Staff Report

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – An expert panel will explore the idea of a “Black Aesthetic” during the second installment of “Diversity in Design Arts” – a presentation and interactive discussion on Black Art, Architecture and Design on Saturday, February 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will feature five of South Florida’s premier authorities in design, including newly added architect Victor Hayes.

The discussion will be moderated by event organizer Marsha McDonald of Seacrest Designs and Decor, a luxury interior design studio. This year’s event, appropriately timed during Black History Month, is part of a three month program on Outsider Art organized by Clare Vickery of Grace Arts FL. It is staged at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and complimentary tickets are available at Use the search term “Diversity in Design – Black Art.”

The questions that will be posed: “Is there a Black Aesthetic in Art and Design? If so, how is it defined, how has it evolved, and where is it going?” The group of five distinguished South Florida creative professionals representing a variety of disciplines will share their experience and insight into the subject.

Presentations by renowned artist George Gadson and award-winning architect, author and historian Dr. David Rifkind will start the dialogue. Then accomplished architect Bertram Lewars of Lewars Design, LLC, along with interior designer Kendra Rhoulhac will add their views during the interactive panel discussion.

Newly added to the lineup of presenters is Victor Hayes of Archi Designz Group. His expertise includes architecture, urban planning and construction management, with his portfolio boasting municipal, commercial, residential and hospitality projects in Florida and in the Caribbean, including awarding-winning projects such as the Strawberry Hill Resort in Jamaica.

Students, faculty and members of the design industry are especially invited to attend and actively lend their voices to the conversation.

After the panel discussion, participants are invited to explore February’s Outsider Art series, featuring the work of the only female Highwayman, Mary Ann Carroll, as well as second generation Highwayman, Kelvin Hair.

Find out more at under the search term “Diversity in Design – Black Arts.”