Creative Pinellas celebrated the 2017 Emerging Artist New Work Exhibition On October 26, at the recently revitalized Gulf Coast Museum of Art facility in Largo. I was highly impressed with the quality of the work of these ten young artists and saw several old friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in many years. More than anything else, I was thrilled to see the direction Creative Pinellas is taking in nurturing creative talent in Pinellas County.
Creative Pinellas Executive Director Barbara St. Clair explained that the Emerging Artist New Work grants program exhibits the work of selected Pinellas County artists, providing them with opportunities to exhibit their works, engage the public, and to receive financial assistance and recognition as they begin their professional careers. Elizabeth Brincklow, Engagement Director/Exhibition Coordinator for Creative Pinellas, stated “Shown together, these works offer a peek into the present mindset and expression of our emerging artists and future of the Tampa Bay area arts scene and beyond.”
2017 Emerging Artist Award grantees include Gloria Munoz (Poetry), Kellie Harmon (Choreography), Mark Feinman (Jazz Composition), Desiree Moore (Digital Video), Nathan Beard (Painting), Jake Troyli (Painting), Shannon Leah Halvorsen (Scratchboard), Kenny Jensen (Sculpture), Elizabeth Barenis (Painting), and Jeff George (Screenwriting). As a part of the grant program, each artist worked with a mentor from the community, all of whom were also honored at the event.
Congratulations to Creative Pinellas, these dynamic artists and their mentors, and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. A great showcase, a great night out and a pleasure to see the Gulf Coast Museum of Art facilities brought back to life.
“Who says print is dead? Ashleigh received her copy of the 125th anniversary issue of Vogue today. It's 774 pages, about an inch thick and weighs close to five pounds...”
These words came from my friend Jim Swope, Owner and President of Swope Public Relations, in a Facebook post a few nights back. It helped me put a smile on a little article I had been drafting about the importance of print in your content management strategy.
Don’t be too quick to abandon print collateral, a mistake I have seen many small businesses make (especially non-profits) in trying to save precious dollars. When you include content marketing as a critical part of an overall marketing plan, you should consider that your constituency might be of mixed ages. What are their generational communication preferences? That is certainly part of the equation. Joe Pulizzi, author and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, thinks print should be a part of your plan no matter who you are talking to.
In Pulizzi’s article “7 Reasons to Consider Print for Your ‘Non-Traditional’ Content Strategy”, he makes the point that print never died, but “flattened” along with TV and radio as digital media gained popularity. He notes that while some publications are still phasing out their print versions, many are going stronger than ever. Why?
“Just think about that for a second… print is non-traditional marketing,” said Pulizzi. “That’s where we are today. Blogging, social media, web articles… that’s all very traditional. Now, am I saying that brands should be looking at print as an opportunity right now to get and keep attention?”
“Even our own Chief Content Officer magazine has a clear competitive advantage in the marketplace because it’s in print. At a recent event (not ours), three marketing executives came up to me and told me how much they enjoy the magazine and can’t wait until the next one arrives (they didn’t mention our daily digital content… they just mentioned print).”
This is a revealing statement coming from the Content Marketing Institute. Pulizzi goes on to state that print maintains an excitement factor as the printed word is still perceived as more credible than web content. Additionally, print magazines and newsletters were developed for customer retention, a way to nurture customers after the sale. That still works.
‘We’ve seen this firsthand with Chief Content Officer magazine,” said Pulizzi. “Contributors love being featured on the CMI website, but they crave having their article in the printed magazine. It’s amazing how different the perception is of the print versus online channel when it comes to editorial contribution.”
You may not be able to produce a 700-page magazine, but no matter how big or small, something tangible can help give your business a point of difference. And when imagery is important, a computer monitor is absolutely no match for ink on paper. Even the smell and feel add to the appeal of something that will be around far longer than that last Tweet. Creative and relevant content in well-designed newsletters, flyers, catalogs, postcards (postcards can be very effective at a low price) - pieces that can’t go unnoticed in the mail room or when they land on the kitchen counter, still catch the eye.
The thought to take away from all of this is that print has become new again. It has become ‘non-traditional’. But it still does everything it ever has. If used selectively and creatively as a part of your content marketing, it may be more effective than ever… and far from dead.
Florida Painting Workshop with Colorist Elio Camacho to Explore Seeing and Mixing Color and Becoming a More Dynamic Painter
The Dunedin Fine Art Center (Dunedin, FL) was proud to host a painting demonstration by California artist Elio Camacho on March 8. A sell-out crowd of 60 people came for the three-hour painting demo (a primer for his March painting workshop at DFAC), enjoying Elio’s depth of knowledge on the subject as well as his humor. The images show the actual still life, the demonstration painting at the break, and the painting near its completion.
I brought Elio to the Beach Art Center in Indian Rocks Beach for a consecutive four years while I was the Executive Director of that organization because of his advanced skills as a painter and his concern for each of his students. The artist’s goal is to offer insight on how to improve an individual’s own work by elevating their ability to see and mix color, to build energetic compositions, and to enhance their brush skills. I’ve since had the pleasure of introducing Elio to the Dunedin Fine Art Center (Dunedin, FL), and to the Lee County Arts Alliance (Ft. Myers, FL) where he just completed his first demonstration and workshop. He also completed at least six other workshops around the state in the last few weeks in his annual spring visit to the Sunshine State.
His three-day workshop in Dunedin takes place March 15, 16, 17, 2017. There is still room for a few more in the workshop so if you are serious about discovering new possibilities to improve your paintings, reserve your place!
Member Tuition: $345.00, Non-Member: $375.00. Call DFAC at 727-298-3322 or visit www.dfac.org for details and to register. All skill levels are welcome.
Dunedin Fine Art Center Hosting “Color Intensive” Painting Demonstration with Elio Camacho February 15 - Workshop Follows in March
I have known Elio Camacho, a San Francisco painter about seven years, meeting him when I started as the Director of the Beach Art Center in Indian Rocks Beach. He made the trip to the Beach Art Center to conduct a still life painting workshop each year for four years. Well known as an artist and instructor in the western United States, Elio continues to establish himself in Florida as a painting instructor, conducting annual workshops in Tequesta (Lighthouse Art Center School of Art) and Amelia Island (Island Art Association), and new workshops in Key West (Ocean Reef Art League), Ft. Myers (Lee County Alliance for the Arts), and Dunedin (Dunedin Fine Art Center).
I have great regard for his “color intensive” painting technique for which he uses an Alla Prima method to capture light and color, and to mix color on the canvas and the palette. He demonstrates how color, value and transparency control composition, depth and focal points in a painting. An amiable and sharing artist with a very positive attitude toward his students, Elio gives them each personal attention to help them raise the bar on their own work.
Elio is offering a painting demonstration of his color mixing technique on February 15, 2017 at the Dunedin Fine Art Center from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The demo is free for DFAC members and $5 for non-members, and precedes his March 15 – 17 Color Intensive Workshop at the Center. Whether your skill level is beginner or professional, you will find something to learn from his demo, and much more from his workshop. Please make a reservation by calling DFAC at 727-298-3322.
I was enthralled by the retelling of a recent trip to Cuba taken by Dunedin architect Rod Collman of SDG Architecture, and his wife Cindy with a Dunedin Fine Art Center tour. Collman, a well-established commercial architect in the southeast United States and beyond, has gained recognition and won awards for the functionality, affordability and beauty of his designs. It comes as no surprise that the architecture of Cuba would be a highlight of his trip, but a surprise did appear in the form of an art school that has remained largely unknown in North America since its creation in 1960.
“To experience the Cuban people and their culture is to discover their art and architecture,” said Collman. “Because of my background as an architect, I looked forward to seeing the wealth of history in Havana’s buildings and streets. Havana, a city of two million people, was founded only a few decades after the first Columbus voyage. The colonial phase was well represented with a wealth of beautiful buildings in varying states of preservation. There were signs of active renovation of many structures, including old hotels and apartment buildings. A mix of post-revolution 1960’s concrete and glass, brought about by the Soviet Union’s partnership with Cuba, as well as European built buildings, jars the senses.”
Collman described the most unique architecture as that of Havana’s Cuban National Art Schools, featuring extraordinary revolution-era architectural design that was once widely criticized as being… non-Cuban. At the time of the inception of the school, however, the vision of Cuba’s future looked different than what it would become. Castro’s Cuba was to be a socialist Utopian society with free elections for its leaders and high standards of government-based education and healthcare for its citizens. Fellow revolutionary Che Guevara was a staunch communist and would continue to influence Castro’s views and in part, lead to the eventual system of government that Cuba has endured for over five decades.
The ideals set forth in a post-revolutionary, pre-communist Cuba embraced the arts, and the Cuban National Art Schools (las Escuelas Nacionales de Arte, or ENA) was a result of this Utopian vision. According to the story, following his victory in the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961, a triumphant Fidel Castro went to the exclusive Havana Country Club with Guevara and other officials to enjoy a drink at the bar and play a round of golf in a political mockery of the class system so derided by the revolutionaries. As they talked on a balcony of the club, taking in the manicured beauty of the golf course, they envisioned the site as an art school like no other. This was a logical progression to an educational campaign already under way that had generated a huge increase in literacy across the country. According to John Loomis, in his landmark 2011 book Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s Forgotten Art Schools, “… the schools would have the political objective to educate those artists who would give socialism in both Cuba and the Third World its aesthetic representation.”
A young Cuban architect named Ricardo Porro, who had disagreements with the ousted Batista government, returned to Cuba from exile as the chief ENA architect. He chose Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi, Italian architects he had met in Caracas, to complete the design team. They went to work on five separate faculty structures located on the huge property for visual arts, ballet, modern dance, drama and music, plus a conservation facility.
The project would have three guiding principles:
The origin of the design is not completely known, but was used extensively in ancient Mediterranean countries from Italy to Spain to North Africa. After being revived in the late 1860’s in Spain by Rafael Guastavino y Moreno, he brought the design and technique of building Catalan vault structures to the United States and patented it. The work of the father and son team of Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company can be seen in the Boston Public Library, Grand Central Station and Penn Station. Their greatest accomplishment was the 1909 construction of the central dome of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, with a diameter of 120 feet.
The use of brick, mortar and terra cotta tiles were the perfect media for the ENA Catalan vault structures. Also known as “cohesive timbrel arch construction”, the Catalan vault provides a very thin mass with great strength as a result of its form. The Catalan vault is known to be nearly indestructible. The vaulted roof structures of the ENA were built of rows of bricks, meticulously mortared into place, defying gravity as the mortar held the bricks to the row before it. Like a simple arch, when a curved row of bricks was complete, gravity locked them into place. According to a recent article in LaHabana.com, Cuba’s Digital Destination, the brick roofs were covered by at least two layers of tile held together by an additional mortar layer, making up approximately half the mass. The resulting designs allowed by such flexible construction media blended ancient shapes and methods with organic, modernist forms – bold, artful architecture for any era.
As a result of the financial stranglehold of the American embargo, the industrialized design and standardization of Soviet-era Cuba, and criticism of the individualistic nature of the architecture of the ENA, work on the school was halted in 1965. The Cuban National Art Schools was never completed, and eventually fell into disrepair and abandonment, but the buildings have been in use to some degree by faculty and students from that time to the present day.
“During our visit of the visual art complex, we saw many artists and craftsmen at work in the school, and signs of current renovation to complete the buildings,” said Collman. “We learned that artists are revered in Cuba, held in higher esteem than doctors. They can sell their work as long as it is handmade and unique and not commercially reproduced (this includes artist-made printmaking techniques). It was clear how a level of government criticism is tolerated, a freedom we saw demonstrated in the political and social statements of the work of some of the artists we met.”
Rod Collman stated that “To experience the people and their culture is to discover their art and architecture”. The stunning architecture of the ENA, once criticized as non-Cuban and inappropriately individualistic, tell us much about the freedom of expression granted to the architects of the school so many years ago. Today, this freedom is shared by the artists of a country known for its oppression, yet embraces the arts and, once again, envisions a new future.
A long series of meetings culminated in 1991 in which I was privileged to be a participant, a part of a core group looking ahead to the future of the Dunedin Fine Art Center. The meetings were hosted by Architect Rod Collman and always included my late wife and DFAC Director, Nancy McIntyre, Susan and Richard Gehring, Dr. Irwin Entel, and myself. Others would include staff members and a variety of community stakeholders. A Master Plan was proposed by Collman and became DFAC’s road map for the next 25 years.
When Nancy began working at DFAC in 1986, she could see the promise of a bright future for this art center if she could muster others to commit to her vision. It had already grown in its early years from 2,500 square feet to 4,000. I started working with her eight months after she started. The Gehrings were major proponents. So was Collman. His career in architecture spans the entire history of DFAC and every phase of its growth and success.
“I started working for Fasnacht and Schultz Architects as a draftsman in 1968,” said Collman. “We started designing the first building for DFAC in 1969. There have been five expansions since then and I have been proud to be at the heart of every one of them, this time with SDG Architecture. In 1991, we developed the Master Plan for the five acres allotted to DFAC by the City of Dunedin. That is when we had the vision for the two-story building and set up the grid leading to the 2016 expansion completion happening today. That’s pretty significant long-term visioning on the part of some very dedicated people.”
Current Executive Director GeorgeAnn Bissett was hired in 2005, following the departure of McIntyre. “The phased capital campaign, called Creative Visions, was created in the 1990’s”, said Bissett. “It was part of the planning for the expansion and renovation completed in 1998 that took the facilities from 8.000 square feet to 18,000. A major part of this and the following campaigns was a grant program from the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs for organizations with a master plan that included building in phases over a period of years,” said Bissett.
I oversaw two major expansions in my 19-year tenure at DFAC and wrote grant applications around 1988 that began a long term relationship with the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, that opened the door to larger scale funding. Also supporting DFAC from that time and earlier was the City of Dunedin. Gladys Douglas became a major contributor beginning with the campaign of 1996-98 and continued through the current project. The David L. Mason Foundation gave a large gift at the same time. Large gifts from the Estate of Valerie and Louis Flack and the Estate of Oskar Elbert, planned in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, came to fruition in recent years.
The Creative Visions campaign of 2010, Bissett’s first capital campaign for DFAC, totaled $2.8 million. The Creative Visions campaign of 2014 was a $5 million-plus project. The State of Florida gave $1 million in a phased grant and the City of Dunedin gave $500,000. According to Bissett, the remaining $3.7 million came from private donations. By the time the State of Florida sent the final grant payment, the project was paid off, a tribute to Bissett’s capability as a fundraiser and community leader.
“We are Florida’s premier art center,” said Bissett. “When I was hired here, I could see how well it was kept after, how excellent the exhibits were in support of the teaching program. There was a very competent staff in place to do those things. My job has been to carry on the legacy of the founders and of the former Executive Director, Nancy McIntyre. Nancy never veered off of the mission,” she said. “I have been able to bring my background in fundraising to the Center at a very important moment in the Center’s history.”
That is how you build a great art center. Quality, tenacity, planning, grass roots in the community. Today, DFAC has grown to 44,000 square feet of purpose-built space and the programming to fill it. As Rod Collman said, that’s pretty significant long-term visioning on the part of some very dedicated people.
I am proud to have played a role. Kudos to the visionaries from the 1960’s to the present..
After a few decades of collecting art with my late wife, Nancy, I can honestly say that we never bought anything as a financial investment. We bought from artists for mostly personal reasons and some of the most cherished works were gifts from artists who were our friends. Sometimes, something just came home because it was…interesting. All good art pieces eventually teach us something and hopefully make a connection to another person on some level.
The painting above followed me home from a Dunedin Fine Art Center “Trashy Treasures” gently used art sale somewhere around 2003; purely out of curiosity. I found it fascinating from a historic point of view and I was secretly smitten with the young lady who was the subject of the work, but there was (and is) a lot of art in the house. After looking at it for a couple of weeks, it got wrapped and joined a large gathering of paintings and other ephemera leaning against a wall in the spare bedroom. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I researched the painting. It is a reasonably faithful copy of Jean Ranc’s Infanta Maria Ana Victoria de Borbón, 1725 (after), which hangs at the Prado in Madrid (original painting shown above left).
It was obviously very old, I thought. Its condition was perhaps in keeping with a 280+ year-old painting, with some surface crazing and bad revarnishing.. The canvas stretcher size was 35” high x 28” wide. It is common to see copies of famous paintings but my hope was that this might have had some direct connection to Jean Ranc or his studio. Differences in background, and especially foreground, appeared intentional given the otherwise faithful rendering of the original. I had my doubts about any connection to Ranc, however. It was marked on the back “copia” in a hand that suggested a late 19th or early 20th century style.
Jean Ranc (the Younger) was, like his father, an established portraitist to the Parisian bourgeoisie. Spanish royalty was disillusioned with the lack of French calibre in their portraiture artists and Ranc arrived in Madrid in 1724 to position himself as their new talent. Ranc's style was very close to that of his elder friend and mentor Rigaud, However, Ranc's art was mainly one of pageantry and color, and differed from Rigaud’s style in Ranc’s treatment of sharp hands, brittle folds of fabric and comparatively static portrayal of faces. In my opinion, our mystery painter captured these characteristics well.
What of the subject? Mariana Victoria was the eldest daughter of Philip V of Spain; as such she was an Infanta of Spain by birth. She later became the Queen of Portugal as the wife of King Joseph I. After suffering a series of strokes, King Joseph allowed his wife to become the head of government, the Regent of Portugal, in 1776.
Mariana Victoria was the godmother of Marie Antoinette. Her great grandson Pedro became the first emperor of Brazil in 1822. She has descendants ranging from the present King of Spain, King of Belgium, Grand Duke of Luxembourg pretending Duke of Parma and the French Count of Paris.
Now, back to the ‘copia’. I sent detailed photos to a prestigious auction house in New York City and one in St. Petersburg, FL. They both believed that it was painted in the middle to late 19th century and had little value. Aside from my fanciful attraction to the young lady in the painting, there was no reason for it to be in my house. I only exhibited it once, at a Greenville Collects exhibition when I was the Executive Director of the Greenville Museum of Art in NC. So, in 2013 I bid farewell to that beautiful young lady and off it went to the St. Pete auction. I hope she found a good home.
Painter Elio Camacho will conduct his March 9, 10, and 11, 2016 Color Intensive Painting workshop at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. Elio is an accomplished colorist and teaches in oil and acrylic. He uses engaging demos in his workshops and stresses design and color theory in conveying emotion and effective composition. His technique incorporates an alla prima approach to mixing color on the canvas. Each student is given personal attention with care not to discourage their style or vision, but to enhance them. To inquire about or register for the workshop, call DFAC at 727-298-3322.
• For painters living in Southwest Florida interested in taking a workshop with Camacho, he will teach at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts March 1 – 3, 2016.
Following is a recent testimonial from one of his Florida workshop venues.
Having hosted Elio's workshops over the past two years, we enjoy consistent success with him. He is not only an extraordinary artist, he is a gifted and generous teacher. His students are always extremely inspired and excited by his classes, and their enthusiasm increases with each class.
Elio is professional, prompt, helpful, pleasant and the hardest working visiting instructor we have ever had! He begins each day early and with a solid plan, and continues to teach late into the evening. His demos are compelling, and his presentations are informative, entertaining and enlightening.
We have filled each workshop that Elio has taught, and look forward to filling more in the coming years.
Please don't hesitate to call with any questions.
Director of Education
Lighthouse Art Center
The Dunedin Fine Art Center in Dunedin, Florida, opened its 2016 exhibition season with a bang on Sunday, January 17 with “The 41st Annual International Miniature Art Show”, “Rich Entel’s Cardboard Menagerie’, and “Love Magnified”, an exhibition of miniature art valentines. I had the pleasure of working with the Miniature Art Society and the International show beginning in the late 1980’s. The International exhibition today features many hundreds of miniature paintings and sculpture in three galleries from many countries. I have included a few images to describe the afternoon.
I met Melissa Miller Nece in 1990, when she joined the Dunedin Fine Art Center as an instructor of colored pencil drawing. She is still there, teaching full classes this winter in drawing, colored pencil and oil and acrylic painting. Her picture shows her pointing out her colored pencil painting “Splashy Boy”, the winner of First Prize in Figure in the 41st Annual International Miniature Art Exhibition at DFAC. The show runs through February 7, 2016.
Melissa teaches workshops around the country and is currently President of the Colored Pencil Society of America and a Signature Member of the Miniature Artists of America. Congratulations, Melissa!
Artist Rich Entel presented his “Cardboard Menagerie” and a wonderful gallery talk to the public on Sunday to a large gathering of friends and art lovers. His ingenious sculptures of wild animals are made from fragments of musical instruments, discarded cardboard and ancient texts. He lives in Maine and works as a physician, but grew up in the Dunedin area fascinated with art.
His family has long been supportive of the arts and of DFAC and his mother, Syd Entel, is one of the original founders of the art center. His gallery talk closed with a spirited reading by poet Ashley Bryan. Entel’s talk and Bryan’s performance are available on video at www.dfac.org/richard_entel-menagerie. Entel’s show runs through March 1.
Also pictured is my good friend and DFAC visual art curator Catherine Bergmann with noted artist, writer, poet, storyteller and humanitarian Ashley Bryan. Bryan was there to celebrate the exhibit of art by Richard Entel. Both artists live in Maine. Cathy first met Bryan when she attended Dartmouth, where he was a professor of art, and they have maintained their friendship since. He attended Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering when black students had few choices of colleges to attend and took a break in his studies to serve in World War II, including D-Day and the battle for Europe. He is Professor Emeritus at Cooper Union.
Bryan has written over fifty books about African and African American spirituals, poetry, and legends and myths. He is also known for his puppets, puppet shows and book illustrations. Among his awards are the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the New York Public Library’s Literary Lions award.
Congratulations to the staff and artists of DFAC on the beginning of another exciting season of art and enrichment.
This ceramic vessel was made by Claude Conover, a well-known Cleveland, Ohio ceramicist. Born in 1907, Conover worked for much of his career as a commercial designer and made his pottery for many years at night. He eventually made his ceramics his livelihood. His work has been collected nationwide and beyond and at the time of his death, at least twenty museums held Conover works in their collections. Conover won the Cleveland Arts Prize in visual arts in 1983. He passed away in 1994.
A hallmark of his robust, ceramic vessels is the embellishment he incised into the earthy, monochromatic surfaces, the meanders and patterns suggesting symbols or script of forgotten meaning. For those of us who find the pottery forms of many artisans to be a link with our ancient past, Conover’s work approaches the spiritual. He named each work – this one is called Olma. It is 19” high and 14” in diameter.
My late wife, Nancy McIntyre came into possession of Olma long before I met her. She started collecting art in the late ‘60’s and my recollection was that she bought Olma through Shaw’s Department store in Tallahassee. Shaw’s was known for its eclectic mix of quality modernist furniture, imported accessories and crafts, antiques and ‘artist made’ art. I made a promise to myself never to sell a certain short list of art pieces I came to love in her St. Petersburg apartment when I met her in 1983, Olma being one of them. But in a moment of financial stress in 2013, and knowing it was one of the artworks in the house with a meaningful market value, I shipped it to Rachel Davis Gallery in Cleveland, where one can find avid collectors of Conover’s work. Ms. Davis did a wonderful job as it sold at auction for exactly what she said it would.
I will always miss Olma for sentimental reasons and because it is a great ceramic piece I enjoyed for thirty years. Olma’s place near the front door of the house remains open. But the special, timeless energy of the Conover creation now lives with others. That energy, rather than any assumed market value, is one of the reasons why Nancy collected art and built a dynamic ceramics collection.
Note: Lot Report from the Rachel Davis Gallery records the work as Ulma. The minor misspelling now accompanies the work in online auction references.