West Encounters East at the Lowe Art Museum

On the evening of Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at the Lowe Art Museum, Joel Hollander, Ph.D., full-time faculty member at the University of Miami, delivered an informative speech for the project “West Encounters East,” whose focus is to rethink the significance of cultural exchange and diversity by identifying emerging Latin American artists of Asian heritage. Dr. Hollander focused on reflections of Japanese art and culture in the imagery of contemporary Argentine artists, including Valeria Yamamoto, Ary Kaplan Nakamura, Guillermo Ueno, and Lucila Heinberg, whose work will be highlighted in a special pavilion at arteaméricas art fair, March 25 – 28, at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

“One of the primary considerations in ‘West Encounters East’ is to investigate how officially sponsored Japanese emigration programs to South America during the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century changed the ethnic and cultural heritage of Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, as well as other countries in the region,” said Dr. Hollander. He added, “The precedent for exploring how Western artists respond to Japanese art can be traced back to the French Impressionists who helped to shape the genesis of modern art.”

The lecture, which began with a moment of silence to honor the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, along with the reception and refreshments that followed, were sponsored by Stella M. Holmes, president of The Brickellian, Inc., an art consultancy group, and founder of Brickell Gallery Night. According to Ms. Holmes, “’West Encounters East’ is a natural evolution of Brickell Gallery Night’s mission to introduce emerging artists with Asian roots to the West.” She stated that, “For me, the emphasis is the fusion of the two traditions. I think of it as Artists Without Borders – a beautiful way that we can learn from each other through a meaningful exchange of culture.”

Photographs of the event

Magic City Memoirs latest project from Andy Garcia at Miami International Film Festival By Betty Alvarez

Miami-bred actor, director and producer Andy Garcia returned to the Miami International Film Festival with his latest project, the World Premiere of Magic City Memoirs. This already sold out independent feature-length film directed, produced, written by and starring an ensemble cast and crew of Miami locals. Garcia serves as the film’s executive producer.

Magic City Memoirs is the story of three Miami high school friends-Milkey, Eric, and angle-who revel in their world of private school privilege and lax parental oversight while living large in the hip hop lifestyle of parties, fast cars, fast boats and easy sex. Miami director Aaron Salgado and producer J.D. Freixas capture the texture and energy of this pulse-pounding tropical paradise as only true insiders could. The cast included many locals and natives, including Garcia-Lorido, Nathalie Martinez (Detroit 1-8-7), Jordi Vilasuso (All My Children), and newcomers J.R. Villarreal and Mikey, Michael Cardelle as Eric and Andres Dominguez as Angel.

Photographs by Betty Alvarez copyright 2011

El Coto de Rioja Paella Parade celebration for MIFF’s Spanish Films by Betty Alvarez

In celebration of the Spanish films for this year’s Miami International Film Festival, distinguished guests gathered on a paella parade called “El Coto de Rioja” This tasting event took place under the stars at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens following the premiere of Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s Amador. Local celebrity chefs and restaurants united themselves for this 1st annual celebration. This paella tasting showcased their paella-making skills in the spirit of friendly competition. Contenders vied for titles in categories ranging from Prettiest, Most Creative, and Best Use of Ingredients to a Paella Pleaser.

A portion of the ticket proceeds went to MIFF education outreach. Invited guests mingled with lovers of Spanish Cinema and experienced the bold flavors of Spain’s signature dish, Paella alongside its signature wine from Spain’s Rioja wine leader.

Participating Restaurants included Casa Juancho, Happy Wine, Por Fin, Xixon and many more.

Photographs by Betty Alvarez copyright 2011

The Miami Institute for Age Management & Intervention Welcomed Dr. Phillip Craft to Miami’s Elite Group of Medical Providers

The MIAMI Institute for Age Management & Intervention (www.MIAMI-Institute.com) hosted a special evening in honor of acclaimed plastic surgeon, Dr. Phillip Craft. The MIAMI Institute welcomed Dr. Craft to the dynamic surgical team, on Wednesday, February 23rd, with an elegant cocktail soiree. To celebrate the newest addition, guests were greeted with the beautiful melodies of a harp and cello player from the Miami Symphony Orchestra as The MIAMI Institute opened its doors to the luxurious 9,000 square-foot facility for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided by Gourmand At Home.

Guests mingled while enjoying the libations and delicious hors d’oeuvres as they received an insider’s look at the spectacular facility and met with Miami’s “Dream Team” of anti-aging specialists. “Dr. Craft brings a new element to our leading-edge medical team,” says Julio F. Gallo, MD FACS, Medical Director of The MIAMI Institute. “His unique surgical skills and outstanding reputation in the industry makes Dr. Craft a most welcome addition to our team of physicians,” says Dr. Gallo.

New Cutting-Edge Procedures Now Available at The MIAMI Institute:

Stem-Cell Rejuvenation
The MIAMI Institute adds a Stem Cell practice to their roster of anti-aging technology – a process whereby the hidden genetic potential of adult stem cells is awakened – to enhance face lift and buttock lift procedures. By transplanting carefully harvested autologous fat, any potential for an allergic reaction is eliminated. These specific “Stem Cell Growth Factors” induce the skin and fatty layers to produce more of their own cells. The Factors stimulate or initiate “a signal” to both the local stem cells within the skin and fat as well as the transplanted adult stem cells from the lower abdomen to multiply and restore themselves.

NeoGraft TM Hair Restoration
The MIAMI Institute introduces the state-of-the-art solution for hair loss and the first minimally invasive FDA approved automated hair transplant system. NeoGraft TM is a revolutionary, patented hair transplant device that automates hair transplant procedures. Down time is minimal as each follicular unit graft is individually extracted from the donor area and is then transplanted to thin or bald areas.

Located in the prestigious Four Seasons® Hotel and Tower and led by internationally regarded facial plastic surgeon Dr. Julio F. Gallo, The MIAMI Institute is a surgical center and medical spa providing progressive medicine, advanced technology, and encompassing treatments that reverse the effects of aging. The Institute’s skilled staff of surgeons, dentists, internists, medical technicians, nutritionists and health education specialists is dedicated to providing patients with tailored services – including cosmetic surgery, age management therapies, aesthetics treatments, cosmetic dentistry services and wellness counseling – that help them look and feel their best as they grow older.
The luxurious 9,000 square-foot facility features two modern surgical suites furnished with the latest medical technology designed to meet the highest standards. If patients wish, The MIAMI Institute will make arrangements for their stay at the hotel’s luxury accommodations, providing them with ease and comfort in their recovery. To learn more about The MIAMI Institute for Age Management and Intervention, please visit www.MIAMI-Institute.com or 305-624-0009.

Photographs provided by Julio Kamara

John and Elaine Kanas Family Foundation Contributes $1 Million to United Way of Miami-Dade

United Way of Miami Dade has been presented with a $1 million donation from the John and Elaine Kanas Family Foundation. This gift represents the single largest individual unrestricted gift to the 2010 campaign, which will directly impact United Way’s work to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all Miami-Dade residents. The gift will be recognized at a reception with United Way board members and key supporters.

Kanas is chairman, president and CEO of BankUnited, the largest bank headquartered in Florida. In May 2009, he led a group of investors in purchasing the bank, and since then, has spent much of his time in South Florida, running the bank and getting to know the community.

“My family and I have spent a lot of time in South Florida since I became involved with BankUnited,” said Kanas. “As in many communities, there are not enough resources to meet the tremendous needs of underserved populations. We are honored to share this gift with an organization that is making such a difference in people’s lives.

“Childhood education is an important element of preparing tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and employees. We know this gift will create better futures for children in South Florida.”

Harve Mogul, president and CEO of United Way of Miami-Dade, added, “We are so very grateful to John and Elaine for this most generous unrestricted gift, which will have tremendous impact on thousands of lives in our community who depend on the work of United Way. This is an incredible example of the family’s philanthropic spirit.”

About United Way of Miami-Dade
United Way is working to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. We are focused on improving education, income and health – the building blocks for a good life. Our goal is to create long-lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place. We invest in quality programs, advocate for better policies, engage people in the community and generate resources. We invite you to join us in this work and LIVE UNITED. For more information, visit www.unitedwaymiami.org or www.facebook.com/UnitedWayMiami.

Photographs of the event