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Thought-Provokers: North Miami

Miami has always had an artistic soul. The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community. Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive. Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around North Miami that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Donna Ruff

I was born in Chicago where my grandparents had a scrap paper company. As a very small child I’d go to the warehouse with my father and be fascinated, and a little frightened of all the huge bales of shredded paper. But I always had something to draw on. We moved to Miami Beach when I was eight, and by then I fancied myself as an artist. Read more>>

Aaliyah Arrington

I’ve always been fascinated by black and white photography. I was able to finally afford a camera, and I never looked back. Moving to Atlanta and being around, so many talented artists inspired me to stop being my own worst enemy and start believing in my craft. I also started a company for all of those amazing creatives that really don’t have a lot of capital to make their ideas come alive. The company is called PUSH Creatives. The crew is Chinese food!!! Read more>>


I was born in Aspen, Colorado in 1989 where I lived with my mother and older brother for two years. We briefly lived in Colombia, and during that time, my mother and father separated. Our mother becomes our sole guardian, and she raised us in Aspen before we moved to Miami.  Read more>>


Art wasn’t much of a thing to pursue since my idea of what is valuable didn’t meant to be an artist. In the proud little island that I was raised Puerto Rico, being an artist was to starve. I somewhat think they are right. It is to starve if you don’t have an independent drive and belief in your self and in what you are creating. Read more>>

Gabriela Gamboa

To this day the smell of oil paint and turpentine are wonderful to me. I’m sure neither one of them expected this to be my path, so I was almost forced to study a scientific career at the university. I chose biology given my inclination towards nature and conservancy, which are still very strong points in my work, but I knew I would not be a scientist. Read more>>


It didn’t take long to realize we had something special the first time we got in a room together. It was fun and powerful. We knew there was this connection, a spiritual magic right away. We began to mix all our elements of  Rock music, soul, and funk together and this sonic energy came out. It never ceases to amaze even us, when we step on a stage or into a rehearsal space, it’s on. Read more>>

Leon Zhivelev and Josh Volynsky

Mostly Russian/Jewish kids and varying grasps of the English language. Anyway, as me and Josh were both raised entirely stateside, we became friends pretty quickly as being the most “Americanized” kids there. At that point, I (Leon) was only listening to Eminem and the rock band the Scorpions, Josh let me borrow the original Slipknot album, and I never gave it back to him. Shit blew my mind. Read more>>

Emilio Martinez

My work is composed of hybrid creatures living in an imaginary perfect world. My characters have no nationality, race or society standards that divide them. Instead, they are presented as equal and beautiful in their own reality. My message is my own experience and perception of what is beauty and freedom. Im a journalist who is telling my story, that it’s the story of many. My dream is for my work to be preserved for future generations. Read more>>

Tamika J

I fell in love with music and singing. Fast forward to when MTV, VH1, and BET were notorious for playing music videos instead of reality shows. As a kid, I would sit down in front of the TV listening to Brandy, Mary J Blige, Toni Braxton, Sade (and so many other artists) I would get lost on the music. I also knew at that moment I wanted to be an icon and that I wanted to be an artist as well. Read more>>

Anna Lustberg

I wasn’t drawing much at all anymore. I went on to pursue a liberal arts education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I obtained a Bachelors degree in Communication with a minor in Art. Over the years I worked professionally in a few areas, including doing graphic design at a magazine, but eventually, I felt the need to start drawing again. Read more>>

Christopher Florentino

My family is very creative people, and I have been exposed to art my whole life, I went to school for art and Got a degree in communication design. I started painting professionally about five years ago, I paint, and I take my craft very serious. I love what I do and try to create my art as pure as I know how to.I also I do Mid-century modern interior design and collect antique furniture which I draw a lot of inspiration from. Read more>>

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