Founded in 1951, Florida CraftArt is a members-supported, statewide nonprofit gallery with a mission to serve contemporary fine craft artists and the creative economy in Florida. The organization is overseen by a Board of Directors and is proud to welcome four new members: Claudia Larrain, John Mascoll, David Ramsey and Stacia Schrader.
Artists gain the opportunity to sell handmade work and receive advice on becoming financially independent, allowing craft artists in Florida to live as full-time artists. Florida CraftArt shows more than 250 of Florida’s fine craft artists’ work in its downtown 2,500-square-foot gallery space. The adjacent gallery features eight curated exhibitions annually. The current show (through March 7), “Inside the World of Public Art,” highlights artists who use craft in their processes to make monumental public works. Workshops, performances and other outreach programming coincide with each exhibition to engage and educate the public and enrich the vibrant art community in St. Petersburg.
Claudia Larrain is a fine art photographer who enjoys still life, portraiture and street photography. As a conceptual artist, she photographs in black and white, using a minimalist style. She has training in classical ballet; and studied psychology, earning a Ph.D. She began drawing, painting and photography in the year 2000, going back to her artistic endeavors. She has shown her work in gallery exhibits in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Ybor City, Sarasota and Indian Rocks Beach and she also enjoys making jewelry. Dr. Larrain and her husband Matt Mosk and their nine-year-old son live in the old Northeast in St. Petersburg. She recently wrote a book about creativity and emotional balance entitled, “En Pointe.”
John Mascoll attended a university in Barbados with a track scholarship. In 1976, he moved to the United States to attend Vanderbilt University and the spent four years Fisk University in Nashville as an All-American athlete. With a Bachelor of Arts in physics and a Bachelor of Engineering in civil engineering from Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities, he began a career as a construction engineer and manager and acquired over thirty years of construction project management experience.
In 1989, Mr. Mascoll started a new career in woodturning after purchasing a Shopsmith® which is a motorized machine with multipurpose functions, such as lathe turning, table saw, sander and drill press. He watched a man demonstrate turning a fruit bowl and thought to himself that he, too, could do that.
This led him to take a new approach by utilizing a lathe in an innovative manner crafting the various woods into forms and shapes more efficiently, but also to add delicate finials and covers to accessorize and enhance each piece.
He produces about 200 fine craft pieces in a year in his Safety Harbor studio. In 1994, he exhibited his work for the first time in an outdoor art festival and won a merit award. Since then he often wins Best of Show awards.
David Ramsey received his bachelor’s degree from Emory University and his Masters of Public Administration from George Washington University. In 1973, Mr. Ramsey moved to St. Petersburg. He has recently retired from Hearn Hoyt & Ramsey, Wealth Advisors for Raymond James. In addition to serving on the board of Florida CraftArt, Mr. Ramsey also is on the St. Petersburg Public Art Commission and the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance board. He is a docent at the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, and is married to Becky Ramsey, who also volunteers at Florida CraftArt. When they are not busy with their myriad of volunteer works in the art community in St. Petersburg, the Ramseys are in their second home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Stacia Schrader is the Vice President and Business Development Officer of the Regions Bank in Downtown St. Petersburg. During her tenure at Regions, she has helped to build the creative community’s financial acumen and fostered the local community’s support for our artists.
Ms. Schrader is a member of the St. Petersburg Arts Commission and a past board member of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance. Creative Loafingdubbed her the 2014 Best Artistic Banker highlighting her support of the local art culture.
As a former actress, she has a keen understanding of what it takes to remain creative while building your business. Through Regions Bank, she has found a way to combine her love for the arts with her business development.
Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. For more information, visit www.FloridaCraftArt.org or call (727) 821-7391. Admission is free. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Florida CraftArt is the only statewide organization offering artists a platform to show and sell their work.