For Immediate Release
St. Petersburg, FL (March 22, 2016) — The Studio@620 continues its support of diverse segments of the community with an artists’ talk during the closing reception of the BRAVA collective exhibition. BRAVA, a collective of seven women artists, is currently featured in a group exhibition at The Studio@620 with works ranging from paintings to textiles, sculpture, photography, video, and installations; the artworks are as varied as the individuals in the group. The common thread running through this group is one of support, community and creative growth shared among women artists and The Studio@620 supports these same values through its programming. The women of the BRAVA collective will gather at the closing reception and give a short presentation with discussion about their art and experiences as women artists on Saturday April 2, 2016. The closing reception is from 5-9 PM with the discussion at 7PM. Admission is free and open to the public.
The Studio@620 has a history of supporting women in the arts and in the general community since its inception in 2004. The Studio’s first exhibition was “Grandma’s Hands” which honored the tradition of hand-made quilts. The Studio has hosted numerous community discussions about the historic role of women as maids or in other support positions as a way to bring awareness to this group of often overlooked contributors to society. In the coming months The Studio is also offering home repair classes targeted specifically to women who haven’t always had the exposure to this type of skill training.
About BRAVA - A Women Artists Collective BRAVA has existed since around 1995 as a space for a group of women artist friends to share ideas about art and encourage one another to progress in their work. We meet monthly to share our recent work and give each other feedback. We are each very different in our approach to art making and yet there is a hidden common thread formed by our harmony and sympathy for one another.
Every now and then we show our work together. We have had shows at Art on the Park in Lakeland, Kaos Gallery in Bradenton, Artists Unlimited and Blake High School in Tampa, and Salt Creek Art Center in St Petersburg. It is usually interesting for the viewer to see how these very disparate art works can create a rich and stimulating art experience.
We also participate in career workshops together and travel to Art Basel and other events to enrich our experience. We have hosted several Slide Slam/Jpeg Jam events for local artists to show their work and start a conversation with the general public.
Over the years some of our members have moved out of town and others have joined us yet the supportive energy of our group continues to help us all become better artists.
About The Artists:
Carolina Cleere was born in Pensacola, Florida. She spent her youth exploring Bayou Texar and the Gulf of Mexico near her home. When not outdoors, she entertained herself reading or drawing from nature books. When summer came, her family would visit the Everglades, Silver Springs, Homosassa Springs, Sunken Gardens, Bok Towers, Vizcaya in Miami or The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.
She left her beloved Florida to study at the University of Minnesota where she discovered her passion for photojournalism. Newspaper work came naturally to Cleere since politics and social issues had been everyday topics at the family dinner table in her youth. In 1990, Pulitzer prize- winning photographer Eddie Adams chose her as a one of the top one-hundred photojournalism students in the country.
Cleere enjoyed a successful journalism career that took her across the U.S. working for newspapers and wire services in Minneapolis, Seattle, New York, Augusta and Tampa. Her photography has been published in Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, People, Sports Illustrated, New York Times, and the Washington Post, among others. She won hundreds of journalism awards, including 1995 Georgia photographer of the year. Also, she is a five-time winner in the Best of Photojournalism International Pictures of the Year.
Despite her dedication to journalism, she always felt driven to explore her own personal work. Starting in the early eighties, she developed a unique art method that painstakingly blends four different mediums. Being a self–taught artist allowed her to develop in her own style and on her own time techniques that she continues to expand upon with each piece.
In response to a family tragedy, she began her Icon of Innocence series in 1996, focusing on early childhood development. Cleere creates surreal psychological portraits of defining moments, filled with narrative symbolism. This body of work has been featured in several solo shows and given numerous best of show awards. Cleere’s personal work has been published in various international art magazines starting in 1999. Today, her work is included in several permanent museum collections and in many private homes throughout North America and Europe.
These drawings come from a place in my interior that I cannot reach with words.I have tried as a poet and storyteller, but it was not until I put the words and drawings together with pen and color, that I felt satisfied.So now I draw, and there may or may not be words to accompany these images.
Most of these pieces come out followed by a pregnancy of feeling; an urgency to do this; And so I do.
Earlier, I drew and colored and I was often told that I should try to make the images fit “reality”; that I should”study” art sothat I could do what I wanted to do.The truth is I am doing what I want to do, and those who are meant to see, see.
There are several series that have emerged from my work.They involve Youth, Healing, Magic and Medicine, Beings From Other Places, Peace and Balance on This Planet, and Love Relationships (of all Kinds)
As a visual artist, I do not know what I am doing until it begins to emerge.The drawing comes, usually without plan or pattern.The color process is quite different.The drawn images almost begin to “speak” to me and I move through the coloring process with very little intellectual consideration.
This flow of drawing began in 2004 when I was 54 years old.They come from a lifetime of believing that my only medium of expression was words. It is a grand and sweet relief to finally share my visions and personal lore in this way.
Chalet Comellas' work extends a collection of experiences that playfully explore the metaphor of deconstructing and reconstructing in relation to memory, identity and perception. Comellas reinvents existing materials, such as clothing, textiles and found objects and reassembles these items to build new narratives from them. She employs an interdisciplinary approach to art-making and enjoys exploring the connections between artist and viewer within interactive and socially engaged artworks.
Comellas is currently an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Art at Florida State University where she teaches courses on contemporary art. She earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Florida State University in 2012, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Tampa in 2001. She has performed and exhibited her work in museums, art fairs and galleries, including In Light Richmond, hosted by 1708 Gallery in Richmond, VA (2014), Grace Exhibition Space in Brooklyn, New York (2013), and Fountain Art Fair in Miami (2012). Comellas has participated in several public art projects in Florida, including an outdoor video installation commissioned by the Tampa Museum of Art during Art Basel Miami (2006).
Chalet Comellas has collaborated with several artist collectives over the past five years, creating works that can be described as immersive socially engaged environments. She has also coordinated and volunteered assistance with large-scale community outreach projects providing aesthetic and community building improvements.
In 2014, Comellas developed a series of interactive pop-up events called Assembly Is Required. These participatory art exhibitions, also called AIR events, connect artists with the community through art-making. AIR events invite the community into artist studios and galleries, relying on guest interaction to assemble a temporary installation that evolves over time at each site.
Capturing the atmosphere of a particular place and time is why I paint the landscape.Two of my favorite pastimes are travel and painting, which makes Plein Air painting the perfect combination for my art. I always have an art kit with me whether I am flying far away or just kayaking for the afternoon. There are moments and scenes everywhere to spark my imagination!
By using strong composition, contrasting lights and darks, and rich color to create scenes, I hope to take the viewer to the places I have been and found the beauty there.
Nature is so often my true inspiration. For me, there is a profound relationship between nature and the divine. Plein Air painting not only challenges me on an earthly level but also allows me to experience the divine along the journey.
Kim Radatz is a full time multi-media studio artist living and working in the Tampa Bay area. She holds a master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, where she specialized in sculpture. After graduation she taught at both the University of Miami and Florida International University before moving to the Tampa Bay area. She has exhibited throughout the United States, including SCOPE in Miami, and has received numerous awards including Best of Show in the prestigious Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts and earned the coveted title of Artisan of the Year for the Cloth, Paper, Scissors publication. Recently she was awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County.
My artwork deals with the emotional aspect of relationships. This focus stems from being an identical twin and how that forced me to intuitively deal with a relationship long before I had any understanding of one. I am interested in giving a visual language to the different feelings that stem from relationships, both from my own experiences and also from relationships that I have observed. Additionally, I have learned that although things appear to be the same, upon closer inspection they are typically quite different. I often use multiples to examine and/or emphasize this dichotomy.
LYLA L. HAGGARD
Lyla A. Haggard is a lifelong artist who delayed her true passion to make a living in the corporate world of health care for twenty-five years. In time, the artist in her demanded to be set free. She now resides in Tampa, FL, and focuses on sculpture,painting and other fine art disciplines. For broad themes, I draw on my life experience as a woman who has read and traveled widely, developed a far-reaching network of friends and family and faced a broad range of career and cultural challenges over the years. The shapes and colors of Cézanne influence the style of both my paintings and sculptures. I paint direct onto the canvas or clay, often underpainting the background first in a complementary color. This technique, causing the eye to jump from one color to communicate a view of life from the perspective of maturity…at least chronological maturity
Candace Knapp was encouraged in her artistic explorations by her father who was a toy designer. The family lived in 16 places, mostly in the Southwest, Midwest and Northeast. Candace studied sculpture at the Cleveland Institute of Art and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the University of Illinois. At the university she minored in painting and has recently begun a new career as a painter with a special interest in light. Her sculptures are in the permanent collections of the Memphis Brooks Museum in Tennessee and the Miaoli Wood Sculpture Museum in Taiwan. She has had installations in several museums and created 5 Public Art commissions as well as several commissions in hospitals and libraries.
"I am intoxicated with light. I have been prowling the local parks, camera in hand,to capture images of sunlight reflected in water. In my studio I study these images realizing that the camera has caught patterns and variations that my eyes could not see. These are my inspiration for a series of paintings about light on water. I explore new variations of patterns and colors as I interpret these reflections in paint on canvas. I feel as if I am exploring an unseen world of light, shadow and reflection." --Candace Knapp
The Studio@620 is a non profit arts venue located at 620 1st Ave. South, St. Petersburg FL 33701
Visit The Studio@620 online at www.studio620.org or call 727-895-6620 for more information.