Have you ever wondered how a piece of art is made? Each day from August 19 to October 15, 11a.m. to 4 p.m., a Tampa Bay artist will be present with workbench and studio materials to demonstrate the creation of a fine craft specialty in the Florida CraftArt Gallery. A total of 16 skilled artisans will take turns during this eight-week learning opportunity to show and display their artwork which may be purchased in the gallery. As there is no admission charge to the gallery, the demonstrations are free.
“These dedicated and skilled artists were selected so that every medium of fine craft carried in the gallery is represented,” says Gallery Manager Julia Collver. “This exhibit is going to captivate the community as each artist excels in sharing the story of their craft while showing how it’s made. Our goal is to promote more exposure for our artists as the public will get to see how much effort goes behind the making of each fine craft medium.”
“A longtime Florida CraftArt member and collector, Perry Everett, suggested creating an interactive exhibition where people could talk to the artists and watch them create work,” says Katie Deits, FCA Executive Director. “As education is part of our mission, we felt this was a great way for people to learn about fine craft. Some artists will demo for one day, others for four to five days each week, and people can watch the progress of the artists’ projects every day. On the final demonstration day each week, they can see the results.”
Mark your calendar for artists demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
August 19 – 22: Janna Kennedy (Mixed Media)
August 23 – 27: Nick Reale (Wood)
August 30: Susan Lumsden (Fiber)
August 31: Elizabeth Neily (Fiber)
September 1: Elizabeth Neily (Fiber)
September 2: Angie Knowles (Fiber)
September 3: Karen Kozak (Polymer Clay Jewelry
September 6-10: Joyce Curvin (Sculpture)
September 13-17: Shelly Reale (Ceramic Sculpture)
September 20, 21: Richard Avery (Ceramics on wheel)
September 22: Sue Shapiro (Ceramics, handbuilt)
September 23: Tyler Jones (Ceramics on wheel)
September 24: Kimberli Cummings (Ceramics)
September 27-30: Michael Baker (Glass)
October 1: Matthew Szidik (Glass)
October 4-8: Laurie Landry (Mosaic)
October 11-15: Eric Folsom (Metal)
October 15, 4 p.m. Meet the all the artists at the closing reception.
Artists’ Workbench will be on exhibit with artists demonstrating their techniques from August 19 to October 15, 2022. It is made possible by a sponsorship from Perry and Lisa Everett, along with Kathryn Howd and Edward Rucks, Tyler Jones of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Duncan McClellan, David and Becky Ramsey, Don Strobel, City of St. Petersburg, and Florida Department of State Division of Arts and Culture.
Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.FloridaCraftArt.org or call (727) 821-7391. Florida CraftArt is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 and headquartered in St. Petersburg. Its mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work. Fine craft art is presented in its 2,500-square-foot Florida Artists Gallery and curated exhibitions are featured in its adjacent Exhibition Gallery. Florida CraftArt is the only statewide organization offering artists a platform to show and sell their work.
Angie Knowles of Kenwood is a retired Army veteran working in mixed media, primarily surface design on cotton, silk and rayon. She will demonstrate screen-printing on September 2. (Photo by Elizabeth Neily)
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Karen Kozak of Gulfport fashions colorful jewelry from polymer clay. Watch her process on September 3. (Photo by Elizabeth Neily)
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Karen Kozak made this artful necklace from polymer clay. Watch her techniques on September 3.
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St. Petersburg artist Nick Reale will explain the process of creating pieces from wood from August 23-27. (Photo by Katie Deits)
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Nick Reale, whose studio is in the Salt Creek District, will fashion handmade brushes at Florida CraftArt from August 23-27.
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Nick Reale has won awards for his classic design of this “Simple Stool.” He will demonstrate at Florida CraftArt from August 23-27.
BIOGRAPHIES OF ARTISTS pictured above
JANNA KENNEDY MIXED-MEDIA DEMONSTRATION AUGUST 19-22
Janna Kennedy entered her first art show in 1975 at the Indialantic Art Show in Florida. That same year she won “Best in Show” for her Elton at the Tea Party costume complete with a large teacup spewing dry ice from the top of the cup headpiece.
From 1984-2018, Janna worked in New York City as a handbag designer while also producing a nonprofit, Broadway-style Halloween production every year since 1994. She won the Coney Islands’ Annual Mermaid Parade five times and, in 2007, won Judges Choice for her Parade Within a Parade for the 17 costumes she created.
Her strange creatures came to life when she began adding eyes and teeth. In 2020, she exhibited at The Art Gallery of Viera, Florida, winning Best in Show for her Notorious RBG 3-D mask. She also won the Put on a Funny Face Mask Contest in the New York City Coney Island competition for her 3-D Salvador Dali mask. In 2020, Janna won the congressman Charlie Crist Mask Contest, and her mask was sold to Bette Midler. In 2021, her 3-D masks, Van Gogh and Magritte, were selected for the permanent collection at the New York Public Library. In December 2021, she signed a contract with Disney to make her gourd art into various Disney characters.
I discovered the gourd art idea when I bought a small teardrop shaped gourd, hand painted as a Christmas ornament. I took it to my studio and started looking to eBay for different sizes and shapes. I saw how easily I could cut a hole into the surface I decided to try and make “personality gourds” with eyes and teeth. I soon called these crazy creatures “Gourdgeous Art.” It didn’t take long to come up with ideas and themes to help create these guys. The more I make them, the more ideas come to mind. There’s something wickedly funny about installing teeth into a gourd!! I think art like this should be fun and believe me I am having a ball making these fascinating personalities with a backstory and life all their own.
ANGIE KNOWLES FIBER DEMONSTRATION SEPTEMBER 2
Angie Knowles works in mixed media, primarily surface design on cotton, silk and rayon. Her interest in textiles began at the age of nine when she took her first sewing class. She has explored many different aspects of fiber arts, from clothing construction and hand embroidery to machine knitting and surface design techniques.
Angie has studied under many leading artists, including Kerr Grabowski, Gasali Adeyemo, and she completed Jane Dunnewold’s Art Cloth Master Program in February 2018.
Polar Opposites – the push and pull of opposing forces; day-vs-night; good-vs-evil; natural-vs-man made. This is part of what influences her art.
Additional inspiration comes from nature, and the feelings and visual imagery she experiences when listening to music. Angie’s art finds the delicate balance between these forces, where one does not dominate, but coexist harmoniously. The choice of colors: soft and subdued, paired with strong and colorful, adds to this push-pull dynamic.
Angie is a St. Petersburg native and returned home after full military career.
KAREN KOZAK POLYMER CLAY DEMONSTRATION AUGUST 30
Karyn Kozak is a fine craft artist located in Gulfport. Using the millefiori technique with FIMO, a clay that hardens at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, her works bring a pop of color and delightful flair to any wardrobe!
Karyn is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and she studied at Pratt Institute, University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and Orrefors, Sweden.
When she is not traveling, she is in her studio developing new color schemes and patterns for her elaborate polymer-beaded designs. Her work is great inspiration for fun gift getting. FIMO is non-toxic, non-fading, can be washed with soap.
Combining colors and patterns is fun—whether styling a home, growing a garden, or making objects.
Success is in the details, knowing how materials work, and in the patience to see nuances between what you intended and what you have.
NICK REALE WOOD DEMONSTRATION AUGUST 23-27
Originally from Commack, N.Y., Nick Reale creates from wood harvested from local, fallen, or removed trees, or from reclaimed wood with a unique history. The hardware and embellishments are collected from his many travels abroad including Italy, France, Germany, and Austria and from antique and architectural salvage shops, some being many centuries old. Nick’s work includes wood turning, box making, furniture, and toys.
Prior to taking up woodworking, he spent 30 years with the Pinellas Park Fire Department as a firefighter/paramedic and lieutenant, retiring in 2014. He is also a computer programmer and website developer.
Nick’s wife Shelly has always been his inspiration. He started by making things for her that she loved and thought beautiful. It has since expanded to friends, family, and strangers; to see the smiles on their faces is highly rewarding to him as he realizes the many ways others can experience an object made from nature by his hands. He exhibited at the Florida CraftArt Festival in 2017 and won an Award of Merit in 2019. Nick is a part of the Warehouse Arts District and is a Florida CraftArt Gallery Artist. He resides in St. Petersburg.
Taking the living form of wood and turning it into functional art appeals to me. I choose not to purchase wood. I prefer the “start” to “finish” process of taking a downed tree, cutting it with a chainsaw, drying it, cutting it again with a finer saw into my own workable blanks or boards. The piece can be worked with and shaped over the time it takes to dry (a process often taking a year or more). Sanding and finishing brings out the unique grain and patterns each piece has hidden inside. Wood has a character of its own and the detail that emerges is showcased in the finished piece.
Katie Deits (she, her)
501 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Office: (727) 821-7391 Cell: (561) 351-7904
Florida CraftArt is a statewide, nonprofit organization. Our mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work.