PechaKucha has a simple premise: twenty slides, twenty seconds each, eight humans talk about whatever they want. Japanese for “chit chat,” the event has become a worldwide phenomenon ever since a pair of architects hosted the first event in Tokyo back in 2003. San Antonio’s PechaKucha Nights draw crowds of over 300 for the TedX on speed style event, programming the Alamo city’s most interesting individuals. Volume 17 presenters include a competitive Scrabble player, a home inspector, an architect, an Executive Director, artists, and a New Media Consultant. Crowd favorite News 4 San Antonio’s Randy Beamer returns to emcee the event at the McNay. Happy Hour included. This appeared in The San Antonio Current. 


It all started with a dog called Sweetie. After selling out his series of floating human head portraits at the Morris-Healy gallery in Chelsea, Scott Lifshutz started getting commissions. One of which came from menswear designer John Bartlett, who requested that Lifshutz paint Sweetie for his boyfriend’s birthday. “Sweetie was a dog about town, and that one portrait got a lot of attention” Lifshitz explains. That was in the nineties; today, Lifshutz continues to paint pets.

I never set out to be a pet portraitist but it just happened that way,” he says. Born in raised in San Antonio (think the Lifshutz name of Blue Star fame), the young artist moved to New York City in 1981. Today, his portraits grace the walls of celebrities such as Susan Sarandon, Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham, and Marc Jacobs. Half of his commissions are of humans, but when it comes to pets, dogs rule the portrait scene. “Cat owners are nowhere near as vain about their pet,” he pauses before venturing, “the dog owner’s relationship with their pet is much more public. Maybe it’s because they walk them outside.”

Even when not working on his trademark oil on canvas pet portraits, his love for animals creeps into his work. His 2011 show Pity Party at San Antonio’s David Shelton Gallery featured a series of watercolor disabled pets. “There’s something really lovely about a dog in a wheelchair,” he muses, “it reflects how attached the owner is.”

Designers, too, cling to Lifshutz’s work like wheels on a two-legged dog. Jonathan Adler selected his work as part of JA Finds, a collection handpicked by the designer to “complement our already dreamy assortment of exclusive designs” in store and online. Lifshutz used to freelance as a window dresser at Barney’s and he first met the designer through Adler’s boyfriend and Barney’s Creative Ambassador-at-Large, Simon Doonan.

Even with a bevy of designers and celebrities vying for his portraits, plebeians may live as the royals do via the wonders of the Internet. Lifshutz accepts commissions worldwide, and with a turn around time of two weeks to two months, you can build that shrine to Fido in no time at all. $5,500-$7,500. This appeared in Out in SA. 


Anel spoke through a honeymoon haze, just three days off a plane from the paradise known as Isla De Mujeres. The island used to be sacred to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon, and visitors can still find her ruins right where the island and ocean meet. For Anel, a water sign, and Erika, a moon sign, this wasn’t just a Caribbean wedding destination, this was cosmic, and they wanted their Mayan Aztec ancestors to witness and give blessing to their union. “Marriage for us now is more about asking for the blessing of the universe,” Anel explains.

This connection between self and the universe is at the root of the couple’s long-time love. With eight years and the rearing of two children under their belt, the pair finds pleasure in isolation. “We spend a lot of time working so it’s hard for us to unplug,” says Anel, “but just commit to unplug the phone, the computer, the Internet, the laptop, the tv, the movie – unplug all of that and just sit alone together.”

This “open transparent communication” was only strengthened by their impending January nuptials. Prior to the ceremony, Anel and Erika sat down with their minister and reflected upon any negative forces on their relationship, including bottled up experiences of family and homophobia. “We had dealt with everything before the wedding so that we wouldn’t have to be sad, or cry, or break down at the wedding itself.”

And on the big day, the sad tears never came. “Everything was perfect. The people were perfect, the music was perfect, the weather was perfect, the travel was perfect, the water was perfect.” And that’s perfect, because these two knew they were destined to spend their lives together after only four dates; and when the universe talks, you better listen. This appeared in Out in SA. 



LUNA PARK PROJECT PROPOSAL: An excerpt from a grant proposal written to procure funds for the development of The Luna Park Project, a puppet spectacle chronicling the rise and fall of a forgotten Pittsburgh amusement park. The project successfully received the funding requested. DOWNLOAD

THE SOCIETY FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF MINIATURE CURIOSA PROPOSAL: A project narrative written for Project Pop-Up, an initiative created by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership in hopes of activating long dormant storefronts. The Society for the Advancement of Miniature Curiosa was selected as one of ten projects to receive a storefront and a $10,000 grant. DOWNLOAD

PUPPET PHOTO BOOTH PROPOSAL: Puppet Photo Booth, part photo booth, part puppet show, all immersive experience received the inaugural Awesome Pittsburgh microgrant. DOWNLOAD

BIRDS OF AMERICA PROPOSAL: An excerpt from a grant proposal written to bring the live action horror spectacle, Birds of America, to St. Petersburg, Florida. The project received the requested funding. DOWNLOAD


BURLESQUE FESTIVAL 2015: From sequins, to magic, to danger, the fourth annual Burlesque festival has it all. DOWNLOAD

A TALE OF TWO PET PORTRAITISTS: Profiles of two artists making their livings painting pets. DOWNLOAD

LUMINARIA 2014: The annual arts festival returns with a bold new vision for San Antonio. DOWNLOAD

HANK LEE BUILDS THE WORLD: A profile of a San Antonio folk art collector. DOWNLOAD

DIANA KERSEY AND THE NATURE OF CLAY: An interview with a San Antonio potter. DOWNLOAD


TONIGHT A CLOWN WILL TRAVEL TIME PRESS RELEASE: A press release sent to local newspapers to announce Miniature Curiosa's arrival on each stop of their seventeen-city tour. DOWNLOAD

MOON CITY PRESS RELEASE: A press release for Moon City, a puppet spectacle about a man named Frederick. DOWNLOAD

Each of the following articles is a quick 110 word piece highlighting an upcoming weekend arts event.  

ARMS AND THE MAN: A George Bernard Shaw play performed by a local theatre company. DOWNLOAD

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER: A romantic movie shows at the botanical gardens. DOWNLOAD

WILLEM DE KOONING VS. CHRISTIE BLIZARD: The most important mud wrestling fight in history. DOWNLOAD


PINBABY: A short screenplay about lost fathers and pinball. DOWNLOAD

MAGIC DATE: A short screenplay about a clown and a girl that never grows up. DOWNLOAD

AN EXCERPT FROM FALL, WHALE: An excerpt from a full-length screen play about whale falls. DOWNLOAD

AN EXCERPT FROM CHAMPLAIN: An excerpt from an hour-long supernatural teleplay. DOWNLOAD


BLOOD RED SKY: A ten minute play about a man, a woman, and the dangers of air travel. Selected by Theatre Masters as one of the top ten plays written by MFA students in 2012. DOWNLOAD

AN EXCERPT FROM DIABLERIE: A full-length play about just about the saddest circus there ever was. DOWNLOAD

AN EXCERPT FROM BIRDS OF AMERICA: A full-length horror spectacle about a lonely couple perched on the edge of a lonelier cliff. Awarded the StageWrite Honorarium by the Great Plains Theatre Conference in 2014. DOWNLOAD

GERANIUM'S DREAM: A live-action comic book dream created for children. DOWNLOAD