Miami Art Week
Kicks Off with a Spectacular
Tribute to the
Year of the Rabbit -
'Bunnies & Beyond'
by Manolis Projects Gallery
Miami, FL - October 20, 2023 - Prepare to be enchanted as Miami Art Week opens with a dazzling celebration of art and imagination at "Bunnies & Beyond," a captivating tribute hosted by Manolis Projects Gallery. As an official partner of Miami Art Week, Manolis Projects Gallery is committed to expanding access to artistic experiences and promoting creativity within our community. This year, 2023, holds particular significance as it aligns with the Chinese Zodiac's "Year of the Rabbit."
In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with an animal sign, and the Rabbit symbolizes peace, creativity, and compassion. Those born in the Year of the Rabbit are believed to possess gentle and amiable personalities, often embodying artistic sensibilities and a deep appreciation for beauty and harmony.
Renowned artist Hunt Slonem, celebrated globally for his iconic bunny artworks, shares a profound connection with this theme. His artistic journey as an American colorist and figurative painter has been marked by an enduring fascination with tropical birds, inspired by his personal aviary, and a deep affection for rabbits. Beyond their symbolic relevance, Slonem admires these creatures for their inherent dynamism and independence, once remarking that "they can hold a pose without moving for hours, and then suddenly dart away as if propelled by a coiled spring." Interestingly, the genesis of his iconic bunnies occurred during a meal at a Chinese restaurant while savoring a spring roll. It was there that he discovered that his birth year, 1951, had been designated as the Year of the Rabbit. His iconic bunnies began as warm-up exercises, following the tradition of Hans Hofmann, who used to commence his creative day with a series of small paintings to awaken his artistic spirit. As Slonem puts it, "He painted abstractions. I paint rabbits."
Slonem's earlier works featured birds, bunnies, and butterflies, painted wet-on-wet to create intriguing and tactile effects. This technique, using crosshatched patterns to obscure subjects, resulted in a blurred yet beautifully atmospheric quality, as noted by art critic Roberta Smith of The New York Times.
Manolis Projects Gallery proudly showcases a significant collection of Slonem's earlier works (1972-1987), exploring humanity's connection with nature and spirituality. This year, the gallery introduces the latest Hunt Slonem Collection sculptures, to be unveiled during the opening event.
Hunt Slonem's remarkable artistic journey encompasses over 300 one-man shows in galleries and museums worldwide. His work is featured in the permanent collections of more than 250 museums, including prestigious institutions such as the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney.
As part of this tribute, Manolis Projects Gallery invited 30 artists to create their most representative works on 40 x 30-inch canvases. This unique format, championed by gallery owner and artist-in-residence J. Steven Manolis, allows viewers to appreciate artists' techniques and styles without distractions like size and orientation.
The "Bunnies & Beyond" exhibition will be available for viewing from December 2023 through April 2024, with an opening extravaganza scheduled for Tuesday, December 5th, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. This "Bunnies & Beyond" cocktail party promises a wealth of activities, from bunny-themed raffles (participants are encouraged to bring business cards or written contact information) to whimsical masks designed by talented young artists from Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
To enhance the experience, specially curated photo spots will allow attendees to capture the perfect image in their "Most Beyond Bunnies" attire (coquette aesthetic). Complementing the artistry on display, cocktails and delectable bites will be generously provided by our sponsors, ensuring a delightful gastronomic journey throughout the evening.
While street parking may be available, complimentary valet parking will be offered. Furthermore, attendees can take advantage of our partnership with Alto, allowing for discounted pre-scheduled rides to and from the gallery, ensuring a safe and convenient journey to this exceptional event.
Don't miss your chance to be part of this spectacular celebration of art, creativity, and imagination. "Bunnies & Beyond" promises an evening that transcends the ordinary, inviting you to "bunny-hop" into a world where art knows no boundaries.
Date: Tuesday, December 5th, 2023
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Manolis Projects Gallery, 335 NE 59th Street, Miami, FL 33137
Camilla Webster is a highly acclaimed fine artist, best-selling author, TED speaker, and lecturer, known for her evocative works inspired by the Florida Keys. Her painting "Cocktail Hour," capturing the vibrant evening light of Palm Beach, was acquired by The Coral Springs Museum of Art in 2019. Curated by renowned artist Bruce Helander, Webster's first solo museum show took place in May - June 2020. Her thought-provoking pieces, focusing on rising oceans, were featured in The Palm Beach Cultural Council's "Natural Narratives" exhibit. With a background in Modern History and History of Art from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, Webster's artistic journey has taken her to galleries and special events in Miami, London, Paris, and New York. She is also actively involved in art organizations, serving on the board of The Clark Hulings Fund and the junior acquisitions council for The Norton Museum of Art. Based in Palm Beach, Florida, Webster's work has garnered widespread recognition, with features in prominent publications and exhibitions in renowned art venues.
Boris Vujovich, born in 1950 in Radanovici, Montenegro, is a self-taught artist who settled in Hightstown, NJ, after coming to the United States in 1971. With a deep passion for art, Boris not only ran Star Art Gallery and Framing in Allentown, NJ, but also supported local artists by showcasing their work. His abstract expressionist style draws from deep emotions, creating spiritually-charged pieces that explore themes of joy, pain, resilience, freedom, and risk-taking. Inspired by the writings of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, Boris paints the dichotomies of life, embracing the complexities of human existence.
Based in Hamptons, NY and Miami, FL, Alex Vignoli is a multi-talented, award-winning visual artist with a diverse skill set encompassing photography, painting, graphic and web design, decorative painting, and even teaching computer graphics and curating art exhibitions. Self-taught in photo and design apps, he holds a degree in visual communication, certified by United Digital Artist/Apple Computer Center in NY. With over 30 years of experience in visual communication, Vignoli has made significant contributions to various industries across Brazil and the USA. His accolades include numerous wins in both gallery and online art and photo contests, and his artworks have found homes in private and corporate collections around the globe, from Brazil and Costa Rica to England, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the United States.
Malu Tan (b. 1964, Manila Philippines) is a multi-media artist with a deep identification with nature. In her late forties, she obtained a Certificate in Painting from the Art Academy in London. She has shown at various museums and galleries, including Marin Museum, CA; Katonah Museum, NY; Ayala Museum in Manila; On Center Gallery, MA; Monika Olko Gallery, NY; Faber Birren, CT; and The Philippine Consulate in New York. She is a recipient of the Artist Support Grant and the Creative Renewal Fellowship in North Carolina. Her work is part of the permanent collection of The Yale-New Haven Medical Center, Children's Hospital of the King’s Daughters, and Cartus Corporation, among others. She currently lives and works in Charlotte, NC.
Rebecca Setareh is a visionary artist known for crafting objects of profound impact and power. Her artistic journey began with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts from the Institut des Beaux-Arts St. Luc in Liege, Belgium, where her piece "The Peacock '' garnered first place recognition from Dr. Gandhi, Iran's then-Minister of Education. Notably, her work also secured a second place prize in a national competition judged by then-Prime Minister Hoveida and Queen Farah Diba Pahlavi. Rebecca's innovative integration of rock and bronze has earned her acclaim in numerous national exhibitions, capturing the attention of a global audience. Through her sculptures, she imbues a sense of grace and fluidity, expertly marrying the rawness of stone with the smoothness of bronze to create a dreamlike, almost surreal ambiance. This fusion evokes a profound response from viewers, as each piece tells its own vivid story. Rooted in her love for nature, Rebecca's driftwood photography captures the essence of change, transformation, and evolution, further enriching her captivating body of work.
Rhona Rubio is an accomplished artist and Principal Designer at The Miami Design Studio, where art and living collide to create spaces that are far from cookie-cutter. Rhona's journey began when she met her husband through Art + Design, igniting a passion for immersive and educational community-based projects that challenge and inspire introspective dialogue. With a background in fine arts and a portfolio showcased in South Florida, Rhona co-founded The Miami Design Studio, dedicated to crafting functional and sustainable designs that cultivate the culture of each home. Her approach goes beyond surface aesthetics, aiming to create spaces that tell the unique stories of her clients. Rhona believes in the power of design to be experienced, not just observed, and strives to craft environments where stories can be shared and lived as life unfolds.
Jorge Reyes (Joneto)
Jorge Reyes is an artist whose work transcends boundaries, seeking to bridge gaps and illuminate the profound stories that shape our world. With every stroke of his brush and sculpted form, Reyes channels the enduring power of creative expression. His art serves as a testament to the potential for beauty, empathy, and change to coalesce within every canvas and sculpture. Reyes invites you to join him on this artistic journey, where together, they can harness the transformative force of art for good.
Los Angeles artist Tom Cat specializes in figurative minimalism, utilizing precise line work and color blocking. Her work challenges conventional labels, favoring elemental shapes over specific objects. Influenced by her mentor Robert Rivers, Cat's art embodies a clean, detailed aesthetic, seamlessly fitting into any space. Recently, her focus has shifted towards empowering the female form, breaking free from societal constraints. This journey also involves a personal reevaluation of ingrained teachings from her small town Catholic upbringing. Today, Cat is devoted to creating safe spaces that celebrate the unbridled acceptance of the feminine body.
Amy Mogila Heuerman
Amy Moglia Heuerman, a nationally-known artist, maintains galleries in Naples, Florida, and Bay Harbor, Michigan. Her versatile style encompasses dynamic abstract expressionism and impressionistic abstract florals. Using acrylics on canvas with brushes and palette knives, her layered paintings reveal embedded visual narratives. She paints until she reaches a positive moment in the story. Amy transitioned from a successful career in children's book illustration to pursue her passion for painting, showcasing her mastery of composition and color in her vibrant works.
Maria Miele is a seasoned professional artist with over four decades of experience, coupled with three decades as an esteemed art educator. In 2020, she made the decisive shift from teaching to dedicating herself entirely to her art. With studios in both Palm City, Florida, and Winsted, CT, Maria's creations grace galleries and exhibitions on both coasts, finding a home in private and corporate collections. Her lifelong passion for art has resulted in a multidisciplinary approach, characterized by bold colors and conceptually stimulating themes. Maria's work, spanning oils, acrylics, mixed media, and photography, skillfully interprets natural landscapes and elements of popular culture through a lens of vibrant hues and minimalist composition. Her artistic vision is often regarded as a striking embodiment of American Modernism.
J. Steven Manolis
J. Steven Manolis is an American abstract expressionist known for his vibrant watercolor and acrylic series paintings. Renowned art critics like Donald Kuspit and Elizabeth Sobieski have praised his innovative work. Kuspit coined the term "Miami School of Abstract Expressionism" to describe Manolis' impact on the art world. After privately perfecting his craft under artist Wolf Kahn, Manolis debuted publicly in 2014 and has since had three solo museum shows, sixteen solo gallery exhibitions, and numerous corporate installations. Based in Miami, he remains active in the art community, contributing to institutions like the National Academy of Design and the Vermont Studio Center.
Stacey Mandell, an artist driven by the belief in art's universal power of communication, discovered Gregg Shorthand—a phonetic writing system that captured spoken words' essence. After two decades of utilizing shorthand as a legal secretary and law student, she relocated to South Florida in 2016, transitioning from law to pursue Gregg Shorthand as an art form. Stacey's creations transcend boundaries, weaving Gregg Shorthand, Cursive, and Braille into mesmerizing narratives on canvas, metal, wood, and paper. By incorporating utilitarian objects like steno pads and integrating Braille, she adds depth and meaning to her work. Advocating for inclusive and accessible art, Stacey aims to preserve Gregg Shorthand's beauty and foster unity through a universal language of art.
Verena Caroline Kloos, a distinguished designer and former head of BMW Group Designworks HQs in California, devotes her time to creating paintings and photographs in studios spanning Germany and California. With an eye for detail cultivated through her global travels, Verena weaves a narrative in each piece, eliciting emotional responses. Her work graces exhibitions worldwide, from Miami to Beijing, and adorns private collections in Germany, Austria, UK, Italy, and California. Born in Wolfsburg, Germany, Verena holds a MA of Design from Braunschweig University of Fine Arts. Her portfolio encompasses photography and assemblages, reflecting her creativity and depth.
Anthea Kerou is an American artist of Greek and English descent, known for her diverse and experimental approach to art. With a background in 3D character animation and a passion for health and personal growth, Anthea brings a unique perspective to her work. Born in New Jersey, Anthea has lived and traveled extensively, including stints in New York City, Los Angeles, Madrid, England, and Montreal. She is currently based in Palm Beach, Florida, where she has been enhancing her fine art & augmented reality skills.
British artist Jeremy Houghton specializes in capturing journeys through themes of light, space, and time. His renowned flamingo portfolio, conceived in South Africa, raises awareness about these endangered birds. Inspired by a recent visit to the Kalahari Desert in 2023, Houghton's new collection incorporates gold leaf to highlight the species' rarity. Beyond flamingos, he's sought after for detailed portraits of high-profile communities, from Windsor Castle to major sporting events. Houghton's distinctive style plays with negative space to convey light, drawing from the Japanese concept of 'ma' or 'gap', blurring the line between representation and abstraction.
Bruce Helander, born in 1947 in New York, is a prominent American artist known for his innovative collage and assemblage works. With a background in painting and printmaking, Helander's artistic journey has been marked by a constant push for creativity and boundary-pushing techniques. His career has seen him exhibit extensively in galleries and museums across the United States. In addition to his own artistic pursuits, Helander has contributed significantly to the art world as a curator, writer, and editor, with his writings appearing in several prominent art publications. His distinct style often involves a combination of found objects and images, creating visually engaging and thought-provoking compositions. Over the years, Helander's contributions to the art community have solidified his reputation as a trailblazer in the field of contemporary collage and assemblage.
Sarah Grant, daughter of an art professor, was immersed in color and form from a young age, spending her early years at her family's academy in Heidelberg. After over 15 years in the fashion industry, she wholeheartedly embraced her art since 2012. Having lived in South Africa, the United States, and the Canary Islands, Sarah's work now graces galleries in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, London, Vienna, Milan, and Germany, gaining recognition on the international art scene. Her pieces exude a dynamic and energetic use of color, coupled with a harmonious formal language across diverse materials, sculptural structures, and haptic levels. Drawing from anthroposophy and experiences in distant continents, Sarah infuses her works with a sense of lightness and inner joy, aiming to evoke positive, image-inherent emotions in viewers.
Janet Gold is a distinguished artist and seasoned art educator with an illustrious career spanning over 35 years in Broward County. For the past 15 years, she has been a prominent figure at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Holding both an M.Ed. In education and an MFA, Gold's artistic prowess has garnered her numerous accolades, including the coveted titles of Artist of the Year in New Times Magazine and twice recipient of the esteemed South Florida Cultural Consortium award. Her expertise lies in the medium of collage, meticulously crafted on vintage book covers, where she skillfully combines papers, fabric, coloring books, rabbits, and the occasional paper doll. A trailblazer in the field, Gold is the founding member of the innovative 6Hands Collaborative, a Signature member of the National Collage Society, and has contributed her expertise to the boards of the National Association of Women Artists and the Coral Springs Museum of Art.
Alicia Gitlitz is an abstract expressionist artist known for her dynamic mixed media creations, employing acrylic, oil, charcoal, pigment sticks, and paper. Her vibrant paintings are a testament to her profound love for travel and the captivating beauty of nature worldwide. Infused with energy, passion, and bold strokes, Alicia's work teeters on the edge of chaos, creating a dramatic impact. Her mastery of color, often reflecting her cheerful disposition, adds an extra layer of vitality. With an uncanny ability to uncover fresh and intriguing subject matter in her surroundings, Alicia approaches each day as an opportunity to craft something extraordinary. Currently represented by esteemed galleries including The White Room Gallery, Swoon Gallery, and J.Pocker Gallery, among others, Alicia's art has graced prestigious exhibitions in Manhattan, the Hamptons, and various distinguished venues. She has also earned accolades for her abstract paintings and was a finalist in the esteemed Georges Duboeuf Wine Label Contest in both 2019 and 2021.
Before fully dedicating himself to his Mixed Media fine art practice in 2015, Fischer had already published nine pop-up books. Among his published works, the bestsellers "Christmas in New York" (Little, Brown & Co) and "Great American Houses and Gardens" (Rizzoli/Universe) stand out. His designs have earned a place in the permanent collections of esteemed institutions like the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Museum, Museum of American History, and the Artist Book section at the Library of Congress. Fischer's innovative work has been highlighted in prominent fine art publications, including features in Woven Tale Press Vol.5 and Artists Magazine.
Minia D., born in Saigon, Vietnam, and raised in France, is an intuitive artist whose primary mediums are acrylic paintings on canvas and photography. Having produced most of her past collections in San Francisco, Minia has called Miami Beach home since 2020. Her work is a raw and instinctive exploration of harmony and balance, with colors and fluid strokes capturing the vibrant impermanence of life. Viewers often find themselves immersed in a meditative realm of fresh perspectives. Minia's art serves as a conscious expression of the alchemy between physical and emotional healing, intertwined with her practice of diverse holistic modalities. Each painting exudes profound transformative energy, influenced by her rich French-Vietnamese heritage, resulting in a fusion of pointillism, impressionism, and expressionism.
Olivia Daane's artistic journey is a testament to her dedication and diverse talents. After earning her B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1992, she continued her studies in Florence, Italy through Syracuse University's programs. Under the mentorship of acclaimed artist Paul Harmon, she honed her skills through a meaningful apprenticeship. In 2006, Olivia established her LIVASPENART STUDIO, followed by the opening of LIVASPENART GALLERY in Aspen, Co from February 2011 to October 2013. Her paintings, notably her celebrated butterfly series that began in 2008, have found a prominent platform at Opera Gallery Aspen since 2017. In 2022, she proudly joined the roster at Manolis Projects. Beyond her artistry, Olivia is a dedicated art consultant, songwriter, and wordsmith, all while embracing the role of a devoted mother. Recently appointed as a Global Solutions Committee member by the U.S. State Department, Olivia has been a dedicated Aspenite since 1997, immersing herself in the enriching programs the mountain town has to offer.
Yvonne's artistic journey ignited during her fashion design studies at Marangoni Instituto in Milan, leading her through diverse creative endeavors. From owning an interior design firm to serving as head stylist for AtHome Magazine, her path evolved. Self-taught, Yvonne explored various mediums, reveling in the fusion of acrylic, graphite, gesso, and watercolors in her mixed media pieces. With studios in Westport and Miami, she showcases her work in galleries and design stores across several states. Drawing from her travels, Cuban heritage, and vibrant Miami winters, Yvonne infuses her art with a reflection of her own spirited, honest, and soulful personality.
Myrtho is an enigmatic artist whose contributions to the art world have quietly shaped the scene for decades. Beyond her roles as a collector and art promoter, she is a highly skilled artist with a diverse portfolio boasting over a hundred remarkable pieces. Myrtho's creations, ranging from vivid drawings to metal sculptures adorned with semi-precious stones like corals, turquoise, and pearls, evoke a sense of wonder and transport you to otherworldly realms. Her innovative approach seamlessly blends the conventional with the unconventional, as she breathes life into ordinary household items, infusing them with beauty and intrigue. Myrtho's unique artistic process invites exploration into the boundless potential of creation, leaving an indelible mark on the imagination of those who encounter her work.
Fairfield County native Carol Calicchio's artistic journey is deeply rooted in her family's artistic heritage and early education. Her expertise in abstract florals blossomed after she obtained a degree from the NYSID, further honed by studies in painting and drawing at the School of Visual Arts. Recognizing her true calling in creating art that resonates with others, Carol embarked on her own artistic path, crafting unique paintings that exude vibrant energy and vivid palettes. Currently residing in Delray Beach, Florida, Carol finds inspiration in her spacious studio overlooking the intracoastal, where she continues to produce her captivating and colorful works.
Ron Burkhardt's artistic journey began in Jackson, Michigan, where the mesmerizing Cascades Waterfalls sparked his lifelong fascination with color. With over 100 exhibitions worldwide and a remarkable tally of over 200 awards for creative excellence, his work has earned recognition from prestigious institutions such as The United Nations, The Art Directors Club of New York, and Cannes, among others. Burkhardt's abstract creations have graced the pages of "Who's Who in American Art" and been featured in renowned publications like ART and Living Magazine. Additionally, his dynamic artworks have made appearances on major media outlets, including CNN Headline News and NBC's "Today in New York" Show. Not only a prolific artist, Burkhardt has also lent his expertise to judging esteemed awards such as the CLIOS and Andys.
Sequoyah Burke Combs
Sequoyah Burke-Combs channels life's complexities into vibrant, emotive art, rooted in trauma-informed inspiration. From a young age, art became his language for processing emotions after his mother's passing. Working with acrylics, markers, and pens, Sequoyah's creations exude boldness and surrealism. His unique compositions are influenced by revered artists like Frida Khalo and Banksy, as well as his own nieces. Through Canvas Collective, he explores digital art, screen printing, and apparel design. With no formal training, Sequoyah relies on intuition, vision, and meticulous observation to bring his pieces to life.
Elizabeth Bernheisel, originally from Washington DC and now based in Delray Beach, FL, is an artist driven by her deep connection to color. Stepping into her studio, she's immediately captivated by the vibrant hues that inspire her creative process. Exploring a diverse range of media, she constantly seeks new avenues for artistic expression. Beginning with gestural drawings using graphite and pastels, or applying washes of acrylic inks, she revels in the interplay of colors, creating dynamic, translucent layers. With a mission to infuse her work with the uplifting and joyful essence of nature, Bernheisel's pieces are defined by expressive brushstrokes and a vivid, lively palette.
Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1965, Aguiar's artistic journey began in his early years, fueled by a deep-seated passion for rendering and creation. In 1987, he took a step in relocating to the United States, dedicating himself to the development of his artistry, particularly in the realm of landscapes. Aguiar's distinctive style emerged, characterized by a deliberate pace of growth. He found a unique artistic voice in the use of metal leaf as a foundation for his canvases, eventually expanding his repertoire to include copper leaf and resin, enhancing the depth of his aesthetic. Internationally acclaimed, Aguiar channels his artistic prowess into collaborations with conservation foundations combating deforestation. His works grace countless private and public collections worldwide, with a notable presence in the permanent collection of the Museum of Latin America in Long Beach, California.