sense of wonder this year?  Facing my laptop out toward the woods, pausing to watch the deer and wild turkeys, the leaves blowing off the trees and the first snow fall.  I let go of people who just had an outstretched palm.  Done with the takers and on to the sharers.  Make.  Just finished knitting Wool & the Gang's Jane collar in a luscious bulky caramel color yarn.  Re-working the pattern on a thinner yarn in cream - almost finished.  Simultaneously I knitted an infinity scarf with Artyarns gorgeous green bulky yarn.  So yummy I haven't taken it off except to sleep.  That covers the first six days of #Reverb10.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Passing of Purvis Young

Art   Culture   Analysis
Vol. 9, No. 4, 2010
into eterntiy
Purvis Young (1943-2010)
When I think about Purvis Young, a movie-trailer of moments runs through my mind -- from our first meeting until his death on April 20, 2010. Each snippet a story and education unto itself; run together these clips span three years in Miami.
Purvis Young
The S & S Diner on NE Second Avenue located across the street from the cemetery is a favourite Miami breakfast spot. Despite twelve years of counter dining where I zipped in and out of this rundown and so-called dangerous part of town, I somehow I missed the secret art studio of Purvis Young across the alley. How many times were we at the diner simultaneously, me eating eggs or pancakes and Purvis his daily tuna fish sandwich? How privileged I was to eat with him at the diner many times after we met.
Purvis Young
We first met in 2006 when Young was selected as Director’s Choice for the 17th annual Art Miami Contemporary Art fair. Walking into the studio was like walking into one of his paintings. Wildly colourful, everything is recycled or “found” including the red velvet fainting couch that was Young’s favourite perch. My eyes adjusted and I found the artist sitting quietly, petting his rescue dog Goodbread, named after his renowned Goodbread Alley art installation. Weighing in at close to 300 lbs at the time, Young’s girth did not overwhelm the petite couch nor overtake the studio. His serenity counteracted his size.

No matter the time of day a television droned on in a back room
Purvis Young
 where Young napped; he rarely slept a full night. One evening after an interview with theMiami Herald, I was departing and bent down to give Purvis a hug and kiss on the cheek. He was surprised. “I am 60 years old and you are the first white woman that has touched me.” This shocked me as a true New Yorker, race did not preclude people from touching each other, and hadn’t since the 50s and here it is the first decade of the 21st century in southern Florida and race was still an issue.

There are at least two schools of artists: those who have said all they have to say through their work and those who love to wax erudite about their work. Talking with Purvis about his paintings satisfied my need to understand without hearing a ton of artist-speak. When I inquired about his work he had sharp, short and sane answers.
Purvis Young
The figure of a nude pregnant woman with her arms stretched to the sky is one of Young’s significant icons appearing alone or in groups throughout he work. “My pregnant woman stands for hope which comes from birth and God,” said Young. Hope, as Young continued, “is a common wish without attention to our colour or religion.” Simple, eloquent and something that we can all relate to and desire. The viewer doesn’t have to “get” Young’s work or be given an interpretation by art world experts. The work appeals on a visceral level, the story is obvious, the colours glorious and the materials are those we encounter everywhere and not only in art supply stores.

Scores of people, either white or black, populate his paintings. The black groups represent Purvis’ “tribe” and those upon horseback are the leaders. Horses represent freedom. Succinct and easy to grasp, we all have our groups whether by race, religion or location. We yearn for community and belonging and Purvis understood this well. He often spoke about “finding” and rejoining his African tribe after death.
Purvis Young
Many considered Young simple of mind and unstable as examples of his belonging to the genre of outsider artist. Having known Purvis, he was neither. He was very private and shared his thoughts with those in his very tight circle of family and a smattering of friends, many of whom have been in his life for decades.
Young also received these labels due to his unfortunate dealings with people who stole from him, misrepresented him and used him for their own good. What this came from was his willingness to trust people, regardless of warnings from others and foul treatment experienced first hand. He kept people in his world long after they proved themselves untrustworthy -- Purvis gave people unlimited opportunities to redeem themselves with him. Somebody must be crazy to allow others to take and take without putting an end to the problem, don’t they?
Purvis Young
Purvis wasn’t crazy -- he was a people-pleaser. People wanted his art and so he painted prolifically. People wanted to lay claim to him and he acquiesced not because he didn’t know better but because he wanted to give everyone in his life whatever they wanted. He was generous and loving. He treated Eddie Mae’s children and grandchildren as if they were his own. Nothing illustrated his sanity better than observing Purvis talk with his grandchildren -- but this was private. As was his sadness when his dog “disappeared” after a stint in the hospital. He was convinced that those meant to care for Goodbread simply let him go in the streets. Until the last days of his life Purvis missed this sweet dog.

His trusting nature yielded financial problems and mishandling of his career by others. A simple Google search will bring these names to light but have no business here as they have benefited enough from Purvis. During the final years of his life misery was his frame of mind as his ability to run his own life was legally stripped from him.
All Purvis wanted was freedom and this was something he never had. He wanted to live life his way and paint what he wanted when he wanted and these options were taken from him. Others had their opinion of him shaped by the courts, doctors and the public. He preferred not to fight or rebel other than through the messages in his art. “I realized that standing up for what I believe and fighting for it would only land me in jail. I went once and that was enough. From then on, I expressed my thoughts through my paintings instead of through my fists.”
His legacy is already being mishandled and his work sold at bargain prices when it should be increasing in value because there is no more and yet there is so much. He was a treasure and but never regarded as such. Purvis was a kind and loving man, a family man who deserved a better life. He will be missed and those of us who were privy to his intuitive and insightful thinking will wish more had been written down so that others could know the man and not the portrait painted by others.
Goodbye my friend, I hope you have found your tribe in heaven and are resting easy.

Images are courtesy of Doug Hirsch.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Artist Purvis Young Dies at 67

Photo Credit: Larry Clemons
The New York Times

April 24, 2010

Purvis Young, Folk Artist Who Peppered Miami With Images, Dies at 67

Purvis Young, a self-taught painter who emerged from prison as a young man and by dint of his striking, expressionist vision of urban life and mammoth output over more than three decades transformed a forgotten Miami neighborhood into a destination for contemporary art aficionados, died on Tuesday in Miami. He was 67.

The cause was cardiac arrest and pulmonary edema, said Dindy Yokel, a friend. Mr. Young was a diabetic and had several health problems in recent years, including a kidney transplant in 2007.

Mr. Young, who never attended high school, was often called an outsider artist or a street artist, and he lived a life that only intermittently surfaced on the art-world grid. But he was influenced by a number of artists — including Rembrandt, El Greco, van Gogh and Delacroix — whose works he pored over in art books in the public library.

“His great ability was to twin urban contemporary culture with high-art motifs,” said Brooke Davis Anderson, a curator at the American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan, which has 20 of Mr. Young’s pieces in its collection, 14 donated by the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, which bought the entire contents of Mr. Young’s studio, as many as 3,000 pieces, in 1999.

His work can also be found in the collections of the Bass Museum in Miami, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among many other places.

Painted or drawn in ink on found materials as diverse as cardboard, discarded doors, orange crates, telephone bills, printed book pages and manila folders, Mr. Young’s work often concerned itself with cacophonous, urgent representations of urban strife. He lived most of his life in the Overtown section of Miami, a once-thriving community that was ravaged by the construction of an interstate highway through it in the 1960s, and he painted what he saw around him.

His work featured writhing calligraphic lines often denoting crowds of people, frenzied bursts of color and repeated symbols — a personal iconography that included horses, which, as he explained in interviews, denoted freedom; angels and large floating heads, which denoted good people and the possibility of goodness in a strife-riven world; and round blue shapes, sometimes coalescing into eyes that denoted an all-seeing establishment.

He often painted images of trucks, trains and railroad tracks to suggest possibilities of escape and methods of connection between the inner city and the outer world. Indeed, there is a storytelling aspect to his paintings; they resonate with the consequences of racism, the plight of the underprivileged, the atmosphere of daily violence, the world’s pervasive hypocrisy.

“I don’t like the luxury I see of a lot of these church people while the world is getting worser,” he said in a mid-1990s interview reprinted in “Souls Grown Deep: African-American Vernacular Art,” by William and Paul Arnett. “What I say is the world is getting worser, guys pushing buggies, street people not having no jobs here in Miami, drugs kill the young, and church people riding around in luxury cars.”

Purvis Young was born in Miami on Feb. 2, 1943. He was introduced to drawing by an uncle, but he gave it up at a young age. In his late teens he was convicted of a felony — it has been variously reported as breaking and entering and armed robbery — and spent between two and three years in a Florida prison, where he began drawing again and perusing art books.

“I didn’t have nothing going for myself,” he said. “That’s the onliest thing I could mostly do. I was just looking through art books, looking at guys painting their feelings.”

When he got out, in the mid-1960s, he was inspired by Vietnam War demonstrations and by the protest art he read about from other cities — notably the Wall of Respect mural in Chicago, painted by members of the Black Arts Movement. In the early 1970s he created a mural of his own, plastering a wall along a deserted stretch of Overtown’s Goodbread Alley with dozens of his works.

The mural drew attention from the news media and from Miami’s art establishment, including an eccentric millionaire, Bernard Davis, who owned the Miami Museum of Modern Art and briefly became Mr. Young’s patron, providing him with painting supplies. (Mr. Davis died in 1973.) From then on, Mr. Young grew into something of an urban legend, a local celebrity, a frequent interview subject and an art-world star.

“He became part of the itinerary for people going to Art Basel,” the Miami Beach art fair, Ms. Anderson, of the Folk Art Museum, said.

Mr. Young’s survivors include his longtime partner, Eddie Mae Lovest; two sisters, Betty Rodriguez and Shirley Byrd; a brother, Irvin Byrd; four stepdaughters, Kenyatta, Kentranice, Taketha and Elisha; and 13 step-grandchildren.

By most accounts Mr. Young never paid much attention to his finances, and in his last years he became involved in a tangled legal battle with a former manager, Martin Siskind, whom Mr. Young sued for mismanaging funds. Mr. Siskind successfully petitioned a judge to have Mr. Young declared mentally incompetent, and his affairs were placed in the control of legal guardians. Several of Mr. Young’s friends say that he was in no way incompetent, and that the arrangement had left him destitute.

In an interview, Mr. Siskind said that he and Mr. Young had settled their suit amicably, and that Mr. Young retained ownership of 1,000 paintings and had plenty of money, although he said he had contributed $1,000 to help pay for Mr. Young’s funeral.

Mr. Young frequently seemed nonplussed by reactions to his work.

“It was mostly white people interested,” he said in the mid-1990s, recalling the days after he was discovered. “Some people would say stuff, say I looked like Gauguin, all different artists they say I looked like. A lot of black people seen them, but they didn’t say much to me about it. Some of them said I was mad, some cursed me out, some liked it, some of them admired me, some didn’t. A friend of mine — he’s passed away now — say to me: ‘I look at your paintings but I don’t see nothing. But every time I turn around you’re in the newspaper.’ ”

Correction: April 24, 2010

An earlier version of this obituary referred to Art Basel as a Miami art fair. It is in Miami Beach.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gee's Bend Quilt Auction to Benefit Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation to Receive Funds Raised

MIAMI, FLORIDA – (March 11, 2010) -- The Bernice Steinbaum Gallery announces an auction of quilts from Gee’s Bend and Friends of Gee's Bend to benefit the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund in association with the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance. The auction takes place on Saturday, March 13, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at 3550 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33127. Judge Karen Mills-Francis, star of the television series, Judge Karen’s Court, and author of Stay in Your Lane, is the auctioneer. The auction is open to the public.

The auction items include seven quilts by individual Quilters of Gee's Bend, one intaglio print by Mary Lee Bendolph donated by Paulson Bott Press, and one quilt from fiber artist, Mary McCarthy, a friend of the Gee's Bend quilters. The highlight of the auction is a collaborative quilt -- by 20 of the Gee's Bend quilters - entitled Gee's Bend Quilters Outreach to Haiti. Reserve prices range from $2,000 to $25,000. Judge Karen Mills-Francis will serve as auctioneer.

In addition to the donation of the artwork by the Quilters of Gee’s Bend, the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery has generously donated its commission and the cost of packing and shipping following the auction.

"The women of Gee's Bend make quilts that are eye-dazzlingly beautiful. How moving that these women who are descendants of slaves offer their work for auction to help the Haitian people who are suffering from the after effects of the earthquake. How appropriate for this auction to take place in an art gallery; the Quilts of Gee's Bend prove definitively that the quilt is off the bed and on the wall," says Bernice Steinbaum.

In the aftermath of the earthquake the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective determined that an auction of quilts to raise much-needed funds was their path. Bernice Steinbaum and artist Edouard Duval Carrié (through his role as Director of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance) were contacted and an event was born. Miami is the locus of Haitian life in the United States and thus the perfect location for an auction. Once partners were secured, the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective contacted the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to coordinate efforts ensuring that the funds raised would be channeled properly to Haiti.

“The earthquake in Haiti brings to mind the disaster that took place in Gee’s Bend in 1930. My father, Rev. Purnell Bennett, born September 17, 1917 in Gee’s Bend, told us the story of the tragedy often to remind us how we overcame with the help of others. In 1930 a local merchant who had extended credit to the residents of the Bend died. His heirs demanded immediate repayment of all debts. To meet the demands, families sold their animals, tools and seed to raise the money. The community survived thanks to the Red Cross. They provided rations and the acts of giving, a lesson passed down from generation to generation in our community. We survived this tragedy with the assistance of others and that’s why we are giving from our hearts. Our quilts have warmed families for hundreds of years and through this auction we will raise funds that will provide Haitians some comfort and necessities. Residents of Gee’s Bend will donate cash to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to provide additional support,” says Lovett Bennett, President of the Gee’s Bend Foundation.

More than 20 quilters will be featured at the auction on March 13, and reserve prices range from $2,000 to $25,000. Mary Lee Bendolph and Loretta P. Bennett are donating quilts entitled “Road to Recovery” and “Strong,” respectively. The list of quilters donating to the auction includes Marlene Bennett Jones, Qunnie Pettway and Nettie Young among others to be named shortly. (Images are available upon request). The Quilters of Gee’s Bend are designing a tribute quilt specifically for the auction. This group endeavor is comprised of individual squares created by the group then pieced and quilted.

Paulson Bott Press is donating an intaglio print entitled, Black & Brown, 2005 by Mary Lee Bendolph. The reserve price is $2,000.
# # #

About the participants:

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

The earthquake that rocked the coast of Haiti killed or injured a devastating number of people. Even more were left in need of aid, making this is one of the major humanitarian emergencies in the history of the Americas. In the aftermath of the disaster, President Barack Obama asked President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush to raise funds for immediate, high-impact relief and long-term recovery efforts to help those who are most in need of assistance. In response, the two Presidents established the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF) to respond to unmet needs in the country, foster economic opportunity, improve the quality of life over the long term for those affected, and assist the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and “build back better.” The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will do this by working with and supporting the efforts of reputable 501(c)(3) nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations. Presidents Clinton and Bush oversee the CBHF through their respective nonprofit organizations, the William J. Clinton Foundation and Communities Foundation of Texas. One hundred percent of donations received by the Clinton Foundation and the Communities Foundation of Texas go directly to relief efforts. For more information, visit

Quilters of Gee’s Bend

Gee’s Bend, a miniscule rural community, is nestled into a curve in the Alabama River southwest of Selma, Alabama. Founded in antebellum times on the site of cotton plantations owned by Joseph Gee, the town’s women developed a distinctive, bold, and sophisticated quilting style with a geometric simplicity reminiscent of Modern Art. The women of Gee’s Bend passed their skills and aesthetic down through multiple generations to the present and in 2002, an exhibition of 70 quilt masterpieces from the Bend premiered at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

“The Quilts of Gee’s Bend” exhibition has been presented at more than a dozen major museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Newsweek, NPR, CBS News Sunday Morning, House and Garden, and Oprah’s O Magazine are just a few of the hundreds of print and broadcast media organizations that have celebrated the quilts and history of this unique town. Art critics worldwide have compared the quilts to the works of important modern artists, such as Henri Matisse, and the New York Times called the quilts “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced.” For more information, visit

Bernice Steinbaum Gallery

The Bernice Steinbaum Gallery first opened its doors in New York City in 1977. Considered a pioneer for galleries showcasing women artists and artists of color the gallery remained in New York City for 23 years before moving the center of its operations to Miami, Florida in 2000.

The gallery shows a collection of stories made by artists that promote, explore, and appreciate the contribution of diverse people made across the globe. These stories foster a greater understanding of human history and promote cross-cultural communication.

Steinbaum is proud to represent three Macarthur “Genius” award winners; Pepon Osorio, Amalia Mesa and Deborah Willis, five Guggenheim, multiple National Endowment Winners, two Annenberg fellows, among other grant winning artists. In addition the gallery regularly organizes group shows which travel to various museum facilities, an unusual activity for a gallery which occurs primarily because of the director’s own academic art history background.

Judge Karen Mills-Francis

Miami native Judge Karen practiced criminal defense law in Florida for 13 years in the Office of the Public Defender, as well as in private practice. She was appointed a Traffic Magistrate by the Dade County Chief Judge in 1998 to hear non-criminal traffic cases. Driven by the lack of diversity in the court system, Judge Karen decided to run for a judgeship in 2000, winning her first election by overthrowing a longtime incumbent and becoming the second African American woman to serve on the bench in Miami-Dade County.

Judge Mill-Francis is famous for the lines “Stay in your Lane, I know how to Drive.” 2010 finds her back in session on television with Judge Karen’s Court. Judge Karen is the author of newly published “Stay In Your Lane: A Navigational Guide to Living Your Best Life.”

After twice being elected to the position of Miami-Dade County Judge, Judge Karen made it her mission to support those who are at risk of getting lost in the legal system. Inspired by her previous work at the public defender’s office in the juvenile division, she has become known as an ardent backer of children’s advocacy programs and domestic violence prevention programs and regularly calls on lawyers to act on behalf of children in crisis. She became a foster mother herself to a child she first encountered in court and over the years she has repeatedly opened her home to children in need.

Edouard Duval Carrié

A figurative artist who works on canvas, installations, and sculpture employing found objects, resin and now aluminum fiber optics, Edouard Duval Carrié was born and raised in Haiti. He is not outside the mainstream; he is engaged with artists in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, and of course the Caribbean. His art deals with symbols of violence in colonial society and the ways of war, exile, displacement, all universal themes for the strife of peoples worldwide. His work deals with the history of Haiti, its legacy of slavery, its uneasy relations with other countries, its internal political, racial and class struggles. His art and his imagination is also engaged in the Afro-Haitian worship of voodoo. He has founded the Haitian Art Relief Fund in response to the January 2010 earthquake.

Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance

The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance (Alyans Atizay Ayisyen, Inc) was founded in 1994. It is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Afro Caribbean history, with an emphasis on Haitian culture, focusing in the areas of music, literature, dance, and the visual arts. HCAA is the home of the Haitian Cultural Alliance Archive, which houses a priceless collection of historical documents. This collection includes manuscripts, documents signed by founding fathers, maps, architectural renditions, new and old books, photographs, and films on Haiti and the Afro-Caribbean. HCAA takes pride and joy in facilitating and mounting art exhibits, presenting poets, musicians, and artists of all genres to a larger South Florida audience. HCAA also facilitates the Haiti Pavilion at the prestigious Miami International Book Fair annually. Through this effort, countless writers have been introduced to the public, raising the awareness of our rich cultural diversity.

Paulson Bott Press

Specializing in limited edition intaglio prints, Paulson Bott Press emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich tradition of fine art printmaking. Paulson Bott Press’s philosophy is to facilitate rather than direct an artist, creating an environment where artists can do their best work.

Founders Pamela Paulson and Renee Bott were trained to help artists explore the parameters of this unique art form. Paulson and Bott gained invaluable experience working as master printers under the tutelage of Kathan Brown at Crown Point Press. While there they worked with a broad range of artists including John Cage, Richard Diebenkorn, Judy Pfaff, Pat Steir, and Wayne Thiebaud. Paulson holds an MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and Bott holds an MFA in printmaking and drawing from the California College of Arts.