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Meet Us

Britt Samuels Jr.

Britt Samuels discovered his passion for photography at the tender age of 12. His early start in the art form allowed him to hone his skills and develop a unique perspective, which has captivated audiences for years. Samuels' dedication to his craft has led to numerous accomplishments and contributions to the art community.

One of his notable achievements includes exhibiting and co-curating at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Arts. The show, titled "2%; A Celebration of Black Artistry," was a groundbreaking event that showcased the rich and diverse talents of Black artists. This exhibition underscored Samuels' commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion within the art world.

Samuels' photographic works have garnered international recognition, being featured in over 13 magazines worldwide. His ability to capture compelling images has earned him a place among esteemed photographers on a global scale.


Sharon René

Sharon Rene is a dynamic creative professional with a rich background in the arts. Beginning her career as an actress, she transitioned seamlessly into photography, capturing the world through her lens. As a travel photographer and the founder of Soulful Escapes Travel, she creates immersive experiences for artists and art enthusiasts alike.

Sharon is the visionary behind Bee+Hive Artist Collective (BHAC), the umbrella company to Soulful Escapes Travel, working collectively with the Orange Community Arts Guild (OCAG). BHAC has been the catalyst for her entrepreneurial journey, fostering a community where creativity thrives. Her dedication to building creative experiences is evident in her latest roles as a gallery curator and exhibitor, championing the work of emerging and established artists.

As a member of the Advisory Board to the OCAG, Sharon leverages her extensive experience in the arts and entrepreneurship to guide and inspire the community. Her commitment to the arts is unwavering, and she remains dedicated to nurturing a vibrant, inclusive environment where art can flourish.


Michelle Deziel-Hernandez

Michelle Deziel-Hernandez, an independent curator and art writer, is celebrated for her fervent dedication to contemporary art and her commitment to cultivating dialogue within the art community. With a background in art history and curation, Michelle brings a discerning eye and a profound grasp of artistic trends to her endeavors.

Throughout her career, Michelle has curated numerous exhibitions exploring diverse themes and mediums, showcasing both emerging and established artists. Her curatorial approach is marked by a thoughtful selection of artworks that provoke thought and engage viewers deeply. Notable among her endeavors is the expansive “Radical Past” series in Pasadena, spotlighting the progressive contemporary art culture of the ‘60s and ‘70s. She has curated shows featuring luminaries like Ynez Johnston and Ed Ruscha, contributing to the resounding success of the Pompidou Centre, Paris exhibition on California contemporary art. 

She has curated shows featuring luminaries like Ynez Johnston and Ed Ruscha, contributing to the resounding success of the Pompidou Centre, Paris exhibition on California contemporary art. tenure as the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Norton Simon Museum saw the staging of numerous critically acclaimed shows, as well as the establishment of Pasadena Art Night in 1999, which continues as an important community arts event to this day.


Annabella Pritchard

Annabella is an independent curator with over a decade of experience working in the Orange County Arts Community. Her areas of interest are photography, surrealism, and poetry. From 2019 to 2024, she proudly served on the board of Community Engagement, an art non-profit where she contributed to the development of an artist residency in Northern Italy. She is a former artist-member of the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana. Her photography has been exhibited in galleries throughout Orange County and has appeared in numerous publications. Annabella was born in the city of Orange, where she currently lives with her two children.


Mike Salas

Where Art and Community Converge! I'm Mike Salas, an Army veteran born and raised in Orange County. From my roots at Buena Park High School to airborne school and a transformative year in S. Korea, my journey has led me back home to create Soulland Lab, a community art center. Beyond art, I'm deeply committed to giving back, working with organizations like Boys and Girls Club, Orangewood Children's Home, and local homeless charities, alongside my passion for supporting animal shelters. Through Soulland Lab, I'm weaving a tight-knit community dedicated to creativity, compassion, and connection—a place where every stroke of a paintbrush is a step toward a stronger, brighter Orange County and beyond.