Listen to Ron's Interview with Holly Gordon and Waldo Cabrera
The Post-Pandemic Art Exhibit: a Surprising Virtual Experience
When the pandemic shut down most of America last year, the arts and entertainment community was faced with a monumental challenge. How could they survive without attracting in-person audiences to their events? Surely, they could try to create online facsimiles of their events—virtual tours, exhibitions, concerts and performances—but would these activities be dynamic enough to attract broad interest from the public? That’s when Holly Gordon and Waldo Cabrera came up with a provocative new approach to the virtual art show. In today’s episode, Holly and Waldo describe their unique collaborative journey, creating exhibitions featuring artists aged 50 and older at a prominent Long Island museum. Holly, a nationally recognized fine art and documentary photographer, served as curator of these exhibits, which were sponsored by AARP New York. Waldo, an award-winning journalist with years of experience in advertising, marketing and video production, handled the many technical tasks. The resulting presentations are no mere pictures at an exhibition. Together, Holly and Wally tell the story of how they pieced together an assemblage of images, music, graphics, narration and commentary from dozens of artists into a cohesive, entertaining experience. “I’m the composer, Wally is the conductor who interprets the work,” says Holly. Both artists also stress the importance of the arts across the generations. Holly has long been an ardent advocate for older populations. And Waldo regularly bridges the generations through his years of work with film and video productions for children, including 4Kids Entertainment, the company that brought Pokémon to the United States. Indeed, their next exhibit focuses on intergenerational collaboration among artists. “We’re all 6-year-olds,” says Waldo. “We’re using art the same way. It’s entertaining, it has elements of surprise…It’s a roller coaster ride.”
Holly Gordon is a renowned fine art and documentary photographer. The Principal of Holly Gordon Photographer Inc., Holly has established a reputation as an artist who believes in engaging people in important social and environmental issues, blazing creative trails and inspiring others as an impassioned advocate for the arts. Her photography studio is the world of nature: The viewfinder is her canvas; the camera is her paintbrush. He has become part of a ground-breaking contemporary artistic and social movement called “techspressionism.” Holly travels to all corners of the earth, from the rain forests of Central and South America and the Galapagos Islands to Australia and New Zealand, Easter Island, Alaska to Antarctica and most recently, China. As an art teacher with a master's degree from New York University and 30 years of experience, Holly has gained wide visibility through her photography in a range of venues, including the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Her work also has appeared in published form in Shutterbug Magazine, New York Newsday and dozens of other media channels. Holly has two museum-quality traveling exhibits, “Antarctica: Journey to the Extreme,” and “Galapagos: Face to Face,” in circulation and is creating a new exhibit covering a recent journey through China.
Her writing has evolved as a means of understanding what she is creating and inspiring these experiences with others. Her book, “Parallel Perspectives: The Brush/Lens Collaboration, "with Ward Hooper, was recently became a finalist at the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. A second book is in progress.
Waldo Cabrera is Executive Producer of the National Video Journalist Network. A six-time Emmy® nominated journalist, Waldo has over 30 years of professional advertising and marketing and production experience, working with companies such as Verizon, PBS, Fox, HBO, Time Warner, Viacom, The NY Daily News and McDonald’s. Born in the Dominican Republic, he immigrated to The Bronx when he was eight. After studying advertising in New York City's High School of Art and Design and getting an advertising degree from Syracuse University, Waldo joined 4Kids Entertainment, the company that brought Pokémon to the United States. During his 12 years at 4Kids, he was part of a stunning growth period that saw the company go from about 25 employees to more than 300. In 2007, Waldo launched the video news online channel ISLIP.TV (MyLITV) which was met with critical acclaim from journalists, the New York State Senate and Assembly. In 2009 MyLITV was picked up by Verizon FiOS1 News. The channel launched with Waldo’s “My Long Island TV” news magazine as part of its programming. Over an eight-year run, and over 1,200 episodes, the show was honored with dozens of journalism awards. Waldo continues to tell stories and produce films. Most recently, he animated a short film “Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure” which was featured in the TRIBECA Film Festival and he received four 2021 Emmy® nominations.
To see the virtual art exhibits created by Holly Gordon and Waldo Cabrera, click on these YouTube videos.
New Beginnings-Art at 50+
Sponsored by AARP New York, these exhibits also can be viewed on the Islip Art Museum website: www.islipartmuseum.org.
To read Holly’s most recent essay, published by boomer café, go to:
To view Waldo’s promotional reel for his video news online channel ISLIP.TV (MyLITV), produced by the National Video Journalist Network, click on: