Lifelong artist Anica Shpilberg has realized her professional dream with the recent opening of Anica Art Studios in Downtown Hollywood.
Anica Art Studios, a joint venture between Shpilberg and artists Amalia Brujis and Donna Lee Steffens at 112 S. 20th Ave., celebrated its grand opening March 1.
Shpilberg, a native of Peru whose portfolio includes photography, painting, printmaking, mixed media, and steel and stone sculpture, has been an artist all her life, taking her first art class at age 7. Shpilberg’s work is in private collections in the U.S., Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Israel and Switzerland. From 2005 to 2017, she was a resident artist at The Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami’s Wynwood Art District, along with Brujis and Steffens.
Despite Shpilberg’s success as an artist, something was missing.
“I’ve had studios, but this is different. It’s not an art collective of 20 or 30 people. My two partners and I can do what we want,” she said. “This was always a dream. I’m so grateful.”
The gallery space features Shpilberg’s life-size – and lifelike – “painted living statues,” mannequins she describes as “embodiments of anonymous figures that I endow with human qualities.”
Through her mixed-media photographs of people and places, Shpilberg aims to capture the essence and uniqueness of their lives and their environment. She utilizes layers of paint, textiles and paper to create symbols in each work.
“My intention as an artist is to document and to bring awareness of the social and cultural realities that are patent in our world today,” Shpilberg said.
Brujis’ acrylic and oil paintings on canvas and wood reflect her longtime fascination with painting people, and explore the complexities of human interaction.
“My images come from photographs I take in streets, museums or train stations,” Brujis said. “The people I paint have a place in my universe. They come and go. Some appear to be in a hurry, and some are distracted, thoughtful, mysterious, lonely, or lost in the distance. Each person has his own story.”
Steffens works in a variety of materials that include resin, Plexiglas, and Swarovski crystals. The Miami native’s work is informed by personal experiences and the desire to unify body, mind and spirit in the human experience.
“My artistic vision is based on my desire to reconnect the human experience with the world around us, to show that everything is connected to, and dependent upon, everything else,” Steffens said. “My personal hope is to create beautiful artwork that resonates that feeling in the mind and perceptions of the viewer.”
Shpilberg said she was drawn to the historic downtown arts, music and entertainment district from the first time she visited Hollywood a few years ago.
“I felt that there was something brewing in the air,” Shpilberg said. “Downtown Hollywood is an area that is developing and where importance is given to the arts. I like what I see.”
Anica Art Studios is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 786-261-5522 or visit www.anicaonline.com.
Downtown Hollywood offers on-street metered parking for $1.50 per hour, as well as municipal garage parking for $1 per hour. Municipal garage locations are 251 S. 20th Ave. (between Harrison and Van Buren streets) and 251 N. 19th Ave. (between Tyler and Polk streets).
For more information about redevelopment projects, businesses and events in Hollywood’s Downtown and Beach Districts, call the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) at 954-924-2980 or visit www.hollywoodcra.org.