Getulio Damado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A trip to Rio de Janeiro isn’t complete without a visit to the open air studio of Getulio Damado in the Santa Teresa area of the city. He is an institution. Recent efforts by the city to force him to move from where he has worked for many years under the canopy of a large tree proved unsuccessful when it sparked an outcry from Getulio fans and patrons. Enjoy this latest video in the Catalyst Artist Video Project.

Meet Danielle Carcav! Catalyst Video Project

Meet Rio de Janeiro based artist Danielle Carcav, an emerging artist with a rapid upward trajectory. Though the video conversation is in Portuguese, there are images of Danielle’s work to enjoy.This video is a part of the Catalyst Video Projects, edited by Chico Fernandes and produced by Ted Decker and Ted Decker Catalyst Fund.

Converging Trajectories: Crossing Borders, Building Bridges Exhibition


Ted G Decker Facebook page (photo album with exhibition title)


Intersecting Paths, Blurring Lines

Converging Trajectories: Crossing Borders, Building Bridges is an invitational group exhibition of works by 42 artists I have encountered through travel and ongoing research. Each is on a personal trajectory in pursuing a career as a visual artist. My own trajectory of reinvention began three years ago as I transitioned into starting and building my art consulting enterprise. Through me there is an intersection of paths that marks a moment in our histories. With their participation in this exhibit, the artists become connected with one another and with viewers from the Phoenix area and elsewhere who visit Modified Arts during the exhibition. Most of the artists are from Arizona and Brazil with others from Brooklyn, Buenos Aires, Charlotte, Chicago, Mexico City, and San Francisco. The vast majority of the artists started producing work during the past 10-15 years in times of rapid technological advancement, increasing globalization albeit polarization, and the end and beginning of centuries and millennia. Of the 42 artists in the exhibition, 21 are currently based in Brazil making this the most ambitious showing of contemporary art from Brazil in Phoenix and the Southwestern United States.

With rapid-fire changes, and especially with the rampant development and use of technology, social networks, and cheaper air travel, our own worlds continue to both expand and contract exponentially. More than ever before, we are able to recognize that the people of Earth strive for similar things in life and share dreams for the future. Artists made the works in this exhibition in response to personal, social, political, and economic issues of the human condition thereby blurring mapped nationalistic and cultural boundaries.

The art and exhibition concept are more relevant than ever in Arizona and the United States through the lenses of globalization, shifting populations, economic volatility, and human rights and dignity. The artworks are as diverse in content as in the origins and experiences of the artists who made them. Unbelievably, it is still easier for art to cross lines drawn on political maps than it is for many of the art makers to obtain visas for travel to Phoenix for the exhibition opening. This is especially true for artists living in the Americas south of us.

A major goal for this exhibit is to provide Arizona viewers with fresh and vital art for multi-faceted viewing, interpretation, and enjoyment during seemingly endless, hot summer days and vituperative political and social debates. Another is to provide opportunities for the artists in the exhibition and in our community to see their work in a broader context and different arena than they may have previously.   

I am assembling the art, bringing it to Phoenix, and providing opportunities for people to connect with art and artists, many of whom are showing their work in the United States for the first time. Information about the exhibition is being broadcast from Phoenix to people around the world through the use of technology, thereby making it possible to be interconnected across political, language, social, and cultural borders.

Building bridges through lively discussions of themes relating to art and culture, rather than subjects like politics and religion, allows us to establish common ground for understanding others and improving our lives and those of others in our community and beyond. This exhibition requests viewer response to and reflection about the art and offers interconnection and understanding between people while abating fear of the other or the unknown.

Ted G. Decker

August 2010

This exhibition is made possible by support from Kim Larkin and Adam Murray/Modified Arts and Ted Decker Catalyst Fund.* In-kind support was provided by Chico Fernandes (Rio de Janeiro), Bill Fielder/Bill’s Custom Frames, Joe Jankovsky, Lisa MacCollum/Lisa Mac Studio, Paul Jacques, and to Verónica Villanueva and Brent Bond.

Special thanks to each of the participating artists, Justin P. Germain, those who made the journey to Phoenix for the opening, Valber Silva, (Niterói, Brazil), and to the following galleries for their support: in Recife, Galeria Mariana Moura; in Rio de Janeiro, A Gentil Carioca, Amarelonegro Arte Contemporânea, Anita Schwartz Galeria de Arte, Galeria Artur Fidalgo, and Laura Marsiaj Arte Contemporânea; and in São Paulo, Novembro Arte Contemporânea and Zipper Galeria.

 *The Ted Decker Catalyst Fund is affiliated with MARS, Inc., a private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 educational organization committed to arts advocacy and education through its programming. Donations are encouraged and graciously accepted.

Toward a New Community: Uniting Separate Paths


We all follow our own path and, by design of fate or coincidence, individual paths cross those of others.  Converging Trajectories: Crossing Borders, Building Bridges is one of those intersections.  The show brings together diverse examples of contemporary art without a predisposed thematic element—seemingly the only link between the artists is the curator.  But the exhibition is not only a tool to organize and build interest in contemporary art.  It serves as a framework to construct a community in which the cultures of the curator, the artists, and the viewers are brought together to re-code assumptions about group identity.  The artists are forever connected through the exhibition.  The viewer engages with the art and therefore with the artist.  Thoughts and ideas create a dialogue.  Inferences are made.  Connections become clear.  The experience of the exhibition unifies and defines the constructed community.

Each of the works serves as a window into the artist’s complex relationship with our world.  They have constructed their visual language from personal experiences derived from views both unique and shared.  They each interpret existential and cultural anxiety, clash and engagement between cultures, socio-economic realities within communities, cultural integrity, and self-affirmation.  But they all express personal views unique to the people they represent.  The act of bringing together various people hints towards a human community, not by promoting a universal concept of culture, but instead by celebrating diversity.

Because it is unrealistic to define contemporary art with any degree of finality Converging Trajectories serves as a glimpse into test cases of evocative global art.  These instances of originality and experimentation intersect in the exhibition, and from within the interstices between cultures, a complex community develops and further shrinks our world by breaking down liminal boundaries.


Justin P. Germain

August 2010


A Video Conversation with Sergio Allevato in ENGLISH

Don’t miss a conversation with Sergio Allevato in a video which is part of the Catalyst Artist Video Project, an ongoing series of video conversations with artists.

Work by Sergio Allevato can be enjoyed in the exhibition Converging Trajectories – Crossing Borders, Building Bridges curated by Ted G. Decker. The exhibition opens at Modified Arts ( in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, August 20th, 2010.  

Sergio Allevato


August 5th – September 4th, 2010

Artur Fidalgo Gallery, Rio de Janeiro


At first glance Sergio Allevato´s expertly rendered watercolor paintings look as if they are illustrating flora, like Margaret Mee’s traditional botanical art. However, upon closer examination, the observer discovers mimicry in parts of the anatomy of the plants, characters of Disney, Hanna Barbera and others that delight and inhabit the imagination of children. The characteristic ears of Mickey become a part of Magnolia seeds; the trunk of the Dasylirion take the form of the profile of Speedy Gonzales´ face; the fruit of the ginko biloba plant endemic to Japan is Hello Kitty´s head.


In the series “Botanic Atlas” the most famous cartoons of each country – among them Mortadelo, Spain; Mickey Mouse, United States; Speedy Gonzales, Mexico – appear in plants endemic to those places.  Allevato proposes a game that involves extensive research of botany and the nationality and cultural territory of the characters in animated drawings. For example, in the series “Rio de Janeiro” the pistils of a bromeliad native to that region, the Alcantarea imperialis, become Zé Carioca, his girlfriend Rosinha and his nephews which were cartoon characters created by Disney to represent the cariocas, people who were born in Rio de Janeiro.


The viewer sport of closer examination soon reveals that the cartoon character forms an integral part of the plants’ reproductive organs thereby revealing multi-faceted layers for interpretation of Allevato’s paintings. The viewer recognizes a sexually aroused Pinocchio as the androceu of an amaryllis. Both the drawing that scientifically describes the botanical species and the cartoon character are displaced. They remit respectively the control of nature and the purity of childhood. The image has an ironic smile in the corner of the lips.


What is the meaning of an asexual Disney character appearing in the sexual organ of a plant? Why do cultural and natural elements dispute a territory? The unexpected mixture of disparate fields leaves the voyeuristic observer distrustful as if he/she is facing something malicious in which things such as infancy, nature and culture are not as they seem.


Sergio Allevato’s work is included in the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro; Museum of Modern Art, Bahia; American Museum of Natural History, New York; Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D.C.; and others, and in a growing number of international private collections. He was selected to participate in a residency at Kew Gardens, London after winning the Margaret Mee Prize, and was chosen to be an artist-in-residence for nine months at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, Tucson. He received the Acquisition Prize in the 14th Art Exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia in 2007. In 2008, he earned a Master in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College, UK. Allevato currently lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


-Text by Fernando Gerheim, Art Critic and PhD in Comparative Literature (with additional text by Ted G. Decker)






Artur Fidalgo Gallery

Rua Siqueira Campos, 143 loja 147 a 150, 2nd floor

Copacabana – Rio de Janeiro – RJ, Brazil, 22.031-900


Gallery hours:

Monday to Friday – 10am to 7pm, Saturday – 10am to 2pm and by appointment

For further information please contact us at 55 21 2549-6278 or and visit our website at

Video conversation with Sergio Allevato, May 2010
A casual conversation with Rio de Janeiro-based artist Sergio Allevato in May, 2010. Gain insight into the ideas, art making process, and an get an exclusive glimpse at this amazing artist.
Produced by Ted Decker for Catalyst Artist Video Project. Film editing by Chico Fernandes.



When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrinia

When the Water Came:
Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina



Interview-poems by Cynthia Hogue. Photographs by Rebecca Ross





Published by University of New Orleans Press, August 2010

When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina is a compelling collection of interview-poems by Cynthia Hogue and photographs by Rebecca Ross that portrays the experiences of twelve evacuees. These evacuees include ordinary people from all walks of life–people like Freddie Munn, a disabled man who built a raft of doors, then swam to safety after his raft capsized, spending the next week on a bridge before being rescued, and Ardie Cooper, a casino bartender, who clung with her daughter to the roof of their home while being inundated by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. When the Water Came gives form and voice to the resourcefulness of individual evacuees expressed through their own words and in the photographs of faces, rescued possessions, and lost homes. Through images and words, these survivors tell us about courage, dignity, and resilience.

A number of events are planned in conjunction with publication of the book, including an exhibition coordinated by Scottsdale Public Art as well as an exhibit and signing at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe. Your purchase or donation at the $375 level or above ensures your name listed in the acknowledgments at each venue.

When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina





Pre-Publication Order Form for Signed Books and Limited-Edition Photographs





Pre-publication prices offered through July 31, 2010. Estimated order shipment date: August 31, 2010.



____Signed book, $25 (while author supplies last)

____Signed book / one 8”x8” photograph, $150 (after July 31, $200)

Acknowledgement at exhibition venues included with the following:

____Signed book / one 13”x13” photograph / acknowledgment, $375 (after July 31, $500)

____Signed book / five 8”x8” photographs / acknowledgment, $550 (after July 31, $750)

____Signed book / nine 8”x8” photographs / acknowledgment, $950 (after July 31, $1,250)

Please indicate your image selection(s):



____Emily’s studio floor ____Kid Merv ____Claiborne Avenue Bridge



 ____Ardie’s box of photographs ____Freddie’s house, 2009 ____Richard

____Jim’s jade figurine ____Catherine’s front porch ____Untitled, New Orleans, LA



____I wish to support presentations of this project with a donation of $______ 



Donations to the Ted Decker Catalyst Fund may be tax deductible. Please check with your tax advisor.



NAME:____________________________________________ PHONE:________________________




CITY:_____________________________________ STATE:________________ ZIP:_____________


Make checks payable to: Ted Decker Catalyst Fund

For more information, call (480)557-8295 Mail to: Ted Decker Catalyst Fund email or visit

When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina, are supported in part by: Arizona Commission on the Arts with funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts; City of Tempe, Arizona; Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University; and the Ted Decker Catalyst Fund.

The Ted Decker Catalyst Fund is affiliated with MARS, Inc., a private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 educational organization committed to arts advocacy and education through its programming.

All Photographs © 2010 Rebecca Ross.













Artist Katherine Zsolt Returns to The Icehouse, Phoenix with “Leaving My Father’s House” Installation

ICEHOUSE Alternative Arts Museum
 429 west jackson street . phoenix

march  12th – 6pm  to 10pm         13th – noon to 10pm        14th – noon to 10pm
                     20th noon to 10pm        21st noon to 10pm


“Leaving My Father’s House”                    
   by Katherine Zsolt

“The first parts of the exhibition are about finding one’s own voice,
 and achieving a balance of personal power,” says show creator
 Katherine Zsolt.  “The final section of the show concerns the use of
 that power. It is – both figuratively and literally – a platform from
 which I urge the audience to consider the trust our children have in

 Zsolt’s multimedia installation was inspired by a favorite book,
 Leaving My Father’s House, by Jungian analyst Marion Woodman.  
 The book parallels a Grimm’s Brother’s Fairy Tale with
 explorations of personal development.

 Set against the backdrop of the historic Icehouse in downtown
 Phoenix,visitors to the exhibit follow a path through three rooms in
 the 12,000 sq. ft. venue, each depicting a stage in a  development and
 growing personal awareness. A powerful combination of relief wall
 panels, body cast installations and video offerings challenge the viewer
 to reflect upon their role in the world community and accept responsibility
 for the fate of our children.

For information call        415.312.1353 

Dining with Ted’s Artful Travel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

When traveling in Brazil, plan to be in Rio de Janeiro over a weekend for many fun reasons. On Saturday afternoons, head to the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa high above Rio with breaktaking views of the City and Guanabara Bay. Here you will find very cool shops with work by artisans, some fun bars, street artists, and good restaurants. An obligatory stop for me each time I am in Rio is Bar do Mineiro in the heart of Santa Teresa. You can get there by taxi though take the name and address with you, take bus 214, or even better by the bondinho street car which actually passes directly in front of the restaurant (get off at the Largo dos Guimarães stop). 

One of the best things about Bar do Mineiro is the lively atmosphere. Many artists, residents of Santa Teresa and Rio, and now tourists come together in family style tables to eat, drink, and be merry. Even waiting for a table (usually required) outside the bar and flowing into the street (watch for the bondinho!!) is a kick which is saying a lot for someone who hates to wait for tables in restaurants! Make sure to give your name to Angela for the waiting list. And if owner Diógenes Paixão is around, make a point of saying hello to him. This guy is the real deal and also is an amazing art collector. Make sure to check out art, artisan works, and antiques on the walls of the restaurant.

On the food front, I recommend the feijoada (a rich stew made with black beans, meat, sausage, and other stuff) which is traditionally served on Saturdays. Also, the carne seca is muito bom (very good)! Even though I am not much of a beer drinker, I immediately order a large bottle of my favorite Brazilian beer, Antarctica Original (the same company also makes the popular soft drink in the green cans, Guarana Antarctica). They also serve an amazing variety of cachaça, the potent sugarcane liquor found in caipirinhas. Watch out for the drunken fruit in those caipirinhas!! The portions of hearty food are generous. They have great appetizers and the frango com quiabo (stewed chicken with okra) is pretty hard to beat. You might also experiment with the Feijão tropeiro, thicker than feijoada and made with brown instead of black beans.

The prices are very reasonable considering the large portions and the fun atmosphere: Main course run $7-12.

Bar do Mineiro
Rua Pascoal Carlos Magno, 99
Santa Teresa
CEP: 20240-290  Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
+55 (21) 2221-9227