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Zen and the Art of Betsy Exhibitions 2020/21
photographs of the Beatles on a wall

Join The Betsy Hotel and FIU MBUS for 7 Monday nights of conversation with thought-leaders and artists connected to our new exhibitions, opening Miami Art Week 2020 – curated by our co-owner, Lesley Goldwasser. These events are presented collaboratively by The Betsy Hotel, Florida International University, Miami Beach Urban Studios, and other community partners.

The Betsy Orb
November 2, 2020

A virtual salon about how a bridge connecting two historic buildings became an ‘orb’ and how that ‘orb’ became an art object and subject. Featuring: Photographic Artist Robin Hill, Conceptual Artist Nuria Richards, and Architect Allan Shulman. Hosted by Architect John Stuart, FIU Distinguished Professor.

ROBIN HILL, PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTIST Photographic artist Robin Hill is a Creative Soul with Eclectic Ideas. “Energy in form” are the words that best describe the collected work created by Robin Hill. An award-winning Miami and New York-based art photographer, Hill invokes his observation and intuition as he straddles the boundaries between art, architecture, design, and spirit by using his medium of choice; photography. Born & raised in Nottingham, England, Hill began his career 31 years ago in the most inauspicious way by taking pictures of toddlers in supermarkets and department stores across London. He didn’t know at that stage that one day his Architectural and art imagery would be exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Bilbao or grace the pages of the world’s leading publications such as Vanity Fair and Elle Decor.

NURIA RICHARDS, CURATOR AND CONCEPTUAL ARTIST In 2019 Nuria founded Clandestina, an appointment only gallery at her apartment in Midtown Miami, in a socializing move to build a contemporary art program; a curated community of outsiders that thrive on academic technique as much as coding, curating the views of unexplored feminists, and buffering complex proposals with origin in the Bauhaus residency (to mention one) in a domestic environment. Collectors that were caught in the middle of a rapidly changing art world.

ALLAN SHULMAN, ARCHITECT Allan Shulman FAIA, LEED AP is Director of Graduate Programs in Architecture and Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Allan is a practicing architect, author, editor and curator. His research focuses on themes of modernism, tropicality and urbanism. For almost 20 years, Shulman has explored the interrelationship between 20th century urban culture and architecture using the cities of Miami and Miami Beach as a laboratory. As a scholar, he has found in these modern cities ample material for investigations into regionalism, tropical architecture, and the cultural idea of tropicalism. His academic activities also include exhibits, design competitions, charrettes, lectures, and panel discussions targeted to expanding understanding of South Florida’s built environment.  Allan Shulman’s architecture firm, Shulman + Associates (founded in 1995),  is helping redefine the region.  Many of his projects balance contemporary style with the need to celebrate the history of South Florida’s historic homes and buildings. He is a dynamic, passionate, and dedicated force on the Miami arts scene, and has been able to merge his love for architecture with his desire to support local organizations and visual artists.’


Zen and The Art of... The Betsy Orb from The Betsy-South Beach on Vimeo.

orb at night with lights
model in showcasing a hat

Fashion - November 9, 2020

A virtual community salon about how a UK fashion illustrator who opened a mail order business selling gamine gingham shifts (with matching head scarves) became one of the world’s most influential fashion visionaries. Featuring Fashion Legend, Barbara Hulanicki, Founder of BIBA. Hosted by Curator, Bonnie Clearwater, NSU Art Museum.

BARBARA HULANICKI, FASION ICON Born in Poland, but raised in England, Barbara Hulanicki OBE is deservedly recognized now as a British fashion icon, having just been awarded an OBE for Services to Fashion in the 2012 Queen’s New Year Honors. Barbara began her career in Fashion in the early 1960′s working as a freelance fashion illustrator covering all the important fashion collections for the major publications of the day, including Women’s Wear Daily, British Vogue, the Times, the Observer and the Sunday Times. In 1964 she founded, with her late husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon, the boutique BIBA, beginning as a small mail-order business featured in the Fashion columns of newspapers such as the DAILY MIRROR in the UK. The BIBA story is the stuff of Hollywood. After a few false starts and refusing to give up, a last-ditched attempt — a pink gingham dress with a round hole in the back and a matching head scarf — strikes a chord with the public and sells thousands of units, allowing Barbara to open a store which became an icon of hip 60′s and 70′s London. BIBA quickly became a hangout for artists, film stars and rock musicians, including Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Marianne Faithful among the regulars.

BONNIE CLEARWATER, CURATOR AND MUSEUM DIRECTOR Bonnie Clearwater joined NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale as Director and Chief Curator in September 2013. An influential leader who played a major role in Miami’s emergence and development as an international arts center, she is widely recognized for her curatorial vision, scholarship and record in administration, public education and community outreach. Ms. Clearwater spearheaded an exciting phase of transformation at NSU Art Museum that includes an overall rebranding and expansion of the museum’s reach locally, nationally and internationally. Her initiatives include the development of a world-class exhibition program, expansion of the museum’s education initiatives and public programming, and increased engagement with diverse audiences. Ms. Clearwater has written extensively on Modern and contemporary art and has an M.A. in art history from Columbia University and a B.A. in art history from New York University.

Zen and The Art of... Fashion from The Betsy-South Beach on Vimeo.

Zen and the Art and Inspiration: what’s on first? - November 16, 2020

Join us for a discussion with American artist Carlos Betancourt and Brandi Reddick, Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Miami Beach.

CARLOS BETANCOURT, ARTIST - Carlos Betancourt was born in 1966 in San Juan Puerto Rico and is a mult-disciplinary artist based in Miami Beach, working in a bold and fantastical style, as a painter, photographer, and mixed-media artist.  He creates dynamic and fragmented pictures that merge photographic elements with imagined painted and drawn forms, and his pictures feature a personal aesthetic and iconography he describes as “contemporized graffiti;” the works incorporate elements from his Cuban and African heritage, elevating common visual language to the realm of fine art and explore issues of memory and his own experiences, while also dwelling in matters of beauty, identity and communication.

BRANDI REDDICK, CULTURAL AFFAIRS MANAGER, CITY OF MIAMI BEACH - As Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Miami Beach, Brandi Reddick serves as the municipal liaison to local and international arts and cultural organizations. She manages citywide cultural activities in all aspects of the performing and visual arts through an extensive set of grant programs, special projects and policy-setting initiatives and she oversees the City’s Cultural Arts Grants programs and public art commissions. Brandi Reddick has lived in Miami for nearly two decades. She received her B.A in Art History from the College of Charleston and completed graduate coursework in Art History and Painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has been adjunct lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miami and has produced catalogues on public art as well as contributed essays to multiple national and international publications. 

Zen and the Art and Inspiration: What’s on First? from The Betsy-South Beach on Vimeo.

collage art
george and paul with legs crossed

The Inner Light - The Beatles in India - November 23, 2020

Join us for a discussion with Producers Paul Saltzman and David Elstein about Meeting The Beatles in India. An exhibit of Paul Saltzman's legendary photographs from Rishikesh, 1968 — some of the most intimate photos of John, Paul, George, and Ringo ever taken.

*** Coming to The Betsy this winter. ***

Paul Saltzman is an international award–winning film director, writer, and producer of over three hundred dramas and documentaries, and is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Moving Beyond Justice. In 1968, Paul was in Rishikesh, India, studying transcendental meditation, with camera in tow. There too at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas, were (coincidentally) the Beatles. As it turns out, Paul quickly became part of their inner circle and captured some of the most intimate images of John, Paul, Ringo, and George ever taken. A documentary of his experience, The Beatles in India (released on Gathr Films),  was released in 2020. Saltzman’s iconic photos will be presented in an exhibition called Inner Light: The Beatles in India, at The Betsy during the 2020/21 season.

David Keith Elstein is an executive producer at Portobello Films and Chairman of  In his storied global career, he has produced, directed or executive produced over 400 documentaries, current affairs programs and dramas for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, PBS, HBO and Sky. Other credits include The World At War (producer/director) a Primetime Emmy for limited drama series for Concealed Enemies, and a Gemini (Canadian Emmy) 1989 for best dramatic series Glory Enough For All. His most recent feature film involvement was with the Oscar-winning "Ida".


The Inner Light - The Beatles in India from The Betsy-South Beach on Vimeo.

London in the 70’s and 80’s - November 30, 2020

We are taking a virtual trip back into London’s “Glam” Era, led by two expert guides: photographer Karl Stoecker and vintage fashion connoisseur Keni Valenti. Join us for a discussion of all things London circa 1970-80 — pop art, Roxy Music, fashion design, and more.

Karl Stoecker produced album covers for Roxy Music, the influential band formed by Bryan Ferry in the 70's,  and produced a series of Pop Art photographs - shot from 1972 to 1974 on St Michaels Street, London, in a studio over a garage, celebrating things like music, fashion, it girls, polka dots, leather, glitter, satin & lipstick - that distinctively capture  London's "Glam" Era, and include an infamous shot of Ernie from Lou Reed's "Transformer".  The Betsy features this exhibition by Stoecker called, "London 1973, "The New Romantics", with a soft opening during Miami Art Week, 2020.  

Keni Valenti was a club regular at Studio 54 and a former Hare Krishna follower realized young that his manic energy, sharp eye and gift for finding the hidden value in castoffs could be parlayed into a business. With these gifts he became a designer, stylist, and ultimately one of the world’s most admired collector of vintage fashion, building an empire of retro couture and earning legendary status among designers, clients, and celebrity heavy hitters. Time magazine called him ‘the next Halston’.

London in the 70’s and 80’s from The Betsy-South Beach on Vimeo.

model on swing
hank willis thomas posing for a photograph

Finding Your Rock Stars - December 7, 2020

Join us for an evening of virtual conversation with legendary Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj, self-taught photographer, cross-cultural interpreter, and creator of the groundbreaking portrait series “My Rock Stars.”

Known as the "Andy Warhol of Marrakech”, Hassan Hajjaj grew up in London’s cosmopolitan culture inspired by an evolving music and fashion landscape. In the 90's, while assisting on a fashion shoot in Morocco (where he was born in 1961) he recognized the predominance of white faces and European traditions at shoots, deciding then and there to capture and amplify the richness of his own culture. Hajjaj’s collection, My Rock Stars,  celebrates eclectic world performers through staged portraits and sculptured frames that are infused by the vibrancy of Morrocan-infused multiculturalism. Hajjaj's work is in many major art collections, and he is represented by Yossi Milo Gallery, NYC. His work will be on exhibition at The Betsy during the 2020/21 season.

Zen and the Art of Finding Your Rock Stars from The Betsy-South Beach on Vimeo.

dog on beach looking out at the ocean at sunset


Finding One’s Muse on the Road - December 14, 2020

Join us for a virtual conversation with three artists spanning subjects, styles, and time zones. Meet photographer of Bahamian island life Alessandro Sarno (Milan), professional dog photographer Carlos Andres Cruz (Bogota), and eclectic muralist and graphic artist Ricardo Cavolo (Barcelona) — and join in our discussion of creative sparks, traveling as seeking, and finding artistic inspiration along the way.

Carlos Andres Cruz is a professional dog photographer based in Bogota, Colombia. On a visit to Miami Beach a few years ago, Carlos serendipitously came across Katie and Betsy, our hotel’s CEOs (Canine Executive Officers), playing ball on the beach. Carlos "was captivated by Katie’s ability to surf and retrieve the tennis ball at the same time" and began shooting. Katie (short for Katherine Hepburn) sadly passed away last year, and a new Golden Retriever puppy, Rosa,  arrived on the scene shortly after, taking on her role as assistant CEO and chief cheerer-upper to Betsy, who still misses Katie deeply. Carlos thought it only fit to add pictures of Rosa to the Underground Gallery, and we are proud to announce four new additions of Rosa to the collection in a new show called, “Introducing Rosa”.

Alessandro Sarno is a Milan-based artist who, having left his job in London, began his journey into photography in 2008 on the porch of the Betsy Hotel, before traveling to The Bahamas for the first time seeking sunshine and a new life. Before departing he purchased a camera and while there captured images that documented a transformative personal experience as he was introduced to deeply spiritual and colorful Bahamian cultural traditions. The Betsy is thrilled to bring Sarno’s artistic journey full circle by presenting his first (ever) Miami exhibit, called "The Spirit of a People: Portraits and Slices of Life in The Islands of The Bahamas".

Ricardo Cavolo is based in Barcelona and has a world reputation for an eclectic artistic style that borrows from folk art, traditional and modern tattoo culture, European religious imagery and tribal art. His work is filled with stories and characters, intuiting their (real and imagined) experiences across time, with a unique use of symmetry and symbolism, and unabashed celebrations of color.  Cavolo’s portfolio features commissioned public murals and art exhibitions across the globe from Paris, London, Moscow, and Mexico City to Hong Kong, Montreal, and Madrid. Cavolo’s body of work includes collaborations with Bally, Zara, Alexander McQueen, and Jose Cuervo among others. The Betsy will soon debut Cavolo’s exhibit, 101 Movies to Watch Before You Die.

Zen and the Art of Finding One’s Muse on the Road from The Betsy-South Beach on Vimeo.

Expect no more. This is happiness.™