It’s time to explore The Palm Beaches with new focus. Grab your binoculars and trek south to north following our Palm Beach County scavenger hunt, all the while challenging yourself to spot 20 specific points of interest. Traverse through wildlife centers, museums, gardens, and other exciting attractions in this adventurous pursuit.

There are more than 1,100 golf courses in Florida, which makes Charles McGill’s Dilemma (2016) that much more fitting. Made from deconstructed golf bags and originally included in the late artist’s solo exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the artwork is now part of the museum’s permanent collection and examines race and class in golf.

Often described as exotic because of its flaming orange color, three black lines, and dagger-like tail, the ruddy daggerwing butterfly is seen year-round in South Florida, one of only two places in the United States that it calls home. Catch them fluttering about the grounds of the Daggerwing Nature Center in Western Boca Raton.

The Wick in Boca Raton recently unveiled its reimagined costume museum with Ascot!, a special exhibition featuring costumes from the original 1956 Broadway performance of My Fair Lady and on view through June 30. Julie Andrews originated the role of Eliza Doolittle on Broadway. Find the iconic ivory spaghetti-strap dress she wore when she first took the stage.

This past year, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach debuted its renovated Yamato-kan, the grounds’ original museum building that is modeled after a Japanese villa. One of the new elements is a theater that screens short documentaries. Take a seat and discover the history of the Yamato Colony, the Japanese farming community that settled in South Florida more than 100 years ago.

Nestled off Delray’s bustling Atlantic Avenue, Silverball Retro Arcade is a blast from the past with dozens of arcade games to choose from. One of the rarer pinball games is High Speed, released in 1986. Credited for revitalizing the pinball industry following a lull caused by video game consoles, High Speed features a state police chase theme. Travel back to the ’80s and take a shot at this arcade classic.

At the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center in Boynton Beach, meet Hannibal Dillingham Pierce, who served as an assistant keeper for the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse from 1872 to 1873. Knock on the door of the 15-foot lighthouse replica and an animatronic of Pierce will emerge to share stories about Florida’s pioneer days.

With an estimated 120 Florida Panthers left in the wild, Sassy is a beautiful sight. She was 6 months old when she arrived at the Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach in February 2016. Admire her prancing on the catwalk overhead, looking down on the flamingos in the Florida wetlands area.

For another wild encounter, head west to Loxahatchee and stop at Lion Country Safari. In late December, this drive-through zoo destination welcomed two new members to its giraffe herd: calves named Kandoro and Kianga. After exploring by car, go on foot at the Adventure Park and climb to the top of the extra-tall feeding platform to come face-to-face with the giraffes.

Minus a temporary removal during the Norton Museum of Art’s renovation, Dale Chihuly’s Persian Sea Life Ceiling has graced this West Palm hot spot since 2003. The art is comprised of 693 individual handblown pieces arranged on top of a glass plate. Look up to discover the underwater scene.

Slices of watermelon and bananas brighten up the staircase between True Food Kitchen and Sur La Table at The Square in West Palm Beach. Painted by husband-and-wife designers Benjamin Levy and Cinthia Santos (together known as Chalk & Brush), this mural offers a pop of colorful fruit among more than 2,000 linear feet of mural space at this dining, retail, and cultural destination.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Diana was originally commissioned as an 18 foot-tall weathervane for the tower of Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden. Another version inspired a series of six half-sized casts, one of which is now at The Society of the Four Arts on Palm Beach. Find Diana at the Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden, among 20 other sculptures.

The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea was established in Lake Worth in 1889 and consecrated at its current Palm Beach location in 1896. In the church’s Cluett Memorial Garden, a long cement pond is filled with orange and-black-speckled Japanese koi—and a 25-cent fish food dispenser stands at the ready.

Journey to the past in Henry Flagler’s private railcar, Railcar No. 91, which resides within the Flagler Kenan Pavilion at Palm Beach’s Flagler Museum. Flagler, who was a key figure in the development of Florida’s East Coast, rode this railcar to celebrate the completion of the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad in 1912.

Manatees. Sea cows. Teddy bears of the ocean. Regardless of what you call them, these gentle herbivores average 1,300 pounds in weight and 14 feet in length. Learn more about them and count how many are in view while at the Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center in West Palm Beach.

Purple manta rays, bright blue sea turtles, and polka-dotted eels swim around the Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s virtual underwater ecosystem reef. Using the interactive digital reef (which debuted last year at the renovated center in Juno Beach), create a one-of-a-kind creature, watch it swim on the screen, and learn about the roles of prominent Atlantic species in ocean ecosystems.

There’s never a dull moment in the world of Shakespeare. The Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival will return in 2023 to stage Measure for Measure, with performances at Carlin Park in Jupiter July 6-16 and Commons Park in Royal Palm Beach July 20-23. Watch as Duke Vincentio temporarily transfers the government of Vienna to his deputy Angelo, who eagerly begins strict enforcement of the laws. Listen for one of the play’s most famous lines: “Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure. Like doth quit like, and Measure still for Measure.”

The team at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter has saved countless sick, injured, and orphaned animals. Many are released back into the wild, and some find a permanent home at the sanctuary. One such refugee is Arvy the brown pelican, who missed her migration window and was stranded in Connecticut during the winter. A mother-daughter pilot team rescued and flew her to Busch, where she underwent surgeries to remove the frostbite from her feet. Go say hello to Arvy, who now lives with her fellow water birds.

Jupiter’s Riverbend Park is a popular spot for nearly every outdoor activity—biking, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and even horseback riding. It’s also home to the Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park, a 60-acre dedication to the Seminole and U.S. Forces’ Second Seminole War Battles of 1838. Find this historic site, which includes markers for Powell’s Battle, Jesup’s Battle, and the Tree of Tears.

Visit the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse for one of The Palm Beaches’ most authentic views. How far can the eye see from atop? Weather pending, try to spot these views. North: Tequesta to the Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex dish antennas. South: Juno Beach high-rises on A1A; some days Singer Island. West: Loxahatchee River up to Pennock Point. East: Approximately 14 miles out to the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean and ships passing by.

Witness the county’s most beautiful sunset at Pine Glades Natural Area in Jupiter. The 6,651-acre wetland is the perfect place to end the day. Arrive early to watch hundreds of birds fly to roost for the evening. Then catch the sunset reflect against the calm waters and tally how many alligators have come to savor the scene too.

Meet the Cultural Council’s 2022 Artist Innovation Fellows

Last year, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County presented grants to six female creatives as part of its Artist Innovation Fellowship Program. Started in 2020 and now in its second iteration, the program aims to champion Palm Beach County–based artists by supporting their professional endeavors. On July 20, the fellows will share their projects in a performance showcase and group exhibition (on view through September 9) at the Cultural Council’s headquarters in Lake Worth Beach. Here, they discuss what they’ve been working on and what the fellowship has meant to them.

Yvette Norwood-Tiger, Musician

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 12 ½ years

Her project: “My project is a recorded tribute to bebop music. Upon learning the history of this subgenre of jazz, I realized that many of the songs composed during that era had no lyrics. Although I enjoy listening to bebop, I felt it would be fitting, as a vocalist and songwriter, to create lyrics for the songs that I selected for the CD. The art of adding lyrics to jazz songs that were recorded and performed as instrumentals is known as vocalese.”

What the fellowship means to her: “This is the very first fellowship that I have received. It is quite an honor to have the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County present me with the freedom of expression that will expand my knowledge and creativity in music.”



Henriett Michel, Visual Artist

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 22 years

Her project: “My project is focused on the transformative process inherent to mixed-media creations. I’ve always been interested in exploring different uses and combinations of traditional and nontraditional materials like resin, clay, cement, wood, wire, and glass. The fusion process itself—the way things give, take, and transform into something new altogether fascinates me. I’m also combining 2D wall art and 3D sculpture mediums through the female subject to explore how these mixed materials and mediums communicate with each other and can influence different meanings within the subject itself.”

What the fellowship means to her: “This fellowship has allowed me to focus on my growth as an artist by focusing on a single project without disruptions of other work due to the financial support awarded to me. I’ve also experienced the incredible gift of immense community growth in both size and support through this fellowship journey.”

Shanique Scott, Choreographer

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 40 years

Her project: “This piece is called Breathe. [It] comprises lyrical and modern choreography that is used interchangeably throughout the piece. Amid the pandemic and other challenges these past few years, this work has allowed me to ‘breathe’ again. Although [I was] a bit indecisive at times of what this piece of work would actually become in the end, all in all, it’s going well, and I am excited for the outcome.”

What the fellowship means to her: “Receiving this fellowship has allowed me to take time to explore the growth of my creativity. I can think, breathe, and create with ease during this process, in which normally I am accustomed to meeting deadlines. I am so grateful to receive such an honor.”

Elizabeth Dimon, Performer

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 33 years

Her project: “My project went through some changes, but I’m happy with where it is ending up. I chose four songs from four decades of the Great American Songbook and am interweaving the recordings I made of them with video from the time periods, world events from the ’20s through the ’50s.”

What the fellowship means to her: “When I first received the call that I got the fellowship, I was immediately thrust into imposter syndrome. Then that morphed into floundering as to how I could do what I wanted to do, and that segued into the epiphany that I am a collaborator at heart. Once I brought in other people to create with me, I knew where I was and got grounded again. This fellowship let me be a creator. It gave me the confidence to let my creative self take charge.”

Kianga Jinaki, Visual Artist

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 37 years

Her project: “This project continues the theme of celebrating Black life and culture that has dominated my work. The art quilts, dolls, and mixed-media works that I’m creating reflect an expansion of my storytelling style. This work marries my signature style with new techniques and approaches that reflect my growth as an artist.”

What the fellowship means to her: “Receiving this fellowship has meant having the freedom, time, and opportunity to grow my art practice beyond what I had been able to do on my own. My ‘What if I…’ thought for my art practice has been given wings.”

Carin Wagner, Visual Artist

Has lived in Palm Beach County for: 29 years

Her project: “My journey to photograph and paint the endangered trees of the United States started about four years ago. Since then, I have had communication with scientists, botanists, ecologists, authors, science writers, arboretums, and so many wonderful people who care for and fight for the trees. It has been an enlightening experience. I have photographed 22 trees in wildly diverse locations, which will be represented in my ghost forest.”

What the fellowship means to her: “The Artist Innovation Fellowship provided the initial funds to bring the ghost forest to life on large silk banners. Most importantly, it has fostered the sense of support from my community that helps me to continue this very labor-intensive and hopeful process.”

Extra Q&A with Fellows

A&C asked one extra question of each of the six Fellows: “What’s your favorite place to unwind?”


Elizabeth Dimon: “What’s unwind? Ha! What I do for a living is fun (most of the time, even in a drama), so the idea of unwinding is not what it might be for others. I think my favorite thing is to host dinners in my home. I love having friends in, talking, laughing, eating, and spending time together. But I also love to sit by any body of water. It’s a great perspective maker.”


Kianga Jinaki: “For fun and frolic, the Norton Museum of Art (Art After Dark is just my favorite). For my morning walks, it’s Kelsey Park. Just to clear my head, the municipal beach on Singer Island.”


Henriett Michel: “Mounts Botanical Gardens is my No. 1 place to unwind and seek restoration in Palm Beach County. I find communing with plants in nature calms my mind and inspires my artistic creativity. Mounts hosts such a diverse variety of plant life, both native and exotic to Florida, that is tough to find anywhere else.”


Yvette Norwood-Tiger: “Lake Worth Beach.”


Shanique Scott: “My favorite place to unwind is The Square, following a superb show at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.”


Carin Wagner: “Riverbend Park is one of my favorite places to unwind locally. You can almost always see deer or squirrels on a walk, and the old live oaks are just beautiful.”

Collector Regan Rohde supports emerging artists and is on a quest to bring new voices to the local arts community.

As any Floridian knows, there’s ample inspiration to be found in the water. For Regan Rohde, who relocated to West Palm Beach from Chicago two years ago, inspiration struck while she was swimming some morning laps in her condominium’s pool. A woman nearby was bemoaning the misguided notion that the area was devoid of culture. Still a newcomer, Rohde took that surprising statement to heart and began brainstorming ways to bring new galleries and artists to Palm Beach County.

In December 2021, Rohde launched Arts & Conversations, with the goal of growing the local cultural community and demystifying the art world for collectors from all walks of life. For the 2021-22 season, Rohde invited four galleries (Kavi Gupta Gallery, Patron Gallery, and Engage Projects out of Chicago, as well as Moskowitz Bayse from Los Angeles) to bring curated selections to Studio 1608 on West Palm Beach’s Antique Row, kicking off each exhibition with an opening night salon and discussions with the gallerists, art world luminaries, and the artists themselves.

“Because of COVID I couldn’t bring dancers down, I couldn’t bring opera down, but I could bring young gallerists who have young emerging artists,” says Rohde. “Why not introduce them to this market and see how that works? It was really thrilling to me to have an idea and figure out how to help them in a meaningful way—not just a handout but through encouraging them to show their art.”

The opening night salons proved to be so popular that they soon moved into the gallery’s parking lot. Rohde also partnered with the restaurant next door, Table 26, enabling attendees to continue conservations with the speakers and forge relationships with fellow art lovers.

Rohde’s role as founder of Arts & Conversations is just the latest chapter in her personal narrative, which includes time spent as a professional ballet dancer, an actor, and a philanthropist. Throughout it all, art has remained a constant theme. She recalls the Impressionist art in her childhood home, as well as exploring museums, churches, and mosques with her parents on summer trips near and far. Currently, Rohde is part of the Emerge group at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago—which furthers the museum’s mission primarily through acquisitions of works by artists not already represented in its permanent collection—and she has also joined the Contemporary and Modern Art Council (CMAC) at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.

Her personal art collection is an exciting grouping of international artists, with a strong representation of women. When curating for her home, she gives significant consideration to how the works relate to one another. “I feel that art has to be in conversation, especially if you are in an open space,” she says. “What pieces talk to each other? What pieces work [together]? What’s the energy of the artist? That’s very important to me.”

Rohde identifies a cultural trip to Cuba with the Art Institute of Chicago as a pivotal moment in her collecting journey. One day, she broke away from the group and encountered artist Daylene Rodríguez Moreno. One of Moreno’s photographs in particular spoke to Rohde. Entitled Broken Dreams, the heartrending image depicts an old woman whose face shows her years and the signs of dashed hopes. The glass fragments incorporated into the frame are a metaphor for the shattered dreams that might have been.


Born in 1978, Moreno lives and works in Havana. She approaches photography with a sensitive eye, creating intimate black-and-white images that offer insight into how the subject’s origins or circumstances have deterred their promise or the possibility of fulfillment. Broken Dreams, which now hangs in a guest room in Rohde’s West Palm Beach apartment, was the first work Moreno sold outside of Cuba. Just before COVID, Rohde also helped Moreno gain gallery representation in Boston.

“Translating her letter, I learned that she had taken her first vacation because I had bought a piece of her work. That’s transformative,” says Rohde. “The emerging artists market is for me because it hits all the whistles that I’m passionate about. I think if women don’t help other women there’s a problem. I don’t just collect female artists, but I think it is very important that you lend a hand if you can.”

Another woman represented in Rohde’s collection is Lalla Essaydi, a Moroccan artist born in 1956. Essaydi’s Moroccan roots, her years spent in Saudi Arabia, and her studies in Paris and Boston, where she now lives, have given her a global perspective on her own cultural background and experience growing up in an Arab society, especially as it concerns the role and perception of women in the Arab world. She likes to set her models in traditional surroundings to emphasize the private spaces that women are culturally required to inhabit. Her work also boasts elements of the Hurufiyya movement in which artists manipulate traditional calligraphy to express a unique visual dialogue within contemporary Arabic art.

Essaydi’s Bullets Revisited #34 caught Rohde’s attention while she was picking up another artist’s work at the Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York. “Lalla’s [photograph] was peeking around the corner from me as I was discussing prices,” Rohde recalls. “I just could not take my eyes off her. So that was that. She found a home, and I loved her story.”

The image centers on a young Moroccan woman curled up on a bed. She dons a dress featuring a stylized Arabic calligraphy (typically created by men), which also covers her face and arms as a form of henna (a tradition carried out by women). Her gaze is directed at the viewer. The “bullets” referred to in the title are bullet shells Essaydi painstakingly cut into squares, pierced, and threaded together to form a heavy, glistening woven fabric. Each of these elements and the subject matter of her photographs fuse the influences of Eastern cultural symbols and the fantasy imagery of Western Orientalist painters such as Jean-Léon Gérôme, Eugène Delacroix, and John Singer Sargent. Bullets Revisited #34 is currently on view at the Norton Museum of Art through November 6 as part of a 10-year retrospective on Essaydi’s work called Lalla Essaydi: Un/Veiled.

In contrast to the carefully defined and detailed photographs by Essaydi and Moreno, American artist Grace Weaver (born 1989) uses thick paintbrushes to depict chubby-limbed, pink-skinned women in bold, broad, and unrefined loose strokes. Despite the differences in technique and medium, these artists share a similar theme: observing women in solitary moments, each in their own distinct world.

Weaver is represented at James Cohan Gallery in New York, and Rohde had already acquired a piece by her, Crying Up, before attempting to purchase another. “I had been following Grace for a few years,” says Rohde. “She sells very quickly, and when I tried unsuccessfully to get more of her work, I asked to reserve a piece before Miami Basel opened. She is evolving, and every collection is different. I believe she is one to follow.”

Untitled Woman (Weaver’s 2021 painting that is now part of Rohde’s collection) is a departure from her more cartoon-like work. Thinly applied bright colors pop against a dark background, and gone are the confining black outlines Weaver previously placed around her figures. The young, blond-haired woman casts a glance as she jogs across the large canvas. The painting is part of a series, 11 Women, wherein Weaver situated the titular figures in what she calls the “theater of public life.” Despite the hubbub around them, these women are alone. This sense of isolation is one most of us have become all too familiar with during the COVID era. The evening runs through empty city streets Weaver and her husband took at the height of the pandemic—and the eerie atmosphere they encountered—served as inspiration for the series.

“The scale is fabulous, and I only had one wall to accommodate her,” Rohde says of the piece. “But I trusted my eye when I saw her in person.”

This trust in her eye has served her well. When acquiring art, Rohde doesn’t set out with an agenda. Rather, she collects what she likes and does her homework. Her curiosity is not only reflected in her personal art collection, but in the Arts & Conversations series she shares with her new community in South Florida. The programming will continue this winter—and so will Rohde’s education.

Professional street artist and mural-maker Bulk Styles details his practice for painting South Florida’s walls

After spending years making a name for himself as part of the Miami Style Graffiti (MSG) crew, muralist Bulk Styles’ work now dots the walls of many Palm Beach County restaurants, businesses, and galleries. In addition to painting, Bulk also contributes his time to speaking with local students about how street art can have a positive impact in their lives. Bulk spoke with A&C about his process, developing his art into a business, and more from his Jupiter studio.


A&C: Your work can be found at many restaurants, breweries, and arts districts throughout Palm Beach County. What’s your approach to securing new work and commissions?


Bulk: I’ve been fortunate enough to where I’ve had really good opportunities at a lot of awesome places here. It’s really word of mouth, and that’s why it’s so centralized here. But I did that on purpose, you know? I think a lot of [other artists] say to branch out and stuff, and my goal was to kind of keep it a little tighter. With every new project, I take the same approach: I listen to the clients, figure out what the vibe is, and begin by making them feel like they’re a part of the project.



What part does preparation play in your process of painting a new mural?


After the client approves a design, I go through a checklist of all the paint I need. I start packing a few days before the job. I get all my colors together, make sure I have everything. The night before, I pack my truck up. I’m usually starting jobs super early in the morning, as early as 4 a.m., because of the heat. I realized not too long ago that the more I was preparing, the better my work was getting. It’s just the structure of the job that I needed to learn. However, the actual painting is the last thing I want to prepare for. I want to be present for that.



What are you most looking forward to on the day of painting?


[Bulk laughs] Finishing. When you’re working and you show up to a job, I’ll just say that there are days I have not wanted to paint. But you have to do it, right? And you have to dig deep. There’s no such thing as a block, not feeling it, not being inspired. It does become “paint by numbers.” A lot of people might think that’s funny, that it seems so structured for art, but it’s the way I get those end results.


When do you consider a piece to be done?


When a piece is done for a client, it’s when it looks like what you offered them in design. When it’s a painting that I do for myself, none of them are ever done. … Art’s so broad that I respect anybody who’s like, “That’s exactly what it is, and it’s done for me.” But for me? No. I could always revisit pieces at any time. Even when I sign [my work], I have difficulty. It’s like, the signing does feel very final, and I don’t want my work to be final.


What’s your least favorite part of the process?


Talking about money… because you have to make sure that if you don’t place your value on yourself, others will absolutely do that for you.



Do you see yourself as a commercial artist or a fine artist who commissions his work?


I’m just me. I’ve always just kept the mentality of “I want to paint.” I’ll paint that restaurant. I’ll paint that wall for that business. You can have one of my canvases for your home. I’ll do your back patio. I just want to paint.


Extra Q&A with Bulk Styles



A&C: How do you balance your work life as Bulk Styles the street artist with your personal life?


Bulk Styles: My work defines me personally, so I’m not afraid to say that’s what I identify with. If i’m not constantly producing, what am I doing? That’s what I should be doing all the time. But…there’s also a part of me that doesn’t have to paint all the time. I like to play golf. I might try and think about work sometimes while playing, and then remind myself “Just play. Ready? Next shot.” It helps me put things on hold.


Where do you get your supplies?


Easel Art Supply Center in Lake Park has been my home base forever. They carry my paint. I know other people buy it, but I think they’ve kept it from me. They’re wonderful…a real family. I will go there and be like a kid in a candy store and tell them “10 of those, five of these, six of those.” [Bulk laughs] What does it matter? I’m gonna use it.


Do you enjoy working as part of a crew of artists?


I know that when we get together, we’re gonna have a great time and it’s gonna be beautiful, amazing work that we want to do. We’re getting work up and exercising creativity and putting something good out there in the world. That’s what most important because you don’t take nothing with you.

We catch up with one of the founders of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival

Karen Fuller credits a public-school band program for igniting her love of the flute. Since relocating to South Florida in 1988, Fuller has shared that love and her talent as a member of numerous orchestras, including the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, The Symphonia Boca Raton, and the Miami City Ballet in The Palm Beaches’ Opus One Orchestra.



In 1992, in response to the dearth of summer performance opportunities, Fuller, bassoonist Michael Ellert, and clarinetist Michael Forte founded the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival. Now in its thirty-first season, the festival takes place every July in intimate venues across the county. Here, A&C chats with Fuller about the festival, its programming, and how to be an attentive audience member., 561.547.1070


A&C: How does the fact that musicians are deciding the programming impact what the festival presents?


Fuller: We survey our musicians and say, “Send us your wish list.” We take all of that and then try to make sure that our programming is audience-friendly. Usually, we choose a big anchor piece for each program that we know is going to be something our audiences [will] enjoy—either an important string quartet by Beethoven, a Brahms piano trio, or a Dvorak quintet, something like that. We always try to have music that classical music fans are going be excited to hear, but we also try to incorporate things that are a little off the beaten path. It’s funny because a number of times we’ve had audience members come up to us and say, “Well, I really came to the concert to hear the Beethoven string quartet, but my favorite piece was [the] unusual piece.” Our audiences have come to trust us. We always try to have a balance between repertoire that we know our audience wants to hear and repertoire that we’re interested in playing.


Is there a composer you wish was more well-known?


We did a focus on women composers, and there are a couple of female composers [whom] I particularly like. There’s a quintet for flute and strings by Amy Beach that’s an absolutely wonderful piece, and that’s actually on one of our albums. There’s another woman, Louise Farrenc, who also wrote in this very beautiful and romantic style. She wrote beautiful, beautiful pieces, and I have a list of some that I’d like to do.


If someone has never attended a chamber music performance before, what would you say to try to convince them to go to one?


One of the things that I love about chamber music and about the format that we use is that it’s very intimate. We do it in small venues, and we don’t have written program notes. For each piece, one of the musicians will announce what the piece is and give some background on the composer. You get a very up-close view of the musicians and what they’re doing because of the small size of our venues. We always have a little reception after, so you have an opportunity to speak to the musicians and ask them questions. If you’ve never been to a classical music concert, there’s nothing intimidating about it at all. It’s very warm, welcoming, and personal.


What tips would you give an audience member to help them enhance their listening experience?


The first thing is that if you know what the program is ahead of time, listen to the music before you go to the concert. One of the things that I think is so enjoyable about listening to music is when you have some familiarity with it. I just played a Beatles pops concert in Sarasota, and I knew every single one of those tunes. I could sing along, and it was just so fun because it was so familiar. You can have that experience with classical music as well. So, if there is one piece on the program that you can choose to listen to before you go to the concert, then when you get to hear the live performance, it just gives you a little extra appreciation.

[Also,] I know from non-musician friends and audience members, one of the things that they enjoy so much is being able to not only listen to the music, but the experience of watching the musicians and watching what they’re doing during the performance, how they’re interacting with each other. Make sure that you choose a seat where you can really see because that is part of the experience of live music. It’s not just listening but watching and experiencing the musicians actually making the music.

Extra Q&A with Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival


A&C:How did you come to choose the flute as your instrument?

Karen Fuller: I actually started on the piano when I was 6 years old. I loved it, but honestly, I just was not the most gifted pianist. I had to work pretty hard for an average result. When I was around 10, I had the opportunity to try a wind instrument and I started on the clarinet. I liked the mellow sound of the clarinet, and I played the clarinet for about three months and realized that it was not for me. Fortunately, my parents were very flexible. So, when I said, “I actually don’t want to play the clarinet after all, I want to try the flute,” they said sure. I started playing the flute and just fell in love and have been doing that ever since. It was definitely the result of a wonderful public school band program that got me started. I did go back to the piano when I was in high school because I knew that I wanted to go to music school for college and I needed to have some piano proficiency. So, I did go back to the piano, but the flute was always a more natural fit for me.


What was the original inspiration behind starting the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival?

We were all working orchestra musicians and there was nothing happening in the summer. Every year, our summers just stretched before us as this big, empty void. A couple of colleagues from the Palm Beach Opera and I decided that if we were going to keep performing in the summer, we were going to have to figure it out for ourselves. That first summer, we tapped a number of our colleagues and just said, “We don’t have any money, but do you want to get together and play some chamber music?” We had a friend, Lee Bell, who was at the Kravis Center for many years, but before that he was at the Duncan Theatre in Lake Worth. He allowed us to use their little recital hall for free, and we advertised in the free calendar listings in the Palm Beach Post. We laugh when we look back now [because] when we were backstage before our first concert, we were imagining that the only people in the audience were going to be Michael Forte’s, our clarinetist, parents. But, it had about a hundred seats, and when we came out, it was packed.


Do you have a personal favorite composer or style of music?

I love the French repertoire, and we’ve done a lot of wonderful pieces by French composers. It’s funny, I always discover that as soon as I start delving into a piece by either a familiar or unfamiliar composer, I always end up loving it. Just through the act of studying, practicing, and rehearsing it, you come to really appreciate it on such a level [that] it’s hard for me to pick a favorite.


What insight or tips would you share with young aspiring professional musicians looking to work in South Florida?

It’s very challenging. Young musicians these days, there is a lot more pressure on them to be entrepreneurial. We did do that with the Chamber Music Festival 30 years ago; we created our little summer concert series, but none of us have gotten rich off of doing that. Ever since our second season, we have paid our musicians, but it really is a labor of love on all of our parts. To actually make a living here in South Florida, where there’s no full-time orchestra, you really have to have that entrepreneurial spirit. You’ve got to find teaching opportunities. You’ve got to contact everyone you know in order to find performance opportunities. You’ve got to create your own performance opportunities. You have to be prepared to maybe do some other things on the side while you’re getting things up and running for yourself. But if you’re really, really determined, you can definitely make a way for yourself.

With summer vacation upon us, parents are faced with the predicament of filling languid days with activities—and making sure the kids are fed along the way. Lucky for local families and those visiting the area, Palm Beach County is packed with cultural organizations, cool activities, and wonderful restaurants that are suitable for kids of all ages. Here, we highlight five landmarks and offer tips from area moms about how to structure your day around that destination.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum


One of The Palm Beaches’ most iconic destinations, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum is a beacon of cultural fun in North County. The historic 1860 lighthouse is the centerpiece of a campus that also includes the Tindall Pioneer Homestead, the Keeper’s Workshop, and the Seminole Chickee, so there are ample opportunities for kids to learn about the lives of some of Florida’s earliest settlers. In addition, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area covers 120 acres of native habitats and boasts a hiking trail. The lighthouse hosts tours and special programming, including locally beloved sunset and moonrise tours. If you’re planning on climbing the lighthouse, keep in mind that children must be at least 48 inches tall to do so., 561.747.8380

All this activity is sure to work up an appetite, and there is no shortage of great dining in the area. Cristyle Egitto, a mom of two and the foodie influencer behind @eatpalmbeach, recommends stopping for a picnic lunch of hot dogs and waffle fries at Dune Dog Café. Angela Cruz, a mom of one and the blogger behind @angelacruztube, suggests The Burger Shack at Lighthouse Cove, which has a marine-themed playground that toddlers will love, as well as cornhole and mini-golf for older children and adults.

Christen Thompson


“Lynora’s serves classic Italian dishes, including authentic wood-oven pizzas. It is one of the best Italian restaurants in South Florida, and the atmosphere is elevated casual, perfect for dining out after a visit to the Jupiter Lighthouse.”


Cristyle Egitto


“Book a paddle-boarding adventure for the family and enjoy the waterways of Jupiter with Blueline Surf & Paddle, then grab a scoop of ice cream or a Pumphouse coffee at Cones & Coffee.”


Monique Boothe


“Jetty’s is one of my favorite restaurants to go to after visiting the Jupiter Lighthouse. You can see the lighthouse while enjoying dinner on the water’s edge.”


Palm Beach Zoo

What’s not to love about the Palm Beach Zoo? Not only is it home to hundreds of animals, but it also has a play pavilion where kids can unleash their wild sides and a fountain where they can cool off—so don’t forget their bathing suits! A great addition to any visit is one of the zoo’s animal experiences, which give kids and parents some up-close time with otters, tortoises, sloths, and flamingos. (These experiences must be reserved and come at an additional cost to regular zoo admission.) Perhaps best of all: The zoo neighbors the Cox Science Center and Aquarium, and visitors can purchase a Dual Discovery Pass to gain access to both., 561.547.9453

The zoo and science center are both located at Dreher Park, so start your exploration there before venturing out to other area attractions. Many of our moms recommended The Square, a dining and shopping center in downtown West Palm Beach where you can find an interactive fountain and a beautiful Wishing Tree sculpture. Michelle Olson-Rogers, the mom of one behind @modernbocamom, also suggests visiting the Norton Museum of Art, which mounts kid-friendly exhibitions and hosts a free Art After Dark event every Friday night, complete with live music, art workshops, and more.


Christen Thompson


“Grandview Public Market is a food hall in West Palm Beach that serves food from different vendors and has live music on the weekends.”


Angela Cruz


“I want my son to be aware of the world around him, so I recommend Rohi’s Readery, a children’s bookstore dedicated to literacy that promotes inclusivity and diversity. Since I am biracial, I especially want my toddler’s library to be filled with books featuring characters reflective of multiple cultures and ethnicities.”


Cristyle Egitto


“Let the kids run around Dreher Park before heading into the Palm Beach Zoo or science center. Enjoy lunch or a baked-good treat at Aioli on the Dixie Corridor then take a walk along Antique Row to visit the shops and find a few treasures.”


Yesteryear Village


Experience Palm Beach County’s living history at Yesteryear Village in West Palm Beach. At this 10-acre park at the South Florida Fairgrounds—open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.—interpreters share stories about what life was like in South Florida before 1940. The site includes a school, a blacksmith shop, a farm, several houses, and a general store. Yesteryear Village hosts many summer programs and accommodates field trips and large groups. On Thursdays in June, visitors are invited to step back in time with special presenters, demonstrations, and hands-on activities. Then, on Fridays in July, city kids can experience the farm with animal interactions and more., 561.795.3110

While out west in Palm Beach County, continue on to Lion Country Safari, a drive-through safari and adventure park where you can feed giraffes and play around in the Safari Splash Sprayground. The Village of Wellington is also nearby, and its amphitheater is the site of community events such as free concerts and family movies. Wellington’s Scott’s Place Playground is barrier-free and an ideal spot for children of all abilities to play. Christen Thompson, a mom of two and the co-owner of @palmbeachmomcollective, also suggests the Mall at Wellington Green, which has the always popular Build-A-Bear.


Angela Cruz


“A safe bet for any and all ages is Royal Palm Beach Commons Park, about 4 miles away from Yesteryear Village. With two age-appropriate playscapes and lively events, this is our family’s go-to place for playdates with toddler friends and fellow parents.”


Cristyle Egitto


“Let the kids run around Dreher Park before heading into the Palm Beach Zoo or science center. Enjoy lunch or a baked-good treat at Aioli on the Dixie Corridor then take a walk along Antique Row to visit the shops and find a few treasures.”


Delray Beach Art Trail

The City of Delray Beach is regarded as one of the most creative and visually stimulating in The Palm Beaches. Explore it all and get the kids moving by tackling the Delray Beach Art Trail. Coordinated by the Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority, the art trail connects more than 150 installations, murals, galleries, studios, and cultural centers, so it’s a great way to expose budding Picassos to the vibrant art in their own backyard. Take a self-guided tour and scan QR codes by each artwork to learn more about them. Mark your calendars for the last First Friday Art Walk of the season (slated for May 6) and visit the trail’s website for more details on a new scavenger hunt adventure.

The Delray Beach Art Trail traverses the city’s bustling downtown, so you’re never far from something to do or an excellent place to eat. Our moms love the new Delray Beach Market, which has a bevy of culinary options and frequently offers family-centric events. You’re also right near the city’s waterfront and a public beach, so grab a bite from the market or one of Atlantic Avenue’s other amazing restaurants before hitting the sand. Finally, be sure to make some time to peruse the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, which shares local Black history and culture through captivating exhibitions and programming.


Michelle Olson-Rogers


“Head to The Girls, which is a little farther west in Delray. What started out primarily as a strawberry U-pick has morphed into a fun family destination with lush gardens and beautiful grounds that feature swans, exotic birds, a petting zoo, and more. We especially love feeding the goats.”


Angela Cruz


“You’ll find a unique experience at Silverball Retro Arcade. It’s rare to find a museum that allows you to touch the artifacts on display, but at Silverball, it’s par for the course. While you play with working classic pinball machines, you can enjoy drinks and food from the bar as you revel in nostalgia.”


Cristyle Egitto


“Don’t miss the welcoming entry dancing pineapple mural and gateway of Pineapple Grove. Walk Atlantic Avenue, choose from a selection of food and beverage options at Delray Beach Market, and pop into Nomad Surf Shop.”


Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

Learn about South Florida’s marine wildlife and coastal ecosystems at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. Nestled across 20 acres on a protected barrier island, Gumbo Limbo has aquariums, a boardwalk, a butterfly garden, and a sea turtle rehabilitation facility. At the nature center, kids of all ages can discover the natural world around them. In the late summer, Gumbo Limbo hosts sea turtle hatchling releases that give participants an experiential lesson in the life cycles of these unique creatures. Heads up: These evening events are popular and sell out fast, so be sure to secure your tickets in advance., 561.544.8605

Most of our moms—including Monique Boothe, a mom of two and the blogger behind @momlifeandmonique—suggest pairing your visit to Gumbo Limbo with a stop at a local park. Olson-Rogers says Spanish River Park is one of the best. “Boca has really been embracing the arts lately and invested in beautifying the beach tunnels that run under A1A at Spanish River with original murals by local artists,” she says. “It’s a remarkable sight to see as you walk through these tunnels to the ocean. Spanish River also has a wonderful playground for the kids and plenty of picnic areas with charcoal grills.”


Michelle Olson-Rogers


“Head to southeast Boca to visit the town’s signature pink plaza, Mizner Park. With shops, restaurants, IPIC Theaters, and the Boca Raton Museum of Art, there’s no lack of dining and entertainment options for your family. Mizner Park also has free lawn games like giant chess and mini golf to play and even one of those big Adirondack chairs to take photos in.”


Angela Cruz


“Just under 5 miles away from Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is Sugar Sand Park. This spectacular destination is enough to keep your children entertained for hours! There’s a huge park with a massive playground featuring engaging activities and even a splash pad in the middle. There’s a free science center on-site perfect for ages 5-12 called the Children’s Science Explorium.”


Monique Boothe


“We love to stop by Red Reef Park. The beach is beautiful. My boys love it!”


Meet Our Photographer

Based in West Palm Beach, Rachel Mayo is a mother of two who specializes in family and lifestyle photography. “My family and I enjoy doing just about anything that involves water, from fishing, going to the beach, or searching for manatees in the winter season,” says Mayo. “We also have fun exploring museums and any place that teaches us about our environment and the world.” @rachelinthelight


Additional Suggestions from the Moms

Palm Beach Zoo

Christen Thompson, @palmbeachmomcollective


For a cool diner vibe, Howley’s was established in 1950. Their menu offers classic diner fare, and this would be a great stop for brunch before visiting the zoo or science museum, or lunch afterwards.”

Angela Cruz, @angelacruztube

“I am obsessed with The Square West Palm Beach so much, I’m there practically every weekend. My toddler loves the Wishing Tree and the interactive fountain area, and I love the ambiance—it feels so upscale, modern, and European, and is less than 4 miles from the Cox Science Center and Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society. I take all my visitors there for dining and shopping, and there’s always some fun activity happening.”

Yesteryear Village

Christen Thompson, @palmbeachmomcollective


“For a quick, classic lunch, Habit Burger Grill serves char burgers, patty melts, salads, and creamy milkshakes. Another great lunch option after visiting Yesteryear Village is Bolay, where you can build your own bowl from a variety of fresh ingredients like roasted veggies, proteins, and greens.”

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

Christen Thompson, @palmbeachmomcollective


“For a delicious lunch or dinner, try Louie Bossi’s for classic Italian fare like pasta, bread, and gelato that are made in-house, as well as daily happy hour and Saturday and Sunday brunch.”

Michelle Olson-Rogers, @modernbocamom


“Located in central Boca Raton, Patch Reef Park features tennis courts and a fitness trail for the whole family. However, the Pirate Playground is the real draw, in my opinion. In addition to the cool pirate theme, it has soft ground cover just like Spanish River Park and a splash pad for children to easily find relief from the hot South Florida sun.”

Cristyle Egitto, @eatpalmbeach


“Enjoy a healthy meal on the go with an acai bowl stacked with fresh fruit from Playa Bowls or fresh ahi tuna over sushi rice from Poke Joe on your way to or from Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. Walk the beach at the nearby Red Reef Park or take the kids for a run around the playgrounds at Hughes, Lake Wyman, or Rutherford Park.”

White Out

As the gallery director of DTR Modern Gallery on Palm Beach, Bryan Walsh spends his days surrounded by amazing artworks and getting to know the artists behind them. These relationships have informed the type of art he displays in his own home in West Palm Beach’s historic Flamingo Park neighborhood, including the bright white contemporary sculptures in his garden.


A&C: How did you go about curating this collection and what are some highlights?


Walsh: Apart from Keith Haring, I have met all the artists and have forged friendships with them. It makes their works even more special. The big heart sculpture, Big Love, was a wedding gift from the artist Rainer Lagemann. It was the focal point on the stage at the wedding, and now every day I get to look at it in my garden. It brings me joy every single day.

Once an artist’s work speaks to me it becomes a chain reaction. In the garden I have larger outdoor sculptures, but inside the house you’ll find small works by each of these artists as well. When I first
started collecting, everything was very traditional and classical, both in painting and sculpture. Since my taste has evolved, everything is modern and contemporary. My house is a 1925, Spanish-style house with the character and charm of that design, and with the juxtaposition of the contemporary sculptures it works quite beautifully.


Why the emphasis on white?


It is quite intentional that all the sculptures are white because when I entertain, I like to do lighting, and you can transform a white sculpture into any color sculpture you want by putting a colored lens over the light. Let’s say you’re doing a Valentine’s party and you want to have hot pink or red, you can do that with the lighting. Anytime I do a dinner party in the dining pavilion it’s magical to see the sculptures illuminated in the background. It adds to the ambience. The white lends a cohesion to the collection even though they are very different styles. The green tropical foliage as a backdrop allows the sculptures to pop.


What maintenance issues are there in having outdoor sculpture in Florida?


The main thing that I look for in any of the sculptures in my collection is that they can be sustainable in Florida’s humid and really wet environment. Most of the sculptures are aluminum with either powder coating or paint, or stainless steel with a powdered coat so they can endure the elements. Sculptures made of a medium that is not corrosive are pretty easy to maintain. [They typically] just require occasional washing and then some of the works require a light waxing.

Labor of Love

A highly regarded entrepreneur and businessman, John Sculley’s career included stints as president of PepsiCo and CEO of Apple during the 1980s and early ’90s, followed by investments in a string of tech companies. His wife, Diane, has a background in construction and has been involved in the building and designing of many local homes. Together they fulfilled their dream to have an oceanside home in Palm Beach, where their sculpture garden serves as a beautiful complement to the grounds and a deeply fulfilling creative endeavor.


A&C: What was your motivation behind establishing a sculpture garden?


John: We are not really curators of collectable art—we did it for what we enjoy being around. We came across the works at different times and fell in love with them. Jane Manus became a friend, and we now have two of her works. Diane is a very good designer and has really been the mind behind what we created.
Diane: When we bought the house, I wanted blue shutters and a blue front door that referenced the ocean and the Greek island houses we had fallen in love with. They lend the backdrop to a sheltered, sweeping lawn that John always wanted for his sculpture garden—a collection of five large, contemporary figurative and abstract sculptures in different materials. I’m on the lookout for another but haven’t come across it yet.


What was your thought process behind landscaping the garden?


Diane: We planted a thick row of tall trees around the garden on all sides to obscure [it] from the road and neighboring houses. The simple color palette
of the low, light-green hedges bordering the lawn contrasts with the taller, darker green foliage behind [and] focuses the eye on the sculptures. Gino Miles’ stainless-steel Forever sculpture stands against the green foliage at the north end of the pool. We framed it with a group of palm trees that draws you in and makes the piece stand out even more. Reflections in the pool add another dimension to the sculpture.

We recently redid the garden and laid down a new lawn with the help of Justin Dwyer of Greenscape Design Landscaping in Lake Worth. Justin goes not just one mile, but a hundred miles to get things done. When we needed to have a sculpture moved, we didn’t have to say anything. He gets the equipment, figures out how to move it, and how much it weighs.


Did you have a strategy for where to place the sculptures?


Diane: It was a very personal choice. We wanted to give space to Jane’s two blue painted abstract pieces so we could walk around them and see all the angles. We placed them together in a central area on the lawn in conversation with one another—like a mother and child piece. It made sense to have Boaz Vaadia’s Asaf with Dog sitting on a stone slab placed at the side of the pool watching the swimmers. We deliberately placed [Dorit Levinstein’s] Matisse Dancers on the lawn close to the house so that it serves as a welcome piece and can be seen from the large dining room windows. The floating, life-size, brightly colored dancers make people happy. Dancing in the backyard—how can that not be happy?

Full of Surprises

Peggy Moore and her husband, Dudley, live in a historic Palm Beach home designed by John Volk, the same architect behind The Royal Poinciana Plaza. Peggy Moore is one of the leading lights in The Garden Club of Palm Beach and takes great pride in her own garden. The charming environment she has created is an ideal setting for a variety of sculptures, many of which hold personal meaning to her and her family.


A&C: How have you curated your sculpture garden?


Moore: Sculptures make your garden come alive. [They] make it more interesting. My garden is a flower garden filled with trees, hedges, and fountains, and it has paths that lead you to discover a variety of enchanting sculptures. When my landscape architect, Mario Nievera, and I were working on it together, he said that each little place in the garden is a different room. I like coming into the room and seeing Leda and the Swan
nestled against a wall of greenery. It’s a little special place, [and] I think it also gives some fantasy to the garden, which I like. Farther along you discover another surprise. Everything in this garden looks different.


How did you decide where to place certain sculptures?


The Barry Flanagan was the first one for this yard; the musical theme and the sense of having a good time made this perfect for Florida. It stands framed by an arch of leaves facing the loggia, giving the impression that it has jumped out of the hedge. Having the Fernando Botero oversized, handsome woman on a horse in the driveway at the front of the house is a good way to leave or enter. It’s more fantasy.


Which sculptures are particularly personal to you?


The little bronze boy on the bicycle we found in Bermuda when the kids were small. It sits on the ground as you step out onto the terrace. The one I have in Atlanta that’s coming down looks just like my daughter did—sitting on a bench reading a book. They just mean something to you. They talk to you. It’s something you can enjoy every day.


Sculpture Care 101

Palm Beach County is home to many public sculpture gardens, including those at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, the Norton Museum of Art, and The Society of the Four Arts. As the staff at these organizations know all too well, Florida’s humid, windy, and salty environs can cause issues for sculptures of all materials. Here, Stephen Futej, aka the “Sculpture Doctor” and a consultant to The Society of the Four Arts, shares maintenance tips for private collectors.

  1. At the outset, bring in a conservator for initial evaluation and consultation. The ideal is to work from a position of preservation and prevention rather than repair.
  2. Monthly inspections help professionals develop familiarity with an object, so they’re aware when there’s a change in condition. Dated photographs are also useful.
  3. As a general rule, schedule a maintenance plan to have a professional expert apply noninvasive protectants two to four times a year, depending on the material and individual piece.
  4. Immediately remove highly corrosive bird droppings using a mild dish soap and filtered water.
  5. To ensure stability, most sculptures rest on a base. If necessary, a concrete pad can be poured to provide a level surface. Other anchoring devises can also be applied.
  6. Have an engineer ascertain the wind speed a sculpture can withstand. In some instances, sculptures will need to be moved to safety in advance of a hurricane or storm.
  7. A change in patina can occur on bronze. It can be a personal choice by the artist or collector to allow for patina to occur. Sometimes, fresh foundry-style re-patination or re-painting is desired. Conservators will often use faux painting methods to visually unify a degraded patina. However, preservation through maintenance visits is the preferred method.

Their daughter Elly worked at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan and introduced them to a former curator who took them through the galleries in Chelsea. The more they saw, the more they began to appreciate contemporary art. When Art Basel Miami Beach came on the scene in 2002, it became their go-to fair. The Karps now boast a vast and diverse grouping of works spread across their homes in Louisville, Kentucky, and Palm Beach, as well as Jim’s office in Indiana.


When the Karps began a second life in Palm Beach in 2003, they moved into a home with lots of empty walls that they were eager to fill. “Jim had always been fascinated with the cultural and political influence Cuba had on South Florida, and here we were in a home built in the 1920s by Marion Sims Wyeth,” says Irene. “We began to play with this Cuban cultural influence. We started learning about Cuban art,” continues Irene, who points out that about 45 percent of their collection in Florida is Cuban.


She adds that the first works they purchased could have been created when their home was still with the original owners—pieces made in the 1940s and ’50s by the likes of Mario Carreño, Wifredo Lam, Réne Portocarrero, and Raúl Martinez. While these artists have all passed, Irene notes that she and Jim also engage with the Cuban artists of today, including José Toirac, Fernando Rodríguez Falcón, Frank Mujica, and Adrián Fernández. “When Cuba opened and we were able to travel to Cuba, we started making connections with contemporary artists as well,” she says. “There was never a plan for it, other than what was happening in Cuba.”


Their acquisitions cover the “whole trajectory” of recent Cuban history and its artistic implications. Artists of the 1960s and ’70s, Irene explains, were “highly influenced and limited by Castro and were not allowed to do the work they wanted to do. Instead, they were told what kind of art they could produce.” Contemporary artists are now rebelling against that.


One of Irene and Jim’s earliest Cuban acquisitions—Mario Carreño’s 1946 portrait of his wife entitled Retrato de Maria Luisa Bermudez—sits in a place of pride in their home. Carreño was working in Paris at the same time as Picasso, and the painting reflects that influence. “The piece over the fireplace is one of the first pieces we bought, and no matter what more valuable works we buy or more contemporary high-worth artists we buy, we never think about taking that painting down. That painting is perfect where it hangs, and we get great pleasure seeing it no matter how much it is financially worth.”


Irene and Jim’s interest extends beyond Cuban creatives. Irene had majored in art history and always loved the impressionists, but she credits Jim with far greater knowledge. Both have been eager to learn and contribute to the cultural art scene wherever they live. Irene is on the board of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, was formerly on the board of the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, and is involved with the Center for Creative Education. She was on the board of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville when the museum underwent an expansion led by Kulapat Yantrasast. The Thai architect became a close friend of the Karps, and Jim asked him to design his America Place headquarters in the River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville, Indiana.


“The point of the building was to prove that culture and commerce could work together to create a better environment for everyone,” explains Irene. “It took two years to develop the concept for America Place, and Jim and Kulapat decided that there would be art space in the lobby and throughout the building, as well as outdoor sculpture so that people going to work could take in the art and a yoga relaxation moment before going to their desks.”


This would be the start of another major collection, one that many people could enjoy on a daily basis. The Karps wanted to share art with those who worked at the industrial park, including employees at a more than one-million-square-foot Amazon distribution center, a cookie factory, a water-bottling facility, and an auto parts plant. Irene also turned to the team at the Speed to add an outreach component to America Place’s art offerings. “We worked with the Speed to create programming within our lobby space that would [center around] conversations about art and culture,” she says.


In addition, the Karps have created a school, the River Ridge Learning Center, for the children (ages 2-6) of those who work in the industrial park. These children, says Irene, “will come to this facility where art and music will be a big part of what they are learning.”


The artwork in the lobby of America Place, where Jim serves as CEO, is more focused on the impact of political and current events, especially the Black Lives Matter movement and gender issues. Represented artists include Kehinde Wiley, Nina Chanel Abney, Andreas Eriksson, Vik Muniz, and Ori Gersht, and their works become part of a learning curriculum, says Irene. The gallery also boasts pieces by Cuban artists Alexandre Arrechea and Dayton Gonzalez.


The project is in its early days, but Irene is encouraged that Jim has pulled off his vision. One day she came into the lobby and saw a man sitting eating his lunch and wondered who he was. “I asked the receptionist and she said, “That’s the DHL driver who likes to come in and have his lunch in here and stare at the art.’”


Irene and Jim’s Louisville collection has many great works by artists such as Alice Neel, Jacob Lawrence, Pierre Bonnard, Frank Bowling, Helen Frankenthaler, Olafur Eliasson, and Liza Lou. Unlike their Palm Beach home, however, this abode is running out of wall space. “Every time we get a new piece, I go around the house measuring,” she says. “Where is it going to go? Which is a great problem to have. We have never, ever, ever sold a work of art or put it in storage. It creates a dilemma. I like a clean look, and I don’t want our home to look like a gallery. They are very distinct collections, which makes it fun.”


And much like that driver in the office building gallery, Irene has found peace and importance gazing at the works in her collections. When a hurricane threatened Palm Beach a few years ago, Irene and Jim worried about their art, but decided to let the chips fall as they may. Irene sat in front of each piece, absorbing them for what she thought might be the last time. She decided that if she could save any works, she would preserve those by the late Cuban artists in her collection because they truly are irreplaceable.

A&C: What are some of your earliest memories of creating artwork?


Jose Alvarez (JA): I always drew. It was the way that I, as a child, interpreted the world. Whatever I saw, I wanted to draw. As time went on, I started experimenting with making objects, sculptures, and then ceramics, and then eventually started painting. But it was always a visual thing. It was always wanting to represent the world somehow in a visual way. I knew since I was a kid that that was what I wanted to do, to be an artist. Then I got exposed to the images of Andy Warhol and everything that he was doing. I was probably around 13, 14, something like that. I just felt that that was the most interesting way of doing things, and I felt that he kind of showed me a path of how to activate my life as such. He was always a hero of mine. And then little by little, as you accumulate experiences in life, then you know how to go and achieve them or [identify] the steps you need to take in order to go in the direction that you feel is what’s going to lead you toward achieving that desire.


A&C: What are some of the prominent themes or topics you like to explore in your work?


JA: One of the themes is consciousness and the idea of expanding our awareness. Expanding our consciousness, our connections with other human beings. Our desire or at least my desire to make my work a bridge, in a way, to connect with the viewer. It is a way to establish a common ground as people. Somehow, I hope, people will get lost in the work and, in doing so, be inspired. However brief, for their narrative of their own world to be stopped and encounter an experience that, hopefully, is expansive. So, the idea of expansion, of becoming larger than our own narratives is important to me.


A&C: There seems to almost be a hypnotic quality to your work. Can you speak to that?


JA: I like to have or to bring into the work an intensity, that the viewer must feel the degree of commitment and desire to communicate. That communication and that intensity, I believe, is achieved through layering of materials, techniques, and textures. It’s always about bringing you higher.


A&C: Talk to us about your use of natural materials—such as feathers, porcupine quills, and mineral crystals—in your work. How are they inspiring to you and what does their use convey in your artwork?


JA: That came out of my readings of a writer, Carlos Castaneda, early on in my childhood. He was an anthropologist who created a whole cult behind him in the ’70s, early ’80s, where he said that he went to New Mexico [and] he found himself with a shaman of sorts. He started an apprenticeship with this shaman, and the shaman told him that he needed to go into a state of high consciousness. In order to go into that state of high consciousness, what he called the nagual, he needed to go to that space with objects of power, and those objects of power were feathers, crystals, and porcupine quills. My interest in his writing and how I developed my own lexicon of imagery came together independently of whether the stories in his books are true or not—that is not really interesting to me. What is interesting is the fact that [the books] were like a platform of image making. As I read the books, as any fiction book could be, it triggered images in my head. But it was an important book to me as a child.


A&C: As an LGBTQ+ artist, what does it mean for you to be heard and seen as it applies to fine art?


JA: We can only be who we are whenever we make work. Early on in my life, I felt that I talked about those issues in an oblique way. But times have changed, and I feel that it is through the work of a few generations before me that [I] have the space to be talking to you right now about this specific subject, which before, let’s say 30 years ago, people would not have been that interested. It’s an accumulation of steps and gestures of people all around us who move all of us forward. Me as a gay man, I want to participate as well. Jessica Ransom [the director of artist services at the Cultural Council] called me, and I was just so honored that she thought of me as the person to be creating this with. I feel that the more you create activities for groups that are marginalized to be seen and heard, and the more you understand their stories, the less suffering we’re going to cause the world. Anybody’s story, if you [hear it] you empathize, because it’s another human being, no matter what. It’s showing us a mirror of who we are. The more we are able to demolish those walls, the better it is, in the end, for all of us to create a space of understanding, compassion, and respect.