Volume 7 | issue 2
Volume 7 | Issue 2
Thomasville Center for the Arts
Partner Page Designer
600 E. Washington St., Thomasville, GA
4 The Power of Paper
Artists create a sense of wonder through
10 A Sporting Cause
Millennial gun-dog trainer Durrell Smith
embraces a diverse, complex history
with an open, and curious, mind.
16 Changing Tides
Aquaculturist Cainnon Gregg of Pelican
Oyster Co. is healing the ecosystem one
sustainable oyster at a time.
22 The Sweetest Journey
What do you get when you mix a gypsy’s
soul with strong Southern roots? Something
27 THOM’s Guide
70 Secrets of a Second Story
What happens to historic preservation when
the only place left to go is up?
76 Who’s Hungry?
Eddie Sanchez, founder of Hungry in LA,
toasts to good food and great people.
82 Art Basel Is Muy Caliente
Miami’s favorite modern-and-contemporaryart
show sizzles in an already spicy city.
88 Featured Artists
Cover photo by Rinne Allen
My favorite time of day in Thomasville is just before
dawn. It’s oddly comforting walking through town
alone when the streets are dark—not a soul in sight
save for the few runners, who impress with their
early drive and focus. It’s the time when I attempt
to leave my “drive” at home and set out to clear my
head. Invariably there is no clearing.
Today, as I pass the shops and restaurants owned
by the people who have become my people, random
thoughts roll through: “Who’s nourishing Rhonda
after she and Chef Tyler have nourished us?” “What
new creative venture is Spencer brewing up now?”
“And for goodness’ sake, what is Kevin’s plan for that
beautiful building I covet?”
I make it to the corner of Madison and Jackson
and realize I’m smiling. I love our town and our
people, and the beautiful new streetscape that lies
ahead. With its new sidewalks and budding trees, it
seems to wave and say, “Hey, look at me. Look what
I’ve become.” I’m proud of our city for committing
to a vision for the creative district and grateful
for the people who are shaping this significant,
once-forgotten part of town. It’s been an honest-togoodness
chance of a lifetime to see our city honor
its past and work together to create a place where
creativity and innovation can thrive.
the work we do, actually the work is shaping us. I get
that now. Much like the changes to the facades of
the newly inhabited buildings along Jackson and the
modern infrastructure that lies below the brick streets,
the experience of working with smart, generous people
has certainly changed me, and consequently the
Center for the Arts, in ways we never imagined.
A day later I’m typing this letter and excited for you
to meet the creatives in this issue. Their perspectives
on the people and places that have shaped their lives
are powerful. You’ll have a chance to get to know
them better through a series of THOM events, and
I suggest you don’t miss any of them if you want to
hang out with the coolest creatives in town.
And as always, thank you to the partners who
make it possible for us to wax on about what
makes Thomasville great. It’s their commitment to
THOM that fuels the development of our curious,
Underneath an orange sail shade stretched across a
vacant lot is the best thinking spot this morning. The
lot sits between John and Anna Carol’s bustling bagel
shop and a storefront that’s been closed for decades.
It’s the juxtaposition of the two that reminds me:
While so much has happened in the district and our
city, there will always be more we can do together to
make it better for everyone.
A colleague once told me I would one day realize
that while we think we are shaping things through
Executive Director, Thomasville Center for the Arts
THE POWER OF
Artists create a sense of wonder
through the Paper-Cut-Project
AN ARTIST SOAKS UP INSPIRATION
wherever she can.
Growing up in Americus, Georgia,
Amy Flurry found hers in glossy
fashion magazines. Every turn
of the page transported her to a
fantastic and whimsical world. She
felt wonder, she says, as she saw
life through another’s lens.
Ever since, her own life has
revolved around the canvas that
Her love for fashion magazines
and stories eventually resulted in
two decades of journalistic and
editorial experience contributing
to publications such as Condé Nast
Traveler, Country Living, Lucky, Better
Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful
Mali Azima + Rinne Allen,
Courtesy of Paper-Cut-Project
“I hope that when
pieces are viewed,
they invoke a sense
Once influenced and inspired by
the publishing industry, today
Amy operates an independent
communications studio that
assists companies in strengthening
their house style, or brand identity.
She has also written two books,
Recipe for Press and Recipe for Press:
But as every artist knows, nothing
stays the same. The muse can
often show up in different guises.
“The more I told, wrote and
sought stories, the more I realized
I wanted to do more than write,”
Amy says. “I want to come up
with the concept for an entire
project and to create something
with my hands, much like the
‘creatives’ and designers I had
always been entranced by.”
Amy’s opportunity to create in
a new way arrived when she
interviewed a Buckhead, Georgia,
boutique owner and paper artist,
Nikki Nye, for a story she was
A graduate of Illinois Institute
of Art in interior design, Nikki
overlooked no detail of her space
—a quality Amy could appreciate
in her fellow creative.
“I was beyond impressed,” recalls
Amy. “She had these incredibly
detailed paper sculptures on
the wall that really captured my
Friendship between the two
was inevitable. But it wasn’t
until 2009 that the friends were
finally able to combine their
backgrounds in fashion and their
fascination with paper to form
“I love the element of fantasy
that is always present in fashion,”
says Amy, “and this collection
allows us to play in that world by
creating something unexpected.”
simple sheets of paper into
dramatic sculptures centered
on fashion, including wigs and
masks. These intricate paper
accessories are devised to elevate
a designer’s entire concept.
so savvy in ways I could never be,”
says Nikki, who acts as the project’s
lead designer. “We think right along
the same lines yet complement
each other in our differences.”
It has been a wild ride, Amy
says, but one that began slow
and steady and with a healthy
dose of uncertainty. In the years
since, their brand has gradually
expanded and their process
“Our aesthetic has always had
a strong uniqueness, making it
easily identifiable as us, so that
much has stayed constant,” Amy
says. “But in our techniques, in
the level of detail we are now
able to achieve, in the strength
and fit of the underlying
structure—that is where we have
been able to learn and grow and
improve each time.”
Amy calls the process “slow
fashion.” The detail work on one
sculpture can take 40 hours.
Premier fashion houses and
influential galleries, including
Hermès, Cartier, Kate Spade,
Valentino, the Victoria and Albert
Museum, and Lincoln Center,
have hired the duo’s fusion of
fashion and fine art.
“I think we are often
commissioned because brands
know that what we do can’t be
re-created,” Amy says.
At the start of Paper-Cut-Project,
the pair dove in headfirst, as
business partners, artists and
friends. With just a few sketches
done by Nikki and Amy’s honed
pitching skills, they earned their
first showing, in the windows of
Jeffrey boutique in Atlanta.
“Amy is such a wonderful person
to begin with, so smart, so kind
and then, on the business front,
Their code is simple: They never
repeat designs, and they prefer
to work on only a few pieces at
a time. Following the client’s
guidelines, Nikki sketches the
pieces; then each of them sets
out to work individually, using
hundreds of sharp blades,
heavyweight archival Bristol
paper and glue. Before the
stunning pieces are shipped,
they are cured with a finishing
coat that stiffens and seals,
preventing damage, staining
“The world around us moves so fast, and we are always
brimming with ideas and inspirations. It’s rewarding to
simply sit and create new expressions.”
“The process is very meditative,”
Amy says. “The world around
us moves so fast, and we are
always brimming with ideas
and inspirations. It’s rewarding
to simply sit and create new
As a lifelong resident of Georgia
and a lover of the art-inclined
culture that Thomasville
cultivates, Amy was eager to
collaborate when Thomasville
Center for the Arts approached
partnering with them for an
exhibition at the Center’s
The exhibition will include wigs
and masks depicting animals and
birds indigenous to the region. The
art is intended to merge intricate
craftsmanship and the exceptional
natural beauty of Thomasville and
surrounds. Prints of earlier works
will be on sale alongside some
“I hope that when the Paper-Cut-
Project pieces are viewed, they
invoke a sense of wonder,” Amy
says. “Our pieces are made of
simple, tangible mediums—paper
and glue. I think it often surprises
people that extraordinary
expression can come from such
everyday materials. Wonder is all
around us; we just have to have
the imagination to create it.”
Millennial gun-dog trainer Durrell Smith
embraces a diverse, complex history
with an open, and curious, mind
EVERY YEAR SINCE 1981, THE THREE DOZEN MEMBERS OF
the Georgia-Florida Shooting Dog Handlers Club gather in late
winter on a plantation in the Red Hills region of South Georgia
to participate in a quail-hunting field trial. Consistent with
hunting culture, the competition is steeped in tradition. Skills
have been passed down over generations, bird dogs are bred
from the finest lines, and most guns even have provenance.
With a small gallery following on all-terrain vehicles, men
on horseback depart early, trailing their dogs across the
landscape, awaiting the point, which signals the precise
location of quail hidden in the cover.
Home to about 150 private quail plantations spread across
300,000 acres, the Red Hills region is a hot spot for field trials
that judge the skills of wingshooters and their highly trained
bird dogs. And the field trial organized by the Georgia-Florida
Shooting Dog Handlers Club looks different than many other
clubs in only one way: Its members are African-American.
That time came in 2015 after he’d finished
graduate school and secured a teaching position
at a private school.
Remembering how it had inspired him, Durrell
tore out the original Georgia-Florida Shooting Dog
Handlers Club article and pasted it into a Moleskin
notebook he called the Gun Dog Notebook. In
it he’d write down anything and everything he
learned about hunting and gun-dog training from
articles, books, his own experience and, most
important, veterans of the sport.
“The point was for me to document everything I
was doing training my first hunting dog so I’d know
what I was doing the next go-around,” he says.
Durrell Smith, a visual arts teacher in Atlanta
and a Georgia native, remembers the surprise he
felt on reading an article about the club, which is
commonly referred to as the Black Dog Handlers
Association, three years ago.
“I thought, ‘Huh, those guys look like me,’” he says,
laughing. “And they looked really cool.”
Durrell, 29, had just acquired and begun training a
Labrador, named Ruger, for hunting. The pair had
one season under their belts when he came across
Durrell decided he wanted to be like the veteran
hunters he read about; but he wasn’t proficient in
hunting or dog handling. He grew up hunting squirrel
with his grandfather, and he had some experience
training dogs, but he had worked primarily with pit
bulls, not specially bred sporting dogs, which require
more intense and intricate training.
Nonetheless, Durrell was intrigued by his more
experienced friends’ stories of hunting with their
families and decided that once his teaching career
took off, he’d turn his attention to the sport.
With his wife’s encouragement, in 2017 Durrell
began a podcast to augment his notebook—a
platform for collecting and orally documenting
information on hunting and training bird dogs.
“At the time, I didn’t know anything about
podcasts,” he recalls. “I just got on my phone and
hit the voice memo recorder and started talking.”
Over the past two years, Durrell has recorded
roughly 70 episodes of his podcast, which he called
The Gun Dog Notebook Podcast because it served
a purpose similar to that of the pages he was
filling: to document the sport. The podcast quickly
gained momentum. Durrell realized that bird-dog
handlers, many of whom now participate in the
podcast, were an exceptionally welcoming bunch.
“As long as you’re willing to learn from people
who know more than you, you’re good,” he says.
“I was basically putting myself on an accelerated
learning curve and I didn’t even realize it.”
Durrell wants to use the podcast as a platform for
exploring the often-untold history of trainers and
handlers in the South.
“I want to start doing more live podcasts on a
video platform—get more into bird-dog history
and what I call the truth about bird dogs.”
“As long as you’re willing to learn from people
who know more than you, you’re good. I was
basically putting myself on an accelerated learning
curve and I didn’t even realize it.”
“The story is never really told accurately, because
there are a lot of details that, I feel, are left
out,” Durrell says about the history of African-
American bird-dog handlers.
In the late 1880s, Northern businessmen looking
for a sporting, snowbird life, began purchasing large
parcels of land surrounding Thomasville. By 1930,
their leisurely investments completely encircled the
winter retreats of Thomasville's downtown, totaling
more than 80,000 acres of hunting plantations.
In many cases these sporting Meccas were looked
after by African-Americans and their families
who were deeply rooted in the region.
“African-Americans were the ones who were
training bird dogs and horses to run these field
trials for the plantation owners. We were the
scouts during field trials who knew the land and
cover,” he says. “So much of African-American
history and work has contributed a lot of
foundational bird-dog work.”
Which is why it has been essential for Durrell
to align himself with the Black Dog Handlers.
“These old-school guys have already figured out
the dog-training thing,” he says. “They worked on
a plantation their entire life, managing game and
training dogs. And when that’s your job, you’ll
start to figure out the equations. They were out
there making mistakes, then turning around and
making champion hunting dogs.”
Durrell is an affable guy, with seemingly endless
energy and a contagious passion for wingshooting
and training bird dogs that makes clear why the
“old-school guys” want to share their experiences
with him. In addition to teaching and working as
Durrell is taking his podcast on the road to lead Lay of the Land during Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival on Sunday,
November 17. Free with admission to the Fine Art Show, Durrell’s reboot of this annual experience will include a
demonstration with his trusty four-legged companion.
“When you have someone who’s legitimately interested
in learning, no one in the gun-dog community is going
to turn that away, because a lot of these older guys are
starting to realize ‘Look, we need to pass this on.’”
an artist, Durrell can spend up to eight hours a day training his
now trusty Lab, Ruger, and the newest addition, Vegas, a spirited
He’s filled two Gun Dog Notebooks (the second of which he
published) and continues
to expand his podcast. In a
partnership with Project Upland
magazine, Durrell released a
short documentary film about
the Black Dog Handlers this past
summer. He also has set his sights
on acquiring acreage on which to
open his own bird-dog kennel.
In little more than three years,
Durrell has thrown himself
headfirst into a lifestyle that from
the outside may seem uninviting to
African-American game hunters.
But as he works his way in—
asking questions of his mentors,
listening for answers and in
turn sharing that knowledge
with others—he is delighted to
find that diversity is not only
encouraged; it’s necessary.
Red Hills Rover Rally
Afternoon in the Field:
Presented by First Commerce
Women of Wildlife: Paint
Presented by Ashley HomeStore
Fine Art Show Preview Party
Presented by Synovus
November 16 & 17
Fine Art Show
Presented by Synovus
“When you have someone who’s
legitimately interested in learning,
no one in the gun-dog community
is going to turn that away, because
a lot of these older guys are
starting to realize ‘Look, we need
to pass this on,’” Durrell says.
It’s both a gift he’s been given and
one he intends to pay forward.
The Gun Dog
Beguiled by the Wild
Lay of the Land
Presented by THOM
Bird Dog Bash
Aquaculturist Cainnon Gregg of
Pelican Oyster Co. is healing the ecosystem
one sustainable oyster at a time
“It’s not enough that it’s good
for the environment and sustainable.
It’s got to be better than wild oysters
to justify the higher cost.”
IF YOUR IDEA OF THE PERFECT ONE-BITE
morsel is an oyster on the half shell, cold as ice
with the perfect briny balance, meet Cainnon
Gregg of Pelican Oyster Co. His Salty Birds have
developed a loyal, and growing, fan base since
he began farming them in north Florida’s Oyster
Bay in 2017.
Hurricane Michael in 2018 dealt him a severe
blow, but his crop, like the ecosystem it
enhances, is showing signs of recovery.
“Ninety-five percent of the natural native
oyster beds have been destroyed,” Cainnon says.
“We’re putting the filtration system back in.”
Improvements in oyster-farming methods, such
as the floating-bag system, in which the bags
the oysters grow in ride the waves instead of
resting on the ocean floor, have helped create
a sustainable source of oysters. In addition,
the bags are restoring a critical link in the food
chain of marine life, creating a domino effect as
shrimp and crabs move in.
“It’s not enough that it’s good for the
environment and sustainable,” Cainnon says.
“It’s got to be better than wild oysters to justify
the higher cost.”
According to customer reviews, Salty Birds
meet that standard.
Going with the Flow
Cainnon always loved the outdoors, but his
artistic side led him to his first career, with
Urban Outfitters. There he used his expertise
in faux finishing and sculpting to design retail
displays around the country.
He moved to Tallahassee from Jacksonville to
help open the flagship store there.
Cainnon was intrigued by the idea of oyster
farming and the instructional course offered
by the Wakulla Environmental Institute, in
Crawfordville, Florida. When he was laid off
from his design job, he saw it as a sign.
By late 2015, Cainnon was ready to dive into
oyster farming and asked an established oyster
farmer if he could intern there. In 2017 he got
the first of his three farms, each a 1.5-acre tract
of submerged land in the St. Marks Wildlife
Refuge, just south of Spring Creek. His first
harvest was in February 2018.
“It was really cool,” he recalls. “I had developed
a big demand for my oysters because I know
how social media works, and a lot of customers
thought I was a big company.”
“The consistency in size and flavor is
probably the most important. They’re clean,
with just the right brininess.”
He sold his oysters to chefs in Atlanta,
Nashville and Birmingham. Thankfully,
demand was always greater than supply, as
chefs from all over the world asked for them.
Then came October and Hurricane Michael, a
Category 5 storm whose devastation along the
Gulf stretched far beyond its landfall, in the
middle of the Florida Panhandle. Of the three
aquaculture zones in Apalachee Bay—Oyster
Bay, Skipper Bay and Alligator Harbor—Oyster
Bay was hit the hardest.
“Some people lost everything, others only a
little. I was in the middle,” Cainnon says. “I had
planted 300,000 seeds several weeks earlier.
The water temperature changed 20 degrees,
and the salinity changed. Either one will kill an
oyster. I lost 75 to 80 percent of the oysters.”
New Way of Thinking
After his losses, Cainnon decided to focus on local
restaurants as he rebuilt his business. With what
turned out to be excellent timing, he dropped in on
Matt Hagel, chef and co-owner, with wife Kimberly,
of Chop House on the Bricks in downtown
Thomasville, in early 2019. The oyster farmer Hagel
had been using had sustained devastating losses
in the hurricane, and he was looking for a new
supplier. Now he tries to use Salty Birds exclusively
for all his oyster dishes except fried oysters.
“The consistency in size and flavor is probably
the most important,” Chef Matt says. “They’re
clean, with just the right brininess.”
The customers love them, he says, and he
also feels good knowing he’s supporting
a sustainable product. The farm-to-table
restaurant has long had a reputation for
supporting area farms, including Sweet Grass
Dairy, Bumpy Road Farm and Full Earth Farm.
In no small coincidence, Cainnon credits Katie
Harris of Full Earth Farm, a certified naturally
grown farm in Quincy, Florida, with offering him
advice and encouragement as he was building
his oyster business. It’s a mutual admiration.
Shhh... Enjoy a selection of Pelican Oyster Co.’s Salty Birds Saturday, November 9, at
Margo’s Table during Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival. Seating is limited. Location disclosed to
attendees only. Reserve your seat at ThomasvilleArts.org.
Get a Taste for
Pelican Oyster Co.’s
on the Bricks
123 N. Broad Street
320 E. Tennessee Street
Bistro & Bakery
1307 N. Monroe Street
201 E. Park Avenue
3534 Maclay Blvd. South
R Is for ‘Refrigerator’
As of this writing, Cainnon planned to plant
400,000 seed oysters this past summer. Some will
be ready to harvest in six months; others can
take up to 14 months. He’s keeping his fingers
crossed that no tropical storms come along.
In the meantime he’s getting the names Salty
Birds and Pelican Oyster Co. out into the foodie
universe, shucking oysters at a variety of
events from book signings to store receptions.
Over the summer he participated in a series
of high-end dinners in Apalachicola called
“It was cool to get to take my oysters
to Apalachicola, my Mecca of oysters,”
Oh, and he has a message for people
who still adhere to the adage that oysters
shouldn’t be eaten in months without
an r: May, June, July and August.
“There is an r,” he says. “It’s refrigeration.”
Pelican Oyster Co.
Photos Courtesy of
What do you get when you mix a
gypsy’s soul with strong Southern roots?
Something truly delicious
WHEN SHE WAS A LITTLE GIRL IN THE HAMLET
of Boston, Georgia, Dena White would get away
from her busy household, which was full of
siblings and foster children, by climbing a pecan
tree overlooking the then two-lane U.S. Route 84.
She’d watch cars passing by and wonder, “Where
are all these people going? One day I’m going to
go somewhere. One day I’m going to know what
it’s like to get in the car and go somewhere.”
“That’s just always been in the back of my mind,”
she says now.
It wasn’t until her 50th birthday, but Dena did
go somewhere—to France and Italy, on a nearly
eight-week adventure that changed her life. The
first stop was Paris, which she declares is “my
favorite place on Earth.”
While she had always loved to cook and bake,
seeing the Parisian food shops filled with
chocolates and baked goods inspired her to
think about re-creating the experience back in
shiny truffles that look like little pieces of art,
to perfectly constructed macarons, to generous
slices of cheesecake. That Italian classic treat
gelato is also on the menu.
And Dena has transported an indulgence
from the cafés of Paris to Sweet CaCao:
European sipping chocolate. It’s thick, the
consistency of pudding, and so rich that only
a small cup will satisfy and give a caffeine
boost that lasts all day.
While she did feel like something of an
outsider—“different” is how she puts it—
during her first international trip, she found
that immersing herself in the local culture
went a long way toward helping her enjoy
“I hear all the time people say ‘Well, the
French hate Americans.’ And I’m like, ‘No,
the French are like everybody else; they hate
rude people,’” she says. “When I travel, I try
to be part of the community. I don’t stay
in fancy hotels and eat at McDonald’s. I’m
going to try to fit in with the locals.”
the States. It would take a few years and
some decision-making about where to plant
roots, but the call of the grandchildren led
her back home, first to Boston and then to
downtown Thomasville, where she is now
proprietress of Sweet CaCao Chocolates.
It’s a petite shop on East Jackson Street filled
with sweet things to delight the senses—from
Dena and her husband, Rick, embarked on a
grander journey in 2013, when they rented
out their residence, got rid of many of their
possessions and “ran away from home.”
This time they started out in Ireland and
backpacked, often camping, across Great
Britain and the Czech Republic.
“I’ve touched doors that are 2,000 years old,”
Dena says. “It’s true. It changes your life.”
They would be gone nearly four months,
and even though there was no itinerary, they
always visited the sweet shop in whatever
“I’ve touched doors that are 2,000 years old.
It’s true. It changes your life.”
¾ cup chilled heavy cream,
divided into ½ cup and ¼ cup
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup brewed espresso or strong coffee,
¹⁄8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar,
divided into 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp
6 ounces dark chocolate (60–72 percent
2 large egg whites
Beat ½ cup cream in a small bowl to stiff
peaks; cover and chill.
Combine egg yolks, espresso, salt and
2 tablespoons sugar in a heatproof bowl. Set
over a saucepan of gently simmering water
(do not let the bowl touch the water). Cook,
whisking constantly, until mixture is lighter in
color and almost doubled in volume and an
instant thermometer inserted into it registers
160 degrees, about one minute.
Remove bowl from heat. Add chocolate and
whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is
smooth. Let sit, whisking occasionally, until it
reaches room temperature.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a
medium bowl on medium speed until foamy.
While the mixer is running, gradually beat in
remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Increase speed
to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture in
two additions; fold reserved whipped cream
into mixture just to blend. Divide mousse
among six teacups or 4-ounce ramekins. Chill
until firm, at least two hours.
“If you go into travel with the mind that you’re
going to learn something from the people,
it’s a lot different than just running around.”
town they came across. And no matter their
destination, historic or happening, their first stop
was always the information center.
“They’d post bed-and-breakfasts, and you’d just go
and check the list, and normally if they didn’t have
room, they’d find you a place to stay,” Dena says. “It
was a lot of fun to meet the different people.”
When it comes to travel, slow is the way to go,
“If you go into travel with the mind that you’re
going to learn something from the people, it’s a
lot different than just running around,” she says.
“I saw so many people that would just run from
one museum to another; they’d spend, like, two
minutes. Like going to the Louvre: Yeah, I enjoyed it,
but I’d rather go to a smaller museum or something
not quite so touristy. We did a lot of the free sights
and museums and cathedrals. You can travel on a
budget if you try. Most people don’t want to put in
The busyness of relocating Sweet CaCao to
Thomasville has put travel plans on hold for now,
but Dena knows where her next big trip will take
her: South America.
There, business will mix with pleasure as she
expands her operation to include the actual
making of the chocolate from cacao beans, a craft
she learned during two years spent managing a
chocolate shop in Athens, Georgia. Cacao, actually
a fruit, can grow only within 10 degrees of the
Equator, and the business is notorious for using
child and slave labor to harvest the crop. She wants
to source the beans personally to ensure that they
are farmed ethically.
Thankfully, Dena’s passion for different cultures
and cuisines didn’t skip a generation.
When shopping for the perfect gift for her mother,
Dena’s daughter, Amy Mitchell, ended up having
a quotation from Mark Twain engraved on the
back of an iPad. The quotation, “Travel is fatal to
prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness,” pays
homage to the delicious, curious world her family
is dedicated to exploring.
There are far, far better
things ahead than any we leave
- C.S. Lewis
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November 9 & 10, 2019
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November 28, 2019
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December 7, 2019
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FUSE: COME TOGETHER
BEATLES AND BALLET
Saturday, January 25, 2020
A CULTURAL LEGACY:
Selected Works from
THE PARKER B. POE COLLECTION
NOVEMBER 22, 2019 – APRIL 30, 2020
Collection on loan from
Thomasville Center for the Arts.
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SECRETS OF A
What happens to historic
preservation when the only
place left to go is up?
SCARS ON THE WALL BESIDE YOU,
divots in the wooden planks beneath
your feet, ornate designs in the tiles
above your head.
Have you ever stepped into a building
and immediately felt the weight of its
history? I have.
In 2013 Spencer Young, co-owner of
Grassroots Coffee Company—and,
admittedly, my husband—started
mentioning buying a building in
downtown Thomasville to house our
coffee shop, which had been open
four years. I told him: No way. Not
happening. Look away.
Luckily for the people of Thomasville,
he’s the visionary, not me. And it
wasn’t long before buying a building
downtown is exactly what we did.
A beautiful, grand 12,000-square-foot,
When old buildings are kept
alive by dutiful, creative and
diligent owners, the experience
one has there can be pure
magic. Spencer, as it turned
out, had big dreams for every
single inch of our new project
on South Broad Street.
Spencer didn’t know right
away that he wanted to build
apartments in the space
upstairs. But he knew he would
do something. “I can’t just let
it sit there, collecting dust,”
he would say to me across
the dinner table, dreaming
about the building’s future.
Eventually, our conversations
turned to downtown living.
Spencer had some background
knowledge going into this
A born entrepreneur, he’d spent
countless hours researching
city planning, sense-ofplace
initiatives and historic
preservation. So he already
knew the facts: Utilizing unused
upper floors ultimately betters
the community, drives dollars
to the downtown and turns
the area into an 18-hour street
instead of an eight-hour street.
For every dollar that is spent on
historic preservation, five are
returned to the local economy.
It’s not much of a leap to see
why city planners get behind
entrepreneurs who are willing to
make these sorts of investments.
By creating downtown housing,
our community is helping build
a downtown where people can
live, work and play.
“Investing in upper-story
development of our historic
downtown buildings and
increasing downtown living
provides opportunity for
our community to grow and
encourages a more walkable
and bikeable city,” says
Thomasville’s Main Street
director, April Norton. “Our
footprint is surrounded by
beautiful plantations, so for
Thomasville to grow, it is vital
that we continue to encourage
“Investing in upper-story development of our historic
downtown buildings and increasing downtown living
provides opportunity for our community to grow and
encourages a more walkable and bikeable city.”
and development in our
Revitalization, visionaries, old
buildings: a match made in
Keira Moritz, owner and
chef of Steel Magnolias in
downtown Valdosta, has been
part of a similar second-story
Nearly a decade ago, Keira was
living in Atlanta. While visiting
family in Valdosta, she made
a discovery on a post-holiday
stroll around town.
“I peeked in the windows of
a building downtown, and it
was a mess,” Keira says. “It was
New Year’s Day, and the inside
of the building looked as if
the staff had cooked for New
Year’s Eve the night before
and had just put down their
knives, turned the flame off
and walked out.”
A short time later, Keira made
an offer on the distressed
building on North Patterson
Street in Valdosta’s downtown.
If you believe that buildings
are like living, breathing things,
then Keira quite literally
brought the space on Patterson
“I didn’t know
right away I
wanted to build
But I always
knew we’d want
to do something
with the space
let it sit there
Street, which was in preforeclosure,
back to life.
Her vision was holistic,
though, not just cosmetic.
She wanted to utilize every
historic bit of this building.
“I was working in Atlanta
at a restaurant called Pacci,
and it had a rooftop bar.
I thought this building
in Valdosta had so much
potential, because it was
sandwiched in between two
buildings. I knew we had to
put a rooftop bar in.”
Today the second story of
her building is a banquet
space with—you guessed
it—a rooftop bar.
Spencer and I have dined on
the roof at Steel Magnolias,
where the views, service and
culinary experience were in
perfect alignment with our
expectations. Each step we
climbed brought with it a
new part of the experience
to love: craft cocktails, an
incredible menu of unique
food options, live music and,
of course, views of the rest
As I said before: The
experience from up there
When we returned home to
Thomasville, I felt inspired.
I could all but see Spencer’s
vision for our newly acquired
space in our own historic
But, of course, renovations,
especially those that preserve
and protect the integrity of
historic buildings, can be costly.
The State of Georgia, however,
offers low-interest loans to
those willing to put their heart
and soul (and their pocket book)
into downtown buildings.
“It is quite an application
process,” says Spencer, “but
it’s worth it for hundreds of
thousands of dollars of your
project to be locked in at a
two percent interest rate.
I’ve looked at what Kiera
has done in Valdosta as an
example, but also at the many
who have invested in upper
stories before me right here in
Downtown Thomasville has
approximately forty units of
downtown living space on
second and third floors—and
occupation is at 100 percent.
Spencer plans to add to that
number with seven additional
units that will break ground by
the end of 2019.
There is secret strength in these
second and third stories, where
people can eat in restaurants or
around their own dining-room
tables, tucked in a hideaway
above a bustling street below.
Renovating historic buildings
can be a risky business, but
from what I’ve seen, the risk is
totally worth the reward of the
story that unfolds.
Next time you step into an old
building, pause for a minute
and let its weight settle around
you. Take a minute to feel
the footsteps that have gone
before yours, the thousands of
people who have crossed that
threshold before you. And take
a minute to give some thanks
to all the people who have
succeeded there, and even all
the ones who failed.
@megfyoung | meganfyoung.com
Eddie Sanchez, founder of Hungry in LA, toasts to good food
and great people
THERE’S SOMETHING BRAVE ABOUT EDDIE SANCHEZ.
As the founder of Hungry in LA,
Eddie left his stable career in finance
to leverage his love for food into an
insanely successful Instagram feed and
blog by the same name. He highlights
only the most delicious of culinary
experiences, taking his audience on
a comfortable but unpredictable
Eddie’s tastes are bold. His words and
photographs are powerful. Through
his lens, a plate of spaghetti turns into
the visual equivalent of a 30-piece
orchestra—with highs and lows
and swells that could captivate any
connoisseur or mindless scroller, from
classically trained chefs to the just
But the bravest, most sensational thing
this artist turned entrepreneur did
was to move his entire family (four
generations, which include a little one
and the boy’s great-grandparents) from
their home in Los Angeles to historic
Thomasville, Georgia, in the hopes of
finding a new adventure.
Now Eddie resides among a population
of fewer than 20,000, and his skills
as a food writer, photographer and
restaurant social media manager are
sharper than ever.
Broad Street Media +
Eddie Sanchez /
Hungry in LA
“What excites me is when you discover the
unassuming place that is creating something special
from the heart. That food is the chef’s interpretation of
home, culture and family, and all those flavors come
together to interpret their story on the plate.”
THOM: How did you get
started with Hungry in LA?
Eddie Sanchez, founder of
Hungry in LA: Food has always
been a big part of my life. I grew
up in a family that cooked every
night and had dinner around the
Later on my wife and I would
always look forward to trying
out a new restaurant on “date
night,” and afterward I was
excited to tell people about my
experiences, eventually becoming
source to my friends.
I started the blog Hungry in LA in
2008, documenting all my favorite
places to eat in the city. As I
started to get more involved with
restaurants and contributed to
different publications, I wanted
to learn more about the culinary
arts so I could have a deeper
understanding of what I was
Kind of like a method actor, I
took it upon myself to enroll in
a cooking school and help out in
kitchens, learning all I could, not
with the intention of becoming a
chef by any means, but to have a
point of reference when talking to
chefs and writing about food.
T: Before Hungry in LA was
launched, where was your
E: Most of my career was spent
in the treasury department of
a beach city in the Los Angeles
area, so my career was actually in
government finance. I’m thankful
for what I learned from it, but
it was never my passion—even
though I’m a total nerd at home,
with several spreadsheets and pie
charts for just personal projects.
T: In your opinion, what
makes for a captivating
E: I’m always drawn to a unique
perspective and composition.
Seeing the common in an
uncommon way is something you
can’t manipulate with filters and
T: Do you ever find yourself
surprised by the foods
you’re drawn to?
E: I’m usually drawn to humble
and simple comfort foods from
all cultures and cuisines. It’s not
so much fine dining that excites
me—you know, where the chefs
pull out tweezers to plate your
food with edible flowers and
charcoal powder—by the way, I’m
describing an actual experience I
had with my wife last year.
No, what excites me is when you
discover the unassuming place
that is creating something special
from the heart. That food is the
chef’s interpretation of home,
culture and family, and all those
flavors come together to interpret
their story on the plate.
T: Who’s your target
E: When I started blogging, a
friend gave me a great piece of
advice and told me to write for
myself; that way I can find my
I don’t take myself too seriously,
and my audience has become
young millennials who appreciate
good food. But my hope is that
anyone who loves food would come
along with me on this journey.
T: What was the hardest
part of breaking into this
E: Trying to build an audience for
a blog 10 years ago was one of the
hardest things, because back then
there wasn’t a big social media
presence to build a community
with; Instagram wasn’t even
T: Price doesn’t seem to
be a factor in the foods
you highlight on your
website and Instagram
feed. Where does your
taste usually lead you?
E: I go where the food is good!
No matter if it’s a taco truck
parked in a gas station with no
health code rating, or a Michelinrated
restaurant where the food
is meticulously plated, or just
someone’s home—I want to
“Anthony Bourdain was
right when he said ‘You can
learn a lot about someone
when you share a meal
together.’ I would add, You
can also come away inspired
and changed when you do.”
T: What is the most
you’ve had while following
this unique career path?
E: It’s been a blessing getting
to meet people from all walks
of life and to experience a
meal together. One of the most
memorable experiences for me
was having the opportunity to
be in the kitchen with Wolfgang
Puck and preview all the delicious
food his team was making for the
Oscars Governors Ball.
right when he said “You can learn a
lot about someone when you share
a meal together.” I would add, You
can also come away inspired and
changed when you do. Just sitting
down and sharing the experience of
food with a chef, or walking through
the process of craft beer with a
brewmaster, ignites my passion and
keeps me inspired.
Aside from all the tasty bites that
day, getting to cook a black-truffle
chicken pot pie alongside Wolfgang
Puck was one of the most delicious
and amazing experiences.
IN THE KITCHEN
T: At home, who’s the chef?
E: She likes to bake and I like to
cook, so together my wife, Tisha,
and I make the perfect team.
T: What’s one recipe that
always goes over well with
E: Bucatini all’Amatriciana
or, as my family likes to call
it, Eddie’s Spaghetti. I make a
simple tomato-based sauce
using pancetta, onions, garlic and
Parmesan cheese and then top it
with fresh basil. It’s quick, easy
and so comforting.
T: How do you stay
E: People. Anthony Bourdain was
T: How do you feel about
the phrase ‘social media
E: It was meant to describe
someone on social media that has
credibility in a specific industry
to influence, and I believe there’s
nothing wrong with that.
But I think over time, that phrase
has developed a stigma because
of the oversaturation of people
in this space, some with the
intention of just exploiting brands
and using their influence for
selfish gain. I don’t call myself an
influencer; instead, I aspire to be a
Hungry in LA
hungryinla.com | @hungryinla
THE AIR IS THICKER IN MIAMI. STEAMIER.
The palpable atmospheric change has nothing to do with the heat index. Here,
half-squeezed limes and the remnants of hand-rolled cigars pepper the sidewalks
underneath street artists who are honing their craft at a pace they’ve set for themselves.
To say that these artists and artisans are on island time would be a diss. They’ve just
discovered something the rest of us have been secretly yearning for: time to be creative in.
You could spend years winding your way through the artistic districts and eclectic
neighborhoods that have sprung up under the canopies of banyan trees in Miami.
Luckily, my time as a restaurant critic for the Miami Herald took me to many of them.
For those lucky enough to feel this city’s warm, salty breezes in December,
Art Basel features Miami’s creativity at its zenith.
“Art Basel is unlike anything
else in the art world.”
Art Basel has been called the biggest collection of
contemporary art on the planet, and the Miami
edition of this multi-city experience has even more
zest than its international counterparts.
“Art Basel Miami is unlike anything else in the art
world,” says Matt Kenny, director of tourism and
culture for the city of Miami Beach.
The art extravaganza, which takes place from
December 5 through December 8 at the Miami
Beach Convention Center, focuses on modern and
contemporary art, showcasing about 4,000 artists
who are represented by more than 250 international
galleries selected through a juried process.
Whether you’re a collector or just here to soak up
the scene, Art Basel displays a dizzying selection of
paintings, photographs, installations, film, video and
digital works that will dazzle or disappoint, depending
on the viewer’s taste.
The price tag for one of these
pieces ranges from $30,000
When I first attended Art Basel,
nearly a decade ago, I was
awed by the works of masters,
such as Pablo Picasso, Henri
Matisse and Andy Warhol,
and admittedly perplexed by
some exhibits, which left me
scratching my head.
I just couldn’t comprehend the
meaning behind a collection
of mostly nude female
mannequins stringing yarn in
a bathroom or an installation
displaying only spray paint,
a plastic bucket and a bag of
cement against a blank wall.
Yet even if I didn’t “get” a piece,
there would be something
amazing on the next aisle. I could
have spent days taking it all in.
This year there’s even more
buzz for the show because Art
Basel is adding a major new
space called Meridians, located
in the massive ballroom on the
convention center’s top floor
and holding about 30 works too
big for traditional show booths.
It’s the biggest update since the
event launched in Miami Beach
in 2002. Art Basel originated in
Switzerland in 1970 and added
Hong Kong in 2013.
Of course, this is Miami—where
extra spice is added to everything.
“We’re a fun, people place,”
Kenny says. “Having come
from the Basel art show in
Switzerland this year, you
don’t see the same kind of city
shutdown. Our city becomes
consumed with art. We are the
loudest and most active.”
Art Basel draws more than
70,000 visitors each year,
generating an “incredible
economic impact,” he says.
The show has spawned more
than 20 satellite fairs (where the
art is more affordable), glittering
parties and special gallery and
museum exhibits during Miami
Art Week, which runs longer
than Art Basel.
“Our city becomes consumed with art.”
More Art, Please
WYNWOOD: The former warehouse district has
become South Florida’s art hub; it’s anchored
by Wynwood Walls and the adjacent Wynwood
Doors, tributes to street art featuring dozens
of murals. Join the crowd posing in front of
edgy works, then peruse an eclectic bunch of
galleries, stores, restaurants and bars. Sure, this
bohemian enclave is attracting more tourists, yet
you can still feel its funky vibe. Wynwood Walls
is at 2520 NW 2nd Avenue; admission is free.
established contemporary art galleries from
December 4 through December 8 in Indian Beach
Park, 4601 Collins Avenue. pulseartfair.com
SCOPE MIAMI BEACH: This event is “experiential,
with music and film and fashion” combined with
contemporary art, says artist Alexis Hubshman,
founder and president of Scope Art Show. Scope,
which predates Art Basel, is held in a pavilion built
on a platform seven feet above the sand. The show
features 140 exhibitors from 60 cities in 25 countries
DESIGN MIAMI: The fair celebrates the world’s
leading contemporary design galleries, drawing
its share of famous and influential attendees.
It’s held in a tent at Meridian Avenue and 19th
Street, adjacent to Art Basel, December 4 through
December 8. basel2019.designmiami.com
PULSE: The ocean is a backdrop for this vibrant
art fair, which displays work from emerging and
WHEN: December 5 – December 8 // WHERE: Miami Beach Convention
Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive // TICKETS: Purchase tickets online
at ArtBasel.com/miami-beach or at the convention-center box office.
a curated experience
Where to eat
This hip Asian food hall
in Wynwood features
fare ranging from poké
bowls to ice cream
served in a fish-shaped
cone, plus two bars and
a karaoke lounge.
143 NW 23rd St., Miami
and runs from December 3 through
December 8 at 801 Ocean Drive. scope-art.com
UNTITLED, MIAMI BEACH: The curated art
show is held December 4 through December 8
in a large, colorful tent on the beach at
Ocean Drive and 12th Street and showcases
more than 130 exhibitors from 55 cities in
29 countries. untitledartfairs.com/miami-beach
BASS MUSEUM: Miami Beach’s
contemporary art museum will hold several
special events during Miami Art Week,
including the exhibitions In the Cone of
Uncertainty by Haegue Yang, Lara Favaretto’s
Blind Spot and Mickalene Thomas’ Better
Nights. 2100 Collins Ave. thebass.org
PÉREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI: The modern
and contemporary art museum has a
stunning view of Biscayne Bay and features
exhibitions highlighting Miami’s diverse
MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD & DRINK: James Beard
award–winning chef Michael Schwartz is at the helm
of this creative restaurant in the Design District. It’s
one of Miami’s best. 130 NE 40th St., Miami
27 RESTAURANT/BROKEN SHAKER AT THE
FREEHAND MIAMI: This high-end hostel touts the
trendy 27 Restaurant as well as the hot courtyard bar
the Broken Shaker, which has hand-crafted cocktails.
2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach
Where to sleep
FAENA HOTEL: The oceanfront hotel melds art and
glamour in an opulent Art Deco setting. Check out
Gone but Not Forgotten by Damien Hirst, a woolly
mammoth skeleton dipped in gold and displayed in
the garden. 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
THE BETSY HOTEL: Every room has its own library
at this chic South Beach hotel, where visiting
writers and artists can apply for a free stay. The
hotel features art installations, a rooftop pool and
the restaurants LT Steak & Seafood and the Alley.
1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
SETAI: Fine Asian art and artifacts decorate this
restored 1930s building, which houses the high-end
restaurant Jaya and poolside Ocean Grill.
2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Rosanne Dunkelberger is an award-winning journalist and editor.
A graduate of the University of Florida, Rosanne has worked for newspapers and a
public relations firm and spent 10 years as the editor of Tallahassee Magazine. She and
her journalist husband, Lloyd, have lived in the Red Hills region for 36 years. They
have two grown children and an eagerly anticipated grandbaby due in January.
Rochelle Koff worked as a writer, editor and restaurant critic for the Miami
Herald for nearly three decades, writing features and covering arts and entertainment,
dining and business. She was a legislative reporter before becoming a freelance
journalist in Tallahassee. One of her passions now is writing about chefs and dining
on her blog and website, Tallahassee Table. For Rochelle, a region’s food, like its art, is
key to knowing the place and its people.
Audrey Post had 30 years’ experience in newspapers as a writer and editor
at The Palm Beach Post, the Miami Herald, The Tampa Tribune, the Macon Telegraph and
the Tallahassee Democrat before shifting to magazines. Her work has appeared in
Tallahassee Magazine, Emerald Coast and Influence, as well as the business journal 850.
She lives and gardens in Tallahassee.
Jon-Michael Sullivan is an editorial and commercial photographer in
Atlanta, Georgia. As the owner and lead photographer at JM Sullivan Creative, Jon-
Michael works with brands like Coca-Cola and ESPN. You’ll find his photojournalism
work in publications including the New York Times, USA Today and, of course, THOM.
Emmy Táncsics fell into the job of copy editing magazines while living in New
York City. She has worked for American Machinist, GQ, House & Garden, Lingua Franca,
Publishers Weekly and Town & Country Travel, among others. On moving to Thomasville,
Emmy immersed herself in the local theater scene, specializing in playing elderly
butlers. She also racewalks competitively and stablehands recreationally.
Megan Young is passionate about travel, good coffee, caramel M&Ms and
her hometown of Thomasville, Georgia. When she’s not running after her two kids
(Ford, 7, and Mabry, 3), teaching group fitness at the YMCA or dreaming with her
husband, Spencer, about what adventure is next, you will find her curled up in her
favorite chair with a good book.
TO BECOME A FEATURED ARTIST
Illustrators, Photographers, Writers and Graphic Designers
Please contact Thomasville Center for the Arts | (229) 226-0588
THEIR STORIES DON’T END HERE.
JOIN US FOR A FULL SEASON
OF THOM EVENTS.
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Here. It’s where we all want to be, where the food tastes better and the air breathes like home.
Here at Synovus, we’re proud to be the presenting sponsor for the 24th Plantation Wildlife
Arts Festival Fine Art Show & Preview Party.
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