Creativity comes to town
The 23rd annual Pigeon Key Art Festival features more than 70 fine artists from the Keys, the state and beyond to show their works Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5 in Marathon.
In addition to the art in every medium, organizers have also planned food and beverage sales, entertainment, and children’s activities. Of course, noted marine artist Wyland will also make an appearance to paint live and then auction his creations.
At the Marathon Community Park, the public swarms the lawns to see the best artists, culled from a juried selection process to attract the best and brightest.
It’s all about the art.
“Something that I saw with my mind’s eye.”
TerriLynn Seargent is the official poster artist for the festival in 2017. She knew exactly what she wanted to feature.
“I was crossing the bridge and the sun was low in the sky. And that little house on Pigeon Key was yellow as it could possibly be. It was so gorgeous, over the top gorgeous!” TerriLynn said. “I grabbed my camera and clicked off ten or fifteen photos. You have to grab that moment; otherwise you’ll lose it.”
TerriLynn has gradually migrated south until landing fulltime in Key West a few years ago. She is a photographer and, more recently, a digital artist. She essentially uses the computer to paint from a photo.
“I catch a moment in time with my camera, and then I add lots of bright and bold colors,” she said. “It’s like creating something that you saw with your mind’s eye.”
Indeed, the colorful images have a dreamlike quality, a filter of kindness and happiness overlaid on common Keys sights — a bicycle propped against a fence, fishing boats returning to harbor, and wildlife.
The works are then printed on waterproof canvas in the giclée method.
“Everything becomes a limited edition that I sign and number,” she said.
Her works range from 12- by 18-inches to 16- by 30-inches, although commissioned pieces can be as big as four by six feet. Prices for the smaller works range from $100 to $400.
“It’s as if the glass designs itself.”
Although currently residing on the west coast of Florida, June Powell is a former resident of the Middle Keys. She lived in the Keys in the late ’70s and ’80s and worked as a medical technologist and then lab partner; her daughter Shannon Butler still lives in town. June found her artistic talent later in life after retiring.
“I started with stained glass and then moved on to glass fusing,” said June, “and fell in love. I just love it.”
With a new studio and bigger kiln, she is creating larger works. Some of the vessels — decorative bowls or vases — can weigh more than five pounds.
“They are more sculptural than practical,” she said of her works that are fantastic layers of transparent and semi-transparent color and light, each with minute details that tell a story. “One of the things I love is that the glass finds its own direction of flow. I never know what will greet me when I open the kiln. It’s as if the glass designs itself.”
June said she begins with sheet glass, a thick layer of dichroic glass (high-tech material covered with thin metal films to create a rainbow sheen). Then she adds pre-fused elements — frits, rods and stringers. The pieces go to the kiln for four separate firings for a total of seven days.
June’s booth will feature the elaborate vessels, plus trinket dishes and some jewelry as well. Her vessels are priced at $685 to $835.