Creative Icon Jean Rohe

My interviews with a variety of creative icons is wrapping up on ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME. In this series, I speak with creative talents in my life.  We discuss how they approach their work. Maura Sullivan captures these moments with her iconic black and white photography. The photos and interviews can be found on ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME’s website

Below is more about singer/songwriter Jean Rohe.  

Creative Icon Jean Rohe

Jean Rohe Reeves Desk Lamp Barry Goralnick Currey
Singer/Songwriter Jean Rohe sings a song from Sisterly
(Reeves desk lamp by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Co.; photo: Maura Sullivan)

Jean came into my life about five years ago.  My husband and Jean shared a house for two weeks during the Johnny Mercer Writer’s Colony at Goodspeed Opera House.  It was an extra-snowy few weeks, snowing them in and isolating them in East Haddem, CT – though nothing like what we’re all experiencing now. The group was extremely productive in their musical efforts and bonded instantly during these two weeks. I heard all about the wonderfully talented Jean Rohe.

Jean Rohe Barry Goralnick Davy Desk Lamp Currey Creative Icon
Jean Rohe and Barry making light of the situation
(Davy desk lamp by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Co.)

Later that Spring, Jean came to our home for a vegetarian meal. We had a great time and I expanded my cooking repertoire, trying out a few new dishes. Though I’m not vegetarian, Jean’s commitment to it and the individual impact we all have on our world through the choices we make is inspiring. While she is committed to some lofty ideals, she is also a fun and delightful person (I think you can tell from the photos of us together).  

Jean not only writes evocative songs, she lives by her principles and is vocal about sharing her beliefs.  She is the personification of belief into action.  And this comes through in her artistic work loud and clear.  Her inspiring, thought-provoking Nation Anthem: Arise! Arise! is the perfect example (watch the video – trust me, you’ll be moved).   

While Jean’s songs and recordings are wonderful, her live performances are even more extraordinary.  I will never forget seeing Jean perform her piece The Odysseus Agreement at National Sawdust (a very cool venue in Brooklyn).

I do believe that art can change the world, and in these times, it’s especially inspiring to know Jean Rohe – her personal approach and dedication to her art, and to improving our world. She is the embodiment of the sort of creativity-with-positive-purpose we need now more than ever.

You can read my interview with Creative Icon, Jean Rohe on ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME here.

Jean Rohe Davy Desk Lamp Barry Goralnick Currey
Creative Icon Jean Rohe strikes just the right chord
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Creative Icon Nick Silverio

My interviews with icons from a variety of creative industries continue on ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME.  I speak with different creative talents about their daily approach to continue their success.  Maura Sullivan captures each interview with her extraordinary black and white photos.  The images and interviews can be found on ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME’s website

Below is some additional background on why I’m keeping my eye on Nick Silverio.  

Creative Icon Nick Silverio

Nick Silverio came into my life about three years ago with a blast of youthful energy.  Nick is the rare combination of brains and talent.  He not only has performed in theaters all over the country, he’s appeared on two seasons of So You Think You Can Dance (making it to the final round both times), Saturday Night Live, and with the Mark Stuart Dance Company. He also earned a degree in business from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business (magna cum laude) with an eye towards Commercial Dance Management.

Nick Silverio Davy Desk Lamp Barry Goralnick Currey
Nick Silverio’s star is rising
(Davy desk lamp by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Co.; photo: Maura Sullivan)

While Nick may not yet be a full-blown icon, he’s already well on his way to becoming one.  He has the drive, commitment, talent, and wherewithal to achieve that status sooner rather than later.  I see his fearlessness and dedication to what he loves propelling him forward, as he continues to bank experience, broaden his fan base, and build his career.   

Not only is Nick a terrific dancer, he is an excellent choreographer and has worked on many videos, dance performances, as well as choreographing auditions for So You Think You Can Dance. Recently, he was a soloist and dance captain for Billy Elliot at the prestigious Goodspeed Theater.  Plus, Nick has become a founding coach of Solidcore Chelsea and a judge for StarQuest International Talent Competition.

He is funny and wry and keeps me and everyone else on their toes. He is always up on the latest (of everything).  And he introduced us to the fabulous Brita Filter, who is a complete delight. This shoot with the two of them was hilarious.

Nick Silverio & Brita Filter strike a pose
(Davy desk lamp by Barry Goralnick for Currey; Photo: Maura Sullivan)

Nick’s someone I’ll be keeping my eye on as his star continues to rise.  And by the way, Nick never takes a bad photo!

To read my interview with Nick Silverio, click here.

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Creative Icon Brita Filter

My interviews with icons from a variety of creative realms continue on ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME.  I get together with creative talents to discuss how they approach their days and careers while photographer Maura Sullivan shoots it all in black and white.  The photos and interviews can be found on ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME’s website

Below is some additional insight on what I see that Brita and I share in common.  

Creative Icon Brita Filter

Brita Filter Reeves Desk Lamp Barry Goralnick Currey
Brita Filter finds her light
(Reeves desk lamp by Barry Goalnick for Currey & Co.; photo: Maura Sullivan)

Last year, Brita and I met through a connection in the theater (my other obsession).  Immediately, her warm presence and hilarious sense of humor made me feel that she was like family. I’ve seen her perform live at Hardware, a club in Manhattan, where she was hysterical, smart, and cranked it up to 150%.  It’s an unforgettable show that shouldn’t be missed.  Brita is a tour-de-force of positive energy, community cheerleading, and great entertainment.

Prior to becoming the drag icon Brita is today, she performed on stage in regional productions and national tours, including Cinderella and South Pacific. This experience has prepared her for an act that is way beyond the expected drag show – it’s clear you are being entertained by a true professional who knows how to work the stage, hoof it, and charm the pants off you – sometimes literally! 

Barry Goralnick Brita Filter Nick Silverio Davy Desk Lamp Currey
Barry, Brita Filter, and Nick Silverio having a laugh
(Davy desk lamp by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Co.; photo: Maura Sullivan)

At first blush, Brita and I couldn’t appear more different, but we share commonalities in our creative pursuits.  For starters, we both love a little bling and a lot of glamour.  And we both know how to pull a look together. 

The day of our shoot, her imposing glamour (over six feet of it) was awe-inspiring. Meticulously put together, she wore a red wig that would make even Ann Margret jealous. Her black sequined dress was perfectly detailed to feature every asset. Black tassels tastefully graced the top of her décolletage (I’ve been known to use a few tassels on pillows, settees – for some spice as needed). 

We also share a deep commitment and passion for what we do.  We each pay attention to specific elements that, when put together correctly, deliver something memorable that people can enjoy.  Plus, we each care for the communities we work in and believe in bringing people together through our work.  We know that no one does it alone. 

I couldn’t be happier seeing Brita on RuPaul’s Drag Race – I believe the more people who experience her positive energy, the happier this world will be.  And these days, who couldn’t use a little more joy?!  Brita’s “anything but pure” tagline is perfectly apt for her performance, but definitely a misnomer for the big heart that lies within.       

Brita Filter Drag Queen Reeves Desk Lamp Barry Goralnick Currey Maura Sullivan
Brita dreaming up her next big move
(Reeves desk lamp by Barry Goralnick for Currey & Co.; photo: Maura Sullivan)

To read my interview with Brita Filter, click here.

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