Fall Art Scene
Collecting Galleries Artists Plus Barcelona! La Ciudad de Las Artes
Cover Photo by Cher Brown
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St. Johns magazine
PUBLISHER & EDITOR Debbie Gaylord CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angie Bell Dr. Rosanne Faull Dr. Melinda Tolitsky Dr. Peter Veling Darren Rosenbaum Buffy Smith
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Cher Brown Angie Bell Graham Martin
OFFICE CONTACT 904-687-8538 email@example.com www.stjohnsmag.com
ON THE COVER
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St. Johns Magazine is an upbeat magazine that focuses on the good things in life. Our main purpose is to help connect local communities in northwestern St. Johns, Florida. St. Johns Magazine will keep readers intrigued and inspired with articles for and about local people places and events.
Shear Colors St. Johns People
Vibrant Local Art Scene: Galleries
Wendy Tatter Batik Artist
Beautiful Inside & Out
Tay Schiebe; Her Mission of Love
Questions for the Chiropractor
Karen Robertson Designer
Rich Scredon St. Johns Business
Ann McGlade Through an Artist’s Eyes
Christina Deas, Owners of Palencia Fine Arts Academy (Cover Photographer Cher Brown)
All rights reserved ©2013 St. Johns Magazine LLC Published monthly and distributed free of charge, in print and on the web.
The photo of Artist Stacie Hernandez and her daughter
Dear Reader, I love art and artists and this is why I am so excited to share our Art Issue! Inside we will give you a preview of the fall art scene and profiles on a handful of very special local artists. From marine life to everyday life to gourd painting, St. Augustine’s art scene truly has something for everyone. The cover story, written by artist and owner of Palencia Fine Arts Academy & Gallery, Stacie Hernandez, explores art collecting for the average person. It certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities. As we explored the art scene here I wondered about what has drawn so many artists to the area. Is it the beautiful beaches, the way the sun transforms reality, the history or the laid-back freedom that creates the energy of the place itself? During my summer travels I visited another artsy city, Barcelona, Spain, where great masters have emerged but also where art is a public form of expression. This month, we take a look at the grafitti art of Barcelona. As always, I am thankful to our advertisers for making this endeavor possible. I hope you love the September issue of St. Johns Magazine! Debbie Publisher
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(and You May Already be a Collector) Art & Story by Stacie Hernandez Art is all around you – of course you see it in galleries and museums, but also in restaurants, hotels, even business and medical offices. So many of our area businesses showcase exciting new artists adorning the walls while you’re drinking a steamy cup of coffee or enjoying eclectic cuisine. And any time you’ve purchased one of these paintings, drawings or photographs, you’ve entered into the satisfying world of collecting art. Surprised that you may already be an art collector? Probably so. Many people equate art collecting with the well-known auction houses such as Christie’s or Sotheby’s where works of art by Picasso, Pollack or Warhol have made recent headlines for their record sales prices. Some of those headline stories feature extremely successful and wealthy business leaders or social celebrities who paid seven and eight figures for their pieces. Those individuals certainly make the headlines but there are many more collectors like you that purchase art directly from artists, through a gallery or other non-traditional venues where art is displayed and enjoyed. So what makes someone an art collector? Anyone that is moved intellectually, emotionally, spiritually or passionately to acquire works of art can consider
All is Well, 30 x 30 Oil on Canvas by Emerging Artist Gina Torkos
Charlene’s Clarity, 36 x 36 Oil on Canvas Stacie Hernandez themselves a collector. Collectors buy art for the beauty and culture it adds to their lifestyle. But don’t limit the possibilities and enjoyment that comes with seeking out and acquiring art just for the sake of how it makes you feel. Whether you prefer the kind of urban art that can be found in renewed neighborhoods and revived warehouse districts or mainstream art found in venerable museums or downtown public parks. Be inspired to venture out to places where you can study, interpret and share your thoughts about art. Next time you visit a city, plan an adventurous day exploring off beat art museums, edgy art galleries and quirky artists. Seek famous public art and controversial street art or attend an interesting art fair. Your visit will be much more gratifying and memorable.
Riverbed 36 x 48 Oil on Canvas Stacie Hernandez
Reflection 24 x 48 Oil on Canvas Stacie Hernandez
Ideas for Developing Your Personal Collection
Whether you are starting to explore collecting art or consider yourself experienced, following are some suggestions for developing your personal collection: • Visit as many art galleries and art museums as you can: in town and when travelling. Gallery staff can be helpful guides in developing a better understanding of art styles and price ranges. This will help you become better educated and prepared when you see work that appeals to you. • Get on gallery mailing lists: you’ll be invited to openings and special events exposing you to established and emerging artists. • Recognize art in non-traditional venues: coffee shops, restaurants, business offices. Learn about local artists that often display their work outside of traditional galleries. • Buy art because you like it: choose work that moves you and will enhance your life. • Create your art legacy: make art appreciation part of your family by sharing the experience of viewing, purchasing and enjoying art. Stacie Hernandez is the owner/artist at Palencia Fine Arts Academy & Gallery located in the Palencia Community. PFAA is dedicated to art education and supporting emerging or established artists with scheduled exhibitions throughout the year. For more information about the Academy or to get on the events mailing list contact Stacie Hernandez at 819.1584 or visit www.palenciafineartsacademy.com.
Palencia Fine Arts academy & gallery
alencia Fine Arts Academy & Gallery is committed to fine art education and continues this commitment in its second year of business by offering another exciting nine-month curriculum focused on many areas of art and design. While courses continue to fill with students from all over the county, the Academy is moving into its next phase of focus - supporting local and regional artists in the gallery. The gallery will showcase modern, contemporary and realistic art exhibitions from emerging to established artists, including paintings, photography and sculpture. Abstract Expressionist and PFAA owner Stacie Hernandez along with Christiana Deas are striving to make a profound difference in the landscape of art and the lives of artists. The Gallery currently supports works by Ms. Hernandez and emerging artist Gina Torkos. Ms. Hernandez is currently visiting other artists who seek representation and is dedicated to a lifelong dream of supporting emerging artists, the community and art collectors of all levels. PFAA Gallery will continue throughout the year to add new impressive works to its collection. Please contact the PFAA Academy and Gallery for more information on instruction, exhibits and art consultation. Appointments are gladly made at night and on weekends. The upcoming Fall exhibition will showcase local artist, Gina Torkos, followed a Spring exhibition by owner/artist Stacie Hernandez. For more information please visit, www.palenciafineartsacademy.com or call 904-819-1584.
Barcelona Spain C I T Y A S C A N VA S
ike St. Augustine, Barcelona is an historic city with a beach vibe that shapes its modern eclectic art scene. The city of Barcelona is known for its influence on the art of Picasso, Dali’, and Miro’, among others. While its traditional museums are amazing the sweet surprise and perhaps its greatest gift to visitors is the abundance of graffiti art throughout the city.
Barcelona’s history of rebellion as part of Catalonia has perhaps made it the perfect place for one of the best collections of graffiti art in the world. The Artists use the sides of buildings, fences and store shutters to paint scenes and words for the public. As people pass by each day, they receive a message. In Barcelona, the messages are typically positive. One of the best places to view some cool graffiti is behind the main promenade of Las Ramblas. Storefronts shutters there display brightly colored paintings juxtaposed against the backdrop of grand old buildings with balconies along narrow cobblestone streets. A good time to see graffiti
by Debbie Gaylord
is at night or during the siesta when the shutters are pulled down. It is easy to get lost in the back streets of Las Ramblas exploring the shops or sitting in one of the beautiful plazas enjoying some Spanish olives and a summer sangria (red wine with lemonade). But getting lost is actually the point and the goal for the savvy traveler and art lover since Barcelona provides an outdoor gallery, free to all. The graffiti art of Barcelona is not simply words but images that often tell an abstract story. One of the bestknown graffiti artists in the world is Barcelona’s El Pez. In the late 90’s, he began painting his infectious smiles as a way to communicate good energy to people walking on the streets viewing his art. His graffiti art demonstrates the playful yet meaningful energy that epitomizes Barcelona’s street art scene.
Shear Colors Invites You to Casino Night on Friday, September 27th!
Join the fabulous team at Shear Colors Hair Studio to celebrate 6+ years in business with their newly renovated interior and new additions to their team! You could be a winner! There will be over $1000 in giveaways, a raffle for a free makeover, gift bags for everyone, and lots of prizes and delicious treats!
C hristin e Bosman
Owner and Hair Stylist of Shear Colors.
Having now been in business for over 6 years, we are conveniently located on County Rd. 210 W. in the Publix Shopping Plaza and my salon has been filling the demands of a high-end, avant-garde salon with reasonable pricing. All of the stylists at Shear Colors are just everyday, talented people who take PRIDE in hairdressing. To us, your hair is your freedom of expression and our canvas for art. Our goal is to listen to you and provide what you desire. I have recently expanded and have added talented, youthful, well educated, like-minded stylists to our successful Salon Family. We are a walk-in and appointment-based Paul Mitchell Hair Salon, that is always looking to advance ourselves and mature as a team and as individual stylists. We take pride in Continued Education and desire to adapt to the ever-changing hair trends. Being a hairdresser and salon owner, I feel I have the best of both worlds. I get the creative edge as well as the relationships that I genuinely crave, and I also have the intellectual side that gets stimulated by running the business. It seems like the perfect balance and I absolutely love what I do and wouldn’t have it any other way. My definition of success has changed over the years and I feel much wiser because of this. Success, in my mind, is not defined by the amount of capitol you make. Success has to do with making someone feel completely special every time they look in the mirror. Success has to do with running a thriving business in a troubled economy for the duration that I have, and being blessed to have the opportunity to continue to grow. What could be more successful than having the power to make people smile every day like I have been doing for the last 6+ years? I would say I am successful and I am very proud of that. Please feel free to search us on the web, and visit our iPhone app, Instagram, or Facebook page. When you are ready to be transformed and to have a one-on-one connection with your hairdresser, give us a call. We look forward to meeting you and making you look fabulous!
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CASINO NIGHT Your Lucky Night! Friday September 27, 2013 5:00pm to 8:00pm
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A Vibrant Local Art Scene by Angie Bell
he art scene from St. Augustine to Ponte Vedra is alive and growing. As a tourist destination and historical town, it receives visitors from all over the world. What better way to show off the area than with art? The art associations, galleries and local artists all work together to provide a vibrant backdrop of art and crafts for people from all walks of life.
St. Augustine Art Association
The St. Augustine Art Association, established in 1924, offers many programs at the Association’s gallery, such as monthly art shows, potluck suppers, lectures, concerts, films, art demonstrations, workshops, and more. Elizabeth Mowry is coming in January, 2014. She is a Master Pastelist of the Pastel Society of America and acclaimed author of The Poetic Landscape and other books. She will share her knowledge, artistry and technical expertise in a three-day studio workshop. Call 904.824.2310 for details. This non-profit organization sponsors the All-County Middle School Art Show and has sponsored the St. Augustine Art and Crafts Festival for years. This year’s festival will be held on Thanksgiving weekend at Francis Field. This juried exhibit draws thousands of visitors and a diversity of artists from across the nation to support the cultural life of the community. With over 150 artists, there is sure to be something to please. This is a great time to do some Christmas shopping, so start making your list.
Art Galleries of Saint Augustine is the sponsor of the First Friday Art Walk. This free, self-guided walk with more than 25 galleries features some of the finest art in North Florida. It is held from 5-9pm, with complimentary refreshments and free rides from the “Red Train”. One special Art Walk will be the December 6th Holiday edition.
The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach
It is the largest cultural arts facility in St. Johns County, including a wonderful art gallery with exhibitions that feature local and regional artists. The Cultural Center provides a unique gathering place for everyone in our community to create, understand and experience the arts! There are 8 annual exhibitions of professional artists work in their galleries with opening receptions for each. In addition to the gallery, the Cultural Center pro-
vides studio facilities for our art, dance, music and voice instruction classes.
“Art Imitates Life” is the slogan for the High Tide Gallery on Cordova Street. Voted “Best of St. Augustine” Best Gallery in 2009, here you will find art, including vintage surfboards, from other 35 artists. For a wide range of images of the historic city, visit St. Augustine Photographic Arts on Hypolita Street. Photographer and owner Ray Dominey works with other local artists and photographers to present patrons with images that cover over 100 years. Dominey is also vice-president of AGOSA. At Flagler College you can find the Crisp-Ellert Art Gallery. This gallery exhibits not only regional, national and international works, but it also showcases work by Flagler faculty and students. The PASTA Art Gallery has been on Charlotte Street for 27 years. Each month they feature a different artist during the First Friday Art Walk. The Georgia Nick Gallery on Aviles Street features a wide range of art from local artists, including the work of owner Georgia Nick. Nick is president of the Aviles Street Merchants Association. Palencia Fine Arts Academy & Gallery -The upcoming Fall exhibition will showcase local artist, Gina Torkos, followed a Spring exhibition by owner/artist Stacie Hernandez. These are just a few of the galleries you will find in the St. Augustine area. Come out to The First Friday Art Walk or the Art and Craft Festival – and be inspired!
Other Nearby Art Walks Uptown Saturday Night
every last Saturday in the San Marco Shopping District of St. Augustine from 5-9pm
First Wednesday Art Walk in Downtown Jacksonville from 5-9pm
2nd Saturday Artreagous Art Walk in Downtown Fernandina Beach from 5:30-8:30pm
North Beaches Art Walk
every 3rd Thursday in Atlantic/Neptune Beach from 5-9pm
‘Three’s Company’; featuring Art Quilts by Mary Jane Amato, Gourd Characters by Jan Miller and Fiber Art by Amy Dove.
Butterfield Garage Art Gallery Butterfield Garage is an artist’s cooperative on King St. in St. Augustine. Owner Jan Miller liked the open space offered by the well-known 1920’s garage, and decided to renovate and use it to promote local artists. There are currently thirty-four member artists, who display their work and volunteer at the cooperative once a month. The eclectic mix of styles and mediums of the artists makes a visit surprising and interesting. Miller’s goal has always been to nurture the amazingly talented and diverse Art Scene in St. Augustine by offering exhibition space to many of our most prominent artists, and to bring the work of new and upcoming artists to the public. Jan Miller is an accomplished realist painter with more than forty years experience in the visual arts. She is originally from Chicago and came to St. Augustine where she opened the Jan Miller Gallery. She is involved with AGOSA (Art Galleries of St Augustine) the original group of artist who started the successful First Friday Art Walks. Recently, Miller has been having more fun painting by focusing on whimsical three-dimensional Gourd painting. “In a way I have returned to the playful era of my childhood. I have a sense of humor that was not prominent in my ‘serious’ painting and now I am doing whatever I feel like…but always enjoying painting!”. This month Miller is part of a new Exhibition at Butterfield Garage Art Gallery, entitled, ‘Three’s Company’; featuring Art Quilts by Mary Jane Amato, Gourd Characters by Jan Miller and Fiber Art by Amy Dove. It opens September 6th, with First Friday Art Walk, from 5-9pm and will continue through September 30.
Uncertain Path 48 x 36, Oil on Canvas Village Square, 701 Market Street, Suite 107A
904.819.1584 www.palenciafineartsacademy.com 11
September 2, 2013 Labor Day Concert In the Plaza St. Augustine Free concert from 1 - 5 p.m. in St. Augustine’s historic Plaza de la Constitucion, 1 King St. Info: 904-825-1004;www.plazaconcerts.com
September 6, 2013 First Friday Art Walk - St. Augustine San Sebastian Winery, 157 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084 Local Phone: 904-829-0065 http://artgalleriesofstaugustine.com Join one of St. Augustine’s most popular cultural events from 5 - 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at over 20 participating galleries. Tours begin at San Sebastian Winery, 157 King St. St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys offer attendees a complimentary shuttle service to most of the galleries. Shuttles run on a continuous loop every 30 minutes. 904-829-0065; www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com/ September 6 St. Augustine Art Association’s Annual Fall Members’ Show Opening Reception At First Friday Art Walk 5-9 p.m. at the Assocation’s gallery, 22 Marine St. http://www. staaa.org or call 904-824-2310.
September 13 Indulge Salon & Spa Grand Opening – 6-8pm, Spa day raffle, $250 in Moraccanoil product basket, discounts, free gifts and more. For more information contact 2305520 or visit www.areyoureadyto indulge. com September 13 to September 14 Mumford & Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour Internationally-acclaimed band, Mumford & Sons make St. Augustine’s Francis Field, 10 West Castillo Drive one of their 5 hand12 picked venues for their 2013 around-the-
world tour. Other bands scheduled to appear during the 2-day epic party include Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Vaccines, Willy Mason, Bear’s Den, Half Moon Run and Those Darlins. General admission for both days is $109. Tickets and info:www. gentlemenoftheroad.com; www.StAugustine-450.com September 15, 2013 2013 Ponte Vedra Auto Show at TPC Sawgrass Ponte Vedra Beach From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., owners of more than 160 classic, custom and antique automobiles will compete for trophies at the TPC Sawgrass. Admission is free; parking fee $5. Vehicle registration is $35 per car. All cars must pre-register, no day of registration. 1000 PGA Tour Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-285-2004 www.stjohnscountychamber. com; www.pvautoshow.com WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Hometown First agent Sandi Baxter, Nocatee Resident, will host a Back to School Safety event on Saturday, September 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Nocatee Farmers Market at 245 Nocatee Center Way in Ponte Vedra. This event is intended to raise awareness of the issues of missing children and help protect children of all ages. Along with raffles and prizes, the community effort will feature safety literature and Child ID Kits from the Take 25® national child safety campaign of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children®. The kits include sections for a child’s photo, fingerprints, and identifying information. Materials will include fingerprinting cards and assistance from the local sheriff’s office. . Contact Sandi at 904-7724446 or firstname.lastname@example.org
September 21, 2013 Run With Love 5 K
8:30am at World Golf Village Register at https://www.signmeup.com/ site/online-event-registration/92832
From the Ordinary People ExhibitDon Trousdell September 21 Bartram Trail High School AJROTC 5K Come out and support the AJROTC program at Bartram Trail High School with a 5k RUN! Registration from 8-9 am , 5k run/walk at 9am, 1 mile Fun Run at 10am, Awards and drill team performance at 11am. Both races start and finish at BTHS 7399 Longleaf Pine Pkwy St. Johns, FL 32259. Fun and Games Family Festival will be taking place before during and after the race including GAMES 2U with HAMSPTER BALL & LAZER TAG, TAILGATER TOBY and ZONE CHEER! Contact Stacey McEnerney (email@example.com) for more details. September 26th Amitstad Hosts Marco Polo Club 5:30 – 7:00 Share adventures with others who enjoy world travel, have lived abroad or have traveled abroad. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 547-2446 September 26 to September 28 Florida Heritage Book Festival Florida’s rich and colorful literary heritage is celebrated at a series of workshops, presentations and readings. Meet award-winning authors, fellow book lovers and publishing professionals. This year’s Literary Legend is John Jakes who will be honored at the festival’s Literary Legends Awards Banquet. Admission is free to Saturday’s book festival at Flagler College in St. Augustine. The two-day Writers Conference will be held Thursday and Friday at the St. Johns County Convention Center at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort. The Convention Center will also be the location of the Literary Legends Banquet. For ticket prices and more information, go to www.fhbookfest.com or call 904-940-019474 King Street, St. Augustine.
September 27th Shear Colors Hair Studio Casino Night Shear Colors Hair Studio to celebrate 6+ years in business with their newly renovated interior and new additions to their team! You could be a winner! There will be over $1000 in giveaways, a raffle for a free makeover, gift bags for everyone, and lots of prizes and delicious treats! For more information contact 230-6625 or visit www. shearcolors.com Uptown Saturday Night September 28, 2013 From 5 9 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month, experience live music, refreshments, new exhibits, book signings and much more at the galleries, antique stores and unique shop on St. Augustine’s San Marco Avenue between Ripley’s Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios. The Mission Nombre de Dios provides FREE PARKING. Info: 904-823-9263. San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine. 904-823-9263 September 29, 2013 EMMA Concert: Prima Trio Lewis Auditorium, 14 Granada St. 904-797-2800 http://www.emmaconcerts.com Winners of the prestigious Grand Prize and the Gold Medal at the 2007 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the Prima Trio (piano, violin and clarinet) is committed to musical excellence and the performance of music that conveys the composer’s point of view. The concert takes place at 2 p.m. at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St. in St. Augustine. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on line: www.emmaconcerts. com; 904-797-2800
Aug. 17-Oct. 25 ORDINARY PEOPLE Artist Don Trousdell has exhibited several collection in the St. Augustine Art Association. His new body of work, “Ordinary People,” is on view through daily through Oct. 25 in the St. Augustine Visitor Center, 10 Castillo Drive. This exhibit is a colorful, folksy presentation featuring some of St. Augustine’s first colonists. The 30 paintings within the exhibit depict stories of the first 50 years of life in St. Augustine. It’s about the “Ordinary People” who settled the town, why they left the Old World and what they did in the New World. This educational exhibit combines art and storytelling. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Go to staugustine-450.com/ordinary-peopleexhibit. Through Oct 24th ”La Florida” Roger Bansemer Paintings, Rotunda Gallery at the St. Johns County Administration Building Artist Roger Bansemer to exhibit original works from his “La Florida” series in the St. Johns Cultural Council’s next Art in Public Spaces exhibit. Bansemer has created a series of paintings featuring vanishing Florida landscapes and historic sites in the St. Augustine area. The show will feature about 15 of these paintings.500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine Phone: 904-808-7330 http://www.stjohnsculture.com
St. Augustine Art Association 2013 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
September 6-29 begins the St. Augustine Art Association’s 2013-14 Calendar year. Each new season begins with the “Fall Member’s Show.” Mark your Calendars for First Friday Art Walk Openings 5-9pm & Award Ceremonies at 7pm Sept 6, October 4-27 brings the “12th Annual Tactile Art Show” as part of the International “Art Beyond Sight Initiative.” Galleries and museums worldwide display “touchable art” for the blind and visually impaired. Among those included are theLouvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, the Cummer in Jacksonville, and the St. Augustine Art Association. It is a privilege to partner with the FL School for the Deaf & Blind and exciting to see our name listed along with these prestigious organizations. This show is fun for our “sighted” visitors as well. Receiving is Tues Oct 1, noon-6pm & Wed Oct 2, noon-4pm. This is a juried show with a limit of 3 entries per artist. November 1-December 29 we present the beautiful “Viva Florida.” This is a juried exhibit, with open media, allowing 2 entries per artist. Saturday November 30, 10am-5:00pm & Sunday December 1,10am-4:00pm. 48th ANNUAL FINE ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL: Over 150 fine artists and craftsman from around the US offer unique, juried, one-of-akind Holiday gifts, Thanksgiving weekend at Francis Field behind the Visitor Parking Garage. In addition, there will be entertainment by the Gamble Rogers musicians, Kids Art Zone, authentic Colonials Arts Village, a variety delectable food and drink, and much more, February 2014 - SPECIAL 90th ANNIVERSARY ART EXHIBITION & GALA 2014—WOW, 90 YEARS OLD! A little History In 1924 the Pen & Brush Club began as gathering of 20 artists and writers interested in exchanging ideas and exhibiting their work. One of the founders was the first woman editor of the St. Augustine Record, Nina Hawkins. In 1931, they changed the name to the St. Augustine Art Club, then renamed it the Arts Club of St. Augustine in 1934, and finally in 1948, The St. Augustine Art Association. It attracted local amateur and professional artists as well as artists wintering here including those from Rockport and Province Town. A plot of land was purchased in 1945 and the main gallery erected in 1954. Through the generosity of Joseph and Faith Tiberio, the North and South wings & galleries were added in 1998. In addition we’re open FREE to the public 6 days a week with trained docents to greet and inform our visitors. 13
Batik Artist by Buffy Smith
ocal artist Wendy Tatter has become a master at using wax to create beautiful creations through a process called Batik. An art form with its roots in Indonesia, Batik is a process of applying layers of wax and dyes onto fabric, then removing the wax by repeated ironing until the project is complete. Her love for art began years before she learned of this unique art form. Growing up in Maryland, Wendy would draw and paint anywhere and everywhere. She would invite her friends to have drawing contests that her mother would judge, though they knew full well that any mother worth her salt would choose her own daughter’s masterpiece. After a short stint at Virginia Commonwealth University, Wendy moved to Jamaica, making ends meet by selling her artwork in the lobby of a friend’s hotel. While studying photography at the Instituto Allende in Mexico, she took a workshop where she was introduced to Batik. Wendy brought her work back to the States, settling in St. Augustine and opening a gallery on San Marco Avenue. Along with the success of her artwork, Wendy also organized “Uptown Saturday Nights,” a downtown art/ shop walk on the last Saturday of every month. She visits area elementary schools, sharing both her love for art and her children’s book, “That Cat Book,” which her mom wrote and Wendy illustrated. It is for these accomplishments that Wendy recently received the ROWITA Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring outstanding women in the arts in our community. Though Wendy has moved her studio home, she is finding much life in the workshops she leads for small groups who want to learn her craft. Budding artists are fed breakfast and lunch, taught the technique of making their own creation, and are given the chance to learn an uncommon art form from an artist who believes that “something wonderful always happens.” Wendy explains, “You work and work and never quite know what is going to come out.” At the end of the day Wendy’s guests have not only created their own batik, but also fashioned new friendships. “It’s a treat to be able to do what I do,” she says. Wendy and her husband are celebrating 28 years of marriage by traveling to the Keys. Whether she is working on a piece of artwork, helping a new friend at a workshop, or sneaking away
for an anniversary, Wendy is a woman who is not only interested in the finished product, but even moreso in the beautiful layers of the process. To find out more about Wendy’s workshops, or to see her artwork, go to www.wbtatter.com
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Indulge salon shoppe & Spa is a full service hair salon and spa. We believe in enhancing the inner and outer beauty of each and every guest we serve. We want to create an extraordinary guest experience that nurtures, renews, and transcends each guest in mind, body and spirit. To us it is an honor to help you look and feel beautiful inside out! Appointments 904.230.5520 www.areyoureadytoindulge.com 105 Nature Walk Parkway, Suite 105 St. Augustine, FL 32092
By Nina Stelfox Owner of Indulge Salon Shoppe & spa
Mind, Body & Spirit Wellness
hree years ago, my husband Chris, only 40 years old at the time had a stroke. All of those things that worried me and stressed me instantly faded away when facing the reality that I could have lost the most important person in my life. On this day I learned how fragile life really is. Today, Chris is my inspiration; he is healthy and continues to brighten my days with his beautiful smile. Since then, we both recongnize the importance to stay strong in the inside first and cherish every day we have and take it as an opportunity to grow as a person and embrace a holistic wellbeing approach to life.
Holism is defined as the understanding that the parts make up a unified whole. The parts are no longer viewed as individual units, but are analyzed in relation to the whole organism. Holistic health and beauty perceives the organs and parts of the body, emotions and the environment as interconnected with an affect on the overall health of the person. As you continue your life journey I encourage you to commit to a more holistic approach to health and beauty. One good way to start is to consider incorporating facials and massag-
News from Indulge...
es to your life style. Change the way you think about these treatments and learn more about the health benefits that regular facials and massages bring. Both treatments induce relaxation, improve circulation, assist in lowering blood pressure, enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system, relieve migraine pain through the release o endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller, lessen depression and axiety and much more. At Indulge we are excited to introduce our Mind, Body & Spirit Wellness Program to help the Saint Johns community incorporate a holistic wellness routine into their lives. The benefits of this program include facials and massages reduced rates as well as cleaner skin care and hair products at great discounts. Learn more by visiting our website www.areyoureadytoindulge.com. My beauty advice to you today starts from the inside...I hope that each of you embrace good energy every day, and make conscious choices to create the opportunity to relax, rejuve-
nate and reenergize. Please do not forget, life is fragile.
Save $15 Save $10 Save $15 Save $10 Time: 6:00 to 8:00 pm Spa day raffle, $250 Moroccanoil product basket raffle, opportunity to sign up for year-long savings, incredible discounts on products and services, free gifts, and much more! Join us and bring your friends!
When booking a 1 hr Facial and a 1hr Massage combo. When booking a hair color service, haircut and blow dry.
On legs and brazilian wax or legs and bikini wax combo. On a full body spray tan.
These offers are applicable to first-time customers only. Expiration: September 30th, 2013 Can not be combined with other promotions. One per customer. Promocode: St.JohnsMag
105 Nature Walk Parkway, Suite 105, St. Augustine FL 32092 www.areyoureadytoindulge.com | 904.230.5520
Tay Scheibe’s Mission of Love Taylor Scheibe is a childhood cancer survivor who has always known she wanted to give back someday. Although “Tay”, as she is known, is only twenty-two years old, she has already accomplished great things. The Jacksonville native is the founder of WithLove, a national non-profit organization that generates funding for hospital toy rooms through toy drives, giving children battling cancer and other life threatening illnesses the opportunity to “simply be kids”. The idea of a toy drive first came to Taylor in 2008 to help fill the toy room at Wolfsons Children’s Hospital where she was a patient during her childhood. When Taylor was 10 she was diagnosed with large cell lymphoma. It went into remission only to return again when she was 11. She ultimately had to have chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant, spending long periods of time at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Nemours in Jacksonville. Taylor realized she had a mission as a survivor. She and her parents had dealt with one of life’s most difficult challenges – a child with a life-threatening illness. She felt it was their obligation to give back in any way they could. As she connected with these children she was giving both them and their families the necessary hope and the will to take on their illness. Tay’s personal faith and the faith of her parents is what helped her to become a survivor and she believes strongly that her life’s path is an example that God has a hand in everything. She is amazed at how her life has come full circle. She originally thought about becoming a doctor or a nurse, believing she had to be in the medical field to give back. After having tested the waters with internships and jobs at local hospitals, she never really felt it was the right fit. She is now pursuing a degree in Business Management at Florida State College of Jacksonville, which will be useful as she takes her charity to the next level. She hopes to grow from localized toy drives to totally revamping the toy rooms at oncology units all over the nation. On September 21st , the WithLove 5k presented
Ellie & Tay “Strong” Photo by Brittany Elaine Purcell Photography by Ultimate Racing Inc will be held at World Golf Village. Show your support for children and adults battling illnesses or supporting those going through it. We invite you to help Taylor by participating in this event. Strollers, wheelchairs, and all ages are welcome for this family friendly event. For more information visit https://www. signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/92832.
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Questions for The
Chiropractor S STRESS
Dr. Melinda S. Tolitsky, DC
n the past few weeks I have received calls asking specific questions regarding chiropractic care. I have decided to use this forum to answer some of those questions. If you have any specific questions you would like addressed in the next forum, please email me at DrMelindaTolitsky@att.net.
Here are is list of ideas to help you reduce your stress:
1. Talk a walk. Spending time outside can help relieve stress and improve your outlook. 2. Release your tension with a good workout. 3. Set boundaries and learn to say “no” to prevent over committing. 4. Listen to music. 5. Spend time with friends and family. 6. Read a good book. 7. Curl up with a cup of tea. 8. Pamper yourself with a massage.
How do I manage or reduce my stress? I get this question more than any other question in my office. As a society we are all too stressed out. We all have stressors in our life so we need to learn to identify and manage them in a healthy way. Poor ways of managing stress include smoking, drinking too much, overeating, vegging out in front of the television for hours, sleeping too much or even taking pills to sleep or relax. To manage or adapt to stress in a healthy way, we first need to identify our personal stressors. Start by writing a journal and identify things, situations or people that cause your stress and how you react to that stress. For stressors you cannot avoid, make a plan on how to react to these situations differently in the future. Take time to identify ways you can relieve stress. Success, health and happiness comes from living a balanced life.
Can chiropractic help with seasonal allergies?
Late summer and fall is one of the worst times of the year for people who suffer from seasonal allergies and chiropractors take a whole body approach to seasonal allergies. We work with the body to strengthen the immune system through adjustments, proper diet, reducing stress and improving rest to help the body recover and stay well. People under regular chiropractic care report fewer allergic symptoms and overall better health. Please feel free to call my office at 904-547-2435 or email at DrMelindaTolitsky@att.net if you have more questions or would like some additional information. The answers here reflect results that I have experienced in my practice, but everyone responds differently.
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(left) Karen with Design Assistant and Artist “Fabulous” Frieda McCarthy who painstakingly creates each shell piece by hand. (Below) Baby Clam Shell Hydrangea in terra cotta containers from the Shellatier Collection of seashell flowers
by Debbie Gaylord by Debbie Gaylord
Recently met with artist and designer Karen Robertson, owner of the Karen Robertson Collection, at her home in Ponte Vedra Beach. She was excited about her recent acquisition of a large fossil collection estimated to be 1.8-3 million years old. The fossils serve as inspiration for her artistic home décor designs centered on all manner of marine life.The tiny, incredibly beautiful shells, are categorized, examined, and meticulously identified by Karen using her vintage collection of shell books. As she studies the fossils, design ideas seem to effortlessly pop into her mind. Business partner and fiance John Gambardella says what sets Karen apart is that she is able to act on her creative ideas, take risks and make the idea happen. “Also, she knows when to give up”, he said. A case in point was this rare shell collection. The shells had been collected back in the 1980s from a quarry in Southwest Florida that had been closed to excavation for many years. When they became available, Karen purchased the entire collection of thousands of shells without hesitation, knowing instinctively that the ideas would flow. And flow they did. She said she often spends ten hours each day creating in her studio. “If I have an idea, I cannot sleep without doing it” she said. Karen’s studio is a sunlit room in her well-appointed Ponte Vedra home that displays some of her original artwork. The colors and images of the sea abound in every detail, including light fixtures and sea fan art of unmatched beauty. One gets the feeling of walking among the pages of a magazine. Here, in their home, John Gambardella’s design background also comes into play and he is able to design unique pieces of furniture in his own right. Originally from Lexington and Cape Cod, Mass, Karen got her start in the design world as an antiques dealer and collector. She began designing shells into flowers (now the Shellatier Collection). Later her hauntingly beautiful sea fans would take
her into high-end retail spaces such as One Kings Lane. She also designs textiles. The Collection is consistently featured in top magazines, appearing in distinctive homes and luxury resorts. It is sold worldwide and hand crafted in the U.S.A. The Karen Robertson brand reflects a lifestyle - “to anyone who loves an ocean view” Karen said. “The organizing principle of most everything I do comes from marine life and marine inspired elements. My work is a way of bringing the essence of the ocean into the interior space,” Karen said. Many of her ideas begin while looking through vintage books about shells, or when collecting shells on the beach. Her favorite place to collect is Captiva Island off Florida’s west coast. A surprising thing about Karen is that although she is tiny in stature, she possesses an abundance of creative energy and ideas that makes her appear somehow taller. She says she is inspired by her maternal and fraternal grandmothers and great grandmother, one Italian, one Polish, one French. She remembers her grandmothers teaching her about fashion and decorating, as well as crochet, gardening and sewing, and even how to create her first renditions of shell art. As a child, she created unique party toothpicks with tiny shells affixed to the tops. It seems that each of these inherited creative skills merged to create Karen’s one-of-a-kind design sense. While Robertson is an award winning designer who is well-known nationally and internationally, few people realize she makes her home in St. Johns. That is about to change as she recently opened Karen Robertson Studio in Ponte Vedra Beach. It is quite special to have a designer of Karen’s caliber in our local community and we are excited to see what this creative dynamo imagines next.
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the right term • the right rate • the right advice For more information, stop by our County Road 210 branch; call us at (904) 808-4644; or visit www.firstflorida.org and click on the “1st Mortgage Center button”.
sing mortgage clo † costs! www.firstflorida.org 1950 CR 210 West, St Johns, FL 32259 Everyone who lives or works in Saint Johns, Flagler, Duval, Baker, Clay, or Nassau County can join. A Savings/Share Account with a minimum balance of $5.00 is required for membership. † Promotion does not apply to any mortgage loans already financed by First Florida or any of its divisions. Promotion is subject to change or can be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Promotion available only when obtaining a First Florida, 1st Mortgage Loan (maximum 20-year term) – not available on FHA, VA, Land/Lot, Home Equity Line of Credit, or Home Equity loans. Available only on owner-occupied primary residential properties; Does not apply to mobile homes. Promotion applies only to standard, actual closing costs. Contact the credit union to obtain a list of closing costs covered by promotion, as certain exclusions apply. First Florida will pay closing costs up to 1.5% of the loan amount or a maximum of $5,000, whichever is less. Appraisal and credit report/underwriting fees are collected during the loan process and will be credited back to the borrower on the settlement 21 statement at loan closing. If the loan is paid in full within the first 36 months of disbursement, borrower will be required to reimburse First Florida for all, or a portion of, the closing costs paid by First Florida or any of its divisions on the member’s behalf. Subject to credit approval. Certain other restrictions apply.
The Art of Listening & Hearing Aids By Dr. Rosann Faull
This month we are celebrating the Arts. Hearing and listening is an art. Some people are exceptional listeners and I think you will agree that, they are able to hear very well and enjoy music, drama, laughter, nature and other forms of our artful existence. But, what if you struggle to hear? You need assistance and you know the only help is a hearing aid. Hearing aids are a medical device and I believe hearing aids have not forgotten Art. The design of hearing aids has changed significantly since I became an audiologist. Back in the dark ages of the 1970’s hearing aids were bigger, analog circuitry, and style was limited. Not very pretty but the best we could do at the time. Thankfully research and development continues and modern hearing aids are smaller, more powerful and even colorful. That’s right, today’s hearing aids have more power, better sound and high-tech digital circuitry than any hearing aids in history. There are many style options for modern hearing aids. A custom hearing aid can either sit deep in the ear canal or if power is necessary completely fills the ear. The most common hearing aid today is the Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) or Receiver-In-TheEar (RITE). These hearing aids sit discreetly on top of the ear with a slim wire connected to a receiver in the ear. For most people there is no custom piece in the ear. This makes the hearing aids more comfortable, less noticeable and since the major components of the hearing aids are separated, more space for noise reducing circuitry, directional microphones, power and other advancements. Also, these hearing aids come in different colors. RIC hearing aids can blend with your skin or hair color or you can make a fashion statement and choose bright colors. My husband, a sailor, had a red and green hearing aid, port and starboard. Of course he was very disappointed because no one noticed the hearing aids, even with these bright colors. Become that exceptional listener you’ve always admired. If you are struggling to hear get help, start with a complete hearing evaluation and explore your options. Hearing aids have come a long way and now form and function are stylish. Call for an evaluation appointment by Dr. Faull.
Rosann W. Faull, Au.D, CCC-A
Board Certified Doctor of Audiology Your Community Resource for Better Hearing 12276 San Jose Blvd., Suite 710 ~ 904-262-5550; Fax: 904-683-4592/ website: www.drfaull.com
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Rich Scredon Local Prudential Agent Rich Scredon is a financial planner with Prudential who lives in the local golf community of Cimmarone on 210 West with his wife and two daughters. Formerly of Santa Barbara, California, Rich enjoys living in St. Johns, having watched it grow from a small handful of communities in 2003 to where it is today. As a financial planner, Rich says he is focused on each individual, recognizing that no two are the same and therefore the solution is always unique. After more than twenty years in the business he has amassed a deep knowledge about investing, annuities and insurance that is required by someone in his profession. To help build his business, Rich is a member of the 210 West BNI Group, a group of local entrepreneurial professionals who meet weekly to share referrals and ideas. The development of his personal faith has led to one of Rich’s greatest passions; working as a missionary with Celebration Lutheran Church. In 2010, Rich and other members of the Celebration Church spent time giving back by building an orphanage
after the devastating Haitian earthquake. He said the first time he participated with the ministry in Haiti he was shocked by the level of need. He’s also been to Costa Rica where the church helps the poor by providing meals and education. He believes there is nothing like giving back in the world and the impact that has on so many people’s lives. When he is not traveling outside the country on missionary work, he volunteers with Celebration Church locally in neighboring Hastings, FL, providing support for local families. Rich says he is grateful for where life has taken him, despite having faced one of life’s greatest challenges with the illness of his oldest daughter. Eighteen years ago Rich’s daughter Nicole was diagnosed with Rhett’s syndrome, a rare disorder that leaves victims trapped inside their physical bodies, unable to walk or talk. Having a daughter with Rhett’s Syndrome has changed his life dramatically. Rich says his faith has allowed him to remain positive for his family and focus on his blessings. He says Nicole’s faith, especially her ability to give and receive love, is an inspiration for him to give back to others. In his spare time Rich enjoys watching football. While he is a lifelong Kansas City Chiefs fan, he’s become a ‘local’ having purchased season tickets to Jaguars home games. To contact Rich: 904-486-2851 or Richard.Scredon@Prudential. com
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The MOMS Clu b
The Mom’s Club is a wonderful way to meet other Stay-at-home and part-time working mothers and is a fun way for your children to socialize with other children. Mothers with children of all ages are welcome. Members for this chapter must live in the 32092 or 32095 zip codes, including all neighborhoods along the 210 corridor. We meet once a month to plan our activities for the month ahead. These business meetings are held at 10:00 am on the fourth Thursday of every month at Faith Community Church on CR 210. Children are welcome at all of our meetings and activities. We have activities scheduled for almost every weekday of the month and moms may attend as few or as many activities as they like. Some of the activities we have planned are trips to the zoo, beach/pool days, story time at the library, fire station tours and playgroups at members’ homes and local parks. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sanmomsclub. weebly.com for more information.We look forward to meeting new mom’s in our community!! 904-230-2808 105 Nature Walk Parkway Ste 104, St. Johns 32092 On CR210 West - Behind McDonalds
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Why Advertise in St. Johns Magazine? A SIMPLE CONCEPT :
We keep readers engaged and connect our communities with upbeat, relevant content written by locals about local people, places and events
Every ad is noticed Distributed in Select Neighborhoods in Northwestern St. Johns
Cimmarone South Hampton Stonehurst St. Johns Forest Johns Creek St. Johns Golf & Club Southlake
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Looking at the World Through an Artist’s Eye Alexandra as Sleeping Beauty 20 x 16 Oil
ABOUT ANN MCGLADE
Interview by Debbie Gaylord
When artist Ann McGlade was a girl her father scolded her for painting on the walls so the next day she painted on the ceiling. It seemed nothing would stop her from drawing or painting. Ann is one of those lucky people who has always known her calling. From her early days as a graduate of the High School for the Industrial Arts (now known as the School of Art and Design) in Manhattan, New York, Ann McGlade has enjoyed decades of artistic growth and exploration. Prior to settling into St. Augustine five years ago, McGlade lived in Eugene, Oregon and New York City with extensive travels throughout the USA and to diverse artrich venues such as Israel, Spain, Greece, France, Italy, England, Australia, Tahiti, Mexico, and Caribbean. These travels were both motivational and instructive, and fueled McGlade’s creative flow. Displaying uncommon energy, McGlade’s artistic trajectory is now increasingly recognized. Her award winning paintings are represented in numerous private collections, public buildings and have been shown in major exhibitions and juried art shows throughout the United States. McGlade’s paintings have been exhibited in the Salmagundi Art Club in New York City, Cummer Museum of Art in Jacksonville, Florida and the International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art in San Antonio, TX. In the last few years, McGlade has enjoyed becoming involved in the local arts scene in Saint Augustine. A collection of forty of McGlade’s original oil paintings were recently featured in a three month exhibit at the St. Johns County Administration Building. Several paintings of ballerinas from the Saint Augustine Ballet will be on display again this year during the Saint Augustine Ballet’s annual December performance of the Nutcracker at Flagler College.
Abiyomi 24 x 18 Oil
WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS?
I usually walk around and take photographs of people in their everyday life. I like to find a person off guard, looking natural. As soon as they know they are being photographed, everything changes. The other day I found this amazing woman with dreadlocks I wanted to paint. But as soon as she turned around and asked me if I wanted her to pose it wasn’t the same. After I start painting from a photograph, I add my own imagination. Right now, I am working on a painting of a ballet class. I added the teacher standing in the doorway watching the students. But he is not in the photograph, just the painting. Recently my painting has changed. There is so much light in Florida as compared to when I was living in Eugene (OR). I love the light here in Florida. On my Lanai, I have a lot of light but the sun is not shining directly, and I see things I have never seen before.
ADVICE TO YOUNG ARTISTS
Just keep painting and it comes. Go to museums a lot. You can learn so much. As a girl I used to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan and just spend time looking at the paintings. Back then the museum was empty, not like today. Now it is so crowded. I would sit for a long time and just look at these beautiful paintings. I would be amazed and inspired. I still do this when I visit museums. To view some of McGlade’s paintings, and for details on upcoming exhibitions please visit www.annmcglade.com. And, be sure to say hello to Ann as she strolls around St. Augustine, looking at the world through an artist’s eye!
A Message from the The Vet Dr. Veling, DVM ~ Palencia Pet Clinic
P lugged M ale C at
arly last month, a client called with concerns because her cat, Tuxedo, was in the litter box howling. My receptionist, Lori, alertly asked if Tuxedo was producing any urine. The caller said she did not see any urine coming out, nor were there any clumps of urine in the box. By this time Lori had Tuxâ€™s file on her computer screen and could see that he was a male and an appointment was made for shortly thereafter. When the owner and Tuxedo got arrived there was a telltale howl coming from the carrier. Tuxâ€™s urinary bladder was the size of a lemon and very firm. He had pale pink gums and was clearly in distress. This was a plugged tomcat, which is life-threatening. I explained that his urinary bladder had either a bladder stone or a sand plug preventing urine from coming out through his urinary outflow tract (urethra) where it narrows in his penis. Tux was also vomiting. This usually means the cat has been plugged for a longer period of time. I asked Lori to give the owner an estimate for re-establishing urine flow, IV fluids and hospitalization. I warned that some cats are so badly plugged that the plugs cannot be removed. That would mean surgery. The clients signed Tux in and we went to work.
When a male cat is plugged it is a good idea to relieve the pressure on the back of the plug. We removed 22 ml of urine from the bladder via a syringe and needle. A urinalysis showed blood, struvite crystals and high pH. The crystals tell us the kind of stones causing the problem, struvite. The pH explains that the crystals present are due to a chemical reaction caused by food that is made improperly by the pet food manufacturer. Bad cat food leads to the cat producing urine with high pH. We then anesthetized Tux. I was unable to get the stone to come out so I had to flush the stone back into the bladder. Sometimes this will lead to replugging. We left Tux with a urinary catheter in place and allowed him to wake up. He then received 400 ml IV fluids over the next 12 hours. The next morning I removed the catheter. He re-plugged that day. We unplugged him again. All the while keeping the owner appraised of what was happening. By Wednesday we knew he would require surgery. Tuxedo needed a perineal urethrostomy. In some ways, Mr. Tuxedo was becoming Mrs. Tuxedo. We did the surgery. The laser we use makes the surgery much less painful and much less bloody. Modern veterinary pain control allowed him to go home 36 hours post-surgery. Tuxedo did well. How do you prevent your male cat from developing urinary bladder stones? Feed a name brand cat food, such as Science Diet, that controls urine pH. The food caused this problem.
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BOOK REVIEW A R T E D I T I O byNAmy Ackerman St. Johns County Public Library, Bartram Trail
Good Things I wish you by A. Manette Ansay
This is one of those meta sort of stories where the book is about itself. It starts with two separate storylines - Jeanette, a modern day divorcee living in West Palm Beach, describing her first encounter with a man she met through an online dating service. The second story is excerpts from a book Jeanette is writing about Clara Schumann, wife of Robert Schumann and friend of Johannes Brahms. The stories begin to merge as you realize all the characters are grappling with the same question: Can women and men be friends, or must they always have just one type of relationship? I enjoy fiction about famous historical figures, and the brief dips into Clara Schumann’s life were illuminating. The author provides detailed footnotes and a bibliography for readers interested in finding out more about Clara and Brahms. If you enjoyed The Hours by Michael Cunningham, you’ll want to add this to your To Read list.
The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro
A starving artist with a tarnished reputation is offered a tantalizing deal: forge a Degas in exchange for an art show at a prestigious gallery, certain to garner publicity and sales. There’s right and there’s wrong…. but there’s also not wanting to be a starving artist anymore. Claire accepts the offer and comes into possession of a real Degas while she copies it. Except…. what if the real painting turns out not to be real itself? Based on the real life art theft in 1990 of thirteen works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, this book asks the question: If the world accepts a reproduction as the real thing, is it still a fake?
Possession: a romance by A. S. Byatt
I’m adding a review of this book in the off chance there’s someone out there who still hasn’t read this novel yet. Something of a modern day classic, “Possession” is a tale of two scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. Roland Michell is a respected authority on the fictitious poet, Randolph Ash, and Maud Bailey is researching the life of a lesser known fictitious poet,
Christabel La Motte. Roland stumbles upon a book once owned by Ash, and tucked in between the pages of the book are notes Ash himself had jotted down. And then he turns a few pages and find two very intriguing unfinished letters Ash had begun composing. So begins Roland’s investigation into this previously unknown aspect of the famous poet’s life and his relationship with a far less respected female poet. The truth of their friendship is revealed through more letters and by Roland and Maud’s critical re-examination of the poets’ respective works. If you never thought literary criticism was exciting, you’ll have a whole different opinion by the time you finish this book. In our world of social media and blogging and texting and instant photography and streaming news, it’s deliciously refreshing to think of all these people that came before us and their secret lives. All these moments hidden from us that went undocumented. And the greater message from the novel is that a person can have been studied to death for over a hundred years by scholars and academics, yet there will always be a subtle detail that could change our understanding completely, and we might never know about it.
The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
This book was recently came recommended to me by one of my book club participants and crochet group regulars. The main character, Marina, is an 82 year old woman with Alzheimers. Marina tries to stay in the here-and-now of her granddaughter’s wedding preparations, but she keeps slipping backwards into her youth, when she was a museum docent at the Hermitage in Leningrad. During WWII, she stayed in the museum with other staff members to protect and save the priceless works of art. Through her eyes, we see the German air raids and the lives of Russian civilians through the long winters. She guides us through the museum of empty frames and describes in vivid detail each of the paintings that used to hang on the wall. And then we’re abruptly pulled back to the present where Marina finds herself in a room with her husband trying to help her get dressed. It’s a poignant tale of love and loss and the quiet inevitable undertow that brings us further into the future and farther away from our past.
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