Who’s Your Muse?

On March 13, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County will present the Muse Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to arts and culture in the community. Creative inspiration can come from anywhere, so we talked to a few local visionaries to find out what—or who—their muse is. (561-471-2901)


Laura McDermott Matheric, coordinator of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival: “As a poet, my art is always influenced by others’ work around me. I typically develop ekphrastic poetry as a conversation or a commentary stemming from this borrowed muse.” (561-868-2063)



Colleen Smith, artistic director of Ballet Palm Beach: “I think it’s my dancers, honestly. They are so beautiful, each in their own way, and sometimes it’s not even physically but who they are. That’s been inspiring—many, many times.” (561-630-8235)



Halliday with his girlfriend, left, jazz vocalist Raquel Williams. Photo credit: Lance Connelly Little Raquel, carved stainless steel. Photo credit: William Halliday


William Halliday, sculptor and owner of ArtHouse429: “Well, I have a girlfriend [laughs], and she would be it. She would agree with that.” (561-231-0429)



Andrew Kato, producing artistic director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and executive producer of the Muse Awards: “My muse is Walt Disney. He was a man of wonderful imagination combined with a strong business sense, and he wasn’t afraid to take risks. He was a magnificent innovator and conceptualizer of groundbreaking concepts.” (561-575-2223)



Photo credit: Steve Anthony

Lou Tyrrell, artistic director of the Theatre at Arts Garage: “My muse is the same little voice that told ancient stories around tribal fires. It’s the uncomprehending wonder in the eyes of a newborn, and it’s the belly laugh at some small joyful revelation. My muse is the whisper of my love in the middle of the night.” (561-450-6357)



Michael Finn, executive and artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach: “My  muse is Euterpe—the muse of music. My greatest inspiration is chamber music—the ultimate collaboration of artists at the highest level.” (561-379-6773)



Photo credit: Bob Lasky

Bill Hayes, producing artistic director of Palm Beach Dramaworks: “The plays that we produce are generally dealing with social, moral and political issues of our times and the past. The theater becomes not only a place for entertainment but also a powerful pulpit for expression. I’m inspired by playwrights—classic and contemporary—who deal with this.” (561-514-4042)



Scott Guzielek, artistic operations director of the Palm Beach Opera: “The basis of every decision I make is inspired by the music of the opera, so the answer is simple: Composers are my muses.  Through the score, they communicate every intention—even hundreds of years later. Casting an opera is a humbling privilege, as I can only do my best to interpret what I think the composer wanted, but what a joy it is to see that cast, chorus and orchestra bring the music to life!” (561-833-7888)

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