Monday, November 20, 2017
Arts

Altered Minds gives like-minded artists an opportunity to create

RECOMMENDED READING


NEW PORT RICHEY

For members of the Altered Minds mixed media art group, a monthly gathering with those who share a flair for coloring outside the lines is fuel for creation.

"They are all nuts," fabric artist Edda Juhl, 75, said with a chuckle as she waited her turn at the craft of making marble-painted paper. "They all have a different outlook on life, and they are not afraid to try new things."

"They" are painters, jewelers, sculptors, fractured artists, fabric artists and upcyclers with a knack for exploration.

"Any discipline you can think of, we have someone who is doing it," said Carol Wutzl, 73, an upcycler who can turn most anything designated for the trash — lamps, window frames, buttons, baseballs — into works of art.

Gatherings are held once a month, usually at the New Port Richey Library, unless the project is likely to be messy. Then members open up their homes for a morning lesson, show-and-tell, and lunch, of course.

"You get to try something you wouldn't ordinarily do — play in some other medium," said facilitator Ellen DeIntinis, 64, one of a handful of artists who 10 years ago formed the original group, then known as the Pasco Service Design Group.

"It's a wonderful bunch of ladies, and we all have a grand time," said Lauren Carr, 66, who owns Gateway Gallery and Emporium in downtown New Port Richey and makes whimsical sculptures out of palm tree boots and other yard waste. "It's craziness, but fun craziness."

Two years ago, Palma "Peachie" Lawrence, 67, answered an invitation to teach a lesson on chalk painting on furniture, and ended up joining.

"I love this group because we do different stuff all the time, and we can apply it to whatever we are working on," Lawrence said.

Each month, one member steps up to share and teach an art project, whether it be a medium they work with regularly or something they decided to try on a whim.

July's happy gathering had Margaret McLoy, 59, teaching 10 members how to make marbled paper in an aluminum tray on a pool table turned craft table in Carr's New Port Richey home while her two dogs, Woodrow and Gandolf, nosed about.

"I like the people a lot. I find it's motivating to try new things and get the feedback," said McLoy, who works in ceramics, quilting and jewelrymaking.

Camaraderie is an essential glue for the group, which sprang from a local quilting group that some, like Betty Mitchell, found too confining. She preferred more abstract creations to making perfect corners for her quilts.

"If you don't come and keep contact with other artists, you find yourself not doing it," said Mitchell, 91. "There's so many different things going on here."

"It's mostly become a circle of friends," said mixed media artist Trish Farmlett. "We've had as many as 25 (members). People drop out and drop in."

The diversity, generosity of the artists and the need to keep various techniques alive is what appeals to Karen Jaenichen, 72, a fractured artist who teaches children's classes at the Gateway Gallery and Emporium.

"We need to pass on the information, what you've learned, because we're not going to be here forever," Jaenichen said.

Being on the receiving end of that information is a boon, said Ronnie Dewa, 45, an artist who traditionally works in felt, fiber art, leather, glasswork and metal.

"The women are all down-to-earth and fun to be with," Dewa said. "It's always fun to come here. It's like therapy."

Contact Michele Miller at mmiller@tampabay.com. Follow @MicheleMiller52.

     
 
Comments
Artist James Rosenquist put Tampa on the map. See his work at USF.

Artist James Rosenquist put Tampa on the map. See his work at USF.

James Rosenquist put Tampa on the art world map, literally. His 1974 lithograph Tampa-New York 1188, created at the University of South Florida’s printmaking workshop, Graphicstudio, brought Tampa to the notice of first-rank museums, collectors, crit...
Published: 11/16/17
The CraftArt festival returns and Yoko Ono’s flag flies at USFCAM

The CraftArt festival returns and Yoko Ono’s flag flies at USFCAM

A FINE TRADITION: CRAFTART FESTIVALFor 20 years now, Florida CraftArt has been welcoming the season with its annual CraftArt Festival, which returns Saturday and Sunday to downtown St. Petersburg. Unlike other art festivals, you won’t find straight-f...
Published: 11/15/17
Five cool things to see in ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ in St. Petersburg

Five cool things to see in ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ in St. Petersburg

Do you sense a disturbance in the Force?That would probably be the landing of "Star Wars and the Power of Costume" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, earlier this week. I got a preview of the blockbuster Smithsonian exhibit (docked in our co...
Published: 11/15/17
Lady Gaga, need your applause, applause, applause for this Tampa mural

Lady Gaga, need your applause, applause, applause for this Tampa mural

Tampa artist Cam Parker remembers when Lady Gaga became an icon for him.It was her performance of Paparazzi at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Between her singing, masterful piano playing with one leg propped up and hanging from a chandelier while b...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/11/17
A peek at the Star Wars costumes coming to St. Petersburg with ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’

A peek at the Star Wars costumes coming to St. Petersburg with ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’

A galaxy far, far away just got a lot closer. More than 60 hand-crafted costumes from the Star Wars saga landed this week as part of the Smithsonian traveling exhibit "Star Wars and the Power of Costume," docked at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Peter...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/13/17
James Rosenquist is remembered at USF; Star Wars exhibit opens Monday at MFA

James Rosenquist is remembered at USF; Star Wars exhibit opens Monday at MFA

Remembering an Icon: James RosenquistAn international and local art icon was lost earlier this year when renowned pop artist James Rosenquist passed away. During his career, which spanned more than five decades, he exhibited in nearly all of the majo...
Published: 11/08/17
Last chance to catch Tim Hawkinson at UT and Art Harvest returns to Dunedin

Last chance to catch Tim Hawkinson at UT and Art Harvest returns to Dunedin

SELF-AWARENESS: BODYCONIf you haven’t seen the Tim Hawkinson: BodyCon exhibition at the University of Tampa’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery yet, you have a couple of days to catch it before it closes. I had the pleasure of viewing it a few weeks ago, and ...
Published: 11/03/17
Updated: 11/06/17
Fashion icon Elsa Schiaparelli is remembered and reborn at the Dali Museum

Fashion icon Elsa Schiaparelli is remembered and reborn at the Dali Museum

The lines of art and fashion have long been blurred, but at the new "In Daring Fashion: Dalí and Schiaparelli" exhibition at the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, the lines can completely disappear.The Italian-born Elsa Schiaparelli was a promi...
Updated one month ago