HOW TO BECOME AN ARTIST

Heather Kelley

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Step 1: Choose the right parents. 

Your mom takes art lessons from a prominent local artist.  You are a toddler who gets to scribble on scraps of paper during these lessons.  Mom never confesses to a suspected affair. You might have been a foil…

Step 2: Grow up in the 1950’s

Status and appearance are important.  The rising middle class (your parents) emulates the wealthy by filling their homes with encyclopedia sets, classical music, condensed literary classics (why waste time?), and art prints.  You are a visual learner and you:

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a. read Classic Illustrated comics, the first graphic novels based on the classics. This is of great value later on, when people think that you are a “well-read” adult!

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b. watch Winky Dink, the first interactive television program, where you purchase a plastic overlay for the tv screen and draw on it to save Winky Dink and his dog Woofer from potential hazards.(Good thing you drew that bridge just in time!)

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c. submit an entry to the “Draw Me!” ad in Readers Digest to try to win an art scholarship. This marketing scam gives you false hope of becoming a professional artist by buying a pricey correspondence art course.

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d. complete many paint by number masterpieces. You learn to stay in the lines.

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e. take private art lessons with schoolgirl besties on Saturday mornings with 2 of Orlando’s art legends, Ralph Bagley and William Orr. Learn the basic techniques and composition of art, and begin the dream of becoming an artist.

Step 3. This step takes 50 years when you come of age in a sexist culture that coerces you to lower your expectations and forces you to completely lose track of your dream.

a. through k. you major in art at university (finally, real grades for real art), and the dream is reinterpreted for you because you are single and a mother. “Sorry,” says the dean of the art department, “even though you are a great painter, you must major in art education, not painting. There are no open spots in the painting track.” That is not true; it is because you are now a mother who “should” follow a traditional career path. You teach art but marry an ambitious entrepreneur and be his office manager for over 20 years to further his artistic success. Things change in marriage and business and you are back to teaching high school English. (You already have a vast knowledge of classic novels!) Additionally, you are fully responsible for caretaking your elderly mother who is in her late 90’s (Remember, she gave you your first art exposure in Step 1). She keeps your dream alive with encouragement for you and artful conversations. You keep her alive…for a while. You receive additional encouragement from daughters and friends. You begin painting seriously again at age 55 and join other artists in life drawing sessions. Inspiration returns!

Step 4. Blossom.
You are validated by being accepted into local art shows and winning some prizes. Your acceptance as a member in The Fifth Avenue Art Gallery comes almost simultaneously with your long awaited glorious retirement. You feel the lightness of being. You start new adventures. You meet the love of your life. Just like that! You are an artist.

Heather Kelley is a member-artist at Fifth Avenue Art Gallery. More about Heather

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Meet Kay Shannon

Hello, my name is Kaye Shannon and I am one of the artist members of the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery.  I am mostly a watercolorist but I love doing most anything to create something..  I paint at home and generally have a “supervisor” to watch (or sleep) over  me as I go about my “creating”. These have been my cats.  I have had several  supervisors throughout my many years of painting.  The first picture is of my first supervisor.  I would like to introduce you to  Booeenie.  Here is a picture of her supervising her portrait and I have included her portrait after it was finished. She seemed to have liked it very much.  She is now in cat heaven and I miss her very much.
 IMG_0673   Booeenie
 I now have two new supervisors.  Baxter and Izzy.  I have a couple of baskets in my studio that they love to crawl in.  We listen to good music as I paint and they generally curl up and sleep. Occasionally they like to creep over to where I am working and do a toe test on my wet work.   Also another area they love to manage for me is the laundry.  I have included a picture of their work there.

See more of Kaye’s work here.

2017 100% Pure Florida Winners

It was a great evening at the opening of 100% Pure Florida! It is a wonderfully diverse show with representation by artists from across the state. A Big CONGRATULATIONS to the 2017 100% Pure Florida award winners.

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Motoring by Vanessa Bates

Best of Show: Vanessa Bates, Motoring, digital, Merritt Island
2nd Place: Mindy Z. Colton, Unbridled Seahorse, sculpture
3rd Place: Caren Sarmiento, Royal Poinciana Flower, acrylic, Hialeah
Merit Awards
Linda Barone, Red Shouldered Hawk Encroached, acrylic, Naples
John Cielukowski, Highnoon, Frostproof, FL, Acrylic, Cocoa Beach
Louise Hill, Summer Creepin’ In, Photography, Mims
Ellen Lindner, Lava to the Sea, Fabric Collage, Melbourne
Kestrel Michaud, Classy, Fabric, Melbourne
Melissa Miller Nece, Dash and Dive, Colored Pencil, Palm Harbor
Mark Palmer, Lazy Sunday, Mixed Media, Rockledge

12 Annual 100% Pure Florida Juried Exhibition Call for Art

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Calling All Florida Artists! The prospectus/entry form for Fifth Avenue Art Gallery’s annual juried exhibition, 100% Pure Florida is now available. Last year was one of our very best juried show presented at the gallery. We are looking forward to another great exhibit highlighting the amazing artistic talents of artists across the state. The First Place Winner will receive $500 and a Solo-Exhibition in 2018. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of this Florida artist showcase! The deadline for entry is July 8, 2017.

Prospectus/entry form: 2017 100 Percent Call

Calling All Artists woof, woof… woof

This August at Fifth Avenue Art Gallery we are celebrating “man’s best friend”, and you can join us! You are invited to create an original dog artwork for “BEST IN SHOW, a dog art exhibition”. A portion of the art sales from the exhibit will be donated to the Central Brevard Humane Society. The show opens on Friday, August 4th in conjunction with the EGAD First Friday Art walk (Dog Days of Summer).We will be awarding some fun ribbons for our dog art winners, shooting doggie portraits on the front porch and dog quick sketches in the gallery! Love dogs… love to make dog art… please join us.

Space is limited…  so don’t delay! Get all the info: here

Lost & Found Opening and Awards

Last Friday, May 6th was the opening date and reception for Lost & Found. 25 artists started with a unique “kit” and using a portion of every item, created a work of art. Wow, we really have some “outside of the box” artists here in Brevard County. So many wonderful pieces were unveiled at the opening… and the creative energy was very invigorating!

We were originally going to present 2 awards… one for Creativity, and the other for Most Unified Use of Materials. Our judge, graphic designer, photographer, painter and past member of the gallery,  Suzanne Clements was very impressed with all the finished artworks and donated additional funds to create more awards. A BIG thanks to Suzanne for her amazing support as our judge and patron.

AWARDS

1st Place Creativity $100: Betsy Heath, Reality of X…A Struggle to Hear, See, Speak and Express Oneself
2nd Place Creativity $50: Helen Wheatley, Don’t Fence Me In
3rd Place Creativity $25 gallery gift certificate: Deborah Conti, Lux Voces #6384
(Light of the Words #6384)

1st Place Most Unified Use of Materials, $100: Jody Carter, Timothy looks for his Antlers
2nd Place Most Unified Use of Materials, $50: Lori Pitten Jenkins, Circus Daze
3rd Place Most Unified Use of Materials, $25 gallery gift certificate: Vicki Busby, Catbird and Robin.

We had 3 Honorable Mentions.
For “Biggest Chuckle”, Dij Pacarro, The Mountain of Too Much
Best Hidden Materials in a Wonderful Artwork:
Carol Egan, Namaste’
Nellie Brannan, Going Wherever it Leads

Thanks to all the wonderful artists who participated and took the challenge! There are so many wonderful pieces in the show… come by the gallery and see them, buy one or two…get inspired!