ArtFist will celebrate the paintings of Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, a Miami artist who also served as Muhammad Alis ringside doctor in addition to his work as a fight commentator. A 4 p.m. reception and art exhibition at Governors Hall will be followed by a dinner at 6:30 and then boxing by members of the Trigger Gym, among others.
Local favorites in the ring will include Jacob Laman of TC Central High and Dominic Piscopo of Bellaire. Former state champion Alex Trevino of Trigger Gym will be on the scene, hoping to avenge a Golden Gloves loss to Vincent Bowe of Grand Rapids.
In other words, ArtFist is not your usual art exhibit where the level of combat tends to be catty barbs from other artists.
Artist Pacheco was born in Tampa in 1927 of Spanish heritage. He aims for a bold, splashy style with strong colors and designs, many of which are drawn from memories of a life that has been rich in experience.
For instance, after establishing a career as a pharmacist and medical doctor, he went on to serve 12 world champions as a corner man in the boxing ring, including a 17-year run with Muhammad Ali.
A true Renaissance Man, he also served as a boxing consultant for NBC for 10 years, spent 25 years in broadcasting, and has had 14 books published in addition to many articles and reviews in national publications.
Dr. Pacheco has also witnessed the rough side of life on the other side of the ring. As a young doctor transplanted from notorious Ybor City in Tampa, he established his first practice in Miamis Little Havana at a time when the first Cuban exiles began flooding into the U.S. Their stories and tales of his own Cuban-born father found their way into the exuberance of his artwork.
Speaking of which, Dr. Pacheco began drawing and painting at the age of five. Although he realized by the age of 14 that he wanted to become a doctor, he continued his lifelong passion for art. He cites artistic influences by the likes of Van Gogh, Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Thomas Hart Benton and George Grosz, among others.
Art is also a family affair: hes been married for 33 years to Luisita Sevilla, a Flamenco artist and photographer.
Tickets for ArtFist are $55, including a wine & cheese reception, exhibition, dinner and music by Dawn Harris. For the boxing match alone, general admission is $15. Call Trigger Boxing at 231-933-7050, or the Resort at 231-534-6000.