smART Magazine is
the official publication
of Lighthouse Immersive, covering the visual and performing arts across
North America. 


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.

 Svetlana Dvoretsky
Co-Founder of Lighthouse Immersive 

 Corey Ross 
Co-Founder of Lighthouse Immersive 

Welcome to Issue No.6 

of smART


Michael Zarathus-Cook
by Kalya Ramu

A word from
the editor

The excitement continues as the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit opens in Charlotte, the New York exhibit adds another month of accolades, and Los Angeles approaches a much-anticipated opening at the Amoeba Music venue. Here in Toronto, life is returning to normal as the vaccination count rises with the temperature and the exhibit doors are set to open again on July 28th. Across North America, there is a burgeoning in the arts that feels like it’s here to stay. While caution might prevent us from declaring that the pandemic is over, a sufficient amount of caution allows us to put the worst of the lockdown in the rearview. 

It is this trickling return of normalcy that inspired the theme behind Issue No.6: The Joy of Recovery. Those two words have been sorely missing from the public vernacular over the last eighteen months, so we invited poets from six cities to reflect on how they define joy and recovery at a time that seems equidistant from the despair of the pandemic and the hope for a brighter and more purposeful future in the arts. The result of this invitation is smART Magazine’s first poetry collection. 

Is this the joy of recovery? Violent as a sparkler,
I forget the burning. Instead, look at how I dance tonight.
The sparkles. How could I have known
I would know the disbelief of seeing
people, many people,
brushing elbows. With faces. Standing together
at the crosswalk. And be relieved.
From “They do it With Their Wings,” by Claire Champommier


We found this joy radiating from the work of  Bree Stallings, a leading figure in Charlotte’s tight-knit artistic community, and found the spirit recovery in the healing self-portraits of Toronto artist Quinn Rockliff. In New York, a new start for opera conductor Constantine Orbelian brings something to smile about, and a pair of artists speak excitedly about their new role at a coveted artist-hub.

In San Francisco, two IVG Artists-in-Residence stop by to reflect on what their first post-pandemic gig means to them, and one of the most celebrated publicists in Los Angeles explains how his company was able to scale-up the marketing of the IVG exhibit mid-pandemic.  


For some of us, recovery is still more a question than a statement, and Issue No.6 creates space to explore the complexities of the new normal. In Toronto, smART correspondent, Augusta Monet, pens a thoughtful essay on how their own personal transformation can be a mirror for post-pandemic growth in general. Iraqi-Canadian filmmaker, Maytham Jbara, discusses his new film and redefining the stories told about his native Baghdad. We also reflect on a moment of reckoning with the plight of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and celebrate the life of Indigeonous artist Floyd Kuptana

Issue No.6 is a virtual tour through the cities currently flying the Immersive Van Gogh flag, narrated by the artists and administrators that make each city’s artistic-climate unique. I invite you to begin this journey in Toronto—where it all started—in conversation with the Co-Producer of the exhibit, Corey Ross. 

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

  Tash Cowley - Writer  

Tash is a New York-based British Actress and Singer. She studied Classical Acting at RADA in London and English Literature at Durham University, before moving to New York to pursue her acting career. Things Tash loves include the theatre, house plants, good novels, true crime podcasts, live music and her rescue puppy, Dustin. 
IG: @NatashaCowleyActor


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