ArtesMiami & Manolis Projects Gallery Honor Maria Bechily and Documentary Filmmaker Grant Recipients

The nonprofit organization supporting and promoting Hispanic artists and cultural activities hosted a reception attended by more than 200 Miami artists and leaders.

Fernando Petit, Maria Alonso, Aida Levitan and Gonzalo Paz

ArtesMiami (AM), the nonprofit organization that supports and promotes Hispanic artists and cultural activities, joined Manolis Projects Gallery, Florida’s largest working studio and fine gallery, to honor AM Chair, philanthropist and art collector Maria Bechily at a reception hosted by the gallery and attended by more than 200 Miami artists and leaders.

Aida Levitan, Ph.D.,AM founder and President, said, “Maria Bechily deserves this recognition for her philanthropic contributions and cultural leadership.” She thanked J. Steven Manolis for hosting the event and Peter Zubizarreta (UBS Bridgelane Group) and Bakery by Corina Guinand for supporting it.

Artist J. Steven Manolis, founder of the Manolis Projects Gallery, said, “We were proud to recognize Ms. Bechily and ArtesMiami President Dr. Aida Levitan for their important work in the South Florida cultural space.” He added that, “The reception and exhibitions also gave us the opportunity to showcase our artists’ work.”

Wesley Jaynes, Ismael Acuña and Milena Brown
Christopher Pastor, Maria Bechily and Mireille Gonzalez
Martha Whisby,Maria Bechily, Aida Levitan, commissioner Keon Hardemon and Milena Brown

After art critic/writer/curator Bruce Helander welcomed the guests, Miami Dade Commissioner Keon Hardemon presented Certificates of Appreciation to ArtesMiami and to Manolis Projects Gallery. Dr. Levitan then introduced the winners of the first $60,000 ArtesMiami Documentary Film Fund grants, for whose operating expenses Knight Foundation donated $10,000. The grant recipients are: Ricardo Bacallao, “Bebo”; Pedro Gonzalez, “Dope Tavio”; Lieter Ledesma, “Goodbye to Hope”; Melinda Raebyne, “They Scream Freedom”; LeAnne Russell, “In the Valley only the Sparrows are Free”; and Ed Talavera, “Live Flesh”.

Alex Mena and Jesus Torres Zapaflora
Aimee Zubizarreta, Kareem Tabsch, Aida Levitan, Bruce Helande and Ray De Leon
Jacqueline Marin, Maite Nini and Rebecca Setareh
Jacqueline Marin, Maite Nini and Rebecca Setareh

Aida Levitan, Ph.D., founded ArtesMiami, Inc. in 1995 and is its President and principal donor. The organization has donated more than $2.5 million since its founding in order to further develop South Florida as an international cultural center. This year ArtesMiami is sponsoring the November 2022 Raul de Molina exhibition at the Coral Gables Museum, the November 2022 to January 2023 ”In the Mind’s Eye” exhibition at FIU Frost Museum; and the Leandro Ehrlich exhibition at PAMM during Art Basel.

Manolis Projects Gallery features unique paintings, sculptures and collectible limited edition works from more than 40 artists from around the world. They focus on modern masters and contemporary art. J. Steven Manolis, a leading and critically acclaimed abstract expressionist artist and a well-known philanthropist, also paints and displays his on work.

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