Welcome to Issue No.5 

of smART


Michael Zarathus-Cook
by Kalya Ramu

A word from
the editor

smART Magazine is
the official publication
of Lighthouse Immersive. 

is the production company behind the 
The company was created by the partnership between STARVOX ENTERTAINMENT 

with a mission to present visual arts, music, and dance productions across North America.

New York, New York—the city that never sleeps is waking up to a bright post-pandemic morning in the arts, and the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is poised at the helm of that comeback. Issue No.5 of smART Magazine is a celebration of the special kind of energy that animates New York. A celebration of its people, who are “the greatest common denominator,” as Creative Director David Korins put it when he joined us for an interview from the back of an Über, in between errands, on a busy May day. It is a celebration of the artists leading this comeback with a uniquely resilient creative spirit. The first time I visited the city, about a decade ago, I met an actor whose words beautifully captured this resilient spirit, he said, “If I’m going to be hungry, then I want to be hungry in New York.” And finally, this issue is a celebration of the latest expansion of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, and its much anticipated arrival at the city’s Lower East Side on June 4th.  


Our collection of equally inspiring and revealing conversations with artists and arts-administrators continues this issue with a roster that includes actor-director Jay Baruchel; local painter Kristy Gordon; veteran filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson; and jazz pianist Emmet Cohen. We also welcome a selection of organizations that make the magic happen in NY and on both sides of the border, including bluemouth inc., a NY-based performance collective; and Boulevard Arts, an immersive art-and-culture technology company launching a new app for Lighthouse Immersive.

Keeping up with Lighthouse Immersive’s activities elsewhere in North America, we also welcome artists such as San Francisco Resident Artist Jun Yang; British-Canadian performer Magical Bones; Canadian filmmaker Billie Mintz; and Boston-based director, Igor Golyak


smART Magazine continues with the belief that artists, and arts-workers, should be presented in an artistically inspiring way. That is the spirit behind the work which our writers and illustrators have compiled for Issue No.5. So we hope you’ll accept our invitations to join in on these incredible conversations, and let us know how they inspired your search for artistic experiences now and in the future. 


From my desk to yours,
Michael Zarathus-Cook 
Chief Editor and Visual Designer
May 2021


editor sig


 Vik Hovanisian - Writer 

Hailing from Paris, France, Vik Hovanisian is a performing artist and a creative writer, producing original works that cross borders and look to the future. She is a graduate of the Conservatoire d’art dramatique and of the Institute of Higher International Studies from Paris. 
IG: @vikhvns FB: Vik Hvns 

 Camilla Mikolajewska. - Writer 

Camilla is an Art History graduate from McMaster University and a classical pianist and vocalist. She’s always loved the way that composers and artists were inspired by one another, which drove her to her studies of the arts. 
IG: @vbondart

 John Nyman - Writer  

John Nyman is a critic, poet, and scholar from Toronto. Alongside reviewing books, opera, and visual art for a number of online and print publications, he is also an editor at Peripheral Review and a member of the plumb art gallery collective. John holds a PhD in Theory and Criticism from Western University.

 Kalya Ramu - Illustrator  

Kalya Ramu is a Toronto-based visual artist and Jazz vocalist. She studied as a Visual Arts major in the Claude Watson program, after which she studied Jazz music at Humber College. While continuing to record and write music, Kalya has continued developing her painting skills. 
IG: @kalyaramuart + @kalyaramu 

 Jeremy Lewis - Illustrator 

 Georgia Gardner - Writer/Social Media 

 Madeleine Kane - Writer/Copy Editor 

 Augusta Monet - Writer 

Jeremy is a photographer and illustrator based in Montreal. In lieu of a bio, Jeremy has composed the following epic poem:
"Photos he once made
Now to doodle is his trade
Lonely, please befriend."

Georgia is a Toronto-based arts enthusiast. She has a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Kent, based in Canterbury, UK and Paris, France. Her interests are transnational and cross disciplinary, incorporating art, literature and cultural studies. 

Madeleine Kane is a writer, actor, and model living in Toronto. Attending the University of Waterloo, Humber College, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NYC). Appearing in multiple publications and on Canadian television as an ACTRA member, her first love is film with theatre as a close second.

 Augusta Monet is a Toronto-based writer and theatre artist. When not making art, they can be found gardening or playing tabletop RPGs.

 Ella Mazur - Illustrator  

Ella is a Toronto-based artist and illustrator who works mainly with pen and ink. Her art is inspired by the magic all around her, in the details of nature and people, the great diversity of our planet, the graceful and bizarre creatures and plants that inhabit it.

IG: @ecmazurart

  Natasha Abramova - Writer  

Natasha is the Lighthouse Immersive  Operations & Special Projects Manager with inextinguishable passion for the performing arts, theatre and museums. 
One of her proudest achievements was the instrumental role she played, in 2018, to help preserve a piece of Canadian art heritage: 
La Tour Eiffel by Marc Chagall


National Arts Centre

Alexander Neef

FFDN Festival

Route 66

Pia Kleber, UofT

Hyde Park Center

The Joffrey Balley

Chicago Symphony

Art on theMART

Josh Grossman

Dennis Watkins

Guillaume Côté

Barre Flow

Starry Opera Night

Saving Chagall