Ocala Style February '21

Page 1

FEB ‘21

ocalastyle.com


Just Reduced

Just Reduced

Woodfield Crossings

Hunt Club at Foxpoint

Charming bungalow on corner lot in quiet, convenient and desirable neighborhood. Beautiful front and side porches, open floor plan, high ceilings and crown molding throughout the home. 3 bedroom/2 bath home, 2-car garage with back entry. $355,000

Beautifull manicured .77+/- acres with gorgeous 5 bedroom/3 bath pool home featuring a formal dining area and formal living room. Gourmet kitchen plus breakfast nook. Attached 3-car garage plus $479,750 additional 2-car garage with A/C.

Bass Country Retreat - 123 Acre - Private Lake

69+/- Acres on Lake Besiola

2-story cedar home with large deck overlooks the spring fed lake, detached studio and 2-car garage. Adjoins the Ocala National Forest on three sides for plenty of additional privacy. $1,885,000

1,500 feet of lake frontage which is perfect for recreational opportunities such as fishing, kayaking and other lake activities. Trails perfect for ATV or horseback riding. Two existing homes. Call for options

Let Joan Pletcher, Realtor list and/or sell your property Sold in 2020 - $44,118,498 Sold in 2021 - $4,935,900 Pending Sales - $20,136,900 For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. Call or Text: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com | joanpletcher.com Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates and land available that are not advertised.


Income producing 39+/- Acres

Turn-key NW Training Center - 147+/- Acres

39+/- Private and secluded acres in NW Ocala, located just minutes to WEC or HITS, tree-lined driveway leads you to lush green pastures. Fenced paddocks, (2) 3/2 double-wide mobile homes, 10-stall barn, fenced paddocks. $2,200,000

Training facilities include: 4 barns- all with metal roofs for a total of 54 stalls, covered Euro exerciser, tack room and feed offices. Main residence is a 3/2 with a 2/1 guest home. 5/8+/- mile irrigated track $2,350,000 plus viewing quarters. New fencing.

55, 85, or 140+/- Acres-Ride to the Greenway

9.82 Acres-Close to WEC & HITS

This is your opportunity to to purchase the size of farm that is perfect for you! Borders the Florida Greenways and Trails. Close to the Florida Horse Park. 18-stall barn, walker, equine swim lane, arena with lights, 2 homes, equipment building and more. Call for options

Show stable with 8 large stalls, office, feed and tack room. Separate 4-stall barn with hay storage above. Office features reception area, 1.5 baths and spacious full kitchen. Mature landscaping, beautiful Live Oaks, 5-board fencing and lush paddocks. $1,149,000

If you’re considering buying or selling, give us a call today! List your property with Joan Pletcher... Our results speak for themselves.

For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. Call or Text: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com | joanpletcher.com Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates and land available that are not advertised.


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Left: Chris Langley, Relationship Banking Manager and Market Executive, Citizens First Bank. Right: Josh Hart, CEO, Burnyzz Speed Shop.

Do You Know Your Banker? Josh Hart of Burnyzz Speed Shop does! “My business will never fit in the traditional banking box. Citizens took a chance on Burnyzz and allowed us to grow. I love the small town treatment and the personal service. Citizens actually listens to their clients’ input, requests, and concerns. It’s rare to find a bank that actually cares and does exactly what they say they will do.” - Josh Hart

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Make the switch to Citizens and get to know your Banker today!

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Publisher’s Note

If there was any silver lining to the past year, it has been that more of us have turned to finding joy in our homes. We have been forced to use them more and sometimes had to explore creative ways to use them differently. If you have not yet jumped on the renovating and redecorating bandwagon that nearly everyone else has during the pandemic, then fair warning—you might after you read this issue. Years ago, the curator of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art sent out a tweet that asked us to consider our homes as personal installations and, in doing so, what would those installations communicate about us? The question stuck with me. I’ve moved several times since then and still find myself sitting in rooms asking the question—What does this room say about me? One thing all of those rooms have consistently communicated is, she’s definitely not a perfectionist. For this reason, I really appreciated some of the advice from decorators and reflections by renovators in this issue to embrace design that reflects us authentically. It’s in those authentic spaces that we can find peace. I’ll use my old table as an example. It has been in my family for more than 200 years. It was made from the scraps of an old piano. It’s definitely too big for the home in which I now live. It has been well used and has been moved many times. As you can imagine, there are a few cracks to the veneer, discolorations and water stains. I will never refinish that table to hide those blemishes, however, because when I sit at it and my hands run over the nicks made by generations of my people, I feel connected to them. I have no doubt that, at a minimum, we would commiserate about what it was like to move the thing! In this issue you’ll hear sound advice from lifestyle blogger Ebonee Mashae on the balance of high- and low-priced home purchases. I’d add like to add that if one is working within a budget, consider spending it on professional advice. Interior design professionals can help you save time, energy and aggravation figuring out the minutia, so you end up getting more done and stretching your dollar further. Whatever your home style or renovation or redecoration plans, I hope you enjoy reading these stories and getting a glimpse into the lovely homes of some interesting locals while you curl up in your favorite chair with a cup of tea. Sounds like home to me!

Jennifer Hunt Murty Publisher


VALENTINE’S DAY SALE DOWNTOWN OCALA • 352-732-8844 www.gauseandsonjewelers.com

FEB. 3 RD - 13TH


contents 20

20

LABOR OF LOVE

30

INSPIRED LIVING

Cindy and Matt Grow poured months of work and lots of love into their 100-year-old dream home. Local lifestyle blogger Ebonee Mashae shares her stylish secrets.

36

INTERIOR MOTIVES

42

COMING HOME

60

THE PERFECT PALETTE

Ocala’s historic Rheinauer home received a fresh new look thanks to interior designer Jennie Holland. Our guide to the home trends that will matter most this year.

insider

15

60

SCHLENKERISMS

Dave and Amy’s new robo-vacuum has them mesmerized and getting plenty of exercise.

vo w s

17

VOWS

Get a glimpse into the most special days of our local brides and grooms.

42

A monochromatic outfit can put one’s personality on display and create a chic tone-on-tone look.

livin g

69

THE ANNIVERSARY HERD

74

HOME GROWN

78

THE ART OF IDENTITY

The Horse Fever 20/20 public art project will add 15 new painted equine statues to the herd. Growing herbs can provide fresh flavors for cooking and healthy ingredients for natural remedies. Meet the collectors behind the Appleton Museum of Art’s Memories & Inspiration exhibit.

Ladesa Santos strikes a funny pose. Fashion shot on location at StoreRight on Southwest 57th Avenue in Ocala. Special thanks to Manager Darlene Dean.

o n th e c o ve r Lifestyle blogger Ebonee Mashae. Photo by Crisandra Richardson of Never Ever Wonderland Photography.

Clockwise from left: Photo by John Jernigan, Photo by Lyn Larson of Mahal Imagery, Photo courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

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INSIDER

On the Scene Check out this month’s best local events including The Villages Balloon Festival. Photo by Keith Franklin


5

On the Scene A guide to our favorite monthly happenings and can’t-miss events

5

AdventHealth Grandview Invitational

Florida Horse Park February 5-7 | 12pm More than 200 draft horses in 23 teams from across North America deliver a spectacular display of power and excitement—all set to a majestic musical soundtrack. Gates open at 8am; shows begin at noon. For tickets and more information, visit grandviewinvitational.com

The Villages Balloon Festival

The Villages Polo Club February 5-6 | 3-8pm Enjoy evening balloon glows and tethered balloon rides plus roaming performers, food vendors and an antique car show. Visit thevillagesballoonfestival.com for more information.

13 Valentine’s Sip ‘N’ Shop & Bestie Bash

Paddock Mall 11am-2pm While adults enjoy specialty vendors, drinks and live entertainment, kids can play games and make crafts. Visit paddockmall.com for more information.

18 The Color Purple

Marion Theatre 5:30pm A literary film event to support Friends of the Ocala Public Library. Visit mariontheatre.org for more information.

18 Mi Amore at the Park

Sholom Park 6pm Bring a picnic and enjoy the romantic music of the Heart Strings duo under the stars. Registration required at sholompark.org

20 Southeastern Youth Fair Ag Dash 5K

Southeastern Livestock Pavilion 8am Support the premier event for Marion County 4-H and FFA clubs by participating at the race or virtually. Visit seyfair.com for more information.

20 Art Outside the Lines

25 Talley’s Folley

Ocala Civic Theatre February 25-March 21 7:30pm Set in 1944, this play shares the touching romance of two kindred spirits brought together by love letters. Visit ocalacivictheatre.com for tickets and more information.

10

ocalastyle.com

Photo by Bruce Ackerman

Tuscawilla Art Park 10am-2pm Support public art in Ocala with live music, art activities, artisan vendors, art nonprofits and refreshments for purchase. For more information, visit ocalafl.org/artpark


Tickets On Sale Now!

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Order tickets at CSCulturalCenter.com | 8395 SW 80th Street, Ocala, FL 34481 | (352) 854-3670 ALL SHOWS BEGIN AT 7 PM & DOORS OPEN AT 6 PM (EXCEPT AS NOTED) | GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE Schedule and prices subject to change without notice. Reduced ticket prices for residents of On Top of the World Communities and Stone Creek apply to Circle Square Cultural Center produced shows only. (Resident ID required when purchasing at box office.) Ticket prices do not include sales tax. Refreshments available for purchase at events. To arrange for handicap seats, call or visit the ticket office. **Online tickets subject to a convenience fee. ALL TICKET SALES FINAL.

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TT DISTRIBUTORS HORSE & FARRIER

Entertainment Calendar

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Date Time

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2:00 pm

The Mudds

The Club at Candler Hills

4

5:00 pm

Gilly & the Girl

Bank Street Patio Bar

5

6:00 pm

Bayou Band

Charlie Horse

6

6:00 pm

Jezabelle

O’Calahans Pub & Eatery

6

7:00 pm

The Issacs

Orange Blossom Opry

11

6:00 pm

Houston Keen

Charlie Horse

12

6:30 pm

Gilly & the Girl

La Cuisine French Restaurant

12

7:00 pm

The Big Bad

The Crazy Cucumber Eatery & Bar

12

7:30 pm

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

Reilly Arts Center

13

11:00 am

Jeff Jarrett

Paddock Mall

13

3:00 & Three Tenors Plus One 7:00pm

The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center

14

3:30 & Alex Santoriello: 7:00pm Simply Sinatra

Savannah Center

16

4:00 pm

Mardi Gras Festival

Spanish Springs Town Square

18

7:00 pm

Stayin’ Alive Bee Gees Tribute

Circle Square Cultural Center

19

6:00 pm

The Mudds

Whispering Oaks Winery

23

3:00 & The Villages Philhar7:00pm monic Orchestra

The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center

26

4:00 pm

Strawberry Festival

Brownwood Paddock Square

26

5:00 pm

Jeff Jarrett

Eaton’s Beach Florisiana Cuisine

26

6:30 pm

Palomino Blonde

The Crazy Cucumber Eatery & Bar

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7:00 pm

Asleep at the Wheel

Orange Blossom Opry

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INSIDER

Our Robot Stepchild By Dave Schlenker | Illustration by David Vallejo

D

ear social media followers, I am sorry. Recently, I went live on Facebook—meaning I was broadcasting an on-the-spot video from our living room, breaking news for the internet to savor. There was potential for drama, danger and hilarity. But the video sucked. To be sure, I do not blame the star: Tate 28. This is our new robo-vacuum, and I was live streaming his maiden voyage and hoping the cats would attack it, ride on it or do something YouTube worthy to make us rich. The cats followed it with moderate interest, as I attempted to narrate. “Oh, this could be it. The cats are about to … Nope. Wow, look how clean that corner is, though.” Tate 28 looks like an oversized hockey puck. He, like all members of the robo-vac community, glides across the floor by himself, eating dirt that boring humanpropelled vacuum cleaners would otherwise remove. This is smart technology, one more step toward complete robot domination over an inert human race. But I am OK with that because Tate 28 was the highlight of 2020 for us. The robo-vac was an anniversary gift Amy and I bought for ourselves (Rather, Amy bought it, and I was like, “Cool!”). We celebrated 28 years of marriage in December, thus the 28 in Tate’s name. As for “Tate,” Amy simply likes the name. It would have been a contender if we ever had a boy. Yes. THAT much thought went into naming a vacuum cleaner.

We are a family with pets, so vacuums are an essential part of our lifestyle. We have quite the collection of floor-cleaning things, each one carrying the promise of being the last one ever needed. Still, we are American consumers. We will never be satisfied as long as technology keeps churning out cool stuff. And make no mistake, Tate 28 is way cool. But here’s the thing: Even though Tate 28 is designed to save us time and energy, we have spent more time and energy following it around and marveling at its ability to save us time and energy. We get more steps following the self-propelled vac than we do pushing a regular vac. One recent night, Amy emerged and proclaimed, “Oh My Gosh! Tate is so well behaved.” She was referring to Tate’s work around our shedding Christmas tree. Not only was he cleaning up all the pine needles, he was diligently avoiding the tree skirt. Amy knows this because she was stalking him, thus saving her time and energy. It should be noted here that the Christmas tree was not the center of good behavior. Tate’s tree etiquette was in stark contrast to Cargo the cat’s obsession with climbing the tree and undecorating it. Tate is in better standing than Cargo. I write these words with Tate docked happily near my feet, his belly full of pine needles. He is a beloved member of the family—at least until a better vacuuming device comes along to save us even more time and energy. Fe b r u a r y ‘ 2 1

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Water is finite, we can help protect it.

The Ocala Wetland Recharge Park incorporates treated wastewater and stormwater from the Old City Yard, a drainage retention area (DRA) that is located near the park, and has historically flooded during heavy rain events. Stormwater can contain many contaminants like: nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants from fertilizers and pet and yard waste, oil, grease, heavy metals, vehicle coolants, bacteria, and litter. These stormwater contaminants are the leading cause of water pollution. The park captures this polluted water, therefore reducing regional flooding. By sending this water to the Ocala Wetland Recharge Park, the total nitrogen can be reduced to nearly undetectable levels, and the total phosphorus will be greatly reduced. This freshly cleaned water will improve water quality and boost regional groundwater supplies.

2105 NW 21st Street Ocala, FL | 352-351-6772

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram @ocalawetlandrechargepark


VOWS

You are cordially invited

To celebrate Ocala’s newest brides and grooms, get a glimpse into their most special of days and hear ďŹ rsthand about the memories that will always hold a place in their hearts. Pictured: Heather & Vern Varner Photographed by Cynthia Lee Photography


VOWS

HEATHER & VERN VARNER November 7th, 2020 Photography by Cynthia Lee Photography Venue: Santa Fe River Ranch Her favorite memory: Walking down the aisle surrounded by family and close friends on a beautiful, sunny, warm day to marry the most handsome, amazing man.


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13604316


LABOR OF LOVE Falling in love with a nearly 100-year-old bungalow in Ocala’s historic district was the easy part for Matt and Cindy Grow. Devoting every spare minute to more than a year of renovation proved challenging, but gave them the home of their dreams. By Lisa McGinnes Photography by John Jernigan


Matt and Cindy Grow relax on the spacious, covered cypress porch they added on the home’s west side to take advantage of spectacular sunsets.

L

ocation, location, location. It’s the first rule of real estate, and what initially drew Matt and Cindy Grow to the 1925 Sears “Wellington” kit home in Ocala’s historic district. Though not the first or only company to offer mail-order home kits, Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold more than 70,000 homes through their Modern Homes catalog from 1908 through 1940. Over that time, they offered hundreds of distinct housing styles. Sears provided all the materials and instructions, from precut timber and custom fitted materials,



right down to the light fixtures, nails and varnish. The kit was then delivered via the railroad. Construction generally only required one carpenter, though many homeowners opted to construct their own homes. Many Sears Modern Homes stand today as living monuments to the quality of their craftsmanship. The Wellington model sold for around $1,800 in 1925. The Grows spotted a for sale sign on the historic bungalow while walking from their rented house to the downtown square in the fall of 2018. “Why not?” Cindy asked her husband. “We’re going to pay less for a mortgage than we are in rent. It’s so small we could totally renovate it. We watch enough HGTV,” she remembers with a laugh. When they toured the 1,100-squarefoot home, with its original wood floors and windows, they instantly felt a strong connection. “It has great bones and we felt so good in here,” Cindy recalls. “We just kind of fell in love with it.” Cindy, a nurse practitioner, and Matt, director of the Ocala International Airport, expected to do some painting and redo the bathroom and kitchen. What they didn’t expect was to find—after the house passed their buyer’s inspections—were seven leaks in the brand-new roof, termite damage in the walls and rotted floors. Their new home revealed one unseen obstacle after another as they peeled off layers of old paint and wallpaper from the walls and four different ceilings in the living room. They found improper plumbing and electrical connections. Finally, Cindy came to the conclusion that they would need to totally gut the interior and do a complete renovation. “When we started, I was like, ‘We’ve got to take out this, we’ve got to take out that,’ and then I said, ‘We have to demo everything,’” she recalls. “And he did not want to do it, but I convinced him,” she says, smiling at her husband. They can laugh about it now. Looking back, they see the long, backbreaking three-month interior demolition process

It has great bones and we felt so good in here. We just kind of fell in love with it. - Cindy Grow

Fe b r u a r y ‘ 2 1

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Opposite: Traces of the historic architectural elements are witnessed through the unearthed chimney and the home’s original doors and exterior windows in the bedroom. At right: The handcrafted vanity made of reclaimed wood, which the Grows ordered from Vermont, contrasts with the Grunge Iron tile Manns installed in their custom-built shower. Below: Original sketches drawn by an artist at their wedding have a place of honor among family photos on the living room wall.

as a good exercise in teamwork. “It was crazy,” they both admit. “We just kept saying we can do it, we can do it,” Cindy remembers. “So we just kept forging forward, watching a ton of HGTV, Googling how to build things, buying a bunch of equipment.” To save money, they decided to tear out the old plaster walls themselves, along with the windows, rotted floors in the kitchen and bathroom, and multiple layers of water-damaged ceiling surfaces. “We took over 14,000 pounds to the dump ourselves,” Cindy announces proudly. “We did it, just the two of us.” From that point, Matt says, he relied on and trusted Cindy’s vision. “I could see what it was going to look like and that it would be perfect,” she notes. “We identified roles,” Matt remembers. “She was in charge of design and I was in charge of build.” Matt had never framed walls, doors or windows, or hung Sheetrock, but he never doubted he could do whatever needed to be done. “My dad was pretty good with woodworking and building stuff,” he says. But, he admits, “there was a lot of redoing.” Next came the important decisions of where to spend money on experts. Finding woodworker


Hoss Gulick to build and install custom cabinets, Alex Manns of Golden Boy Tile to meticulously install shower and kitchen tiles according to Cindy’s vision, and Matt Marwick, the owner of Precision Floorcrafters, Inc., to restore the original wood floors and create an intricate new kitchen floor, they say, was what brought joy back to their labor of love. “We’re so blessed with our tile guy,” Matt says. “Alex did great tile work.” “We had dinner with him every night,” Cindy adds. “We were working on things while he was doing the tile.” Marwick, they say, is “world famous” and “goes all over the world to do floors.” They found him to be “such a nice guy, so down to earth” as he painstakingly created a custom quilt-patterned floor around their kitchen island and repaired the damaged wood floors to tie in seamlessly with the old flooring he restored to its original beauty. Cabinetmaker Gulick worked closely with Cindy to create her ideal kitchen. “I love to cook,” she notes. “I want my cutting boards here, my pots and pans here. He measured everything and made everything the way we wanted it.” That included higher-than-standard countertops at Cindy’s request as well as features like his-and-hers beer and wine refrigerators and a pull-out microwave. The kitchen island is designed not only for cooking but with three stools that give their grandchildren the perfect perch to make craft projects when they visit. Being completely hands-on allowed Matt and Cindy to preserve their favorite original elements, including a few of the windows, which Matt cleverly installed as

transoms above the doorways, and interior doors, which he reconfigured to slide barn-style to save space. In the kitchen, they discovered a long-forgotten brick chimney beneath layers of plaster and gave it a new coat of blue paint to become a design feature in both the kitchen and bedroom. Cindy soaked and scrubbed the pantry handles to restore them to their original finish. The way they installed a few modern conveniences, such as electric fireplaces and a hidden, drop-down TV, enhance the home’s natural beauty. The cool color palette Cindy chose, including various shades of blue accented with green, contrasts beautifully with the warmth of the wood floors. “I like the calmness of blues. I just wanted a very calming, relaxing atmosphere,” she explains. And, after devoting all their free time for 13 long months to the renovation, they deserve some relaxation. “We cancelled vacations, we missed seeing grandkids,” Matt adds. “Our family thought we were crazy.” Then, in November, they hosted their first family gathering in their new home. “We had 16 people for Thanksgiving,” Cindy says. “We had all our family here and it worked great. They were like, ‘We cannot believe you guys did this.’” Now, standing hand in hand in what they call their forever home, the couple is proud of what they accomplished together. “I still love you,” he says. “I still love you,” she replies. “It was a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Matt admits. “But the biggest thing that we can take out of it is we did it together.”


Fall in Love with Where You Live. At Showcase Properties of Central Florida, our priority is finding you that perfect place to call ‘home’ in Ocala and Marion County’s diverse landscape. As advocates to our beloved Ocala, we’re invested in helping our customers become neighbors, friends, and active members of the local community. If you’re ready to fall in love with where you live, contact our talented group of real estate experts today– We’ll help you through each and every step of your unique real estate journey.


Your Family Painter Meet the Ocala entrepreneur who delivers topnotch and personalized work for residential and commercial painting projects. Photography by John Jernigan

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atthew Jarrett possessed an incredible talent at a young age. His predilection for painting became a passion and his resourcefulness and work ethic were among the attributes that allowed him to start several businesses as a teenager. His prodigious vision led him to his life’s calling in his early 20s. Now 36, Jarrett is the owner of Prodigy Painting Services, a company that has been in business for more than eight years. He takes pride in understanding his clients’ needs, working with them closely and establishing a deep rapport that resonates long after the final coat of paint dries. However, what sets Prodigy apart from its competitors is meticulous attention to detail, the character and work ethic of its employees, a steadfast commitment to excellence and unrivaled dedication to each job. Jarrett says he

was never someone who could remain in a sedentary position, watching a clock while sitting in an office. “Painting seemed to work; people would always call me,” explains Jarrett, who has been painting commercial businesses and residences for half his life. “I would do side jobs and eventually started my own company. I chose the name because it emphasized that we were young and knew what we were doing.” The word “prodigy” refers to a person, especially a young one, endowed with exceptional qualities who produces meaningful output to the level of an expert. It is through his determination to understand his clients’ needs and apply his expertise in successfully transforming both residences and commercial properties with his Prodigy Painting Services team that Jarrett has produced those meaningful results and lived up to


Sponsored the name he chose for his company. Customers are delighted that their vision is thoroughly discussed prior to the first coat of paint being applied and thrilled with the finished product. Jarrett and his team are not only defined by their professionalism; it’s their caring and good nature that has also endeared them to their clients. They forge a bond with their clients, becoming more like family. That sort of relationship allows Prodigy to establish greater communication, a deeper sense of trust and deliver a satisfying result. “We’re completely different from any other painting company,” says Jarrett, who places an emphasis on being courteous and polite. “We want to be your family painter.” Even the employee uniforms are a standout; they wear what Jarrett describes as “loud and proud” bright red hats and T-shirts, bearing their trademarked company

motto, “We Love to Paint!”; a far cry from the typical painter’s whites. “Everyone loves our logo and the colors,” Jarrett declares. “We’ve done a lot of big commercial buildings in the warehouse areas, houses made from silos, barns, residences and a variety of commercial properties,” he notes. “The cool part of what we do is that every week it’s something different. We could be on the waterfront, indoors, outdoors, be on a lift or painting concrete. It’s something different. I don’t pick the customer, they pick me. Being different is our main thing.” Technical agility and precision of craftsmanship has set Prodigy Painting Services apart from the competition. Customers praise their profound sense of professionalism, warmth and authenticity. Through his industrious work ethic Jarrett has earned the respect of his colleagues in the industry. He explains that not every job requires the

same sort of paint and says his team directs a lot of energy into selecting individualized products to deliver the best adhesion and longevity on each project. “Matt has been patient, precise and always accommodating with his customers,” says Robert Henriques, a Sherwin-Williams sales representative. Jarrett’s strong relationship with the national chain spans more than a decade. “That has enabled him to let his customers become a part of the whole process and that’s what’s really made him successful,” Henriques adds. It’s that care and collaborative spirit, along with Prodigy Painting Services’ competence in the management of large and difficult spaces, that showcases what makes them special. But they also have a fun side. For example, during the holiday season, customers

352-216-8501 341 NE 55th Ct, Ocala, FL 34470 welovetopaint.com waiting on hold while Jarrett was on another call heard a message from Santa Claus. They have also been known to go above and beyond many times to make the customer happy, once pressure washing a driveway—a task not in the budget—because they had the extra time. For more information, contact Prodigy Painting Services at (352) 216-8501 or visit their website at welovetopaint.com


Personal Best

This Ocala homeowner set out to create a comfortable space for herself then found that sharing her passion inspires others to follow their decorating bliss, no matter their budget. By Lisa McGinnes | Photography by Crisandra Richardson of Never Ever Wonderland Photography

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ifth-generation Ocalan Ebonee Mashae was drawn to the charm and beauty of her 1933 bungalow in the historic district. She set out on her remodeling journey armed with the skills she gained while earning her interior design degree and interning at Koontz Furniture and Design. She remembers touring the house on a rainy Sunday afternoon and falling “in love with every nook and cranny.”

The process of rehabbing and decorating her home, she says, has been an exercise in “trying to keep the character but also modernizing it at the same time.” Along the way, she has shared photos and design inspo on her blog, Living Shae, and her calming coastal tones and boho vibe caught the attention of Southern Living magazine, which featured her home remodel in a recent article.


Creating her perfect space has been an enjoyable process for Mashae, who loves a good thrift store find as much as a brand-new accessory from a high-end boutique and isn’t afraid to tackle a DIY project. “I love a neutral, coastal and boho interior and I think that I’ve combined all three in my home,” Mashae explains. “I love natural elements mixed with a little bit of modern.” The colors that anchor her design are a

mix of soft hues that work together to create a relaxing palette. She used her favorite paint color, Sherwin-Williams’ White Duck, throughout her home. In the living room, the warm shade of cream is set off by the bright white of the fireplace and the beloved armchair that used to belong to her mom. Her secondary paint color, Sea Salt, adds a coastal flair to the bath and hallway, and highlights the greenery of succulents and palm fronds she uses as accents.


Mashae finds inspiration in colors and pieces that remind her of her favorite regional destination, St. Augustine, and she focuses on artworks created by Central Florida artists. “I’ve added pieces of art throughout the house from local artists here in Ocala and St. Augustine,” she explains. Last summer, she was after a “moody coastal” vibe with her guest room redo. She chose a cloudy beach scene painting for the wall above the bed and an old Florida map over the nightstand, then added a unique nautical element: a carved Indonesian boat paddle. And when she didn’t want to pay $300 for the Serena & Lily basket light fixture she’d been eyeing online, she decided to create a similar one herself. “I love the Mustard Seed Collection,” she says of the downtown Ocala vintage store. “I found 32

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this unique fishing basket for $30 and bought a light kit at Lowe’s for about $16 and made my very own basket light. I loved the way it turned out and the uniqueness of it. That light fixture is one of my favorite pieces in my home because it represents a bargain, uniqueness and a fun DIY project. No one else in Ocala has an Asian fish basket as a light fixture in their home.” Mashae knows most young people and firsttime homeowners are trying to personalize their home while keeping costs down, and she shares some great tips for decorating a first home or smaller dwelling on a budget. “The first order of business is to consider the budget you’re working with for your design project and what the scope will entail,” she advises. “A single room refresh requires a vastly different budget from that of a complete


home refurnishing, so consider how big your project is and determine an appropriate budget from there. A smaller project means you may be able to splurge on some more luxury items, while a larger project means you may have to make some sacrifices in order to keep your design within budget.” If you have more wiggle room in your budget, she says, focus on “investment pieces” that will stand the test of time. And she recommends you consider how long you plan to stay when developing a design plan. “For a home you plan to settle down in, look to pieces with durable fabrics, longstanding highquality woods and style that is easily incorporated into other design schemes,” she urges. But if you know you’ll be moving out of your apartment or starter home in just a few years, she says, consider easily assembled and movable furniture. Mashae says the kind of clean lines she prefers can be achieved with mid-century pieces, which can sometimes be obtained as hand-me-downs or at resale shops. “For those that like a clean, polished look without extraneous features, look to mid-century

modern, which relies heavily on functionality and simplicity,” she advises. “The great thing about mid-century pieces is that they are easy to merge into another design scheme because they have a pure, uncompromised look about them.” Decorating your dream home on a budget is possible, Mashae says, and she encourages others to enjoy the process. Her decor is a mix of bargain finds and smaller, high-end pieces. “I have some accents throughout from Agapanthus, like pillows and throws,” she says, “and candles from Shannon Roth Collection in a pretty wooden vessel.” But, she reveals, she has found “some amazing things at thrift stores and antique stores.” The self-described “very blessed #GirlBoss” works as a training manager and says blogging is not her job nor does she get paid for any posts. She simply shares her favorite things. “The real reason I started my blog was to express my creativity, love of photography and share my favorite things,” she explains, though she admits to a time when she got frustrated while trying to build her brand and attract followers. She found herself trying to understand the nature

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of algorithms and follower engagement, while striving to keep her content cohesive. She says that caused her to lose touch with her original intention, so she made the decision to get back to basics so she could be “free and post all of the things I love,” she shares. “Whatever I feel like posting,” she offers, “whether it be a snapshot of my nephew and me, a new piece of furniture that I bought, f lowers, whatever I’m cooking up in my kitchen, politics or a new dress, whether I get people reading my blog or followers on social media or not, I still love blogging and taking pictures and sharing them.” 34

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And for anyone who has found themselves caught up in that same sort of social media pitfall, she offers, “Just remember we are worth more than a like on Instagram.” While recent blog posts have featured her fireplace, reading nook and guest room, Mashae says she is currently on the hunt for a headboard for the master suite that is a real statement piece. “I can’t wait until I find it!” she declares. She’ll be searching furniture stores and resale shops, but if she doesn’t find what she’s looking for don’t be surprised if she just makes it herself. Visit livingshae.blogspot.com for more information and inspiration.


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Interior Motives A local interior designer breathes new life into one of Ocala’s most historic homes. By Ocala Style Editorial Team Photography by Meagan Gumpert


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events such as weddings, historic lectures and tea parties, and, given its reputation as being haunted, provided a unique setting for murder mystery dinner theater productions. Ryan Batchelor, a former planning manager for an aerospace company, now owns the historic home, which he rents through Airbnb under the familiar name The Rheinauer. He is a real estate investor and entrepreneur, and says he enjoys outdoor activities and living near downtown Ocala, with its numerous opportunities for entertainment and dining. Batchelor worked closely with interior designer Jennie Holland, - Jennie Holland of J Holland Interiors, to bring his vision for The Rheinauer to fruition. Holland, born and raised in Ocala, says she has an obsession with old architecture, so The Rheinauer was naturally a good fit. Her firm specializes in residential design and consulting for large-scale remodels, new-builds and simple one-day makeovers. From the first meeting, Batchelor could see how excited Holland was that the home was going to get a well needed breath of fresh air and, with her excitement and vision for the home, there was no better choice for Batchelor to design his home. “Interior design is well outside my skillset and not something I enjoy,” Batchelor explains. “Jennie worked with me, understanding that I had a very tight budget and yet somehow made old and new come together in a way that just works wonderfully. I can’t tell you how many people are just blown away by the decor. I came to look forward to Jennie’s visits to Stained glass window by popular local artisan Frank James of Shady Oak Gallery see the progress.

o longtime Ocalans, and even newer aficionados of the town’s history, the name Rheinauer conjures images of the days when the newly dubbed Brick City was recovering from a massive fire on Thanksgiving Day 1883 that destroyed much of downtown. Charles Rheinauer, who immigrated from Germany, moved to Ocala in 1880. He opened a dry goods store on the downtown square, named Rheinauers, with his brothers, which remained in business for 117 years. Charles was president of the LaCriola Cigar Company, vice president of the Ocala Iron & Manufacturing Works, founder of the Ocala Board of Trade, director of the Merchants National Bank and mayor of Ocala in 1906. In 1895, he and his wife Emma bought the Queen Anne Victorian home at 828 SE Fort King Street, which had been built by Joseph and Linda Lancaster. The residence remained in the Rheinauer family until 1942. The home is among the many in the sprawling Ocala Historic District and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The magnificent Rheinauer home later gained notoriety as the eclectic Seven Sisters Inn Bed and Breakfast, which also hosted community

There’s just something about historic homes that speaks to me.


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We have a bit of a big sister, little brother dynamic that really made the project enjoyable. By the end of the project, I came to have a much better understanding of design and learned quite a bit. I’m thankful for the experience and getting to make such a great friend.” “One recurring magical ‘thing’ that happens on 99 percent of our projects, after we wrap-up a design, is that we walk away with new friends,” Holland reveals of the phenomenon that Batchelor describes. “Since interior design is so very personal, my team and I pride ourselves on getting to know our clients in their private world…their beloved homes. We strive to determine how they live within those four walls, what things they like to do, and how they utilize the space. Bringing life into rooms takes a bit more time, and lots of tweaks, than most people realize. Throughout the design phases, which can take months to years (depending on the scope of the project), you naturally become friends. The connections we make with our clients is our strongest tool.” Holland also had a special connection to the house itself. “My obsession with old architecture is no secret to those who know me well. There’s just something about historic homes that speaks to me,” Holland explains. “When I walk in, I instantly picture how former families lived within the space, how it all looked back then, the vibrant colors, the music playing, all of it!” But to get a clear picture of that early history, Holland had to look past the elaborate themed decor that the innkeepers of the Seven Sisters Inn had installed to transport their guests on a “mystical excursion to the four corners of the earth.” “People remember the outlandish designs and have fond memories of celebrating an anniversary there, a baby shower, and many other milestones,” Holland explains of her and Batchelor’s nod to that period. “Our objective was to bring comfort and clean lines to each of the five bedrooms while also highlighting some

Ryan Batchelor and Jennie Holland

of the history that was left behind. We focused on working towards a more relaxed, understated and muted color palette in each bedroom to create a sense of calm but to also allow the focal points, such as the five fabulous fireplaces throughout the home, to take center stage.” But their game plan also included embracing the eccentric destinationthemed touches still found in the en suite bathrooms. “The plumbing fixtures were highend and fully functional, so it just made sense financially and aesthetically to keep that element of surprise for guests,” Holland reveals. “We were also able to find photos of each room that showed the over-the-top furnishings. We framed and hung those in each bedroom for a fun, simple touch. We then sourced one or two subtle accents that carried the theme forward in a fresh way. For example, in the Morocco suite, we used Moroccan-inspired throw pillows and, in the Paris suite, we used a small vintage vanity/writing desk to bring a French flair to the space. Just a simple nod in each room allowed us to connect the bathroom decor and the house’s history.” Holland explains that, above all, visitors have all the comforts of home when visiting. “Obviously, we wanted them to have a really great bed, simple yet luxurious linens and a sense of calm when they came to stay,” she notes. “We focused on procuring elements that gave each space a feeling of being ‘home,’ such as cozy seating where they can unwind and Fe b r u a r y ‘ 2 1

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kitchenettes with natural stone countertops that we designed with Ryan and he personally built.” The common areas, such as the front entry, foyer and parlor, were approached with a similar formula of embracing the old, finding new ways to maximize comfort and providing onbudget options to bring the aesthetic together. Holland says that aesthetic includes effectively mixing vintage and modern elements, natural textures, thoughtful touches and pops of color while providing comfort above all else. “The parlor is my favorite spot in the home,” Holland admits. “We added statement drapes, new lighting fixtures, ample seating and some great accent pieces to give the space some personality

while still retaining a slightly formal vibe, as we envision it would have been years before. Since the bedrooms all have a worldly appeal, incorporating an Ocala theme into this main gathering area was our goal. So, with a little nudge from us, Ryan ventured out to our beautiful downtown to take photos of popular places, beautiful buildings and other unique spots. We printed those on supersized canvases and loved the overall impact so much that we carried this concept throughout the home.” Of course, guests who rent the house, whether for a family getaway or a special event, can also take a short stroll and enjoy those views firsthand as they navigate downtown, the historic district and the many pleasures of our fair city.

To learn more about renting the historic house, visit facebook.com/TheRheinauer and visit jhollandinteriors.com for more information about J Holland Interiors.


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The Sherwin-Williams color of the year, Urbane Bronze, takes center stage in this on-trend bedroom.


coming

There are lots of predictions for home trends in 2021, but we decided to spotlight the ones that will help you focus on creating your ultimate refuge and refresh your home for the year ahead. By Nick Steele


“Warmth and welcome,” proclaims Paula King, owner of the chic retail boutique Agapanthus. “That’s what people are craving right now.” King says her clientele are looking for creature comforts and ways to elevate their home goods, from investing in plush new bath towels to make you feel like you are being pampered in your own personal spa to adding luxe touches in the form of interesting stemware and furnishings. “Personalization and a return to incorporating local touches are also in demand right now,” King explains of everything from monogramming to the popularity of Agapanthus’ exclusive Ocala-themed pillows and custom tea towels.

A hand-painted 100 percent cotton “Ocala” pillow from Agapanthus, pictured at blogger Ebonee Mashae’s home.

Top: photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. Bottom left: photo courtesy of Ebonee Mashae.

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ocial distancing in the time of a pandemic brought most of us up close and personal with the way we live in and design our homes. No matter how sprawling or sparse, we have been rethinking how to make our living quarters more functional, beautiful spaces that reflect our lifestyles, experiences, histories and personal taste. “People are spending more time at home. That time has unveiled their unfiltered perspective of their environment. Some loved it, some hated it and some just wanted to freshen the look up a bit,” explains Kay Rains, head of the Design Studio at Koontz Furniture and Design. “This translated into a manifestation of a tailormade, comfortable and cozy look and feel.”


Paint One On

Photos courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform a room. It can give a space a certain “wow” factor when bold colors are employed or used in unexpected ways. Colorful statement walls have been growing in popularity, but we also are seeing a trend to highlight ceilings. A soft blue or blush hue can give a bathroom a cheery or serene vibe and can also provide subtle contrast and add depth to any space. Benjamin Moore suggests Buxton Blue HC-149, Iceberg 2122-50, Bird’s Egg 2051-60 or November Skies 2128-50 to evoke the feeling of an open sky or spa environment. There’s also a case to be made for a dramatic dark ceiling. A rich navy or deep black will blur the boundaries of the room to create an intimate, comfortable and enveloping feel. Black Ink 212720 was used in the elegant dining room featured on this page. Continuing the color down part of the walls and framing it with contrasting white accents gives the space visual drama, highlights architectural features and can modernize a traditional dining room.

Blocker’s Furniture reports that customers are taking advantage of the opportunity to personalize their choices, from well thought out home office furnishings to custom upholstery and individually tailored items. While this approach takes more lead time, clients are willing to wait to have custom solutions that fit their space and achieve the specific design goals they have in mind. Both Blocker’s and Koontz also encourage splashing out with color. “Instead of the classic neutral upholstery colors like tan or gray, try something dramatic in a rich jewel tone,” Blocker’s designers offer. “Colorful furniture will give your room a pop of personality.” Rains advises that the popular blue and white color scheme is still going strong as well and further encourages her clients at Koontz’s Design Studio not to be afraid to be bold. “Rich magentas, teals, burnt oranges, vibrant yellows and a host of others are being paired together or infused with a neutral palate to create a fresh exciting look,” she asserts.


Open Plan An interesting trend that has been building in popularity for the last few years is replacing upper cabinets in the kitchen with open shelving. We love the way this creates an open and unencumbered look and also allows our most utilized items to be close at hand or most beautiful items to be on display. It also encourages us to pare down and only hang on to the essentials and create a sense of order in those lower cabinets. The artful white woven basket, pictured at right, is handmade from natural grasses in Tanzania. It is available through thelittlemarket.com, a missiondriven nonproďŹ t fair trade charitable organization that oers ethically-sourced, artisan-made products from around the world that celebrate each artisan’s cultural techniques and traditions, bring attention to social justice and human rights issues faced by their communities and was founded by women to empower women. You also can shop similar items from Dunnellon artisan Mary Blanchette at etsy.com/shop/ BeeKindKraftCompany 46

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My design work is all about making people’s lives better! Going well beyond simply creating an attractive space, my goal for each project is to design spaces that function better for my clients to save them time and help reduce their stress. Emphasis on space planning and utilization are fundamental in addressing the function of a successful interior whether residential or commercial. Equally important to me is designing spaces that feel better, incorporating color psychology along with contemporary and ancient design principles to interpret the client’s personality and style as an integral part of the interiors. When spaces function better and feel better, then life is better and more beautiful!

Creating interiors that delight your senses & celebrate your style

Linda Trice DeWolf, ASID www.tricedewolf.com

“Linda has designed the interior of our 90 year old remodeled home and did so with excellent detail and attention to our taste. In fact, several pictures of our home appear on her web site and they well represent the quality of her work. We have subsequently had her design and decorate our second home condo and even brought her to Texas to do our townhouse in Dallas. She is currently redoing another condo in Florida and she is the only person we will consider engaging for this type of service. Her sense of style, selection of quality materials, and use of colors is exemplary and makes each of our homes unique yet familiar and comfortable. She’s the best.” - Mike Sweeney

Florida License: ID4975


While everything modern farmhouse is trending, antique, vintage and rustic china cupboards are in high demand. And if you’ve visited Pinterest lately, you know that there are a lot of creative folks breathing new life into these traditional pieces with a fresh coat (or several) of paint. Mandy Bucci, owner of The Mustard Seed Collection, is an expert in period and design elements of vintage furniture and is always on the hunt for distinctive pieces, which she restores and paints herself. Bucci is also the exclusive Ocala stockist for Annie Sloan Chalk Paints. “She’s the Martha Stewart of home decor, but in paint,” she explains of Sloan, who started in the UK and recently expanded to the U.S. market. “It’s easy to use and you don’t have to know how to paint.” But Bucci is also willing to teach you, through workshops and classes she will be offering beginning this month. For details, visit themustardseedcollection.com

All images courtesy of Annie Sloan, Table photographed by Jesse Wild

Vintage Vibe


Graceline® Bath Collection by Michael Berman

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YOUR LOCAL SHOWROOM: OCALA

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“Our customers are looking for a little luxury and some creature comforts,” King says of her clientele at Agapanthus. However, she’s not talking about excessively opulent or over-the-top items. Because we’re now spending more time in our homes, we want to imbue them with some special touches. Bathrooms are somewhat of a sanctuary within our homes and are often in need of a makeover. Many homeowners are finding that by upgrading their linens, adding rich color to cabinetry and updating fixtures and vanities, they can achieve a tranquil spa-like aesthetic. The understated yet elegant fixtures in the Graceline Collection (pictured above), available at the Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Ocala, add warmth and a touch of modern sophistication. Another stylish upgrade is statement-making glassware and barware. The ornate details and vibrant hues of the VIETRI “Regalia” Collection evoke the natural beauty of intricate geodes and each handcrafted piece is

beautifully gilded with 14-karat gold by Italian artisans. These unique, hand-blown pieces are available at Agapanthus and are sure to elevate your next cocktail hour to a higher level. “These towels literally are the softest ever!” reports blogger Ebonee Mashae about the Matouk towels she found at Agapanthus. “My favorite feature about these towels is once you use the towel and hang it up, it dries quickly. That is a feature of a very highquality towel; most towels stay wet for a while due to polyester or other synthetic ingredients.”

Top image courtesy of Ferguson, center courtesy of VIETRI, lower image courtesy of Ebonee Mashae

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Au Naturel We’re seeing many people turning away from minimalist, pared down interiors, which can feel cold, in favor of a softer, earthier look utilizing natural materials such as wood, rattan, cane, jute, leather, organic fibers and house plants, as well as earthy handmade pottery and ceramics. Injecting such natural influences into your spaces can create a calming effect. “Bringing the outside inside is something for us all to consider in any interior space. Something organic and natural adds to the comfort and pleasure of being inside,” offers Linda Trice DeWolf of Trice DeWolf Studio Interior Design. “Use living plants or cut flowers—there’s nothing like the real thing to add sculptural versatility to any room.” “And soften hard lines…there are no straight lines in nature!” she continues. “The unexpected use of containers, typically used outside, make great accents. Incorporate ‘nature’ patterns, scenes and designs, including animals, insects, floral and leaf motifs.” She also recommends live edge and distressed natural woods and advises mixing smooth and rough textures. Layering natural fabrics and textures while pairing distinct pieces also can help achieve an earthy look. Try layering a wool carpet over a larger jute rug, add a rattan or wicker piece of furniture and, to create dimension, incorporate interesting textured pillows and throws.

A rustic vessel and framed nature prints at Shannon Roth

A natural edge laurel oak wood bowl by local artisan Kent Weakley, available at etsy. com/shop/RelivedWood

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“ Peaceful, prestigious, & private treatment for those suffering from trauma and underlying self-defeating behaviors.

352-815-3911 | TheGuestHouseOcala.com


BUILDING TRUSTWORTHY RELATIONSHIPS Let us help you take the stress out of accounting and taxes. Accounting & Tax Services Business Consulting QuickBooks Classes Financial Statement Reviews & Audits

“Our clients hear me discuss the importance of adding texture to a space over and over again,” explains Jennie Holland of J Holland Interiors. “Truly understanding what exactly ‘texture’ within design means is key as it influences the overall tone and visual weight of the room, which makes a space feel more inviting.” Holland says there’s been a huge focus on rattan, sisal and seagrass in recent years, but advises that there are many other ways to add texture beyond baskets and rugs. “Layering fabrics can be a simple solution, but there are less obvious ways to utilize texture,” Holland notes. “You can find it on furniture pieces (think shagreen and metal-wrapped pieces), lighting, accessories, wallcoverings and even with the use of live foliage. These details can add layers of texture that help keep things balanced yet interesting—like it’s been curated and collected over time.” For many, the move towards a natural look also comes from an interest in sustainable decor. Many individuals are thinking more about the environmental impact of home design and natural fibers that are sustainably produced without causing further deforestation. Younger consumers especially are seeking out ways to shop sustainably and invest in quality pieces they can keep for years. Look for materials that are certified sustainable by their manufacturers to ensure you’re buying pieces you can feel good about.

OCALA DUNNELLON

(352) 732-5601 (352) 489-5601

Our certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program Members will help you with training, installation and support.

LEARN MORE: www.CollierCPAS.com Fe b r u a r y ‘ 2 1

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Work Around

Small Measures While there’s always an argument to be made for big, bold wall art with its undeniable impact, there’s been a movement toward smaller, more personal art pieces in recent years. Whether presented in carefully curated groupings or on their own, Gallery Director Ashley Justiniano of the Brick City Center for the Arts says the pieces are highly sought after by visitors to the gallery. These smaller pieces make it easy to mix fine art with photography or even quirky wall hangings and allow for collectors to easily swap pieces in and out to refresh what’s on view. We also love distinctive handmade pottery over mass produced items, whether it be an off-kilter amateur piece just waiting to get snatched up at a local thrift store or one created by a talented local artist like Gene Hotaling, whose work is available at Brick City’s gift shop. The Shannon Roth Collection also currently has a beautiful selection of distinctive pieces created by a prolific potter from North Carolina.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that, given how many of us have been working from home during the pandemic, home offices have gone from makeshift workspaces to fully realized office environments. In many cases, homeowners have been converting dens and guest bedrooms or sectioning off open plan rooms to accommodate more than one workspace. This also has led many of us to realize we need new furniture, better lighting and some help setting up computer systems and printers. “Home office design requires some careful planning to ensure your setup works for you,” advises Linda Trice DeWolf of Trice DeWolf Studio Interior Design. This means choosing a space where you’ll feel good

about spending a lot of time each day rather than occupying some random spot where you can squeeze in a desk. Things to consider could include: What is the natural light situation? Does the space provide some level of privacy and quiet (think Zoom call fails)? Are there ample outlets and are they on a separate breaker from the kitchen appliances? Are you comfortable with how close or far it is from anyone else working from home? This also is a time to invest in some quality furnishings that are comfortable and can accommodate your technological needs but also suit your overall design aesthetic. Remember, these items may be later repurposed in the home should you wind up returning to the office.


A New Order Decluttering is more important than ever as we spend more time in our homes. Professional organizer Leah Taylor of Really Leah explains that “people want pretty and what they need is purpose.” “We are all doing practically everything from our homes,” she says. “Finding respite in our multifunctional spaces at the same time is a challenge.” Taylor has noticed “a tendency to make spaces aesthetically pleasing and, consequently, we never get to the mess.” She helps her clients organize their possessions in

a holistic way, considering their emotional attachment to items, noting that “organizing may require a little counseling, a load of compassion and some virtual handholding.” “We all need to learn how to live with less mess,” Taylor insists. “People have to be willing to eliminate more and buy less.” And she’s happy to help. “I believe my role is to help people feel purposeful in whatever space they enter,” she says. “I’m not a therapist, but I can be their organizing coach.” For more organizing tips, visit reallyleah.com

Leah Taylor

We Sell the Saturday Morning Breakfasts

BEST

We know you are not looking for just a house. You are looking for your HOME. The place you will share with the ones you love the most. We are your neighbors, your friends. We know Ocala Real Estate. We will help you find your home, the place where memories are made.

We make dreams a realityCall us today! Heidi Jasper, Realtor Cell: 352.441.0743

Melissa J. Townsend, Realtor Cell: 843.321.0819

Richard E. Schleicher, Licensed Real Estate Broker Cell: 352.895.3731

www.realestateitsallaboutyou.com 58

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Home Truths Our homes have truly become our space for just about everything recently. Many people want interiors with authenticity, playfulness and a personal narrative, rather than focusing on the next big trend. There are many ways to tell your unique story and designers and homeowners are invested in interiors that not only tell a story but speak to the people who live there. “Each client is unique and I believe it’s important for them to participate in the creative process; that way the finished product is a true signature of what their home should reflect,” offers Suzanne Rice of Suzanne Rice Design Consultants, LLC. Good interior design is expressive and conveys the ideas and values of the client, which means it is not formula or cookiecutter. It is why the phrase “Home is where the heart is” remains so popular. Our homes also are a reflection of our souls, traditions, global view, passions and

outlook on life. While we have always been proponents of shopping local and small, we also know there is an array of artisan-made goods available from worthwhile sources all over the world, including items that do good for others. While we would not presume to tell you how to spend your money, we hope you’ll consider forgoing inferior quality products that will not stand the test of time in favor of those handcrafted within our communities and around the globe. We can all aspire to be more conscious consumers and better global citizens if we stop to consider whether the items we add to our homes truly reflect our values. As we begin to prioritize ethical and sustainable practices (from sourcing and shipping to the labor force) and examine where the things we welcome into our homes came from, who made them and their impact on our planet, we can truly feel at home.

Unique, handmade & wonderful things from locals & around the globe

Open Mon-Sat 10-5 Sun 11-3 20799 Walnut Street 352.465.1460 Grumbles House Antiques & Garden Shop

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Color is powerfully connected to one’s emotions. It can nourish you and foster inner peace in an overwhelming world, helping you to be at home within yourself. Photography by Lyn Larson of Mahal Imagery | Fashion Styling by Nick Steele | Hair & Makeup by Nicole “Nicci” Orio of Pretty n Pinned | Models Trinity Acevedo, Chriseanna Mitchell, Ladesa Santos & Susan Smiley-Height


Into the Blue: Opposite page, Susan wears a Karl Lagerfeld blouse and shrug with Kate Spade earrings, all from Dillard’s. Pandora entwined ring at Agapanthus. Shades of Grey: Top left, Susan wears a Vince Camuto tunic, Bryn Walker vest and Ruby Rd. pant, with Natasha necklace from Dillard’s. Above, and at left, outfit, as before, with Appartement à louer necklace.



Beyond Beige: Opposite page, Trinity wears an Antonio Melani dress and Gianni Bini sandals from Dillard’s; Corvega earrings from Copper Closet; Longchamp La Voyaguese leather crossbody bag from Agapanthus. Silver Lining: Trinity wears a Current Air slip dress from Shannon Roth; GB cardigan, Anna & Ava Pewter earrings and Gianni Bini sandals, all from Dillard’s.



White Out: Top left and right, Chriseanna wears a Vince Camuto blouse, Preston & York pants and Gianni Bini sandals, all from Dillard’s; Earrings from Copper Closet. Opposite and at left, outfit, as before, with Gibson & Latimer coat and Vince Camuto earrings from Dillard’s; Pendant from Copper Closet.



Black Magic: Ladesa wears a gown by Xtraordinary and Ana & Ava earrings from Dillard’s; Wild Diva Lounge heels from Copper Closet. In the Red: Opposite and at top right, Ladesa wears a Gianni Bini gown, GB Sweater, Jet Setting Pendant and Alex Marie Heels, all from Dillard’s.



LIVING

The Anniversary Herd Proceeds from the sponsorships of 15 new painted equine statues in the Horse Fever 20/20 project will beneďŹ t local artists and arts groups. By Susan Smiley-Height Photography by Bruce Ackerman



M

argaret “Peggy” Watts has been a lover of nature since she roamed the woods of northern Maine as a child. When she moved to Florida nearly 70 years ago, she soon was traipsing trails around Ocala. Many of her artworks have been imbued with the spirit of her beloved outdoors, including Secret Places, the statue she is painting for Horse Fever 20/20. Tyrus Clutter, an artist and associate professor of art at the College of Central Florida (CF), said the inspiration for his horse, Ocala: heART of Florida, came from an artwork he had seen locally, but with an added emphasis on the arts. The two are among the artists painting 15 horses for the Horse Fever 20/20 Anniversary Herd. Horse Fever was launched in 2000 and was the seed for formation of the Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA). That was followed by Horse Fever in Motion in 2005 and Horse Fever II in 2011. Over those 20 years, the horses have become beloved symbols for the Horse Capital of the World. Many are on display in public areas and others are on private property. Through money raised by the sale of the horses, the MCA has provided thousands of dollars in grants to local artists and arts organizations. Secret Places is the third Horse Fever horse painted by Watts, all in her home studio. Her previous horse statues have found homes near and far: Ocala Sun is now in Maryland and Old Ocala is on a local horse farm. Secret Places is sponsored by an anonymous donor and Watts does not know where it ultimately will be placed. Secret Places will have a scene of one of her favorite local swampy areas on one side and Scott Springs Park on

the other. The city park has a natural grotto and now features biking and walking trails and a playground, which is nothing like what Watts first saw. Watts, with her late husband Bernard, have two sons, James and John. “When my youngest was a Cub Scout, before you got to Scott Springs on Easy Street, there was a watermelon field and a dirt road,” she explains. “In the back was an old Indian village and we used to dig arrowheads. The Cub Scout leader told me, ‘Just go down the path and you’ll see big holes all over and people popping up out of them.’ The arrowheads were in the sides of the holes. I collected a whole bunch of them, well, my Cub Scout did.” Breaking into laughter, she adds, “I enjoyed Cub Scouts more than the kids because it kept me in the woods.” She laughs again as she explains that when she first came to Ocala, she worked at the courthouse downtown and often would get lost. “My employer would draw me a map and say, ‘Here’s how you get to the post office,’” she recalls. “Of course, I’d get lost. In the woods, I know my directions if I can be around some trees. But you get me downtown and I don’t know which way anything is.” Watts is highly regarded for her landscapes, historic venues and religious-themed artworks. She says the challenges of painting on a canvas versus a horse statue are considerable. As she displays three photographs of the swampy area taped together to show a wide vista, she notes it was difficult to keep a “level horizon” because of the curvature of the horse. Clutter also says painting on a statue is challenging. “What I chose to do for this Fe b r u a r y ‘ 2 1

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is representational,” he shares. “There are some architectural elements and when you put that on something not completely flat, it alters the perspective.” Clutter, a native of Michigan, moved to Florida in 2008 to be near family in Lecanto. He has been heavily involved with arts groups in the community, but pulled back to “get back to doing my own artwork.” He is known for printmaking and says his art is “mostly figurative, with theory behind it, more academic.” “This isn’t typically what I’d be doing,” he explains, stroking the side of the statue, “but I decided it was time to do a horse since that’s what we do in Ocala.” Ocala: heART of Florida is sponsored by the David and Lisa Midgett Foundation. The couple are well known for their support of the area’s arts endeavors. Clutter painted the horse inside the Dassance Fine Arts Center on the CF campus, in between conducting classes via Zoom. He said the current statues are much heavier than the prior ones and it 72

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was a challenge to get the horse up to the second floor. “It was not going in the elevator,” he says with a laugh. As for the impact of Horse Fever, “It’s been 20 years now and the arts have really picked up in Ocala, particularly in the last decade,” he offers, “so it’s exciting to see new ways of dealing with the horses and new artists working on them.” He believes public art projects, such as the horses, murals on buildings and outdoor sculptures make people want to be in an area. “It draws people to a community because they feel enlivened and that something is really happening in that space,” he offers. “Ocala has worked hard to do that and the first things like that were the horses 20 years ago. It is good to see it coming back full circle with another round of Horse Fever.” “Based on the calls, emails and social media posts, the community is very excited to welcome this fourth Horse Fever herd,” says MCA Executive Director Jaye Baillie. “One of my favorite aspects of this two-

decade long public art project is the interaction with the artists. Throughout the region, the blank canvases are coming to life through their creativity, some creating their first horse, many returning to continue their legacy with the Horse Fever project.” A “Meet the Herd” family day will be held from 10am to 4pm on February 13th at the “stable,” the Transformco facility at 655 SE 52nd Avenue, and will include activities for children. Horse Fever 20/20 co-chair Laurie Zink, who has been involved in all of the endeavors, wants people to know the event will be “very socially distanced.” “The horses will have their own pastures, so to speak,” she states. “This is a chance to see them all in one place and feel safe. And when we take off their blankets, I hope everyone is gasping in surprise.” From February 28th to March 28th, the herd will be on view at On Top of the World’s Circle Square Cultural Center. Go to mcaocala.org/hf-2020 to learn more.


A romance with heart and soul February 25 – March 21 Sponsored by: Ocala’s Good Life Magazine Moonlight magic and love letters bring together an odd pair in 1944 Missouri.

By Lanford Wilson

celebrating 70 years

Tickets $30 for adults $15 for ages 18 and younger 4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Florida 34470 • (352) 236-2274 • www.ocalacivictheatre.com

Through March 28, 2021

MEMORIES & INSPIRATION The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art

Appleton Museum and Store Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. | 352-291-4455 AppletonMuseum.org

-an equal opportunity college-

William J. Anderson, “Joanne by the Window,” 1986, silver gelatin photograph. Photographed by Reis Birdwhistell.

“Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art” was organized and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.


Home Grown Growing herbs at home adds fragrance and color to your garden, ensures you always have the freshest flavors on hand for cooking and provides an ample supply of healthy ingredients for natural remedies as well. By Jill Paglia Photography by Lyn Larson of Mahal Imagery

I

n my younger years, we had a farm and I had a fabulous vegetable garden. After we moved away, I thought those gardening days were a thing of the past until I discovered my love for, and the ease of, growing herbs. Herbs can make a dramatic difference in cooking and in our health, and even if you don’t have a “green thumb” it really is fairly easy to grow them. Whether you live in a subdivision and have a large backyard or in an apartment with a balcony, herbs grow well just about anywhere that receives at least six hours of sunlight. But don’t worry if the only spots you have are a bit shady because some herbs, such as cilantro, parsley and mint, do just fine with only three or four hours of sunlight. Just check the plant tag or seed packet for light requirements. If your space is small, grow herbs in containers. I actually prefer this method so I can bring the pots into the garage when there is a possibility of a freeze. From wooden window boxes filled with trailing thyme to pretty ceramic pots filled with basil, the choices are endless. Just make sure your container has holes for drainage. I fill my containers with Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix, which helps protect against over and underwatering. My most consistently easy to grow and often used herbs include: • Basil - It is easy to grow and has endless uses. Toss basil in omelets, sprinkle in a salad, add to tomato sauce or top your tomatoes à la caprese, and it is mouthwatering good when added to an Italian panini sandwich. Basil requires full sun, likes to be kept moist and protected from frost and needs well-drained soil. • Rosemary - This herb is super hardy. It loves full sun and the Florida heat. I have one bush that is about 4 years old and cascades over its clay pot, which also is


home to some Italian oregano and lemon balm. Rosemary can be used for soups, salads, sauces, grilled meats and chicken and fish. Consuming rosemary in your diet helps to reduce systemic inflammation. If you suffer from arthritis or issues affecting the nervous system, for example, eating rosemary can help relieve symptoms of pain and irritation. Combining rosemary oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive, allows you to use it as a skincare lotion to help heal the cracks on your feet and elbows. When you have a cold, you can find soothing relief with a hot tea of rosemary, lemon balm and peppermint. • Italian oregano - This is perfect for cooking and adds a spicy flavor to any dish. It can be used like thyme. It is great to add a pocket of it in a pork or veal chop to add some kick. Oregano likes to grow in a large pot in full sun with adequate drainage. It is cold hardy and likes to be kept moist. • Lemon balm - This herb requires partial sun and should be protected from frost. It likes to be kept moist, but needs well-drained soil. Lemon balm has many benefits, such as reducing anxiety, stress indigestion and insomnia. It is best used right after harvesting. If you use it in cooking, add it just before serving the dish. Lemon balm is great on chicken and fish. A great medicinal use is to harvest some leaves, pour boiling water over them and let the tea steep for 15 minutes. You can add in a touch of rosemary and mint to get more benefits. Lemon balm also helps keep pests out of the garden and is of benefit to bees. • Peppermint - It only requires partial sun but can be grown in full sun. It is another cold hardy plant that likes to be kept moist in welldrained soil. Use this sparingly as a little goes a long way with flavor. Some of my favorite uses are for mint tea, adding it to a sparkling white wine, and what is the Kentucky Derby without a good old-fashioned mint julep? You also can add tiny bits to your favorite fruit salad. • Cilantro - This herb is a little bit tricky to grow. It does require full sun and likes to be kept moist in well-drained soil. It is very cold sensitive, so you will need to protect it from frost. Some people do not like cilantro, but I find it to be delicious added to my salsa and guacamole, on top of spicy chicken chili, with stews or in various Mexican recipes. All herbs respond well to harvesting and will grow thicker and bushier with frequent snipping.

For best results, harvest in the morning using a pair of garden shears or kitchen scissors. Never remove more than one-third of the plant so it can recuperate and continue growing throughout the season. Herbs taste best before they begin to flower. By pinching back basil as soon as you see blooms beginning to form, for instance, you’ll extend the herb’s harvest life. I recommend that you also find a good vegetable fertilizer to keep them thriving. The annual Marion County Master Gardeners’ Spring Festival, held the second weekend in March at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, except for last year and this year because of COVID-19, is usually a great place to get some fresh herb plants. With the cancellations, they instead offer seed packets. To learn more, go to Events - UF/IFAS Extension (ufl.edu). If you just can’t wait to get started, be sure the last frost of winter has passed before you go herb hunting at an area retailer or garden center. Once you get to growing, drop me a message or tag me on Instagram @festivelysouthern and under Festively Southern Recipes on Facebook, with a photo of your herb garden. Happy planting!


Best Darn Southern Salsa

I have found through experimentation that the best salsa is made with fresh, nicely ripened, in-season tomatoes. This is my favorite salsa recipe and it has the perfect ratio and blend of everything, including fresh and canned tomatoes. It has a classic Mexican flavor, with the cilantro and hint of chili powder and cumin. You only need the sugar if you use store-bought tomatoes. If you grow your own or buy them at a farmers market, the quality is a bit better and they’re a bit sweeter. 1 1/4 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes (about five to six) 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes 2 green onions, ends trimmed, chopped into thirds 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped 1/3 cup red onion, chopped 1/3 cup fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 76

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1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin Salt and pepper to taste Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in 1 second bursts until finely chopped. › Salsa tastes best after it has been refrigerated for a few hours, so if time allows let the flavors marinate together before serving. › Store in refrigerator up to one week. › Serve with tortilla chips.

The Perfect Guacamole

This easy recipe is always on rotation in my house. Guacamole is a healthy dip and, for us, is a staple at every gathering and a must when we have taco night. This recipe has converted many non-avocado lovers. 3 medium-size Hass avocados, pitted and halved (about 15 ounces)

1 lime, juiced 1/2 Roma tomato, finely diced 1/3 cup red onion, minced 1 small clove garlic, mashed 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped Salt and fresh pepper to taste Start with perfectly ripe avocados— if they are too hard, or overripe, the results will be less than stellar. › Place the pulp from the avocados in a medium bowl and slightly mash with a fork or a potato masher, leaving some large chunks. › Add lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, red onion and garlic and mix thoroughly (if you like it spicy, you can always add diced jalapeño). › If serving at a later time, keep the pits in the bowl, along with some cut up lime wedges, and cover tightly with plastic wrap on the surface of the guacamole so no air gets on it. › Makes 2 cups. › Serve with tortilla chips or as a side dish.


DINING GUIDE

Salted Brick

At Trilogy at Ocala Preserve

Sunday Brunch: Bottomless Mimosas & Bloody Marys

(352) 509-5183 › Call for hours

Wednesday: Hump Day Happy Hour all day all drinks half price

4021 NW 53rd Avenue Road Ocala

The award winning restaurant located in Trilogy at Ocala Preserve enjoys beautiful lake front dining, perfect for watching the sun set over the 18th hole on our championship golf course. The Salted Brick brings to life regional favorites alongside American classics, using locally-sourced, fresh ingredients. Featuring a centerpiece exhibition kitchen and wood-fired oven, watch as items are grilled to perfection above a natural flame. American grill, sophisticated atmosphere, and seasonal menu with fresh and healthy options are just a few of what our brand has to offer.

Thursdays: $18.00 Prime Rib

** Open Table’s 2018, 2019 and 2020 Diner’s Choice award for Gainesville, Ocala and Central Florida**

El Toreo

3790 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala

(352) 694-1401 › 7 days 11a-10p SR 200, Ocala › (352) 291-2121 › 7 days 11a-11p New lunch specials include Taco Salad on Mondays, $5.45; Speedy Gonzalez on Tuesdays, $5.45; Quesadillas on Wednesdays, $7.95; Chimichangas on Thursdays, $6.95; and Burrito Supreme on Fridays, $5.95. New dinner options include Fajita Mondays, $10.95; Chimichanga Tuesdays, $8.95; Alambre Wednesdays, $9.95; and Tacos de Bistec Thursdays, $9.95. Plus $1.95 margaritas on Mondays. On Sunday, kids 12 and under can enjoy $1.95 children’s meals (take-out not included). Wednesday is Special Margarita Day, 99¢ all day. Saturday is 2-for-1 margaritas all day. Happy Hour daily, 3-7pm. Everything is 2-4-1 (exceptions may apply).

Wednesday: 99¢ House Margaritas All Day Thursday: Trivia Night, 7-9pm (Blvd. location) Thursday: Mariachi band at the 200 location, 6-9pm Dine-in now available

Braised Onion

754 NE 25th Ave., Ocala

(352) 620-9255 › braisedonion.com Tue-Thu 11:30a-9p › Fri-Sat 11:30a-10p › Sun 11:30a-8p Braised Onion Restaurant, where you’ll experience “Comfort Food with Attitude” in a fun, warm and colorful but casual atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner. Our team of experts will be dishing out perfectly seasoned prime rib with creamy horseradish sauce on Friday and Saturday evenings. Don’t forget the decadant dessert menu, which includes the prizewinning bread pudding, coconut cream pie, cheesecake and crème brûlée. Private meeting and banquet rooms available. Limited menu.

Book your Valentine’s reservation now! Comfort Food With Attitude

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The Art of Identity The Appleton Museum of Art is currently hosting an exhibit that highlights art created by Black artists from across the U.S., curated from the Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection. Through the Memories & Inspiration exhibit, these visionary home art collectors are illustrating a rich history and redefining the way African American art is appreciated, understood and valued. By JoAnn Guidry 300 pieces strong, 35 years in the making. “Early on in my art education, I became a Jacob Lawrence fan. Then I saw an ad in an issue of the International Review of African American Art announcing a Lawrence series on Toussaint L’Ouverture. That particular depiction of General Toussaint just connected with me,” recalls Kerry, a

self-described Georgia boy, of that milestone 1986 purchase. “Here was a proud Black man who loved and fought for his people in this grand uniform. Well, I spent a great deal of my life as a Black man in a uniform. I was a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout, in the U.S. Air Force and then a U.S. Postal Service postman for 30 years in Atlanta. So, I felt like a kindred spirit in uniform.”

Lily C., 1973 etching by Charles White

T

he screen print on paper profile of the proud Haitian military general in his bright orange and red full-dress uniform resonated immediately with Kerry Davis. So much so that it became the first art piece he bought. And African American artist Jacob Lawrence’s General Toussaint L’Ouverture would eventually come to command an art collection some


Sentimental Favorites

Photo by William Taylor

W

Kerry paid $750 for General Toussaint L’Ouverture and notes with a chuckle, “On my postman’s salary, that was a lot of money to spend on a piece of art.” With no formal art background, Kerry initially began acquiring art to decorate his first house after leaving the Air Force and becoming a mail carrier in Atlanta in 1980. “I wanted art that reflected my identity, my culture and experiences as a Black man,” he reveals. “I began going to the annual Exhibition of Paintings, Prints and Sculpture by Negro Artists of America at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). That was the beginning of my African American art education and where I first saw Jacob Lawrence’s work, as well as that of Romare Bearden.” As fate would have it, Kerry met noted African American photographer Reginald McGhee in the latter’s Atlanta antique store. It turned out that McGhee, who was originally from New York, knew Lawrence and Bearden, sharing those stories with Kerry. McGhee also helped him acquire David Driskell’s book Two Centuries of Black American Art, which was

the basis for his now extensive collection of African American art books. “David Driskell’s book and Alain Locke’s [book] The Negro in Art were a revelation to me. Only then did I begin to grasp the scope of African American artists and their art,” explains Kerry. “I felt like I had to understand the artists to best understand their art.” To that latter end, Kerry employed his carpentry and handyman skills. “Reginald introduced me to his large network of artists. I then took it upon myself to spend as much time as I could in their studios,” he recalls. “Since I was a carpenter, I could make frames for them and do other odd jobs in exchange for art. It was a great barter system; I continued my education, got some art and the artists got support.” And even when he was on his mail routes, if Kerry delivered anything art-related, he struck up a conversation with the homeowners. He points out that “often I was invited inside their homes to see their art and I gained new friends who were as passionate about art as I was.” When Kerry met Carolyn

hen asked to name four favorites included in the exhibit, Kerry Davis’ choices were perfect examples of the wide range, from artists to medium to subject matter, of his collection. And he has a story to go with each piece. Untitled, 1974 oil acrylic on rice paper by Sam Gilliam: “Oh, Sam Gilliam is a national treasure. And this piece is quintessential Sam Gilliam,” says Kerry. “Betty was working on a television production in Washington, D.C., where Gilliam lives, and I joined her. A friend arranged a visit with Gilliam in his studio. He graciously made that piece affordable so we could buy it.” She Wore Her Family’s Quilt, 2015 oil on canvas by Sedrick Huckaby: “African American artist Kevin Sipp introduced me to Sedrick Huckaby’s work when Kevin was an artist in residence at Hammonds House Museum in Atlanta. Huckaby’s murals of quilts are amazing,” explains Kerry. “Those quilt paintings took me back to my childhood. We always had handmade quilts in our house. And we saved clothing remnants for the ladies in our church who made quilts for newborns. I went to Fort Worth, Texas, to meet Huckaby and commissioned him to paint my piece. It really represents the Memories & Inspiration title of our exhibit.” Lily C., 1973 etching by Charles White: “I can’t draw a straight line, so I really appreciate someone who can draw,” notes Kerry with his easy laugh. “And all of White’s work represents people of color with such dignity. Believe it or not, I bought this piece on eBay. I couldn’t believe my good fortune.” Kerry’s Painting, 2015 abstract oil on canvas by Freddie L. Styles: “I’ve known Freddie for over 30 years. I spent a lot of time in his studio. And since he didn’t drive, I would run errands for him,” recounts Kerry. “He would often ask for my opinion on his pieces. When I saw this particular bright blue, green and yellow abstract painting, I told him those were my happy colors. After that first one, it became an abstract series and has sold very well.” Fe b r u a r y ‘ 2 1

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a modest lifestyle,” Kerry, who retired in 2012, points out. “It wasn’t a matter of doing without because we collected art. Remove our art collection and we would still be people who prefer to drive an economy car instead of a luxury car. But art did enrich our lives in so many ways.” One of those ways was traveling extensively, including to Africa and Europe. And, yes, there was always art at the center of their travels. “Every culture in the world has art connected to it and we wanted to experience that firsthand,” says Betty, adding with a laugh, “And, of course, we always came home with new pieces.” The size and depth of the Davis collection garnered publicity and led to their first exhibit at Clark Atlanta University in 2016. The following year, Washington, D.C.based International Arts & Artists approached the couple about a traveling exhibit. It would take International Arts & Artists more than two years to curate the Davis collection from 300 pieces to 62 for the exhibit. The Memories &

Inspiration exhibit began touring in January 2020. “We decided to partner with International Arts & Artists because we wanted to make an art exhibit available to smaller venues that maybe couldn’t normally host such an exhibit,” Kerry shares. “And maybe that would expose people to African American artists and their work who wouldn’t have that opportunity otherwise. We wanted to share the joy that art has brought to us.” Appleton Museum of Art Director Jason Steuber called out to the Appleton’s “20-plus years of successfully showcasing solo and group exhibitions of African American artists” as part of the excitement in bringing the show to the museum. “We are honored to share the Memories & Inspiration exhibit with our community,” Steuber says. Memories & Inspiration is on view through March 28th. A free talk with Kerry Davis and African American artist/art scholar Kevin Sipp will take place on Zoom in conjunction with the exhibit.

Exhibition Talk

erry Davis will join the aforementioned Kevin Sipp, a Daytona Beach native and now Atlanta-based African American artist, art scholar and independent curator, for the free Zoom talk on February 28th. Shortly after meeting Sipp, Kerry bought his Travelogue piece for his collection. The two became instant friends and for a time also were neighbors. “While the Zoom talk will be open-ended, I really want to give some history to African American artists and their work,” says Sipp, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in printmaking in 1991 from the Atlanta College of Art. “At the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, federal funding mandated a designated space, which was called the Negro Building, to showcase African American artistic achievement.” Sipp next points to the civil rights movement of the 1960s-‘70s as another pivotal time for

African American artists. Sipp says, “Organized groups of African American artists during that time created art specifically for African American audiences. This was a true jumping-off point for people to experience art that reflected their history, struggles and identity.” According to Sipp, the civil rights art movement also opened the door for many people to begin collecting art. “Kerry is a perfect example of being able to collect art without having to be wealthy,” notes Sipp. “His collection is a wonderful showcase of the diversity of African American artists and their art.” How to Join the Talk Sunday, February 28, 2pm-3:15pm Go to Zoom.us Use Meeting ID: 935 9471 8618 Pass Code: 471041

Untitled, 1974 oil acrylic on rice paper by Sam Gilliam

Betty Frazier, the woman who would become his wife, she discovered his ever-growing art collection. Betty, a nowretired television news producer, recounts, “A friend told me about Kerry and his art collection. Like him, I had bought a few modest art pieces to decorate my house, so I was intrigued. But, of course, when I actually saw Kerry’s collection, I was so impressed. And his passion for art was contagious.” Apparently, Betty was equally impressed with Kerry, as the couple wound up marrying in 1994. McGhee told them about a split-level home that was for sale in his neighborhood; they bought it and live in it to this day. The house, where daughter Karlye and son Kerry Jr. (KD) grew up, and their art collection, grew larger, slowly became a social center for artists, collectors and others interested in art. “We later came to realize that people wondered how we could afford to collect art on our salaries. But we are just naturally people who have always lived


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