by The Editors | August 25, 2016

Flamingle: Culture Club

If we planned an artsy-fartsy field trip to the theater, these are the creative Floridians we’d invite.

Illustration by Stephen Lomazzo

Illustration by Stephen Lomazzo

ROMERO BRITTO
Global Artist

Since arriving in Miami in 1988, the Brazilian-born Pop artist has (literally) become one of the city’s most colorful residents. His happy, multi-hued paintings and sculptures grace numerous local, state and international hospitals, museums and public places. His exuberant style and personality have won a legion of star-studded admirers, including the Bush family. Equally smitten with political juggernauts, Britto hosted a fundraiser for Jeb at last year’s Art Basel, where he unveiled a painting he created with Jeb’s wife. This summer, Britto received an honorary doctorate from Academy of Art University in San Francisco mere days before carrying the Olympic torch in his home country.


EDWIDGE DANTICAT
Teaching Author

The Haitian-American author’s stories, rooted in topics such as family relationships and diasporic politics, have won numerous prestigious awards, and her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, earned a place in Oprah’s Book Club. She moved from New York to Miami “for love” in 2002 and says that “Florida looms large in the Haitian imagination.” The oral storytelling of her aunts and grandmother inspired her as a girl, while Haitian writer Marie Vieux Chauvet and American writer Toni Morrison have also influenced her career. The scholar regularly participates in readings and events in schools, museums and bookstores around town.


Mary Ann Carroll
Florida Painter

The Highwaymen—self-taught black artists who sold their Florida landscape pictures by the roadside during the Civil Rights Movement era—included one woman. In the mid-1950s, a teenage Carroll spied Harold Newton, one of the group’s founders, in his Fort Pierce yard painting a poinciana tree and asked for a lesson. Her early works sold for $5 to $15. She’s since received as much as $5,000 for a painting and been honored by First Lady Michelle Obama. She illustrates sunsets, water scenes and forests, but not snakes. The artist (and pastor) sang and played guitar and piano in a gospel choir for more than 30 years.


JONATHAN ADLER
Dazzling Designer

For about 13 years, this design guru and his fashion-forward husband, Simon Doonan, have been seasonal residents of Palm Beach. Though they put their Adler-decorated condo for sale at $1.1 million, they have alternate Sunshine State crash pads: the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa (where Adler orchestrated bold guest-room redos) and the Hall South Beach (where he customized the bath amenities). Adler, who has said, “Florida is a place of sunshine, optimism, fantasy and glamour,” has a deep love for our Palm Tree Peninsula: He actively supports the Boca Raton Museum of Art; gushes about Miami, the home of his biggest retail store; and wears white jeans 24/7.


Tom Petty
Eminent Rocker

During a day-trip to Ocala in the summer of 1961, 11-year-old Petty saw Elvis Presley filming Follow That Dream. In awe, the Gainesville native vowed to become a musical legend. In 1970, he and four friends launched a band called Mudcrutch and played regular gigs at Dubs, a local topless bar. Two of Mudcrutch’s members became Heartbreakers. Forty-six years after forming, Mudcrutch released its second album in May and toured briefly. Read about Petty’s troubled childhood and complicated relationships with his bandmates in his biography, Petty, released last year, or catch the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer on his SiriusXM channel.