Sunday, November 23, 2014

Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 - Artist to Watch - Troy Simmons

It's that time of year. Art Basel will descend on Miami next month so get ready! With events jam-packed from December 2nd to the 7th, it's hard to know which are the hottest shows attend, Luckily my new publication BOSSY is to the rescue. BOSSY invites it's readers to check out Art Basel - One to Watch- Troys Simmons.

Local artist Troy Simmons has immersed himself in his latest artwork, exploring the
evolution of urbanism and nature’s persistence to coexist. A consistent theme, which echoes
true to his intense fascination with nature and modern Brutalist Architecture.

Under the direction of JanKossen Contemporary Art Gallery in Basel, Switzerland, Simmons will
showcase his new concrete work during a solo show at CONTEXT Miami Art Fair December
2nd-7th at booth #E75. He will also have several pieces on display at SCOPE Art Show Miami Beach.

His massive, large-scale concrete canvases are a mix of acrylic paints and raw materials. At first
glance, the magnitude of his work is clearly realized. Most of his pieces weight over 100
pounds. A rough and raw relationship often described as a cataclysmic illustration of urbanism.
Simmons calls his work a “re-incarnation of the Arte Povera genre” where the inclusion of
simple natural elements, such as wood and soil takes an integral part in the creation of the art.
His intended goal is to create a playful mix of the hard and soft, expressing the ideological
perceptions of binary relationships

Rochi Llaneza, Former Executive Director of Hardcore Contemporary Art, curated his first show
in Miami in 2009. She says, “Creating an algorithm of inspired imagery, Simmons’ connection to
his ecological charged pieces is clearly reflected in his use of re-purposed materials.”
The inspiration behind his latest collection evolved after a recent trip to Germany. He spent
time with his wife’s family exploring Baden-W├╝rttemberg in the southern part of the country.
The postwar architecture is a fragmentation of Germany’s traditional heritage mixed with
simple modern construction.

Simmons currently works as a full-time artist, but his educational background is in Architecture
and Environmental Science. He studied at Sam Houston State University and worked as an
Environmental Lab Technician in Houston, Texas. He later went on to Oklahoma State
University and earned a degree in Architectural Design.
Simmons is a Resident Artist at the Bakehouse Artist Complex in Miami’s Wynwood Art District.

Sample of his current work at 

If you'd like to see Troy Simmons at CONTEXT Miami Art Fair with complimentary passes. leave a comment with why you love Art Basel and I'll pick the top five answers.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Parenting Curve-ball...I wasn't ready!

This crazy journey into Autism has had more than one surprise along the way. Ever since the first diagnosis, there has been one curve ball after another.

After first learning that Spikey was on the spectrum and then every other twist and turn, from doctors, schools, therapists and Spike himself has been a continuous roller coaster ride. It can start to feel like you are holding your breath waiting for the other 10,000 shoes to drop.

Presently though, we are at a time where everything is copacetic. By this I mean,  I basically know where we stand. He currently likes Sponge Bob and will recite an episode word for word. He will vomit if he even thinks he ate a vegetable. He will spin and and rock if he gets overwhelmed. He loves his routine. Even when he has meltdowns, I am somewhat prepared, I can basically see them coming. I know his triggers and try to navigate accordingly.

Despite this, he is doing extremely well. He is in a mainstream class, and he's down to 2 therapists a week AND he's even playing Tee-ball in a mainstream league. Everything was going along great, no bumps, no surprises. And then it hit me curve ball out of nowhere. Just when I thought Autism held no more surprises for me.

"Mommy do I have autism?" 

Cue the needle scratch across the record,,,What??? I had been working on an article for my magazine and Spike was on the couch beside me playing Cut the Rope on his new Kindle Fire when this seemingly innocent question just tore my heart in two. No warning, no buildup, I wasn't ready!

Now it's been 5 years and I thought I had long since come to terms with Spike's diagnosis, but in that moment I was back in the cold sterile neurologist office hearing her spout letters that had no meaning to me SPD, PPD-NOS and ASD. I was reeling. I was shook, I was sucker punched.

I let out a little choke and a cough and said "what did you say baby?" Because maybe, by some miracle I heard him wrong, At this point I'm praying I heard him wrong. Of course he's annoyed with me now, because he thinks I'm not paying attention. So he puts down the tablet and says "You're not listening to me! Do I have autism?"

And as I look into his face, that innocent face, my mind is racing every which way. Who told him this? How does he know? I've never heard him say this word? I know I've never told him this, but I didn't know it was a secret. It feels like he just spilled some secret. This word I've worked so hard to overcome and accept and embrace, sounds alien and scary on his lips,  This word this diagnosis that only barely describes him. It explains his rocking, and spinning and why doesn't like his foods to touch or his hair brushed. It tells why walks on his toes and hums to himself, why I have to cut all the tags out of his clothes, why he speech is scripted and repetitive. But it doesn't describe him. It doesn't describe how he's sweet and gentle , how he hugs me and tell me I'm his best mommy friend. It doesn't tell how his memory is almost perfect and he never forgets anything he hears or sees. It doesn't describe his love for baseball, One Direction and pizza. It doesn't define him. I know this,

But that doesn't explain why my palms are sweating, my throat is dry and I'm blinking back tears.I don't want it to matter to him. I don't want him to feel other or different.  I want him to feel normal, accepted, loved. He's so sensitive, so vulnerable. What if someone teases him? Or hurts his feelings. I can't even begin to form a coherent thought now. I need to think of some really good explanation, comforting platitudes I need to be strong for him. So I'm just staring at him. He gets up and holds my face and says:

Mommy do you hear me?
I said yes 
He says it again! " Do I have autism? "
I said yes Bobo you do...

He said " Oh Cool..."

Friday, November 14, 2014

November is Gratitude Month Week 2

So I decided to be grateful daily but talk about it weekly. Not because I'm lazy (well not totally) but because I'm so crazy busy lately, which is one of the things I'm grateful about. In my grateful project, I'm trying to train myself to be grateful in every situation even when it's not my natural primary emotion. So here goes:

This week;

I am grateful for the drop in temperatures, I'm sure the rest of the world might not agree, BUT here in south Florida the land of almost never ending summer. these 70 degree mornings and late evenings make me feel like a parolee out on a furlough

I am grateful for the success and growth of my two new businesses, My Magazine BOSSY! and my networking group BOSS MOMS.

I am grateful that I was brave enough to put my my ASD kid on a mainstream Tee Ball team and that he's thriving and having fun. I'm even grateful for the mini heart attacks I have every time he's up to bat. He has only had two tiny meltdown, I'd say that's a roaring success.

I'm grateful than Anne Rice finally released a new Vampire Chronicle. I am grateful that I had enough vacation days saved that I could take one day off just to read it. I know that's ridiculous, I DON'T CARE.

Although I'm a loner by nature, I'm grateful for all the people I've met lately who encourage and
inspire me.

I'm grateful for invites to advanced movie screenings so I can sneak in date nights while working :)

I'm grateful that my husband killed a really big bug this week because I just CANNOT.

I'm grateful that egg nog is on the shelves at Publix.

I'm grateful that I have another event filled week in which I'm sure to find more joy in the everyday things.

I'm grateful for time. Time to be and do new things everyday. Isn't that best gift of all?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November is Gratitude Month

Actually I have no idea, if it's really gratitude month, but it it is for me. I'm going to find something to be grateful for everyday until Thanksgiving. I'm trying to expand the practice of gratefulness in my everyday life, as a buy mom and businesswoman. You have a tendency to get bogged down in the everyday. I can spend a lot of time pursuing future successes instead of celebrating every day ones, I am promising myself to notice all the beauty, wonder and all around awesomeness in my own life everyday.
I tried this once and I failed miserably, But this time I'm ready. Yeah I know it's 4 days in and I'm already late But it's cool because I have 4 things to be grateful for already...So here goes.

1. As it's November 4th Election day for midterms, I'm grateful for the right to vote. I exercised my civic duty muscles today and it felt good to do my part.

2. I am grateful that Spikey participated in Halloween this year without any major hitches. My fellow autism moms know that can be a disaster.He tried a different costume ( a magician) instead of insisting on the same one from the last three years (uggh that tired pirate costume). he said trick or treat and happy Halloween and told me this was the best day ever.

3. Spikey ate an egg Sunday. I know that sounds mundane, but he has never eaten eggs in his entire life. His sensory issues make him reluctant to try many foods. But he had two. (okay I paid him a dollar to bite the first one, judge me, I don't even care) He told me he likes these "boiling eggs". I cried. Good day.

4. I took a chance on a dream of mine and launched my own lifestyle magazine. That's also why I've been absent from here for a bit, But I'm back... The magazine is doing well and I'm so grateful for all the people who believed in me and helped me with this huge an exciting project. you can check it out here

Okay 4 days down 23 more to go!

photo credit: Denis Collette...!!! via photopin cc