STELLA M. HOLMES, a documentary filmmaker, art historian and collector, is passionate about the power of art to bridge differences – between cultures, between people, within the human heart.
Ms. Holmes is founder and president of The Brickellian, an umbrella organization that includes West Encounters East, a production company specializing in documentary films; a fine-arts consultancy; the curating and promotion of exhibitions, educational lectures and other events; and the publication of a quarterly newsletter.
Her debut film, West Encounters East, explores the themes of immigration, alienation and assimilation through the works of Japanese-Brazilian artists, descendants of a century-old diaspora that has given São Paulo, Brazil, the largest Japanese population outside Japan. The film, which aired on more than 280 television channels across the U.S., won a 2014 Telly Award, and Ms. Holmes received the 2014 Brazilian International Press Award, Cinema and Video category. It also won accolades in a number of film festivals. A second film on a related subject is now in production.
Also in production is a documentary showcasing the collections and operation of the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, the oldest museum in Miami-Dade County, and its vital role in the life of the university.
Taste of Argentina, a portrait of the little-known population of people from Argentina in Miami, is in development in cooperation with the Consulate General of Argentina in Miami.
Ms. Holmes’s expertise expands upon the themes of cross-cultural understanding through art. Most recently, she produced and directed a promotional video for Contemporary Kōgei Styles in Japan, an exhibition at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consulate General of Japan, Miami, and Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.
In 2013, she also curated, in collaboration with Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Tanabata: Japan’s Star Festival –Views of Tanabata in São Paulo, Brazil, featuring photography by Jade Matarazzo.
In Miami, where she has lived for more than two decades, her creativity and enthusiasm continue to enrich the community’s cultural institutions.
She is the benefactor of the Stella M. Holmes Art Research Center at the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum, a facility where artifacts from the museum’s permanent collection can be studied in a protected environment.
She is also a member of the Lowe’s Director’s Circle and principal supporter of ArtLab, a unique program launched by the Lowe and the Art & Art History Department of the University of Miami to provide students with hands-on experience in curating museum exhibitions.Ms. Holmes is a Trustee of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark. The Portuguese version of its self-guided tour, which she helped to make possible, broadens Vizcaya’s educational outreach to people from other countries.
She is also deeply involved in the Contemporary Arts Project, a commission program that invites artists to develop site-specific work inspired by Vizcaya.
As a Trustee of Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, she plays a prominent role in helping to provide authentic Japanese cultural experiences that entertain, educate and inspire.
At the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, Ms. Holmes is an active supporter of the young professionals group, which encourages engagement with the arts through a full schedule of unique and exclusive events.
She also supports the Brazil Foundation, which invests resources in civil society organizations that are developing and transforming social realities in Brazil.
Ms. Holmes is a member of the Ibis Society, which honors important donors to the University of Miami. She was Marshall for the Department of Arts & Sciences at the University of Miami’s December 2013 Commencement. In 2014, she was honored as a Big Brothers Big Sisters Miracle Maker, and in 2011, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens named her its Honoree for National Philanthropy Day. Both the City of Miami and the Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners have awarded her Certificates of Appreciation.
Her passion and innovative intelligence are carving new inroads into the endlessly fascinating encounter between art and life.