Leadership begins with a great team
The Visionary behind the project & President of the Living Arts Foundation is JB Berkow. She is an unusual combination of painter, sculptor, poet, dealer, and philanthropist who has always been occupied with helping her fellow artists. When she was only 26 she founded one of the most successful cooperatives in the country, Touchstone Gallery, in Washington, D.C. In 1995 she founded a membership gallery, Frenchman's Art Gallery and Studios, which she ran for a decade until opening her full-fledged retail showroom, RosettaStone Fine Art Gallery in Jupiter, Florida. She has also written books, What They Didn't Teach You In Art School and Painted Poetry. With BCCA she has taken on her most aggressive project yet.
Anita Holmes - Executive Director
Anita has broad and diverse experience in nonprofit leadership and management in Palm Beach, Broward and Martin Counties. She has a long volunteer and professional history of advancing nonprofits in our local community for over 25 years. Her specialties include innovative fundraising, creative program development, strategic planning, relationship building, corporate and community partnerships, public relations, and cause marketing.
In leadership roles as the Vice President of the American Heart Association and the Executive Director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Cancer Society, Anita forged partnerships with foundations and partnered with over 30 local nonprofits to develop programs that benefitted the health and well-being of people in South Florida. She has also established close ties with area businesses and organizations to increase revenue, support, and awareness of these nonprofit organizations, their special events and community programs.
Throughout the years, Anita’s commitment to our community has been demonstrated by her service on the Grants Committee for the Junior League, the Board of Directors of Good Samaritan Medical Center, Palm Healthcare Foundation’s Committee to Review Nominees for their Nursing Distinction Awards and the Chamber of the Palm Beaches Healthcare Committee. She is currently an active member of the Board of Directors for Executive Women of the Palm Beaches.
Rick Eggert - Creative Director
Rick Eggert was born in Southampton, New York in 1974. He grew up there and in Vermont, where he began working in glass in 1992. After graduating college his quest for inner growth led him to Tahiti, Moorea, New Zealand, Australia, and Thailand. Rick also spent time working in Korea as an English teacher and in Puerto Rico as the operational manager of an entertain- ment company in the rainforest. Rick’s background includes a BFA in Glass Sculpture from the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York and numerous years working as a technician for various schools and businesses across the eastern United States.
Rick currently resides in South Florida where he has operated Lotus Design Group, Inc. since 2005. Aside from creating his blown work, Rick makes cast glass and mixed media works as well. In 2014, Rick joined forces with the Benzaiten Center for the Creative Arts in Lake Worth, Florida to help start their glass program and remains heavily involved as their Creative Director and Glass Studio Director.
David Peterson II - Hot Shop Manager
David attended the New Orleans School of Glasswork and graduated in 2002. He continued his education at the Haystack School for Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine until he finished and went to study in Istanbul, Turkey at the Glass Furnace in 2004. After his studies in Turkey he continued his education at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. In 2006 he finished his education at Tulane University in New Orleans.
During his career, David has worked for various studios and well-known artists. He joined the Ornament Production Team at Nuance Glass in New Orleans in the summer of 2004. Later, in the winter of 2004, he was Assistant for Giles Bettison at Wet Dog Glass in New Orleans. During his studies, he became the Assistant for Anthony Shaefermeyer at the Energy Exchange in Ashville, NC. After he completed his studies he became the Head Glassblower at Tulsa Glassworks in Tulsa, OK until he went to work for Rick Eggert as his assistant at Lotus Design Group in 2007. David joined the Benzaiten Center in 2014 as the Glass Studio Manager and is instrumental in running the Hot Shop and educating students.
Scott Avidon - Slumping & Fusing Operator
Scott Avidon is a glass artist who focuses on fused glass and metal sculpture.
After receiving his Masters in Design from Pratt Institute Scott joined Steuben Glass and subsequently designed for Waterford Crystal, Versace, Kenneth Cole, Rosenthal and Seguso Viro. Scott constantly pushes the limits of his craft to develop new techniques and processes.
Scott's fused glass students create work with an eye towards respecting layout, proportion, line, form and pattern. Advanced students will develop a working knowledge of color theory, transparency and layering to create extremely well balanced and technically excellent work.
Eli Cecil - Hotshop Gaffer/Narrator
Eli Cecil is emerging as a glass artist whose work, such as the “In Solution” series, bridges traditional techniques of glass blowing with sculptural elements to create fluid aesthetics that capitalize on the properties of hot glass to capture rhythms in nature and culture that can be interpreted in this medium like none other.
Travel and teamwork are what fuel the artistic endeavors that have combined effectively with his background in the industrial arts; laying the foundation for a disciplined studio practice as well as an stimulating place in the energetic national glass art community.
After receiving a BFA from Salisbury University he soon contributed to the fellowship of the Chrysler Museum of Art, where he became influenced by a much larger spectrum of the art world and went on to continue traveling the country to work for many large studio teams and institutions and now continues to teach and work from The Benzaiten Creative Arts Center in south Florida.
Joshua DeWall - Flamework Studio Manager
Joshua DeWall was born and raised in the small town of Galena, IL. From a young age, Joshua was attracted to the medium of glass; upon graduation from high school, it became his lifelong commitment. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art from Southern Illinois University and is a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) candidate from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.
He has worked nationwide as a glass gaffer, designer, assistant, instructor, and artist at institutions such as: the Pittsburgh Glass Center; the Rochester Institute of Technology; Snow Farm, Williamsburg, MA; Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina; The Sonoran Glass Academy in Tucson, AZ, and the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio in Norfolk, VA.
Joshua has received numerous awards including a Fellowship at the Creative Glass Center of America in Millville, NJ; Artist Residency at The Works in Newark, OH; Artist Residency at Sonoran Glass Academy in Tucson, AZ; and was featured in the New Glass Review 32. Currently, he is the Flame Studio Manager at The Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts.