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Monday
May052014

COCA Profile: Gypsies and bandits sing in harmony

Katie Spillman (center) and the Gypsy DarlingsBy S. D. Green 
Special to the Democrat 


Singer/songwriter Katie Spillman is one of the Gypsy Darlings trio; the other two are twin sisters Julie and Anna
 Lovelly. “The twins and I grew up in the same town in New Port Richey,” she said. “We went to rival high schools but didn’t know each other. We met through a mutual friend when we all went to FSU.”

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Monday
Apr282014

COCA profile: Bigelow paints in the open air

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat


Artists can capture magic in a moment and bring it to life. A quiet scene depicted in painter Peter Thomas Bigelow’s “Picket Fence” caught his eye — the way the sun­light illuminated the fence in his side yard as his friend Manny re­clined
in a chair. Consid­ering the subject, bringing the moment to life re­quired a little extra magic.

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Tuesday
Apr222014

COCA Profile: Greg LeFils "Conductor works in academia, community"

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat


Upon meeting some­one for the first time, choral conductor Greg LeFils is likely to wave an imaginary baton when explaining what he does for a living. It helps to clarify what has often
been misunderstood. “When I’d tell people I was a choral director they would look at me sideways and then say, ‘So you scuba dive and stuff?’ ” LeFils said. “That happened two or three times. So it oc­curred to me, many peo­ple out there never had experience with the term choral conductor.” LeFils spends most of his time working as as­sistant director of the Tallahassee Community Chorus, and is just weeks away from com­pleting his doctorate in music education. But he doesn’t come from a family of musicians; born and raised in Cen­tral Florida, he is the fifth generation of a family of cattle ranchers and farmers.

“I’ve got uncles who run feed stores and some are growing strawber­ries in Ocala,” he said.

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Friday
Apr182014

Horizons: Paintings by Denise Choppin

Bronzed Finale by Denise Choppin

On display from April 23-June 9, 2014 at the Artport Gallery

For many, the horizon is a source of contemplative focus. It serves as a threshold, waiting to be crossed. Apparent only through the lens of distance, it establishes a relationship between the viewer and that which is beyond.

For local painter, Denise Choppin it is this notion of vastness that intrigues. Through her artwork, she strives to capture the experience of land, water, and space.  In her attempt to convey the changeable quality of light over time and terrain, she creates a sense of tranquility and hopefulness. Instead of faithful depictions of the landscape, she explores the dynamic tension between representation and abstraction.

Working on birch panels, she repeatedly builds up a surface with acrylic glazing, periodically scraping back to reveal older layers. This technique allows for stunning luminosity and depth. Thirty seven of her artworks are featured in this exhibition and all of them illustrate the endless possibility, promise, and mystery inherent in the horizon.

This exhibition is presented by the Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) as part of the Art in Public Places program sponsored by the City of Tallahassee.  The gallery itself is located in the Tallahassee Regional Airport, 3300 Capital Circle SW, and is open daily from 8:00 am until 11:30 pm.

For more information about this exciting exhibition, upcoming exhibitions or the Art in Public Places program, contact Amanda Karioth Thompson at (850) 224-2500 or amanda@cocanet.org.

For a schedule of other exhibitions and arts and culture programs throughout north Florida, visit www.MoreThanYouThought.com. Learn more about COCA and sign up to receive COCA’s weekly email blast at www.cocanet.org.

Sunday
Apr132014

COCA Profile: Aja Roche "Gallery director mixes administration, art"

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat


In the two-story Fos­ter- Tanner Fine Arts Gallery on FAMU’s cam­pus, the graduating sen­iors buzz up and down the stairs, quietly adding finishing touches to their artwork, or chatting with nervous energy in clus­ters as they prepare for their senior exhibition.

Gallery director Aja Roache floats through the mix, offering a guid­ing hand to students as the hours tick down to
opening. “I enjoy being in the gallery even if it is just the mundane task of making sure everything is where it’s supposed to be,” said Roche.

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Monday
Apr072014

COCA Profile: Henry Hernandez "Director brings rock music to ballet"

By S. D. Green

Special to the Democrat


As an adolescent grow­i ng up in his native Vene­zuela, World Ballet artis­tic director Henry Her­nandez was moved by the rock music he heard com­i ng from the United States, even though some o f it may have been a bit
lost in translation. “I didn’t speak English but I loved rock music,” he said. “I didn’t under­stand how great those lyrics were until I learned English, so now I like it even more. So it was like a new discovery for me.”

Hernandez’ dance ability was a bit of a dis­covery in itself, since he only went to audition for ballet school at his older
brother’s request. “My brother was a dancer and he encour­aged me to audition for a dance scholarship as a way to keep me out of trouble,” he said. “I was the only one hired at the audition that day.”

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Saturday
Apr052014

2014 Creative Tallahassee Exhibition Award Winners

Congratulations to all the 2014 Creative Tallahassee exhibition award winners! Although it is an honor to have artwork selected to be part of this annual exhibition, some of the pieces received additional kudos from this year’s judge, Grace Robinson, Executive Director of the Gadsden Arts Center. The exhibition is on display until May 5 at the City Hall Gallery. Click here to learn more.

Blow Your House Down by Susan Stelzmann1st Place:

Susan Stelzmann
Blow Your House Down
, sculpture

 



African Burial Ground III by Valerie Goodwin

2nd Place:

Valerie Goodwin
African Burial Ground III
, quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above and Beyond by Bill McKeown3rd Place:

Bill McKeown
Above and Beyond
, watercolor

 

Honorable Mention Awards:

Penny L. Anderson
Master Knapper
, watercolor

Kira Derryberry
Lucy in the Alley
, photograph

Mike Olivella
Earth’s Moon
, photograph

Roger Raepple
Carrabelle Pier
, photograph

 

 

Wednesday
Apr022014

COCA Profile: Valerie Goodwin "Artist melds quilts and architecture in visual tapestry"

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat


Architect and mixed­media fiber artist Valerie Goodwin was unaware that architecture existed as a child growing up in West Haven Connecticut, but she was always in­terested in art.

“I discovered architec­ture in college,” Goodwin said. “I was taking an art class in the art and archi­tecture building and saw a design studio and some­thing clicked for me. I just decided that was something I wanted to pursue.”

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Friday
Mar282014

Outside the Frame: Turn everyday items into art

By Nicole Tschetter
Democrat staff writer 

When most people think of flip-flops they normally think of feet. But when Amanda Thompson thinks of the warm weather shoe, something else comes to mind. “You can buy a pair of flip-flops in four, or five colors and frame those,” Thompson said. “It looks so stinking cute; can you imagine framed flip-flops over the door at a beach house?” As the exhibitions director with the Council on Culture & Arts (COCA), Thompson understands that some of the most creative wall decorations come from unexpected, everyday items.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Wednesday
Mar262014

Florida workshop series teaches business to artists

By Amanda Karioth Thompson
Special to the Chronicle


The Council on Cul­ture & Arts is teaming up with Florida Craftsmen and The Arts Business Institute who will pre­sent a business workshop for artists and craftspeo­ple in Tallahassee on
April 10-11. This program, being held at COCA, is designed to assist creative entre­preneurs in moving from part-time to full-time businesses. It is endorsed and co-sponsored by Florida Craftsmen, a statewide organization promoting fine craft art.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Monday
Mar242014

COCA Profile: Linda Pelc "Pelc combines wildlife, vibrant colors"

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat


Local artist Linda Pelc paints a vibrant portrait of Florida’s wildlife: lines of turtles radiating with reds and electric blues, river otters dappled with a kaleidoscope of colors.

Her paintings often start with abstract forms, melding the real world with her creative mind.

Pelc studied art educa­tion and taught for 28 years in New York. It wasn’t until she retired to Florida in 2006 that she found the time to ded­icate to her own art, working primarily in watercolor.

“It’s very much like s tained glass, where you can get light that comes through and your color hits that white board, reflects back, and in­tensifies
that color,” she said.

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Monday
Mar172014

COCA Profile: Mark Fletcher "Artist Captures Nature in Sketches"

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat

Trips to the doctor’s office are infamous for agonizingly long waits. But artist Mark Fletcher turns every moment into an opportunity to see the beauty in his environment. Once he started sketching the intricate details of the phoropter —the goggle-like machine the eye doctor uses to update eyeglass prescriptions.

“I had to wait an hour with that equipment and I started thinking, ‘This is neat, I’m starting to see a design sense here,’ ” Fletcher said. “Once you start drawing, anything you draw will become interesting to you.

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Wednesday
Mar122014

Creative Tallahassee 2014

On display at the City Hall Gallery from March 12 - May 5, 2014

Orion's Nebulas by Miguel OlivellaCelebrate the skill, talent, ingenuity and creativity of some of the most exciting artists in the Big Bend area. Highlighted in this multi-media show is the work of many well-known and emerging local artists. This highly-anticipated annual juried exhibition features more than 60 paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles, and sculptures.

African Burial Ground III by Valerie GoodwinCompetition in 2014 was fierce. More than 160 individual pieces of artwork were submitted for consideration. And from those, forty six artists were selected by a special jury to have their work shown in this year’s Creative Tallahassee show.

A public opening reception is scheduled for Friday, April 4, 2014 from 6:00pm-7:30pm at the City Hall Gallery. The awards will be announced at 6:30. There is no charge for the reception or the exhibition.

The City Hall Gallery is located on the second floor of City Hall, 300 South Adams Street and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Piggy Bank by Susan StelzmannCreative Tallahassee 2014 is one of over a dozen annual exhibitions curated by the Council on Culture & Arts. The exhibit is part of the City of Tallahassee’s Art in Public Places program. For more information about this exhibition, upcoming exhibitions, or the Art in Public Places program, contact Amanda Karioth Thompson at COCA, (850) 224-2500 or amanda@cocanet.org and visit COCA, online at www.cocanet.org.

 

Monday
Mar102014

COCA Profile: Margaret Pendleton - Pendleton coaches young musicians

Kids will play Baroque music at March 16 event
By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat

Music can transport the listener to new worlds and experiences. This has always been true for pianist Margaret Pendleton, co-owner of Tallahassee’s classical sheet music supplier Beethoven & Company.

“I find myself saying, ‘I spent the weekend in Russia’ a lot, because I’m sitting at my computer trying to find the sheet music to a Russian choral piece on YouTube,” Pendleton said. “It’s great fun when you find it."

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Wednesday
Mar052014

Impressions of Florida: Artworks by Linda Pelc

Snook by Linda PelcAn exhibition at the Artport Gallery from March 5-April 21, 2014

Local artist, Linda Pelc is challenging expectations and preconceived notions of watercolor. As a master painter, she awakens a rarely seen saturated, kaleidoscopic side of the medium. By extracting vivid, jewel-like color from pigments, she creates puzzles of contrast for exhilarating compositions that practically vibrate off the walls.

Always experimenting, Pelc strives to develop and learn new techniques. Most recently, she has explored the possibilities of using latex paint as water media.

“Working with latex paint on paper saturated with water brings out its transparent qualities, making it akin to watercolor paint. I choose to combine the best qualities of both media in my paintings.”

Pelc’s love of Florida’s natural treasures features prominently in her chosen subject matter. The flora and fauna of the Sunshine State offer plenty of opportunities for color, movement, light and life. Pelc deftly capitalizes on her own curiosity as well as her artistic talents to push the boundaries of watercolor into the unknown.

This exhibition continues through April 21, 2014 and is presented by the Council on Culture & Arts as part of the Art in Public Places program sponsored by the City of Tallahassee.  The gallery itself is located in the Tallahassee Regional Airport, 3300 Capital Circle SW, and is open daily from 8:00 am until 11:30 pm.

For more information about this exciting exhibition, upcoming exhibitions or the Art in Public Places program, contact Amanda Karioth Thompson at (850) 224-2500 or amanda@cocanet.org.

For a schedule of other exhibitions and arts and culture programs throughout north Florida, visit www.MoreThanYouThought.com. Learn more about COCA and sign up to receive COCA’s weekly email blast at www.cocanet.org.


Tuesday
Mar042014

COCA Profile: Living history performer brings 17th century soldier to life

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat 

Not many state employees get to carry a sword and fire cannons all day. Arnold LaBoy also gets to wear a cape, operate five merchant ships carrying exotic trade goods around the world and engage in the occasional sword fight at Mission San Luis, Tallahassee’s living history museum, which depicts 17th century life among the Apalachee Indians and Spanish in Florida.

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Friday
Feb282014

Hang it up: A professional art curator explains how to hang art at home


By Nicole Tschetter

Democrat staff writer

There’s no better way to spoil the excitement of getting a new p iece of artwork than realizing that you don’t know how to get it on the wall. It’s a daunting process. Luckily, said Amanda Thompson, “It’s not rocket science.”

And if anyone knows how to hang artwork, it’s Thompson. As the exhibi­t ions director with the Council on Culture & Arts,
Thompson works with more than 250 artists and installs nearly 600 pieces of artwork every year.

A lthough Thompson is an expert in this business, she said there are tips and t ricks when it comes to h anging art that can make any beginner look like a pro.


Read the rest of the article: page 1 and page 2

Tuesday
Feb252014

The arts get active: COCA and Theatre Tallahassee both holding walking events this week

The Sunday Paper by W. Stanley "Sandy" ProctorBy Nicole Tschetter
Democrat staff reporter

Organizations that normally sponsor art exhibits and musicals are doing something completely different this week — sponsoring walking events. The Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) is partnering with Move.Tallahassee.com to sponsor the first Public Art Walk and Theatre Tallahassee is sponsoring its inaugural Costume 5K, both on Saturday.

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Sunday
Feb232014

COCA Profile: Matthew Pedersen - Grad student creates costumes for ‘Spamalot’

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat

Arts graduate student Matthew Pedersen is still paying his dues. As the designer for FSU School of Theatre’s production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” Pedersen invested a lot of energy into the details, all the way down to fleeting elements that blip by the audience.

“There’s a tumbling frog costume that you see for five seconds,” Pedersen said. “I spent a whole weekend sculpting it out of foam and thermoplastic."

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Sunday
Feb162014

COCA Profile: Mark O'Connor; Grammy Award-winning violinist visits for classes and concert 

By S. D. Green 

Special to the Democrat
 

Composer/violinist Mark O’Connor carries the rich history of Amer­ican music with him ev­erywhere he goes — literally. On any given day in New York City, you can find him pulling a cartload of his collection of vintage microphones from his apartment to a nearby recording studio.

O’Connor is recording the CD companion to his fourth instructional mu­s ic book, chock full of the techniques and melodies culled from the great American styles of jazz, bluegrass, country and beyond. These styles were passed down to O’Connor from his teach­ers, American legends l ike jazz violinist Ste­phane Grappelli and master of Texas-style fiddling Benny Thom­asson.

“It’s a celebration of music and so it’s been very rewarding,” O’Con­nor said. “I write the music and the arrange­ments and then I produce the sessions and even do my own post-production editing and mixing.”

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