It’s been a long and eventful year (and some) in New York; time disappears before you know it here. I’ve learned a lot from living in this populous town—more than is easy to put into words.
We’ve found a neighborhood where we belong, made and lost friends, Murphy dog has adjusted pretty well for a country dog, I’ve designed a lot, painted a little, and still found time to enjoy my surroundings—in and outside of The City. A small handful of photos doesn’t begin to tell the story, but here’s a glimpse anyway.
There is a pace to life and even when you’d like to slow down, it keeps beating on. These last six months I feel like I’ve been able to cheat time, if only just a little. I’ve been able to create a bit despite a full schedule. And it’s been oh so rewarding.
This winter, I spent over a month developing a gramophone painting for a contest call with the determination that it had to win. Thankfully, my time paid off and my work was selected to be the commemorative artwork for the Gasparilla Music Festival poster. The original oil painting was auctioned off during a reveal at the Tampa Museum of Art, and the poster represented all of the great musical performances that came though Tampa GMF weekend.
“The piece she created for the Gasparilla Music Festival draws from the landscape lines of both Kiley Gardens and Curtis Hixon Park to create a rhythmic and dynamic environment. Silhouettes of buildings visible form the parks rise into the background as an ageless gramophone spins the sounds of the festival—to Tampa and beyond.”
In other news, the great collective of artists I’m proud to be a part of, the Ybor Art Colony, was just featured on the local PBS tv station, WEDU. We were interviewed and and our studios were shot for an Arts Plus segment. Together, we looked like a great group of artists, and thankfully they only put in a couple seconds of this camera-shy girl. Watch Episode 305 HERE.
Besides that, I’ve been in a couple of shows at the Oleson Gallery in the great art city of St. Petersburg, three short films I helped out and/or dominated in the art department were accepted and are being shown at this weekends Gasparilla International Film Festival, I designed the album art for a great friend and musician, Landon Morgan, and I’ve started drawing again. I want to start pushing my paintings further, but I often get glued to a path quickly when I’m painting. Drawing right now is really freeing and I can’t wait to see where my drawings go and where they take my paintings.
Going to an event where your artwork is being displayed is nice, but going to an event where your artwork is being displayed and your boyfriend is performing an emotive monologue is even better.
Ever since I moved to Tampa over a year ago, I’ve been deeply affected by the number of people stuck on the street. They seem to be everywhere. You go downtown, and the park is full of bearded men napping on the benches with garbage bag pillows full of everything they have in this world. You walk through Ybor and a shoeless man just sits, head hung low, holding out a cup for anyone who notices him.You take a wrong turn leaving Ybor, and the industrial buildings are lined with people in tattered clothes discussing their day. You pull out of our apartment complex, and at just about every light a man, or a woman, or a couple with a puppy tell their tale on a cardboard sign.
And this past year, Sean saw the Tampa that I saw and a weight now sat on his heart too. I’ve been working on ideas for exhibitions on the topic, but nothing has come to fruition yet. Sean saw an opportunity for him to make a statement, and he jumped on it.
He performed a piece in the Tampa Art Museum’s FIVE by FIVE exhibition as a funny guy who liked to make people laugh and would never ask for money, but he soon revealed that he was a homeless Iraqi vet, and that most homeless people look like “normal guys, or children, or families,” ending solemnly asking for spare change. The echoing chamber full of noisy crowds didn’t do his work justice, but some people watched and listened and visibly changed demeanor as the comedic monologue actually said something poignant.
My donated painting sold before the end of the night, but that didn’t bring half the joy of watching Sean shed some light and alter some perspectives.
ART AT BAY, a great Tampa blog on Contemporary Art, recently wrote a short, sweet, and powerful feature about about me and my paintings. The writer, Danny Olda, not only runs the art blog, but also writes for Hi-Fructose, which just so happens to be my art magazine of choice.
You can read the article here. Thanks for the support!