In honor of our People Issue, which will hit newsstands and computer screens November 25, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the whos and whys.
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If she hadn't become a vegetarian at the age 12, writer and visual artist Vanessa Garcia would be expressing herself via soufleés and wine sauce reductions instead of through words, canvas, and theater. She was lucky to have a Cuban/Spanish grandfather who exposed her to life's necessities at an early age. "I'm really glad that my grandfather is the type of person that puts knowledge on par with bread--you need them both." When they weren't drinking Cuban coffee and making aioli and baguettes from scratch, Vanessa's grandfather was teaching her about Picasso and Shakespeare. Years later, Garcia graduated from Columbia University summa cum laude, majoring in both English and art history. She returned home for her master's of fine arts in creative writing from the U and is now earning her PhD at the University of California, Irvine.