The Museum of Arts and Design launched its new young patrons community, MAD Luminaries, with its inaugural Artists Salon on Wednesday, January 29. The evening invited interested young patrons to learn about MAD Luminaries and to welcome the incoming class of artists-in-residence. Guests, including MAD Luminaries Co-Chairs Alexander Hankin, Christina Senia, and Timo Weiland, were treated to a lively discussion between current Artist Fellow Anthony Akinbola, incoming Artist Fellow Mia Wright-Ross, and Artist Fellowship alumna Tamara Santibañez, moderated by Marissa Passi, Director of the Artist Studios.
Comprising thought leaders under the age of 45, MAD Luminaries will serve as a peer-to-peer community of young arts advocates supporting emerging artists through MAD’s Artist Studios program, a highly competitive professional development program for contemporary artists and designers, and the only artist residency of its kind. MAD Luminaries will offer members direct artist interactions and the chance to encourage the artists-in-residence as they expand their creative practice while working on site at the Museum. Seven artists and designers, including one recipient of the MAD Artist Fellowship, are selected for the biannual six-month residency.
“I can’t say enough how important it is for artists to connect directly with art patrons and collectors,” said Hankin. “Making these interactions possible is what MAD Luminaries is all about, and I encourage any young arts advocates to get involved so we can shine a light on even more emerging artists and designers.”
Akinbola said, “The six months I have spent at this museum, working with children, families, all types of visitors, and the MAD curators and leadership, have changed my life. I have gained a community and support network that I know will be with me every step of the way as I move on as an artist.”
“It is incredible to see so many emerging artists gathered here tonight, sharing their art with so many people who care,” said Santibañez.
Of her upcoming residency, Wright-Ross said, “I have followed the careers of many artists who have had the amazing opportunity to be MAD Fellows, and I am both excited to undertake this journey and delighted to follow in their footsteps.”
Also in attendance were Luminaries Committee members Jeremy Banon, Zachary Beloff, Vincent de Sarthe, Justin Garzone, Casey Kohlberg, and Jaime Weinberg, who are engaged in building the program and supporting young artists.
During a visit in South Africa to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, Heidi and Allen Roberts realized they could provide meaningful support to protecting wildlife, so they created U.S. Friends of Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and they have returned nearly every year since 2005 to observe progress in the care and treatment of endangered animals, and identify new needs.
When they return home, Heidi and Allen eagerly share their experiences at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre during a series of dinners they host each year at their apartment. They had few photos to share from their sightings, preferring to take it all in and not to be constrained by the camera lens.
It didn’t take long for Heidi and Allen’s enthusiasm to convince their friend Eric Buechel that he should explore wildlife as an expansion of his painting and photography. After several return visits, Eric’s substantial portfolio found a natural habitat for a solo exhibition. Laverdin Gallery, with its emphasis on the representational and abstract animal motifs, is featuring the Buechel photographs with a show that runs through February 12.
A reception on January 23 attracted guests devoted to wildlife conservation, with Franck Laverdin generously donating a percentage of proceeds to U.S. Friends of Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Heidi Roberts concept of keeping the fundraising personal was very much in evidence as friends gathered at the Gallery — across from the building where Heidi and Allen host the fundraising dinners.
Jim Dove, along with partner Bob Carey, hosted a “Hard Hat Cocktail Party” in honor of the designers of the Kips Bay Palm Beach Show House in their soon-to-be showroom and design studio on West Palm Beach’s Antiques Row. There, a who’s who of the Palm Beach design community along with family, friends and clients, including designers Roric Tobin and Justin Concannon with their Brussels Griffon, Gretchen, and landscape guru Fernando Wong.
The 2020 Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach is open until March 1st, and benefits both New York’s Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County.
Photographs by John Sanderson/AnnieWatt.com (Hoedspruit); Annie Watt (Jim Dove); Yvonne Tnt/BFA.com (MAD)