Upcoming FAU artist honors life of manager’s cousin by announcing an art and fashion show dedicated to athlete mental health awareness

The event will take place in Downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Photo courtesy of Jacob Minkovitz.

Richard Pereira, Sports Editor

Years ago, upcoming FAU artist Jacob Minkovitz and his manager Raheem Taylor-Parkes planned an art gallery event so Minkovitz could present his art to people when he felt it was ready.

When Taylor-Parkes’ cousin, Kobe Taylor, died in July 25 this year due to suicide, he and Minkovitz agreed to use their event to spread awareness on the importance of mental health to honor him.

Taylor-Parkes saw his cousin had a creative side as he loved when their family all came together to spread laughter and joy. He also mentioned that one of Taylor’s dreams was to always travel and meet new people to create new experiences.

“That’s when I thought we could bring people in this setting to socialize and come together for a great cause,” Taylor-Parkes said. “It’s like an event that he lives on through. It is deeper than just art and fashion; it’s making sure that Kobe’s legacy lives on.”

For Minkovitz, his art has built to a point where it needs more exposure. He said that when a piece of artwork is seen over the phone or online, the feeling and aspect is different when it is seen in person.

“[Raheem] planned it out to do it in December because he thought that’s a good point,” Minkovitz said. “It’s kind of around the time of art based on when people are very hyped up on the whole art network. So that was the beginning part of what we thought was a good idea to start our first show for me.”

What Minkovitz plans to present at the event is a mini-series of three paintings that are strictly dedicated to mental health as he shows what it’s like to go through it.

“I basically interpreted it onto the canvas,” Minkovitz said. “I dedicated those three paintings to that so everyone can kind of see and get the feel of what it really feels like when you’re going through those struggles.”

As for Taylor-Parkes, he will speak about Taylor and that the ticket sales of the event will be donated to Dam-Worth-It, an organization that promotes mental health awareness to student-athletes across America.

While Minkovitz and Taylor-Parkes already had the idea of doing the show and donating the ticket sales to a charity, they decided it only felt right find an organization that emphasizes the importance of mental health and how importance it is to come out and speak up about it when Taylor committed suicide.

“We all deal with it. Some of us are better at speaking about it to others. Some of us are better at hiding it,” Minkovitz said. “It’s just so important to not be afraid to speak about it. You’re not alone; everyone’s here for you.”

Not only will the event be an art exhibit, it will also be a fashion show as Minkovitz and Taylor-Parkes are collaborating with some of the most exclusive streetwear for them to display each of their garnets such as JOSHUA MOHAMED, Shane Kastl, Kitboys Club, and People On Mars.  

“They’re welcome to also donate towards the cause too,” Minkovitz said.

According to Taylor-Parkes in an email about the show, multiple people going to the event are professional athletes from professional soccer leagues. He said it’s thanks to his soccer career that gave him those personal connections with players as it means a lot for them to participate in the cause.

“For them to believe in our vision and want to participate in any way possible, it’s all I can ask for,” Taylor-Parkes said. “I tell my friends who are professional athletes all the time that they are more than just “an athlete.” I know that slogan sounds cliche but they need to know that their influence can create a positive impact on individuals and the world as a whole.”            

While Minkovitz said it’s an awesome feeling to see people of that stature planning to come to the show and see the artwork for themselves, he appreciates anyone who attends the event. 

“It doesn’t matter if they’re [high-class], an athlete, or just a regular person coming to the show and supporting the cause,” Minkovitz said. “That’s what truly matters to me and what we’re trying to do, but that’s always an amazing feeling that we have some professional athletes coming to the show and contributing to the cause, of course.”

Even though Minkovitz and Taylor-Parkes have yet to reach out to FAU student-athletes, they would love to see them appear and show support.

“I’ve been so stuck in my studio just working nonstop on preparing all the pieces of work for the show, I haven’t gotten to the point to reach out yet,” Minkovitz said as he used to play for the men’s soccer team. “I will reach out to my [former teammates] and the current athletes I know at school, I’ll definitely reach out to them and tell them to come by and support the event.”

Mateo Pieschacon, majoring in business marketing, is a former teammate as he thinks it’s great that Minkovitz is using his artwork to raise awareness for mental health.

“My friend Andres Macias told me about it and we are both planning to attend and support our friend Mink,” Pieschacon said.

Being an artist for three years and already having clients from the professional sports realm such as soccer stars Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams, Minkovitz sees this event as the next step towards making a name for himself in his career.

“This is a huge opportunity where I can kind of put my stepping foot into the art network and kind of let people know like, ‘Hey, listen, this is me. This is what [I do]. This is the type of art [I] produce,’” Minkovitz said. “I feel like the work that I’m producing today, it’s gotten to a point where the level of the quality is so good, it’s just about people now just knowing and seeing it for themselves.”

Taylor-Parkes believes there is nothing Minkovitz would want to see more than his fellow peers on campus coming to support his art.

“We want people to know that the FAU student community takes mental health seriously and that students want to encourage and see their fellow peers do well within any realm they are passionate about,” Taylor-Parkes said.

The event will take place in Downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Richard Pereira is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.