The Betsy and FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios Partner for Online Arts Salon Programs

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

The Betsy and FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios Partner for Online Arts Salon Programs:

Zen and the Art of … (Architecture, Music, Poetry, Photography)

Art has been an important part of the offerings at The Betsy Hotel and the FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios for the past decade. Now the two have partnered for an online program of Zen and art… something to help us get through the crisis that confronts us – a calm, uplifting activity as we do our part hunkering down at home to keep our community healthy.

“They’re the second-most important things we need now. Zen. And Art. In troubled times, the latter can make the shortest route to the former,” an announcement states. The four-part online interactive arts salon series is called “Zen and the Art of … (Architecture, Poetry, Music, Photography),” and will feature “talks with and performances by some of the most innovative artists working today.”

“The arts have meant everything at The Betsy South Beach since it reopened in 2009 and at the FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS), which opened its doors in 2011. The two institutions are connected on many levels, but most importantly, both value community, education, and, of course, the nourishment and experience of exceptional talent. Over the past decade, The Betsy and MBUS have hosted thousands of artists in their numerous galleries and performance spaces,” according to the announcement.

The salons are free and open to the public. They will be held on four successive Monday nights: March 30 (architect Chad Oppenheim), April 6 (cellist Jason Calloway), April 13 (poet Campbell McGrath), and April 20 (photographer Robert Zuckerman) from 7 to 7:30 pm. They are accessible through Zoom by sending your RSVP to

About the artists

March 30: Chad Oppenheim, architect
Oppenheim’s work ranges from large-scale urban architecture, hotels, resorts, and luxury homes to interiors and furnishings. He has received global recognition for socially and environmentally conscious architecture and set trends in sustainability. An alchemist of atmosphere, Oppenheim transforms the prosaic into the poetic, and his firm’s award-winning work has been featured in over 1,000 publications, including The New York Times and Architectural Record. He is an adjunct professor at FIU.

April 6: Jason Calloway, cellist
Calloway has performed to acclaim at festivals all over the world as soloist and chamber musician, including Lucerne, Spoleto USA, Darmstadt, Klangspuren (Austria), Acanthes (France), Perpignan, Valencia, Citta’ della Pieve (Italy), Jerash (Jordan), Casals (Puerto Rico), Blossom, Brevard, Colima (Mexico), Great Lakes, Kingston, Rockport, Sedona, Sarasota, Music Academy of the West, the New York String Seminar, and Encore. Calloway is currently cellist of the Amernet String Quartet, Ensemble-in-Residence at FIU, and was previously a member of the Naumburg award-winning Biava Quartet, formerly in residence at the Juilliard School. He is a cello instructor in the Department of Music at FIU.

April 13: Campbell McGrath, poet
McGrath is the author of nine full-length collections of poetry, including, most recently, In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys (Ecco Press). McGrath has been received some of America’s most prestigious awards, including the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Academy of American Poets Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award.” In 2017, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. McGrath is a Distinguished University Professor; Endowed Phillip and Patricia Frost in English at FIU.

April 20, Robert Zuckerman, photographer
Zuckerman has done recent album cover and movie poster photography for Will Smith and was invited to be the personal photographer for the family of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz. Zuckerman’s images have become the advertising and publicity campaigns for such films as “Any Given Sunday,” “Training Day,” “Terminator 3” and “Transformers,” among others, and television series including “The Shield,” “Rescue Me” and “Nip/Tuck.” Zuckerman is drawn to any subject as long as there’s spirit and love in the room, from the inner city to the mansions of Malibu. He is a Dean’s Distinguished Fellow at FIU.


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