If you’ve been on an African safari, whether in the primeval rain forest or arid dessert, it’s likely you’ve encountered Bee Eaters. Small, interesting birds with very colorful plumage, chances of spotting them are relatively easy given the 20 species that are common to the continent. If you haven’t ventured into the wilds, you’re in luck! As many as twenty-two artists’ interpretations representing a variety of mediums will be on exhibit in The Hub’s Higginbotham Studio, April 6-30, 2018.
The exhibit will be the result of a “Through Another’s Eyes” challenge, the brainchild of Hub artist Tad Fyock. A bird carver for 25 years, Fyock can often be seen at The Hub in his studio behind the front desk. “It’s a passion; it’s wonderful,’ said Fyock of his art.
When Fyock sees birds, he not only sees their physical features, he sees their personalities and is interested in how others would communicate that – on glass, on paper, on fabric, etc.
The challenge consists of 22 artists so far who will recreate their interpretation of Fyock’s carving of the very social birds.
“I know what I see and what I do, but what would someone else, who is in an entirely different medium, see?” asked Fyock, who encountered the Bee Eaters while on a Kenyan safari.
“The objective is to try to teach people that everyone sees things differently and that seeing, not looking and moving on, is important.”
On Friday, April 6 from 5-7pm, The Hub on Canal will host a special members night highlighting the exhibition. Join other Hub on Canal members and artists at this first of many quarterly member events, complete with wine, beer, and appetizers. 10% discount on exhibit items. Event is free to members. Not a member? Click here for more information or to become a member.
There is something that happens a lot at The Hub. Somewhat akin to an “a ha” moment one gets when something obscure becomes clear, it is the point at which people connect on a deeper level. Given The Hub’s mission of creating community, there are lots of opportunities for these kindred spirit moments to occur. One such cool one happened during First Saturday in February.
Just a few short hours before the opening of Charles Everett’s “Context for Crisis” exhibit, Hub co-founder Sally Mackay was part of a standing-room only crowd gathered to watch a dulcimer demonstration. Moments later, she would step into her gallery namesake and, never having met Everett, would forge a fast friendship with the DeLand-based artist.
Everett, surrounded by 20 or so of his paintings – abstracts with graphite marks, horses, a bull, Trumps hands, his own arms outstretched on two identical canvases – had just finished explaining to Mackay the “Frankenstein” painting he held in his hand that would be part of his artist talk that night.
“It’s one of the ugliest pieces I’ve produced in a certain sense,” said Everett, “but it’s how it was produced that I’m interested in at this point.” By day, Everett’s world is full of computer programming, codes and large data sets. So, he used artificial intelligence to look at all of his paintings. “It created an image and I created a painting of the image it gave me.”
Cueing the kindred spirit moment:
“Could you get your computer to make a sound of your paintings as well?” asked Mackay.
“I have been thinking of that for years!” said Everett. “To hear it, I am obsessed with this idea. I want to be able to hear the images. That’s actually why I began doing this.”
The conversation continued to explore the mathematical values assigned to color that could relate to pitch. Equally fascinating was the notion that when the data is crunching, sometimes faces will appear in the images.
“…the images begin to have clarity, forms,” Everett continued. “There is a kind of wonder and terror. You begin to understand how knowledge is made.”
“I would love to see the face of your work. I think this is the most interesting thing I’ve heard in years,” said Mackay. Painting daily since the summer of 2011, Everett’s collection numbers well over 200 and this is his first time exhibiting at The Hub.
“The Hub is a compulsive place you become obsessed with,” said Mackay. “It’s like what you’re talking about, because there are so many layers, and things that are going on.”
“It’s like this incredible house and you want to know all the rooms and explore,” agreed Everett.
“It’s also about people who aspire. They come here just for fun, the joy and the aha moments like the ukulele class. It’s tremendous fun,” beamed Mackay.
The “Context for Crisis” exhibit represents a period of time from late 2013 to the present in which the artist is exploring abstract, realism, elements of animals, mark making text and illustration in his work.
“When I was four and five years old, I would visit my grandfather and there were these dairy cows that would be close to the fence and it was like seeing a dinosaur. It was so dramatic, exciting and fascinating and they were so big…There’s something very elemental, very dramatic about animals. We define ourselves so often by our distance from them, but we’re also really connected,” said Everett.
So, while there won’t be more than one data-laden piece in the show, there will be “something disruptive and dramatic” by way of his incorporation of animal and human elements into his abstracts.
“Birds tend to be omens,” he said, pointing to a pair of wings stretched onto the canvas. “There’s a lot of drama like there is with horses, the bull. You know there’s something about animals. They are harbingers of the natural world, in all of this drama and menace.”
“My art reflects who I am and I am nature.” – Carolyn Land
On a cool day in January, the Sandra Lloyd Gallery warmly welcomed 30 community members to The Hub’s monthly Talk Art series. Carolyn Land, whose been with The Hub for six months, began by answering questions most often asked of the artist who dabbles in both the real and the abstract.
Integrating Art Forms
Often people wonder why she pursues both art forms. “For me, they are both part of me. They are totally integrated within me.”
While she doesn’t prefer one form over the other, abstract expression excites her. If she wants to escape, she goes to her studio to enter another world. “I can choose the realistic world or an abstract world.”
Realistic painters “have a road map. They know where they’re going. When you’re doing an abstract, you have to get off the road. You have to take the back roads.”
Land explains it’s more like putting a puzzle together. With abstract expression, “You don’t have that map. You don’t know where you’re going. It’s exciting. Because each thing you put down is dependent on the other thing that’s there.”
Following the Rules
“The rules of composition that you have for realism and abstract art are exactly the same. You’re using the same four elements: line, form, color and texture. And you’re going to achieve the same principals: balance, variety, rhythm.”
While the abstract excites her, the real is grounding. “When I’m doing a realistic painting, I get so into it I obsess about one spot. I take myself to that spot. I am not looking at the whole. I am a plane on a rock. The bark on a tree. I am feeling the wind, the grass, the ground.”
Finding the nuances in the now helps her later. “I am actually feeling where I was and I am feeling those little things that I want to take and put into an abstract later on.”
Nature as Muse
“My creative expression comes from the earth. I am anchored in the earth. I am anchored in Mother Nature. It is my muse. I can’t say that anything else motivates me like earth does.”
Land relayed a tidbit a lot of gardeners can relate to. “I have two passions: one is gardening and the second is painting. If I am upset, if I’m having a bad day all I have to do is go out and pull weeds for 10 minutes. It’s like the earth sucks all the bad stuff out of me.”
Frank Ferrante has many interests, but he has always been passionate about the sea and about oil painting. As a landscape and seascape oil painter and teacher at The Hub on Canal, Frank is able to combine his loves and his talents, creating bold intense images of life near or on the sea. New Smyrna Beach provides an endless array of subjects; through its rich colorful history, its beautiful beaches, and the many stories about life in an old Florida beach town.
In 2011 Frank moved from New Jersey to Volusia County where he found The Hub on Canal, and became a Hub studio painter and teacher. To this day visitors can find Frank Ferrante painting in his studio near the front door, creating his bold beautiful paintings every day of the week.
Last summer Frank learned of the city’s upcoming 250th birthday and resolved to commemorate this momentous event in his only style of celebration- an oil painting that he and The Hub on Canal would present to the City of New Smyrna Beach as a gift. As Frank sought potential subjects for his painting, a historical New Smyrna Beach landmark came up again and again: Feger’s Seafood. Many fondly remembered the landmark as the only place to buy fresh-off-the-boat seafood in New Smyrna Beach.
After conducting research on the landmark itself, Frank began painting the large 48” x 60” canvas in his studio. During the subsequent three-month period, locals and visitors stopped by to watch its progress. “I spoke with so many people who remembered the sight and in almost all cases, were very sad that it no longer exists,” said Ferrante. “I became more and more aware of the impact that this location had on so many residents… fascinated and anxious to hear of their recollection and personal story regarding Fegers.”
The painting will be presented to the City of New Smyrna Beach as part of its 250th Anniversary on January 9, 2018 at the regular City Commission meeting at City Hall in New Smyrna Beach. It will be displayed in the City Hall Commission Chambers, 210 Sams Avenue, New Smyrna Beach. The Hub on Canal will also be producing 50 limited edition prints that will be for sale after its presentation to the City of New Smyrna Beach.
To see artists Katty Smith and Linda Hoffmeister together in person you would say they were childhood friends. Their eyes twinkle with the knowing of girlish secrets, their laughter quick and smiles are broad and welcoming. The delightful pair have teamed up for a joint exhibit at The Hub on Canal’s Mackay Gallery that runs through January 28, 2018: The Female Spirit – All Fired Up and Stitched Down.
The women forged their friendship at The Hub on Canal a short two years ago. Their common interest, the strength of the female spirit, both past and present, and admiration of each other’s art drew them together.
Clay sculptor Smith will be exhibiting the “All Fired Up” side of the exhibit with masks, figureheads and two full-size figurines. Hoffmeister will provide the environmental background with her “Stitched Down” textile art.
The two are led to their work by the process and the materials speak to them: no plan, no sketching, each piece evolves. It’s been a yearlong journey with minimal planning save for the few image exchanges and color coordinating. If arriving at The Hub on Canal to chat about their new year exhibit, while both were wearing turquoise, is any indication then things are on track.
“We collected art, but I didn’t know what art was,” said Smith. “It never crossed my mind I’d ever do anything with art. You put something in the kiln and you never know what you’re doing until it comes out. It makes it exciting. The opening of the kiln and really liking something is wonderful. I never give up on a piece. Never.”
“I love incorporating other women’s art into mine,” said Hoffmeister, a traditionalist, who’s practiced art for 25 years. “I use pieces that are about to be discarded, that go to Good Will. I feel like it’s giving us a connection and new life. It’s a very important part of what I do.”
Smith says people are discovering her work more and more through The Hub. “The exposure is really good,” she said. “Exhibiting at The Hub brings it to town, to the people you know. Your friends buy a piece and they say what it means to them. It’s really special.”
“The Hub has been the best thing to happen to me,” said Hoffmeister, who’s been a part of it since the beginning five years ago. “I found a community, I found my voice. I have such wonderful friends here and I look forward to coming. There is just such an energy in the building. It’s wonderful.”
Each wall of the gallery will portray a female-spirited theme: African, South American, Americana, and Asian. An opening reception for the exhibit will take place January 6 at 6pm. At month’s end, visitors to IMAGES: a Festival of the Artsin New Smyrna Beach January 26-28, 2018 are encouraged to pop into The Hub on Canal to experience the community and its exhibits.
Artist Pam Coffman almost dismissed pursuing a college education by limiting herself to one class in the late 80s. But the teachers who crossed her path had other plans for the student. Today, Coffman is Curator of Education at the Museum of Art (MoArt) in DeLand and brings her “Remnants, Relics and Recollections” to The Hub October 7-30.
“I was fortunate to have all these people teach me,” said Coffman, reflecting on whom she fondly calls her “tor-mentor” Professor Grady Kimsey at then Seminole Community College. He implored her to pursue a degree in education and she ultimately received her Masters in Art Education and Studio Art in 1993 from Florida State University. Ironically, being a teacher was the last thing she wanted to do and it became the only thing she wanted to do.
Coffman likens her collages on exhibit at The Hub to a collection of short stories. Finding inspiration in poetry, gardening, what she reads and the “weird things that pop into my head”, she says each piece helps her answer questions we all have about time, relationships and spirituality.
“Looking at the collection is like looking into a jewelry box,” said Coffman. “Each piece will be hung intimately.”
About Coffman’s work, MoArt CEO George Bolge writes “One word should stand out in any discussion of Coffman’s art. That word is love. Love for art, for her subjects, her objects, her craft, her tools, her materials, and, most of all, love for the mysteries, ideas, and ideals she espouses in her work. Love permeates her creations, and is, I’m personally convinced, what her art is all about.”
Coffman was encouraged by a friend to apply to The Hub for consideration as an exhibitor and appreciates its mission of “Art Creating Community.”
“As a Central Florida artist, The Hub is important because it makes art accessible. I can’t show my work in a museum; only national and international artists can,” said Coffman. She continued that The Hub’s offerings like writing, art therapy and ukulele lessons bring in people who may never see art.
Being surrounded by art is continually inspiring to Coffman who is busy preparing for an Escher exhibit at MOA that opens January 26, 2018. “I believe everything has been done,” said Coffman “but our work is still unique because it’s our vision. I’m going to paint it like nobody else because nobody sees it like me.”
Plan to attend the opening reception Saturday, October 7 from 4-7pm in the Mackay Gallery with an artist talk at 6pm.
Written by Tonya West, Volunteer for The Hub on Canal, Inc.
It seems fitting that Rick McAllister’s black-and-white photographs depicting Southeastern history and culture would hang in a gallery on the oldest street in the oldest city in the nation. Now, McAllister’s work which has hung at the Georgia Nick Gallery in St. Augustine for three years can also be appreciated at The Hub on Canal. Three months new to The Hub, McAllister will be hosting a free Talk Art titled “The Olde South Series” September 2, 2017 from 1 to 2 p.m. at The Hub.
Talk Art is a chance for the community to hear from the artist, or in this case photographer, firsthand about what drives their passion and what techniques they use. The hour-long presentations are lively and informative, and provide a unique opportunity to connect with art appreciators.
Interesting himself in photography upon his return from Vietnam in the early 70s, McAllister says his work is different from what one would traditionally expect to find at an art gallery.
“Photographers who display, for the most part, are fine art photographers,” said McAllister, who has been referred to as a visual historian. “My work is more like Ansel Adams and Clyde Butcher.”
While McAllister said he will touch on some technique, his Talk Art will mainly focus on the historical subject matter of his photos. Once a hobbyist photographing micro botanicals, a motorcycle ride to Micanopy, Florida changed everything for him. It was there he photographed four Cracker houses being preserved by a farmer.
McAllister has since branched out and also photographs disappearing old churches, motels, commercial properties, textile mills, sugar mills and forts. His work has captured the interest of the National Parks Association that has “heritage-related sub-organizations responsible for preserving cultural images and structures indigenous to a particular area.”
When talking about forts, McAllister’s Talk Art will touch upon congressional authorizations. He will also provide his insights about Cracker houses, Cracker history and sugar mills as they relate to Florida’s early pioneers.
“I’m trying to conserve the heritage of these structures that are disappearing and do legitimate photography in the process,” said McAllister, whose work at The Hub is located within the main lobby area.
His book The Olde South, a Photo Journey Along the Back Roads of the South will be on hand and Talk Art goers will recognize scenes from Volusia County. Also of interest will be the 500-mile journey he embarked on in 2014 across Northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago.
“Every photographer is looking for a niche,” said McAllister. “They want to have something that defines them and I had been searching for that myself. When I shot those four houses, converted them from color to black-and-white, the little light went off. I think there’s a real possibility here. So I just started hitting the back roads and it’s grown from those four images to over 400.”
Just as The Highwaymen sold art from the back of a car, Lynn Herrick keeps with their legacy and always travels with a piece or two of her own paintings.
The Highwaymen, a small group of African-American painters, emerged from the Fort Pierce area in the late ‘50s and early 60s. At a recent Talk Art event at The Hub, Herrick spoke of their legacy while demonstrating how to paint a scene inspired by cypress trees at Lake Dora.
The original member, Alfred Hair, is said to have taken 50-cent classes on Saturdays with Albert Ernest A.E. Backus in Fort Pierce, otherwise known as “Beanie” Backus.
“Alfred said if I could do these paintings faster, I could buy my Cadillac sooner,” said Herrick, retelling an often-told story.
“Whoever had the car would take these wet paintings, stack them in the trunk and would go out to real estate offices, banks and motels. Sometimes they would trade paintings for tires.” They would also sell their works alongside the road, distinguishing them as The Highwaymen.
“The style is very distinct. It uses a lot of color and you can tell one Highwayman from the other. Originally there were 26 Highwaymen, and out of the 26 there are 14 left. Out of the 14, there are about 10 who are still painting.” Herrick said sons and daughters of The Highwaymen and some like her, who are not related, are also painting in the tradition.
Mary Ann Carroll, the only female painter amongst the original group, recently participated in a meet and greet at the Orange County Regional History Center with six of her fellow Highwaymen.
Herrick credits her mentor Highwayman R.L. Lewis, whom she met in 2004, with inspiring her. Herrick had invited Lewis to a visual and performing arts magnet school she was principal of. After his demonstration, she was just as enthralled as the students and has been painting in the style ever since.
A Florida native, Herrick never tires of the landscape and draws from memory, takes photographs and “drives around a lot for inspiration” for her work, noting Ocala National Forest.
First paints a thin base of white to bring out luminosity and set the color
Puts the color she uses most, white, in middle of palette
Keeps a variety of fan and liner brushes for different applications: moss, greenery, etc.
Uses palette knife to create surface of water; sponges for trees
Uses toothpick to draw out a bird’s beak
Assumes light is overhead so adds light in the middle of painting
“I always put a black wading bird in all my paintings. This is my tribute to R.L.,” said Herrick, who studied at the University of Miami and began her art career in the 70s. Before meeting RL, Herrick was into acrylics, basketry and fusion “trying to find myself.”
Herrick’s demonstration was a joyful experience and summoned some positive reactions from the audience: “It looks like magic”; “It’s just amazing how quickly it materializes”; “It looks so real”; “It’s great as a woman that you are continuing the legacy.”
“Being here at The Hub has been wonderful too,” said Herrick. “It’s been three years now and the growth here has been wonderful. The changes and what’s happening – The Hub likes to keep things fresh.”
Betty Morris Parker, a mainstay at The Hub since 2012, will be sharing wall space in The Mackay Gallery with Nancy Charles. Their “Works on Paper” will be on exhibit June 3-26.
The Creative Urge
Originally from Virginia, Parker’s creative urge took her to the Washington D.C. School of Art, where she studied commercial art. She moved to Daytona Beach, where she has resided ever since, and ultimately finished her degree at the University of Central Florida.
Her talents came in handy when working for the American Lung Association (ALA). “If I needed posters, brochures or flyers, or if the company needed any kind of place cards, I’d create them,” said Parker.
Parker’s art career took offer after she retired from ALA. Gifted with a certificate to the Art League of Daytona Beach, she began taking lessons which melded well with her marketing and advertising background.
Fortunate to take a workshop locally at Atlantic Center for the Arts with “one of the top artists living today” Wolf Kahn, Parker recalls first seeing his work in Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico.
The Hub and Santa Fe
“I enjoy being at The Hub,” said Parker. “”It reminds me so much when I was in the galleries in Santa Fe and Taos, especially Santa Fe where a lot of the galleries are in houses that have different rooms.”
A Word or Two on Technique
Parker creates her abstract collages, typically sized 24 x 28, by priming the surface with acrylic paint, putting down a layer of collage and paste, gluing down shapes from self-painted paper, then covering the whole piece with special paper. She also uses the glue for drawing and making shapes. She finishes by sanding the paper to reveal portions of the collage.
The Power of Encouragement
Parker leaned on another renowned artist, Steve Aimone, for advice when her creative urge pushed her toward exhibiting art outdoors. Aimone suggested she have at least 15 pieces ready to go and Parker popped onto the festival scene, earning many accolades.
The encouragement that started it all was from a 7th grade school teacher in Virginia who recognized Parker liked to draw. That year Parker won “Best of Show” for her drawing of horses.
In addition to the June 3-26 “Works on Paper” exhibit at The Hub with Nancy Charles, Parker is anticipating exhibits in St. Augustine, Daytona Beach and Orlando in 2018.
Like the teacher who reached out to Parker, The Hub recognizes the importance of connecting with students and the underserved. To learn more about its mission, visit Outreach at The Hub on Canal.
Paper is the common denominator between the two Hub artists exhibiting their “Works on Paper” at The Hub on Canal’s Mackay Gallery, June 3-26. One artist, Nancy Charles, is self-taught and uses a layering technique to create colored pencil sketches from her own photographs; the other, Betty Morris Parker, is formally trained and leans toward abstract expressionism through collage.
“I’m not trained in art; I’m trained in animals,” said Charles, during a “Talk Art” event last May that drew a dozen enthusiasts and fellow Hub artists. “That’s my true love and that’s where I come from.” Charles joked she was also not formally trained to be a zookeeper, but a falconer’s license afforded her a lifetime opportunity.
Being an Orangutan Mom
The room erupted into one simultaneous “awww” when Charles flashed the crowd a picture of herself and a baby Orangutan named Enda. From selling Memphis Zoo memberships, to doing outreach with birds of prey, Charles, who as a child dreamed of living in a house with a chimpanzee, “jumped at the chance” to hand raise Enda.
While most of the animals represented in Charles’ work are from the Memphis Zoo, she always had a love for birds – the great Blue Heron being a favorite subject. The highest compliment to Charles is when fellow zookeepers would recognize in Charles’ art the particular animals they tended to.
For local inspiration, Charles recommends Black Point Wildlife Drive. A seven mile one-way road on Merritt Island, she said the changing water levels create different feeding places for egrets, herons and ducks. “It’s just awesome. Finding that place has been amazing for me. There are all these snowy egrets sitting on the mangroves with these dark really cool colors. It’s really striking.”
Charles is literally branching out and challenging herself by sketching trees and water, and is working toward adding a snowy egret to the June exhibition.
Tools and Technique
About Arches Hot Press Watercolor Paper, Charles says “When I found this paper, my work just took off.” She also uses Prismacolor colored pencils, kneaded erasers to take off top layers if necessary and a #16 X-ACTO blade to pull out highlights and whiskers, and to clean up edges. She’s a “purist” and uses no solvents.
Almost every piece starts with an underdrawing in a 10% warm grey. Backgrounds include many layers and the colors she uses most are warm greys, French greys, blue-greens, and muted lavender. She’s particularly loving a jasmine-colored pencil these days.
“Once I work out my sketch, I never sketch on the actual paper. I get my sketch worked out on vellum then I transfer it with graphite paper.” She drew a lot of laughter telling the group if she were to demo her technique it would be similar to watching grass grow.
The last layer is burnished by hand using extra pressure. She likes the fact that it’s a very flexible medium that can be picked up and put down, and that it’s “pretty indestructible” due to all the layers.
On Failure and Imperfections
“Imperfections makes us who we are and it makes the animals who they are,” said Charles. “I don’t want to change them. I think they are beautiful the way they are. That’s how I work. I draw what I see. I want to draw that creature in all its glory.”
Charles shared an image of an owl she deemed a “failure” which prompted someone to ask, “Do you always have a failure or is it random?”
“It’s real random,” said Charles, “and it happens more and more when you challenge yourself. Before when I had a failure, I would just tear it in half. Now I put it away then get it back out and say, ‘Maybe there’s something I can do with this.’ It’s a learning process; it’s like self-training. If you’re not being taught by someone else to not make mistakes then you have to learn from your own.”
On Being a Non-Joiner and Joining the Hub
“As artists we evolve,” said Charles. “I’m not a big joiner; I’ve always been kind of a loner. I”m much happier hanging out with my animals.”
Charles said joining the Hub has been amazing. “Everyone is so welcoming and nurturing; I feel like I’ve found a second home.”