Contributors

Meredith Tousey Matthews
arrow

Meredith Tousey Matthews

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Meredith is an Atlantic Beach native who graduated from Fletcher High and then the University of Florida, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Art History. She has worked in graphic design and art direction for various publications, as an arts writer, and as an art educator with museums, non-profits and in public schools. In addition to being Arbus assistant publisher, she paints at her studio and assists at Gregg Irby Fine Art in Atlanta.
Holly Keris
arrow

Holly Keris

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Curator at the Cummer Museum of Art & GardensHolly Keris received undergraduate degrees in History and Humanities from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and a Master's in the History of Art from the University of Virginia.Prior to joining the staff at The Cummer, Holly worked at The Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida, the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, and the City of Orlando's Public Art Program. She spent three years as curator of collections at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. Holly has been with the Cummer since 2003.
Al Letson
arrow

Al Letson

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Al Letson is a poet/playwright/ actor/comic book writer and host and executive producer of NPR and PRX’s “State of the Re:Union.” His work as a performance poet has been seen on stages and television screens across the country. His plays have received critical acclaim and have been performed nationwide, including an off- Broadway run. “State of the Re: Union” has won several national awards and is aired on more than 320 stations across the U.S.
Lorrie DeFrank
arrow

Lorrie DeFrank

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Freelance writer Lorrie DeFrank was a reporter and managing editor of Public Opinion, a daily newspaper in Chambersburg, PA. In subsequent positions with the City of Jacksonville and University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville she wrote columns, profiles and other stories for city and UF publications and websites. Lorrie is a member of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center’s Marketing and Communications Task Force. Her blog, 12th Stone, is at ldefrank65.wordpress.com.
Jeffrey Spear
arrow

Jeffrey Spear

Contributors
close
About the Author:
President, Studio SpearJeffrey Spear is the creative and strategic leader of Studio Spear, a world-class marketing resource. With engagements on every continent except Antarctica, Spear applies his skills to a variety of growth-oriented business activities and caters to both consumer and trade audiences. He enjoys ongoing relationships with embassies, consulates and international trade offices; helping businesses exploit growth potential through import and export activity. He has also authored two cookbooks: most recently The First Coast Heritage Cookbook, highlighting the culinary history of Northeast Florida.
Janet M. Herrick
arrow

Janet M. Herrick

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Janet M. Herrick, a contributing writer for Arbus for thirteen years, is a sought-after public speaker, writer, and community educator on subjects involving leadership and environmental issues. She is a 2012 Leadership Jacksonville member, JAXChamber’s 2011 small business leader of the year, and nationally recognized Leave No Trace master educator. In 2009, she was recognized as the Leave No Trace state advocate in the nation for her educational efforts in Florida. She holds dual master’s degrees in English and Environmental Policy.
Abigail Wright
arrow

Abigail Wright

Contributors
close
About the Author:
A well known advocate for this city, Abigail Wright writes about Downtown Jacksonville with personal insight. Highlighting the best the urban core has to offer, she is very passionate about the revitalization of Downtown Jacksonville and has participated in dozens of events and meetings to create synergy for this cause. Follow her on Twitter @abigail417.
Kate Jolley
arrow

Kate Jolley

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Kate received a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. She works as a brand manager and copywriter for Brunet-Garcia Advertising, and she has served as secretary on the board of the CAPtivators – Cathedral Arts Project’s young professional organization – for three years. Kate is passionate about the arts and culture in Jacksonville and is a self-described “foodie.” Though raised in the digital age, she believes there will always be power in storytelling and print journalism.
Mike Bernos
arrow

Mike Bernos

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Mike Bernos is director of public relations for RS&H and reports from North Florida for the international wire service Agence France Presse. An award-winning writer, he has contributed both hard news and human interest pieces to USA Today, Christian Science Monitor and Florida Trend, among others. He lives in Riverside with his wife, Annabelle.
David Luckin
arrow

David Luckin

Contributors
close
About the Author:
WJCT Music Director/ Electro Lounge ProducerHost David Luckin joined WJCT as development producer in 2000, bringing nineteen years' experience and a lifelong passion for music to 89.9 FM. The Rochester, NY native hosted his first local music program at Gainesville's NPR affiliate while a student at the University of Florida. David conceived and developed "Electro Lounge," a popular program of "music without walls" that attracts listeners around the world.
Wesley Gibbon
arrow

Wesley Gibbon

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Assistant Director of J. Johnson GalleryWesley received her Associate of Arts degree from the University of Florida and graduated cum laude with a degree in Art History from the University of North Florida. She served on the board of The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens’ young professional group and currently stays active in Jacksonville’s cultural community through her role on the Art in Public Places Committee of the Cultural Council. In addition to the arts, Wesley is passionate about enriching the lives of individuals with special needs and seeing as much of the world as possible. She has been with J. Johnson Gallery for nine years and enjoys commuting from Neptune Beach in her electric golf cart when the weather cooperates.
Dr. Debra Murphy
arrow

Dr. Debra Murphy

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Chair of UNF’s Department of Art and DesignDr. Debra Murphy is the inaugural chair of UNF’s Department of Art and Design. She has won a number of outstanding undergraduate teaching, international leadership and service awards at UNF, and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville recognized her as an Art Educator of the Year. Murphy serves on the board of MOCA Jacksonville and she is the immediate president of the Southeastern College Art Conference. She teaches and writes about Italian Renaissance art in addition to the arts of Northeast Florida.
 Denise M. Reagan
arrow

Denise M. Reagan

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Born and raised in Jacksonville, Denise M. Reagan graduated from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has been an adjunct lecturer there since 2009. Her media career took her to Fort Wayne, Ind., Detroit, Minneapolis, Savannah and Fort Lauderdale before she returned to Jacksonville as an assistant managing editor at The Florida Times-Union. After serving as the editor of Folio Weekly, she took on a new career as director of communications at MOCA Jacksonville.
Natalie McCray
arrow

Natalie McCray

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Natalie has been giving voice to brands with innovative designs and illustrations as a freelance designer for more than thirteen years. Recognized for her award-winning advertisements for clientele around the globe, Natalie’s diverse set of skills include art direction, graphic design, illustration, painting, fashion design, and photography. She has led the design and branding for several of the area’s most recognized companies– Flying Iguana, Ritz Chamber Players, Al’s Pizza, Biscottis, and ModelCitizen.
 Nancy White
arrow

Nancy White

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Nancy writes about food and its place in our culture in her blog, Nourish The Beast. A resident of Ponte Vedra, she attended Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, with studies in Visual Communications and Theater. She is a prime contributor to Urbanspoon and an avid social media practitioner. Find her on instagram@ nourish_ the_ beast, and twitter@Nancy_White.
Adelaide Corey-Disch
arrow

Adelaide Corey-Disch

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Adelaide is a freelance writer and the gallery manager at J. Johnson Gallery.Previously, she worked at Florida Mining Gallery where she co-founded the public art project The Highway Gallery in 2012. Adelaide received her BFA in studio art from Florida State University in 2009. She currently lives in Riverside with her trusty beagle- basset, Sarge, and piles of unread books.
Paul Witkowski
arrow

Paul Witkowski

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra publicistA local music minister, pianist and vocalist, Paul Witkowski serves as publicist for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Originally from Detroit, he studied music at Wayne State University and public administration at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Joash Brunet
arrow

Joash Brunet

Contributors
close
About the Author:
With over sixteen years of experience as a broadcast journalist and advertising copywriter, Joash has honed his ability to understand and communicate with his audience, bringing insight and empathy to countless stories. Since moving to Jacksonville in 2010, he has worked at Brunet-García Advertising, helping create award-winning campaigns and promoting our city's cultural offerings. You can see more of his ADDY Award winning work at brunetgarcia.com.
Philip Pan
arrow

Philip Pan

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Concertmaster of the Jacksonville Symphony OrchestraPhilip Pan, concertmaster of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 1984, is active throughout Jacksonville’s arts and music community. He performs in recital and chamber music at the Friday Musicale, the Cummer Museum and MOCA Jacksonville. Philip has also branched into the rock, indie and folk scene with groups such as Canary in the Coalmine, Jackson Vegas, Grandpa's Cough Medicine and others. He joined Arbus for a Q & A to talk about the return of Starry Nights at Metropolitan Park.
 Mandie McKenzie
arrow

Mandie McKenzie

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Executive Director, Friday MusicaleA graduate of the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Mandie moved to Jacksonville in 2006 and worked as event manager at Destination Planning Corporation. She joined Friday Musicale, a non-profit music organization and event venue, as the venue rentals manager in 2010, and is now the executive director. Mandie received her Certified Meeting Professional designation from the Convention Industry Council in May 2014.
Madeleine Wagner
arrow

Madeleine Wagner

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Madeleine Wagner attended the Cleveland School of the Arts, majoring in fine art, before attending Clark University in Massachusetts to study art history and fine art.Now, Wagner's role has evolved into that of an art critic who is reluctant to stop making art. She has written for local and national magazines, the Florida Times Union, Art News, Art Papers and others. She writes about art and culture knowledgably yet compassionately; constantly striving to find the intersection between beautiful prose, compelling stories, and relevant theories. These same quests also find purchase in her artwork.
Courtney Lewis
arrow

Courtney Lewis

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Appointed music director of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in 2014, Courtney Lewis is making his mark on the national scene as well. Concurrently, the young British conductor is the New York Philharmonic’s assistant conductor. His first full season as music director in Jacksonville begins in the fall of 2015. Keep up with Courtney on Twitter @CourtneyConduct, or like him on facebook.com/CourtneyLewisConductor.
Laura Riggs
arrow

Laura Riggs

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Originally from Denver, CO, Laura Riggs has worked extensively on strategic media planning for nearly twenty years. Prior to arriving in Jacksonville in 2012, she spent a year traveling the world. Travel has allowed her the freedom to be open to new ideas and new ways to approach marketing – and each new story begins with the joy that comes from riding the spirit of a new adventure. In 2013, she, along with her co-creators, launched EQ3 Media. She is responsible for the design and marketing strategy of the local We Are Straight Allies campaign.
Keith Marks
arrow

Keith Marks

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Keith Marks is the marketing and community outreach director for Hemming Park in Downtown Jacksonville. Having lived all over the world, he channels a number of passions and interests. He is the chair of Artist Outreach and Development and a member of the SPARK district committees for The Cultural Council of Northeast Florida. In addition, he founded community initiatives such as Party, Benefit & Jam (PB&J), No Meat March, and The Jacksonville Memorial Light Festival. He also runs a community healing center with his wife, Tehila.
Kristi Lee Schatz
arrow

Kristi Lee Schatz

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Kristi Lee Schatz is a local blogger, speaker, producer, and coach specializing in personal development and emotional intelligence. She has a master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology, and serves as director of health and wellness for Unity Plaza. Kristi has an extensive background in the wellness industry, producing transformational live events including large scale conferences, personal growth retreats, educational seminars, webinars, and workshops across the country. A passionate advocate for the human potential, she works locally to provide opportunities for personal growth and holistic healing.
Jim Alabiso
arrow

Jim Alabiso

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Jim Alabiso is a senior partner and strategist at LEAP Collaborative, executive director at JumpingFish and a theater and television producer. A speaker, writer, open water athlete, and advocate for sustainable economic development, he brings his unique  brand of movement making to the community. In Atlanta, in the 90s, when small production houses were non-existent, Jim launched NoBones, a studio that produced many Emmy nominations and awards. In 2006, he created the non-profit JumpingFish to develop a sustainable economy of athletics, recreation and tourism on the St. Johns river. At the core, water is in Jim’s heart, in his art and in his work.
Marilyn Spiller
arrow

Marilyn Spiller

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Marilyn Spiller has contributed to the arts community in Jacksonville for more than twenty years. As a patron and consultant focusing on local and regional works of art; as co-owner of Spiller Vincenty Gallery in San Marco; and with Krasnaya Gallery where she imported post-glasnost Russian art to the United States. A world traveler and student of the human condition, Marilyn currently writes a popular blog called Waking Up the Ghost where she shares her unique and humorous view of sobriety.
Eva Dasher
arrow

Eva Dasher

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Eva Dasher is a freelance editor, writer, and researcher. A resident of Fleming Island, she received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She began her career with National Geographic magazine in Washington, D.C. and after she and her husband moved back to Northeast Florida, she continued to work for the magazine as a freelancer. Her growing business now has a wide variety of national and local clients ranging from Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter to AARP.
Jim Draper
arrow

Jim Draper

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Jim Draper’s work includes drawing, painting, photography, video and writing that is informed by journeys into the wilds of Florida and Georgia. He is currently the coordinator for the University of North Florida’s galleries. Jim’s latest exhibitions include his seminal work Feast of Flowers at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and Image Gathering + Disseminating the Natural Experience at Florida School of the Arts (Palatka). He has taught drawing and painting at the University of North Florida, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Flagler College in St. Augustine. His work can been seen in hundreds of corporate and private collections.
Toni Hernandez
arrow

Toni Hernandez

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Toni is a Philadelphia native and absolutely crazy in love with her newly adopted city of Jacksonville. The founder of Toni Hernandez Brown and Associates, she is a visionary, entrepreneur, risk-taker, leadership and goal coach, culture change agent and brand consultant. Toni is a runner who is passionate about cancer research, and is co-founder of Tacos for Tatas, a 26.2 charity event. She is a resident of South Jacksonville Beach. Follow her on Twitter @philatoni.
Richard A. Salkin
arrow

Richard A. Salkin

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Richard A. Salkin is a beach-based freelance writer with a healthy fondness for opera. He serves on the board of Opera Jacksonville, writes for Encore  magazine (published by the Jacksonville Symphony), and has appeared in non-singing roles (“Thankfully!” he says) in local   productions of La Boheme and Tosca. His most recent piece for Arbus profiled artist Steve Williams.
 Hope McMath
arrow

Hope McMath

Contributors
close
About the Author:
Hope McMath is director of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, where she combines her education in and passion for art history, education, and the creative process. She has most recently led the Cummer through strategic planning, capital expansion, rebranding, and several significant community outreach initiatives. A Jacksonville native and JU alum, Hope spends her time away from the museum traveling, gardening, volunteering, and living an artful life. Hope believes in the power of the arts and meaningful collaboration to transform individuals, uplift communities, and build a more inclusive world.