R. Gregory Christie, Illustrator & painter
R. Gregory Christie currently works as an illustrator and owns Gas Art Gifts, an autographed children's bookstore and open art studio in Decatur, Georgia. He is the designer of the 2013 Kwanzaa Forever stamp for the United States Post Ofice, a two time recipient of the New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of the Year Award, winner of the Boston Globe's Horn Book Award, The NAACP's Image Award, Once Upon a World Children's Book Award from the Museum of Tolerance and three time winner of the Coretta Scott King Honor Award in Illustration.
Gregory has been illustrating for more than 17 years with more than 50 books and a multitude of images done for magazines and Jazz album covers to his credit. He also enjoys teaching young people about art and literacy.
Jody Schaible of RePurposed Me, sculptor
Located in Ocala, Florida, Jody is a farrier by day and an artist by night & weekend. Inspired by family, friends and things around him, Jody makes use of unwanted everyday items and repurposes them for others to enjoy and love. All of Jody's materials are either recycled or unwanted and put to good use.
Jody was recently interviewed by Ocala.com about his work:
How he got started repurposing: "I went to college to be an environmental scientist. I loved recycling, but even more of the reducing and reusing. … As a kid I don’t remember making a lot of things but when my wife and I first moved to Ocala we lived in a 12-by-12 tack room on a farm, and everything I needed I made out of horseshoes. That was the one deal-breaker when we moved into this house. My wife said there would be no horseshoes in this house."
How he started the business: "It all started with the spoon tiebacks for the window curtains in my kitchen. … I went to a store to get the tiebacks and everything was just ugly or too expensive, so I just made them. My neighbors wanted cabinet door handles, then someone asked me to make a necklace and it has just grown."
Why he uses real silverware: "I have buckets and buckets of silverware. You think about how many engagements, funerals and fancy dinners — do people really sit down and use it? That had some kind of a connection for me, how much history came with it. Virtually every yard sale you go to there is a box of silverware. … It’s a memory trigger, someone will use silverware at least three times a day. It’s a versatile hunk of metal that you can mend and bend and make it whatever you want it. Plus, it’s pretty."
Other things he makes: “I make anything from wearable art to useful art and we are starting a line called Rememberware. We are taking grandma’s silver to make keepsakes for brides so they have something old to wear, instead of it just sitting in a box. I also really want to start doing larger things like furniture out of silverware. I’ve had requests for chandeliers and picture frames; the biggest challenge is to make it not look like silverware."
Best part about the job: "It’s very gratifying, although I’ve never taken an art class in my life and I’ve never really been critiqued. When I sell a ring and somebody is really excited over it, it’s much more exciting than getting a regular paycheck. … Clients have also been like family. They are bringing me their children’s baby spoons to make things. It’s so neat to be trusted with family stuff and things with value."
His other profession: "I’m a blacksmith, a farrier by trade, and I’ve shoed horses for a living for 15 years. I’m a resident farrier at the large animal hospital at the University of Florida at Gainesville. Due to an illness last March I am now there only two days a week. I lost a lot of clients when I downsized my workload, but then this work picked up.
Best part about working from home: “Inspiration comes whenever. I will get an idea and I can walk right in here and do something instead of getting into my car and driving someplace. The kids are always making things, and my son was in here bending spoons just last night."
Meagan Chaney Gumpert, mixed media sculptor
Mixed media sculptor, Meagan Chaney Gumpert, received her BA in Studio Art with a concentration in sculpture from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. In 2010, she completed a post-baccalaureate study in ceramics at the University of Florida.
Gumperts wall reliefs and sculptures have been shown nationally and reside in permanent collections of the Appleton Museum of Art, The Marion County Courthouse Annex, Ocala, FL; Bulter Memorial Hospital, Pittsburg, PA; Capital Broadcasting, Inc., Durham, NC; 02 Fitness, Cary, NC and Meredith College, Raleigh, NC.
I have never enjoyed gardening but I love flowers.
Joan Shay is an award winning quilter from Summerfield, FL. The Appleton Store will carry her fabric necklaces inspired by our temporary exhibition, New Art of the Loom.
"Do Cezanne all over again from nature."
Direct study from nature using lines that are deliberate and thoughtful are the touchstones of my prints in landscape. I work directly on the plate, sur le motif, as much as possible using an accumulative linear technique.
"What about Matisse?"
For decades my printmaking was concentrated in the area of landscape and still life, but I have returned to the human figure in the last few years. I draw from the figure 5 hours per week and put this accumulated knowledge and technique into imagines and remembered scenes of figures in the landscape.
Sensuality is the key.
This work is produced at Harmless Pleasures Printmaking in McIntosh, Florida where I maintain a public studio.
I graduated with an MFA (Summa CumLaude, 1990) in printmaking from the Universityy of Florida where I studied with Ken Kerslake and Hiram Williams.
I have always enjoyed working with wood and making things from “scratch”, but not until I drove by a pile of gorgeous cedar logs, that had been downed by Hurricane Frances, sitting out waiting for the garbage man, did I consider using wood that was not already cut and milled. I came back with my trailer and asked a rather surprised homeowner (I am a middle-aged woman) if I could take his woodpile. I haven’t bought a piece of wood for my art projects since.i
Using found wood has given me access to wood that is not only free, but environmentally responsible and possessed of characteristics that would not be found in “store bought” wood. It has taught me to not plan a project then adapt the wood to that plan, but to study the wood and create a work that highlights the unique aspects of that particular piece. I am not deterred by worm holes, rusty spots from nails or knots-I seek them out! For me, cutting into log is like discovering a treasure.
Growing up in the mountains of Kentucky and living in rural Florida for 25 years has kept me in very close touch with the natural world and opened me up to see beauty in what is perceived as the “imperfections” inherent in it then highlight it in my work.
Ursula Vicari is a local fine art ceramicist specializing in hand built Raku ceramics. Her passion is creative expressionism and every item is completely hand built with respect and consideration for the thousands of years of processing clay in human history.
These items are available for purchase through the end of August. Prices range from $125 to $1200. For more information contact the Appleton Store at 352-291-4455 ext 1846.
Artist's Statement- “I believe mother nature creates unique, beautiful stones. My intention is to find some of her most unusual colors, shapes and designs – especially the ones that look like she painted a picture or have started crystals. These give me the inspiration to surround them in precious metal wire that enhance their beauty for wear-ability. My goal is that each owner of my creation experiences joy as in opening their first box of chocolates.”