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Mickey Espino: Navigating the Worlds of Art and Passion - By Epiphany Claravall-Jackson, RDRTh

In the world of art, inspiration often knows no bounds, and this couldn't be more evident in the remarkable journey of Mickey Espino. As a graduate of the Kauri Academy DTCH programme, his path to artistic success was unconventional but deeply inspiring.

Mickey's recent invitation to showcase his artistry at the prestigious Harcourts Artex National Exhibition and Sale in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, was a testament to his incredible talent. This event, exclusive in its own right, provides a stage for 70 hand-picked artists from across Aotearoa to exhibit their masterpieces.

For me, Mickey's story is personal. We, a group of friends who transformed into family through our time at Kauri Academy, wouldn't miss the opportunity to support him on this monumental occasion. A four-hour drive was but a small sacrifice for a momentous celebration.

But what makes Mickey's journey truly remarkable is not just his artistic transition, but the synergy he creates between his work as a Neurotherapist and his devotion to art. His signature art series, inspired by the Japanese philosophy of "Kintsugi," reflects his perspective on life - embracing imperfections and weaving them into something beautiful.

What sets Mickey apart is his wisdom in managing dual passions. He advises, "Work hard and work smart. Time is a precious commodity, so manage it wisely. Persevere, but also take care of your well-being."

The weekend spent reuniting with my Kauri Academy family was a beautiful extension of this journey. We weren't merely there to support Mickey but also to fill our cups with the joys of camaraderie, art, and shared experiences. It's the enduring impact of Kauri Academy - transforming friends into family and creating lifelong connections.

During our heartwarming reunion, we took a special trip to St Matthew's Church in Hastings, the home to some of Mickey's magnificent art pieces. It's awe-inspiring to see how Mickey's holistic approach to wellness extends to his spiritual domain. His work not only touches hearts but also connects souls.

Mickey's masterpiece, "The Gaze of the Coastal Heroes - Longboard piece," became an instant favorite among us, a symbol of inspiration and a reflection of his artistic philosophy. As we continue to celebrate Mickey's achievements, we look forward to more opportunities for him to illuminate the world with his beautiful mind and compassionate heart. Mickey, keep soaring!

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