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Vered Shamir Pasternak’s Moving Artworks Are Featured At Aqua Art Miami December 1 – 4, 2022 And Include A Call To Action

Vered Shamir Pasternak will have her artworks featured at Aqua, the premier location during Art Miami to procure works by young, emerging and mid-career artists. For a world always “on the go”, Vered shares one word with her images, “STOP”. She reminds us to look at all of the people in our communities and STOP being passive about their needs.  Her theme of homelessness touches us all and more poignantly, it often has little to do with having a roof over our heads.  The Rickie Report shares the details and some sneak peeks.  GO to AQUA MIAMI and explore what “home” means to you!





1530 Collins Avenue    Miami Beach, FL 33139



Artwork by Vered Shamir Pasternak




Born in Israel, Vered Shamir Pasternak is a Miami-based artist who expresses powerful themes of identity and belonging in her paintings. Raised in a rural area of Israel, Pasternak graduated from the Kalisher School of Art in Tel Aviv in 1989. The cultural pressure to conform to traditional female roles led her to abandon her artistic ambitions and work in the travel industry. In 2001, she immigrated to Miami to join the man who is now her husband. It took another decade for her to return to painting. She joined the class of Miami Beach painter Tony Coro and the rest is history.





Artwork by Vered Shamir Pasternak




Vered tells The Rickie Report, “Moving from your birth place to another country, even if it’s your own choice, is extremely difficult. I totally underestimated it. When you leave behind your family, your friends, your job, your culture, your language, your food, your music, well…your entire life, that’s a difficult transition!  You go through culture shock with mixed emotions. There are feelings of loneliness, sadness, and depression.  You begin to isolate yourself which makes life even worse.  Years can go by and that feeling of not truly belonging is still lingering inside!  No matter how hard you try, it is difficult to shake the HOME-LESS feeling!!!!”


Making a connection…



“I started to question what HOME meant to me. I wasn’t referring to the physical structure, but rather my memories, my family, my culture, my country.”  Making a connection…. Vered explains, “This feeling I carried inside is what brought about my awareness of the homeless people around me. I felt a connection. The definition of “home” had a whole new meaning for me. I could strongly relate homelessness to the feeling of not belonging.” At about the same time Vered started painting again, she became fascinated with two homeless men: Gunny, a Vietnam veteran who is homeless by choice and Robert, who lives on a street near Pasternak’s close-knit neighborhood. She spent years befriending the two men before she began photographing and painting them. In the process, Pasternak realized that, as an immigrant estranged from American culture and a woman without an established social role, she identified with Gunny and Robert. She, too, felt homeless.




She shares, “For the past 10 years, I have gone to their local spots to visit them on a weekly basis. I can’t really say who appreciates the visits more, Gunny and Robert or me. I don’t really know how to name this relationship that we created over the years. It’s difficult to say, but we truly have a strong bond and we rely on each other for different reasons.” These two men became the main subjects for her paintings. “For years, I painted them (almost) obsessively, not realizing was that I was actually addressing my own feelings. Painting is like therapy to me. Sitting down to paint them started to make me feel better. It made them feel a sense of self-worth as well. My relationship with Robert & Gunny opened my heart and began my crusade to bring about awareness regarding homelessness issues.”




At the core of her need to paint lies the desire to express her own emotions while giving a voice to the voiceless. Even now, there are moments when Vered feels that she is still searching for her home. While working directly with these homeless individuals she paints, she feels that she is healing her own wounds. Her haunting portraits of Gunny and Robert, in a range of media that includes watercolor and oil paint, charcoal, ink and watercolor pencils, capture both their isolation and humanity. “It is about caring for them, wanting to make them visible,” Pasternak says. “I want them to feel like they are human beings. That’s how I show them.”








Artwork by Vered Shamir Pasternak



Before the pandemic, Vered volunteered daily at a local shelter, working in the HeArt room helping the residents to “voice” their feelings through art. “What we do there is beyond words. We heal our childhood wounds together! It provides them with a feeling of belonging and hope.” 



Stopping and making a difference 



STOP HOMELESSNESS is a new series of homeless people from Vered’s neighborhood painted on real stop signs. These signs are like those found in the street environments the homeless occupy.



 STOP and think about this issue and what YOU can do about it (we share some suggestions at the end of this article).

STOP looking the other way when crossing by them.


 STOP being passive!





Artwork by Vered Shamir Pasternak




Stay tuned….. and how to help!




Vered is planning on a collaboration in 2023 with a local homeless shelter. In this project, she will work alongside the shelter residents to create a massive textile artwork.  The goals of this project are to raise awareness towards homelessness and to open our hearts to all immigrants and the difficulties they are experiencing while trying to build a new life in this beautiful country. Vered hopes to raise funds to subsidize documentation of the whole process. 



To bring this project to fruition, assistance sought in the following areas: a videographer, a photographer, a grant writer, a social media presence, gift cards for participants, compensation for the artist’s time, travels, and materials. 

If you would like to get involved and contribute to this worthy project, please Venmo: @vered-pasternak or contact her directly at




Vered Pasternak has had solo exhibits at the Brockway Memorial Library and the Miami Art League in Miami Shores. She has participated in numerous community group art shows, including at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, the Coral Springs Museum of Art, the Broward Main Library, Nova University, and the Wirtz Gallery. Her artwork has earned numerous awards. For more information:



For more information:





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Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

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