TEDxFSCJ Salon: Leonardos of the 21st Century


2019 marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the quintessential Renaissance man or “polymath” whose genius spanned an astonishing array of disciplines.

In today’s digital age, poets and scientists, designers and architects are rediscovering this vision, cultivating expertise in multiple fields and challenging the boundaries that separate the arts and sciences.

Join TEDxFSCJ for Leonardos of the 21st Century, a salon exploring how the Renaissance or polymath ideal is finding renewed expression across the First Coast. Hosted by local artists Princess Simpson Rashid and Mark Creegan, the evening will feature five creative innovators:

  • Ben Atkinson, ecologist and poet at Flagler College

  • Jonathan Cantor, architect and Vice President atRS&H, exploring how built environments impact human health and the health sciences

  • Caitlín Doherty, Director, MOCA Jacksonville

  • Clark Lunberry, UNF Professor of English, interdisciplinary scholar and artist whose work includes poetry installations

  • Kedgar Volta, Creative Director of Castaño Group, connecting digital and physical environments through interactive media

The salon will be held Thursday, February 28,
7-9 p.m. at MOCA Jacksonville.



Ben Atkinson

Ben Atkinson is an assistant professor of natural sciences at Flagler College. In recent years, he has returned to poetry as a creative outlet and tool for understanding the world. Ben’s work ranges from poems published in literary magazines and galleries to published articles on reptiles and amphibians in scientific journals and books. Field research has taken him to Belize, Bermuda, Honduras and across the U.S. Active with Ancient City Poets, Ben shares his work at Corazon Cinema and Café in St. Augustine. He also reads locally in Jacksonville. Last year, he debuted poems for the Southeastern Sister Cities Reading Tour, Sing Out Loud Festival and JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival. Ben holds a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology and conservation from the University of Florida.


Jonathan Cantor

Vice President and Healthcare Market Leader for RS&H, Jonathan has spent his career focusing on the development of healthcare and life science environments. As an architect, Jonathan understands how the built environment directly impacts the health and productivity of patients, staff and researchers. Over the past decade, he has created multiple design studios that focus on evidence-based design decisions to improve those outcomes. Jonathan served for six years on the Board of Directors for BioFlorida, which focuses on the growth of the life science industry in Florida and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.


Caitlín Doherty

Born on South Uist, a small island in Northwest Scotland, Caitlín’s journey to Jacksonville highlights her passion for the arts, community and education. Having acted as the chief curator and deputy director for the Broad Art Museum in Michigan, the exhibitions and speaker curator at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and the inaugural director of Lismore Castle Arts in Ireland, Caitlín has engaged with and provided leadership to artists, students and communities around the world. Furthermore, Caitlín has taught a variety of courses at Ireland's Waterford Institute of Technology and University College London. Caitlín holds master's degrees from the University of Edinburgh and the University of St. Andrews. Currently, she serves as the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.


Clark Lunberry

Clark is a professor of English at the University of North Florida. Along with his interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching, Lunberry creates site-specific “writing on water | writing on air” art and poetry installations, placing large-scale poems on water and windows. Recent installations have been completed in Uppsala, Sweden; Oxford, England; Paris, France; Toronto, Canada; Tokyo and Hiroshima, Japan; Durham, England; Stanford University; the University of Georgia; and at the University of North Florida. To view his work, please visit www.clarklunberry.com.


Kedgar Volta

Kedgar has been a vital part of the Jacksonville arts and creative community for over a decade. As co-founder and Creative Director of Castaño Group, he uses interactive technology and his talent for design to create innovative ways to communicate in digital and physical environments. After emigrating to Florida from Cuba, Kedgar began his career at Brunet-García Advertising where he created internationally recognized work running the gamut from typography to animation. He has been a featured artist at Art Basel Miami Beach and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and has been awarded multiple National ADDY and Emmy Awards.In 2015, he was named Emerging Artist of the Year by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.



Mark Creegan

Mark is an assistant professor of drawing and design at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He is also an artist whose work alternates between various media such as painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, installation and performance. Underlying Mark’s incredibly diverse practice is a thoughtful exploration of abstract form, repetitive mark-making, color, humor, and use of found and discarded materials. Hairnets, shark’s teeth, used watercolor sets and combs are just some of the diverse array of objects Creegan employs into minimalist arrangements or large-scale installations which are often used as spaces for performative action. Creegan currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and received an MFA degree from Florida State University.


Princess Simpson Rashid

Princess is an American painter, printmaker, blogger, art activist, competitive sport-fencer and coach. Her work has been part of exhibitions and private collections in museums, art centers and galleries across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Portugal. Locally, Princess has been recognized by various organizations including the Florida Watercolor Society, Tampa Regional Artists and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Princess was born in Georgia and studied printmaking and painting at Escuela de Artes Plastica in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and earned her B.S. in Physics from Georgia State University.