The Event Of The Year: Virgin 2.0

From GaYBOR:

OMG can we say that again!!! Producer Okesene Tilo outdid himself again. Over 5,000+ guests packed The RITZ Ybor. The catered evening of entertainment, art, fashion & live performance to benefit The National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. The evening started with an opera-singing songbird strolling up 7th Avenue to The RITZ. Inside the works of 85 local artists were on display. Up on the main stage where there was live newly created performances every half hour. Dance. Music. Yoga & Fashion Shows! Producer Okesene thanked the crowd and included a SPECIAL Thank You to GaYBOR for making the night possible. We encourage everybody to write and get on this guest list!

www.SquareOneFlorida.com

More Media Coverage: Virgin 2.0

FROM TAMPAGOLD.COM: Okesene Tilo organized another great art event at the Ritz in Ybor recently. The free event brought over 1,000 guests to see modern dance, various art media, performance art, and lots more. The Ritz has become a center for unique artistic events and Virgin 2.0 was no exception. TampaGold.com was one of the sponsors of the event. Lines formed around the block as art fans queued to get in and they did not seem to be disappointed. Virgin 2.0 featured many artists not usually on display. It was fun event. Watch for another Okesene event sometime after the first of the year.



FROM TAMPA BAY TIMES BLOG (Leigh Armstrong's So Tampa Bay): (12.04.08) The art scene has definitely been on the upswing this year with a lot of groups trying to make art galleries the place to be. For the most part, they've succeeded and made an art showing a viable alternative to another night at an Ybor City bar. Virgin 2.0 at the Ritz on Saturday (12/6) could be the biggest one yet. With the typical indie artists from around the Bay present, there will also be a fashion show, a performance by the odd, but entertaining, Jeremy Gloff and a rhythmic yoga demonstration. It's got a mix of all the eccentricity that makes Tampa Bay so unique. It definitely could be the best art event of the year (I'll save my judgment on that for after) and you can assume the this will be scenester central, so make sure your clothes are hip and chic.

(12.07.08)

This was a definite fashion lovers weekend. The amount of art and clothing that were on display at Virgin 2.0 at the Ritz and the Artist Invasion in Williams Park was enough to make your head spin. For those of you who missed out on all the craziness, I feel sorry for you but you do get to check out a few visuals to remind you of why a weekend spent at home isn't really a weekend.

At Virgin 2.0, it was packed to the brim with people and the performances were hot and happening pretty much every 30 minutes. The University of Tampa dance group, Wired, were one of the first groups to go on after being led to the stage by an opera singer. It was surreal and just looking at them made me think of a crazy New York art school.

Tips on how to create a good fashion show that I got from Melissa Ora-Ath:
1. Lots of models with alternative hair styles.
2. Lots of smoke.
3. Make sure the soundtrack is suitably indie and electro.
4. Shine purple lights everywhere!

No, it's not interpretive dance Adrienne Reed and Jason Moriarty are doing. It's a yoga performance. This just blew my mind. The moves that they were able to pull off wowed me. Overall, I'd say Virgin 2.0 at the Ritz was a massive success and culminates what has been a great year for art in Ybor City.


Tampa Tribune Interview: Virgin 2.0

Local Arts Scene Starts AT Square One
by Sarah Hoye

Square One is putting on the Ritz Saturday with a third installment of its local art series.

Virgin 2.0 will fill the newly restored Ritz Ybor with original works by more than 85 Tampa area artists, musical and dance performances, and fashion shows, all intended to help reinvigorate the local arts scene.

"There is rebirth in Ybor City and the Ritz Ybor has been very supportive. [Virgin 2.0] is a tribute to them," said co-organizer Okesene Tilo, executive director for the Florida branch of Square One Creative, an art and design collective based in Tampa and New York City.

"It's more than just an art and fashion show," he said.


The foyer of the Ritz will serve as an art gallery for works revolving around the themes of rebirth and awakening, while the remaining rooms will host performances and fashion shows. The event is free, but a portion of the proceeds from art sales will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Many of the works included in the show prominently feature the color pink to reflect breast cancer awareness.

"The event is an art piece in itself," Tilo said, adding that the festivities are intended to be family friendly. "Come and open your mind to what Tampa has to offer through its arts community."

Musical performances include appearances by classical and jazz musicians Jamal Corrie, Marcy Hopp & Friends and All That Jazz, along with a special set by pop artist Jeremy Gloff, who will be accompanied by a string ensemble.

The University of Tampa Dancers will perform throughout the venue accompanied by the operatic sounds of vocalist Suzanne Alvarez, who will make her grand entrance down historic Seventh Avenue.

"It's hard to break out of that stigma of Ybor, but the Ritz isn't a nightclub — it's a venue, and this is art," said co-organizer Jason Pierce Moriarty, vice president of Florida Square One Creative. Moriarty will have artwork on display and perform a fusion of yoga, dance and art with Namaste Yoga Studio during the event. "Art is for the community, and people should come and support [the scene]," he said.

Virgin 2.0 will be catered by local restaurants, including popular Ybor City spots such as Spaghetti Warehouse and Mema's Alaskan Tacos.

While the event's name can be taken as a reference to some of its participants — for example, a runway show will feature the debut of "virgin" fashion designers J. Alfonso and Melissa Oraath, along with pieces by Tragik Designs — organizers hope it's primarily a reflection of the area's cultural renaissance.

"Art enriches our lives," said Moriarty. "My personal purpose is to just bring back the arts."

Tampa Bay Times Interview: Virgin 2.0

Here's flexibility: Duet combines music, art, yoga
By Natalie Campisi Tarpley

Jason Moriary & Adrienne Reed

In 10 years, Adrienne Reed, a petite brunette with a firm handshake and purposeful smile, has accomplished an impressive resume: owns her own business; has an organic clothing line on Home Shopping Network; stars in a television series for PBS along with videos available on Amazon.com; is co-authoring a book and is now an­gling to find a spot on Dancing with the Stars.

And she's doing it in a field that 10 years ago might have made her cringe: yoga.

"Before this, I worked in Silicone Valley for 11 years," said Reed, owner of the New Tampa Yoga studio Na­maste Yoga. "I was a successful busi­nesswoman in corporate America. After I had my kids, I knew I didn't want to be in the rat race. A friend of mine kept asking me to try yoga; I really didn't want to. I didn't think it was for me. Finally, I said that I would try it if she would stop asking me to go to these classes. I went to one class and I didn't stop going. I loved it!"

On Saturday, she and yoga partner Jason Moriarty will perform a choreo­graphed duet based on power yoga poses during Virgin 2.0, a multimedia art and fashion extravaganza at the Ritz Ybor in Ybor City.

"What we came up with is music, art and yoga fused together," Reed said. "It was great to challenge myself in that way. It's not easy working with a partner, we do some very difficult poses together. You have to have a lot of trust."

Virgin 2.0 organizer Okesene Tilo, the executive director of Square One Florida, pulled together modern danc­ers, an opera singer, a 16-year-old clas­sical composer, a jazz band, a dance troupe and dozens of local artists for the eclectic show.

"I'm not an artist, but I do have a lot of creative ideas," Tilo said. "The show's theme was my idea. When the University of Tampa dancers showed me their routine for the first time on stage, I definitely had input. I made suggestions and they liked them. So I guess in that way I'm artistic."

One of Okie's many artistic contri­butions to Virgin 2.0 is the Pied Piper­like entrance opera singer Suzanne Alvarez will make Saturday evening as she walks down Seventh Avenue — her booming voice entreating passers­by to follow — eventually stopping at the final destination, The Ritz. Built in 1917, the decades-old theater will sym­bolically come to life as Alvarez makes her entrance and the dancers — who will be pressed against the building's facade as if part of it — begin to peel off the exterior and follow Alvarez in­side via a modern dance.

A typical Saturday night in Ybor? Not by a long shot.

Reed, a single mom with two kids, will rely on her seemingly endless supply of energy for the show. Her forte is power yoga, which is less fo­cused on the meditative aspects and concentrates on improving strength and stamina through a series of inten­sive poses.

Namaste Yoga has drawn profes­sional athletes as well as locals who just want a different way to work out. As the trend factor of yoga has sub­sided a bit, more people are drawn to yoga for the long-term reasons, Adrienne said, especially stress relief. "With the economy the way it is, peo­ple have anxiety and they're turning to yoga to relieve that."

Adrienne Reed and Jason Moriarty's choreographed yoga routine is one of the many eclectic acts at Virgin 2.0, a collaborative art extravaganza starting at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. The free event will feature food from Mema's Alaskan Tacos, Spaghetti Ware­house, Streetcar Charlie's and Stonewood Grill and Tavern. A portion of art sales will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. squareoneflorida.com.

For more information on Adrienne Reed, visit adriennereed.com.


USF Oracle Interview: Virgin 2.0

Virgin 2.0 part of Ybor City's artistic rebirth

Amanda Moore, Correspondent

The painting by Linda Alexander, is just one piece featured at the Virgin 2.0 event. Special to the
The painting by Linda Alexander, is just one piece featured at the Virgin 2.0 event.

After the largest art festival in Tampa — the Gala Corina — was canceled, its absence left another event aimed at reviving Ybor City’s creative scene in the spotlight.

And so, Virgin 2.0 was born.

Err, born again.

Virgin 2.0 is a night of art, music, dance, fashion and food that benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Its name is a play on the words “Version 2.0.”

Okesene Tilo, Florida executive director for Square One Creative, the producer of Virgin 2.0, said the event couldn’t have come at a better time.

“A huge majority of artists participating in Virgin 2.0 are artists who were looking forward to and creating new work for Gala Corina,” Tilo said. “There is a huge void now that the biggest art event in Tampa is not taking place this year.”

Twenty artists will present works themed around the concept of rebirth and renaissance, all featuring the color pink for breast cancer awareness.

Tilo said Ybor is undergoing a rebirth as local businesses try to restore the historic district’s reputation as the artistic capital of Tampa.

Square One Creative was formed with the vision of bringing exposure to local artists.

“I believe Ybor is once again in transition — and for the better,” said Tony LaColla, president of the Historic Ybor Neighborhood Civic Association. “There is a rebirth here, and Ybor is going to emerge better than ever.”

Ybor business owners are striving to make a change in Tampa’s oldest neighborhood and the negative nightclub reputation is drawing to a close, said LaColla.

Square One Creative recruiters personally selected the majority of the featured performers while a few others responded to an open-call audition, said Tilo.

Virgin 2.0 includes performances by University of Tampa’s dance department, Suzanne Alvarez, Namaste Yoga Studio and Jeremy Gloff and fashion designs by Melissa Oraath and Tragik Designs.

Stonewood Tavern & Grille, the Spaghetti Warehouse, Mema’s Alaskan Tacos and Streetcar Charlie’s Bar & Grille will cater the event.

Admission is free and all ages are encouraged to attend. Doors open at 7 p.m. Saturday and the festivities continue until midnight. For more information, check out squareoneflorida.com.


VIRGIN 2.0

CREATIVE EVENT BENEFITING BREAST CANCER AIMS TO REAWAKEN LOCAL ARTS SCENE

Tampa, FL (November 1st, 2008) – The 3rd Square One Creative Event called Virgin 2.0 will take place on Saturday, December 6th, 2008 at The RITZ Ybor. The RITZ Ybor is located at 1503 N 7th Ave in the historic Ybor City district of Tampa, Florida.

Virgin 2.0 Images by Jason Pierce Moriarty, Ryan Prado, Rolando Corsa & Jedd Lancaster

Virgin 2.0 is the 3rd Square One Creative event created by Okesene Tilo who heads the Square One Creative team in Florida. The event, a benefit for The National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc., will feature performances by local classical and jazz musicians Jamal Corrie, Marcy Hopp & Friends and All That Jazz with a special performance by pop artist Jeremy Gloff. A rhythmic yoga routine will be choreographed and performed by Namaste Yoga Studio. Fashion designers J.Alfonso and Melissa Oraath will debut their first collection in a fashion show alongside Tragik Designs. One of the main highlights of the night will be a very special performance by The University of Tampa Dancers to the voice of opera singer Suzanne Alvarez. Virgin 2.0 will be a catered event made possible by Stonewood Tavern & Grille, The Spaghetti Warehouse, Mema's Alaskan Tacos and Streetcar Charlie's Bar & Grille. The works of over 85 local artists will be on display with a percentage of all sales being donated to The National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Virgin 2.0 is a play on the words Version 2.0. Virgin 2.0 stands for: a second new beginning, the rebirth of Ybor City, a reawakening and renaissance of the local arts. The Grand Foyer of The RITZ Ybor will debut all new themed artwork from twenty selected artists, whose works revolve around the subjects of rebirth and reawakening. The remaining three rooms of The RITZ Ybor will feature the best of Tampa's local arts.

Fashion Shows by Melissa Oraath, J.Alfonso and Amel Samuel's Tragik Designs

"After the success of my last event GO! which attracted 2,000 people and given the rebirth of Ybor City itself," says Okesene Tilo, Executive Director for Square One Creative. "The timing for this event could not be anymore perfect."

Virgin 2.0 is open to the general public, all ages, and is free to attend. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the event will last until midnight. Cash bars will be available for patrons over the age of 21. Virgin 2.0 is being sponsored by The RITZ Ybor, Namaste Yoga Studio and Tampa Bay After Dark.

Art Design by Christopher Zenger

Square One Creative LLC is an artist collective that operates in the state of Florida and the city of New York. Square One's services include event planning and marketing, graphic art, website design and photography.

Square One Creative in Florida is headed by Okesene Tilo who co-organized and produced both February's Square One Art Exhibit with Gary Randall and last May's GO! extravaganza in Ybor City. Other recent productions include the monthly Square One Rocks! showcase at the Ybor City Art Walk, musician Jeremy Gloff's 1987 Album Release Party at Crowbar in September and November's charity fundraiser L'Amour benefiting the MAC AIDS Fund. Okesene will next produce Ryan Prado Shot Me!, photographer Ryan Prado's first solo exhibit at Ybor City's Gallery Live in February 2009. Yogart, a Square One collaborative showase with Namaste Yoga Studio, will be produced by Jason Pierce Moriarty and is scheduled for January 2009.

Square One in New York City is headed by Gary Randall and Julia Ozimek. The first Square One Creative event in New York City is tentatively scheduled for February 2009.


For more information about Square One Creative LLC, please check out:
www.SquareOneFlorida.com
www.myspace.com/Square1Art



Squared & My 29th Bday

The RITZ Ybor & Square One present...
SQUARED
featuring a Wear To The Tear Vintage Fashion Show
&
Jeremy Gloff's 1987 Encore Performance
- The Official Virgin 2.0 Artist Meet & Greet -


FREE ADMISSION!


L'AMOUR

L'AMOUR
Benefiting The MAC AIDS Fund

Photo by Ryan Prado / Make-Up by Mark "Hero" de los Reyes

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 @ 9pm

The Honey Pot
1507 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605

$10.00 minimum donation

Martinis, Wine & Cocktails
Hors D'oeuvres
Burlesque Entertainment
Silent Charity Auctions
Special Performance by Macavati


Art Design by Rory O'Neil / Hair by Miguel Santiago & Katie Malone / Airbrushing by Skip Sampson

L'AMOUR is the biggest fundraising event of the year to benefit the MAC AIDS Fund in the southeast region and will take place November 30, 2008 at The Honey Pot located at 1503 E 7th Avenue in Tampa, Florida. All of the donations raised from the door, auction, and 10% of the liquor proceeds will directly benefit the MAC AIDS Fund which provides funding to nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations and programs for such needs as food, clothing, housing, healthcare.

L'AMOUR is open to the general public with a $10.00 minimum donation to attend. Doors open at 9pm to the general public.



MASQUERADES at The RITZ

The RITZ Ybor presents...

MASQUERADE at The RITZ
A ONE NIGHT return to Masquerades 80's Thursdays


Featuring DJ Sirius and DJ Noi spinning the best in 80's music

Vampiress Fashion Show
choreographed by Bella Danza Dance Collective
Showtimes: 8pm & 10pm

Costume Awards. Drink Specials. FREE ADMISSION!

Doors open at 7:30pm. Event lasts until midnight.



Jeremy Gloff's 1987

I remember sitting down with Jeremy Gloff over lunch at Cheesecake Factory a good two months ago or so... brainstorming on ways to creatively promote his 1987 album... discussing the obvious lack of togetherness in Tampa... airing out our frustrations of living in such a lackluster city?

Who woulda thought that our silly lil' promotional idea would become such a creative representation of how unified our local community truly is while reminding us both that Tampa still has some "coolness" left in her.

180+ photos of different people from all walks of life were taken in front of JGlo's 1987 wall. Here is just a glimpse of a few of those photos:

Square One presents...
JEREMY GLOFF's 1987
September 20th, 2008 @ 11pm
Crowbar 1812 N 17th St Tampa, FL


Photo by Ryan Prado
www.ryanprado.com