The Artisan Magazine - May 2023

Page 1


1000 Prayers for Compassion



1 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine CULTURE • PEOPLE • ART • MUSIC • LITERATURE • CUISINE • FASHION • DESIGN Vol I Issue X May 2023 MAGAZINE
LIMITED EDITION ARTIST COFFEE CANISTERS Benefits the St. Petersburg Arts Endowment at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay Support The Arts! Get Yours While They Last at or At Your Local Kahwa Coffee Cafe. SHOP NOW UPCOMING SHOWS 400 First Street South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701 • 727.300.2000 • THEMAHAFFEY.COM May 7 at 7PM May 12 at 8PM May 14 at 7PM May 19 at 8PM May 21 at 7PM May 23 at 8PM May 26 at 8PM Jun 29 at 8PM Become a member of Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts to be treated like a VIP!
10 Imagine Museum 18 Prose Hell-Bent COLUMNS FEATURES COVER 18 The Write Life Maureen McDole 8 Class Acts Mahaffey Field Trip Series 21 Mixed Messages At the Soft Water Gallery 14 Artist Spotlight Madie Gotshall 20 Month of Photography Handle with care 23 The Power of Words Crosswords for Aphasia Imagine Museum has one of the largest collections of contemporary glass art in the world. St. Petersburg is fortunate to have it in our city. 19 Poetry On-Demand Poet

freeFall Theatre Board appoints new Executive Director

Nonprofit Arts Leader Craig Badinger joins Founding Artistic Director Eric Davis and team as Executive Director

The freeFall Theatre Company

Board of Trustees has named Craig Badinger the new Executive Director of freeFall Theatre Company.

“We are thrilled to welcome Craig as our new Executive Director,” says Robert O’Brion, freeFall Board President. “He will bring experience, enthusiasm, great communication skills, and a fresh perspective to our organization.” Badinger’s background in leadership and fundraising, combined with a deep passion for promoting community-based arts programs, will help to further advance the mission of the organization that celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2021. Says O’Brion, “We feel lucky to have found him and look forward to a successful and invigorating future of award-winning live theatre with Craig at the helm.”

As Executive Director, Badinger will manage day-to-day operations for Tampa Bay’s most exciting professional theatre company, known for its experimentation and genre-bending work. He will also lead fundraising programs, as well as marketing and community engagement initiatives.

Badinger joined the freeFall team in February 2023 and is currently overseeing plans for freeFall’s imminent new season announcement. “We are confident that Craig will continue to help freeFall grow and are assured of his commitment to excellence, one of the hallmarks of our or-

ganization,” says Founding Artistic Director Eric Davis.

“freeFall embodies the character and personality that we admire so much about St Petersburg. As I’ve attended performances here over the last few years, there’s been a real welcoming to my experience on this campus,” says Badinger. “Arts organizations make up the fabric of our community. You have to recognize that what we do informs the identity of this city. The offerings at nonprofits like freeFall are a big part of the reason people want to live here. I look forward to enabling Eric’s creative process and innovation.”

With more than a decade of experience in nonprofit fundraising, Badinger began with Miami City Ballet and New York’s Martha Graham Dance Company before relocating to Florida’s gulf coast in 2016 and working with Sarasota’s Hermitage Artist Retreat. He first stepped into a leadership role in 2019 with Punta Gorda Symphony, then relocated to St Petersburg where, for the past year, he had the good fortune to work with two other cornerstone institutions of this community, the Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg, and The Florida Orchestra.

Badinger succeeds Executive Director Cheryl Forchilli, long-time patron and former freeFall Board President, who served in the role for several years.

4 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine SUBSCRIBE
miss an issue! Subscribe now and we will send you a printed edition within a week of each publishing date. ADVERTISE 25,000+ Readers per issue! Increase your brand exposure. 813-842-3818 P.O. Box 791, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 www. 813-842-3818 info@ The Artisan Magazine is published monthly and is distributed to more than 300 businesses and street boxes throughout St. Pete, Gulfport and the beaches Submit articles, photos, events and news to: ©2023 The Artisan Magazine. All rights reserved. The views expressed within are not necessarily those of the Publisher. Editorial submissions are welcome. Publisher reserves the right to reject or edit submissions for length and clarity. The Publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. The Artisan Magazine reserves the right to reject or edit advertisements. The Artisan Magazine is not responsible for errors in advertisements beyond the cost of advertising space.
McDole Poet, Writer and Speaker. Founder/Executive Director of Keep St. Pete Lit, Poet Robin O’Dell Curator, Writer and Editor Director of FMoPA
Gio Cerro
Poet Journalist for more than three decades in Tampa Bay, Philly, and Vermont David Warner Susan Rogers Author with interest in genealogy and psychic spirituality. Lisa Lippincott Multi-hatted creative type: designer, editor, writer, curator, artist. Danni Matter Writer, photographer living in St. Pete. Attended Florida International University in Miami.

Florida CraftArt presents

Alchemy ofArt he T

This exhibition is made possible with support from:

5 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
Central Avenue, St. Petersburg (727) 821-7391
Kathryn Howd and Edward Rucks
24, 2023
May 5-June
Curated by Mary Childs and Elizabeth Brincklow
Allen Bass Baugh Boroniec Chomick Meder Colbath Demaine Devereux Dufault Fair Folsom Freeman Gallaher Gialanella Hawk Heady Hilton Jonsdottir Karp Kroetsch Kushner McDonagh Neily Newman Pickett Lewis Rapaport Reale Schaeffler Murphy Schott Strattman Tyler Williams
6 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine Works in permanent collections of: The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences Florida Gulfcoast Museum of Art American Embassy, Madrid, Spain Persistence - 36” x 48” now available at Woodfield Fine Art MAY 4-7 & 11-14, 2023 Featuring Kathi Grau as Maria Callas Directed by Alexis Carra-Girbés Musical Direction by Bruce LeBaron GENERAL ADMISSION $35 MEMBER ADMISSION $30 The Studio@620 620 1st Ave S., St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Richard Minster’s Minsterpiece Gallery Uniquely Original Art “Selfie” 615 27th St. S., Unit C Saint Petersburg, FL 33712 (727) 655-8234

DRV Gallery Unveils Art In Harmony

Photography exhibit blends fine art and music in Gallery’s latest creative offering

In only six months, DRV Gallery in Gulfport is making a name for itself amongst artists and art lovers in the region for its roster of talented artists, its community engagement through monthly events and workshops, and impactful, unique exhibitions that attract visitors from throughout the state.

DRV Gallery will add to its list of attractions for arts lovers this May 11th with Art of Harmony, a photography exhibit by award-winning Tampa artist Donna Green of Photos by DG (https:// Donna’slove of music led her to photograph legendary musicians including B.B. King, Sting, and Lyle Lovett, and has turned her lens on local musicians for this exhibit.

The opening reception for Art of Harmony takes place on May 11th from 6-8pm at DRV Gallery, located at 5401 Gulfport Boulevard S, and features music from four of the musicians that Donna has photographed for the show: Tampa’s Jennifer Real, Clearwater’s Kristopher James, Ybor City’s Chris Cava and George Pennington, also from Tampa.

The exhibit features 15 musicians representing different genres, performance styles and personalities, and Donna’s photographs bring each to life in a unique and intriguing manner.

Art of Harmony runs from May 11-27 at DRV Gallery and visitors to the opening reception are encouraged to come prepared to listen to a wonderful lineup of musicians and to view photography from one of the region’s most talented artists.

For more information, stay tuned to and follow the gallery on social media at @drvgalleryon Facebook and @drvgallery22 on Instagram.

Brenda McMahon Gallery Celebrates Four Years as the Heart of Gulfport's Creative Community

In just four years, Brenda McMahon Gallery (BMG) has become a destination for arts lovers in the state and region and applauded by the artists and residents that comprise Gulfport’s uniquely creative character. Through monthly First Friday Art Walk events and its accompanying Artist of the Month program, emerging and professional artists both local and national have been introduced onto the local arts scene, and the Gallery’s weekly Taste of Art workshops have opened the possibilities of art to all comers. Owner and ceramic artist Brenda McMahon’s leadership and mentorships of emerging artists have also opened new avenues for artists of all ages and skill levels.

On Friday, May 5th, BMG will host a celebration of its 4th anniversary as the heart of Gulfport’s creative community. Festivities run from 6-9pm and the Gallery plans on welcoming many of its previous artists along with its current roster of 20 creators to meet and celebrate with arts lovers and visitors whose support and loyalty continue to fuel its ongoing success. Regional musical favorites Gale Trippsmith & Joey Interrante will be on hand to provide a collection of original and upbeat songs ripe for celebration and dancing.

McMahon looks forward to thanking the community for their support and celebrating with those who make the Gallery successful. "When I began my venture I had a vision in mind, and now, just 4 years later - two and a half of which were a pandemic - I am thrilled to say the Gallery is right on track! The audience loves what we have built here in Gulfport, and they show their belief in what we’re doing by supporting all 20 artists and telling their friends about us. It takes a village and we have a great one!”

For more information, please visit or follow the Gallery on social media @brendamcmahongallery. The Gallery is located at 2901 Beach Boulevard S. in downtown Gulfport, next door to Custom House Décor and across the street from the Village Courtyard.

An imaginative and strategic thinker

The James Museum is thrilled to announce Robin Nicholson as their new Executive Director. Robin has directed the outward-facing aspects of American art museums over the last 16 years at the Telfair Museums in Savannah, GA; The Frick Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. He brings extensive insight into leading a non-profit art institution and wide-ranging knowledge from working in the for-profit and gallery worlds. An imaginative strategic thinker, he has been at the forefront of re-envisioning the art museum model by maximizing exhibition planning, fundraising opportunities and public engagement initiatives for near and long-term ambitions.

A message from Robin:

“I am thrilled to join one of the most innovative museums on the East Coast, if not across North America. Tom and Mary James’ passion for western & wildlife art and their investment in a world-class collection, and a museum that acts as a remarkable and innovative architectural beacon for the city, demonstrates how St. Pete continues to become a cultural hub for Florida. I look forward to continuing the legacy of Executive Director Laura Hine and her talented staff, the devoted board of trustees, our donors and supporters, and above all, Tom and Mary James and their family to ensure that The James Museum flourishes, grows and expands the horizons of its unique collections."

New leaders of...

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

FMoPA is excited to announce the appointment of two accomplished arts professionals, Wendy Leigh and Robin O'Dell, who will co-lead the museum. Wendy and Robin have known each other for over 35 years and have both become successful and highly respected arts executives.

Wendy Leigh brings with her a unique and successful career trajectory in education, entertainment, the arts, community engagement, marketing, public relations, placemaking, and development. She has launched three spaces from the ground-up and has over 20 years of service at the Straz Center, where she was Vice President of Education. Leigh has also recently served as the CEO and Executive Director of The Franciscan Center. She is known for her commitment to her work, the team, and the mission and is excited to bring attention and awareness to FMoPA's over 20 years of providing critically acclaimed photographic art exhibitions and community outreach.

Robin O'Dell, holding a Master of Arts degree in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management has over 20 years of experience working in museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, where she either curated or participated in the curation of over 60 exhibitions and researched and archivally housed a photography collection of over 16,000 images and objects. O'Dell previously worked at FMoPA as the Curator of Collections and is thrilled to be returning in her new role.

FMoPA is excited to welcome both Wendy Leigh and Robin O'Dell to lead the museum into its next phase of success at its new site in Ybor City!

7 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
Wendy Leigh Robin O'Dell
Director at The James
Robin Nicholson
New Executive

Class Acts: Youth Field Trip Series At

The Mahaffey Theater

It was a breezy, cloudless morning along the Tampa Bay waterfront, and the downtown area was bustling in preparation for the St Petersburg Grand Prix. At the Duke Energy Center for the Arts - Mahaffey Theater, politely-energetic third-through-eighth graders—nearly one thousand of them—were arriving by the busload, while a few arrived by car with their homeschooling parents. All were coming to enjoy a live-action history lesson, and I, as well as some other observers, were there to experience it along with them.

This morning’s event was an installment of Class Acts: Youth Field Trip Series at the Mahaffey, a program that has been entertaining and educating students for nearly three decades. This particular presentation, entitled “I Have a Dream”, coincided with Black History Month and dramatized the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his rise to prominence as a civil

rights leader following the arrest of Rosa Parks. Class Acts themes are varied, covering topics such as language arts, history, world culture, science, math, arts and music, with each tailored to specific grade ranges. In addition to core curriculum, the program is geared to foster creativity and critical thinking, as well as respect and discipline. All performances correlate to Florida’s curriculum standards, and resource guides are provided to educators with grade-appropriate activities to reinforce and augment the learning process. The April 2023 program (upcoming as of this writing) is intended for students from kindergarten through the fifth grade, and it employs a fantastical and engaging story to teach students the value of cooperation as well as to convey key facts about our solar system.

After the children had settled in and the actors had begun, we were ushered into a loge where we quietly seated our-

8 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine Thursda y- Saturday Noo n- 6pm an d b y appointment 51 5 22 nd Stree t South , Uni tF 727.318.3223 Sof t Wate r

selves in plush barrel chairs. Stationed to our left in front of the stage, a woman busily translated lines of dialogue into American sign language. As we looked on, the children clapped, cheered and gasped in surprise as the story unfolded before them. Even the youngest among them were remarkably un-fidgety—the lesson was clearly connecting with its young audience. During the brief question and answer period that followed, a surprising number of small, eager hands shot up to participate, further confirming the high level of engagement.

Operating on the premise that the arts are essential to a well-rounded education and that feeding imagination spurs creative thinking and problem solving, the Class Acts program was created in 1993 by the City of St. Petersburg to benefit Pinellas County school children. Its beginnings were humble, initially serving about 500 students annually with four to five shows. Since 2011, Class Acts has been under the protective wing of Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts—the governing organization that supports the performing arts programming at the Mahaffey Theater. During the interceding years, Class Acts has expanded and flourished, now providing ten to twelve performances per year, and serving approximately 25,000 students annually. To keep the program affordable for students and their families, the Foundation subsidizes admission prices, as well as providing scholarships for complimentary admission and transportation to approximately one third of the student attendees. Though the program returns an extremely high per-dollar value, the annual expense for the growing program (anticipated at around $300,000 for 2023-24 season) makes the generous support of donors and sponsors critical to its continued success.

Bill Edwards, for his part, is pleased to say that, to date, approximately one-quarter-million children have experienced Class Acts. He is proud to be able to offer cultural experiences to today’s youth, and finds it especially gratifying to be able to offer them to underserved and disadvantaged populations. Edwards himself took his first job packing eggs at a Cumberland Farms store at the age of 7, and after eighth grade he left school to join the workforce permanently.

Katrina Young, the dynamic and recently-hired education and outreach coordinator and Class Acts program director, is herself an actor and an educator, and she has big plans to expand the Foundation’s educational reach even more, with thirteen to fifteen live shows and six hands-on festivals projected for 202324. Currently serving a pre-K to eighth grade population, there are also plans in place to incorporate programming that will serve students up through the twelfth grade.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, though. With a national bus driver shortage, transportation has been an issue at times, occasionally forcing schools to cancel at the last moment. Foundation president Amy Harrier Miller is frustrated by this, and would like to see political leaders do more to find a solution. “The programming is in place, and we’ll even cover the costs for students to come. When children can’t participate at the last minute because there is no bus, it’s discouraging for everyone.”

To learn more about Class Acts programming, or to support the foundation in its mission, visit, or contact Katrina Young at 727-304-5275, or kyoung@

9 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine

Vision, Reflection, Glass!

The Imagine Museum in St. Petersburg, FL

Driving down Central Avenue it is difficult not to notice the large bright blue building on the 1900 block. It houses Imagine Museum. In this city of museums, it is easy to pass it by saying, “Oh, that’s that glass museum.” But have you been inside? It would not be overstating to say that this is a world-class collection. There are over 1600 pieces made by artists from twenty different countries with as many as 450 works on view at any one time.

My expertise is in photography and I admittedly know very little about glass, so it is difficult for me to even convey the wide variety of techniques and creativity displayed. It’s difficult to believe some of these works are even glass. There are exquisite examples of glass blowing, casting, slumping, fusing, laminating, and torch work. But does that even begin to illuminate how artist Anthony James is able to create Portal Icosahedron, a geometric globe formed of glass and titanium incorporating twenty triangular facets combined in such a way as to form a sculpture of perfect symmetry in three di-

mensions? It is mesmerizing to stare into its depths. It feels like staring into infinity.

Does it prepare you for the room housing 1000 Prayers for Compassion created by the founder of the Museum, Trish Duggan? The room features the word “Compassion” in purple neon lights illuminating an embankment of 1000 glass heads of the goddess of compassion. The surrounding walls feature quotes from the Dalai Lama, a definition of compassion, and an exhortation to be more compassionate.

This leads us to the overall theme of the Museum, to “inspire, uplift and educate.” They go out of their way to do this throughout the building. Inspirational quotes by world history greats like Albert Schweitzer, Kazuo Inamori, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, among others, are quoted both on the walls and on small cards that visitors are encouraged to take with them. In the lobby of the museum currently hang two large mosaics of glass created in collaboration by Trish Duggan and the Swedish artist Bertil Vallien. They are titled Human Rights, 2019 and Peace,

It’s difficult to talk about the Imagine Museum without talking about Trish Duggan. She is a dynamo of energy and ideas and it is thanks to her vision and support that there even is an Imagine Museum. Her concepts, inspirations and art are spread throughout the galleries.

An accomplished artist herself, Duggan studied woodblock printing at Nanzan University in Japan and printmaking at the University of California Santa Barbara, before coming to Florida. Once here, she embraced the art of glassworking and studying with such local greats as Marlene Rose, Chuck Boux and Susan Gott.

In 2015, Duggan embraced glass-making in a concentrated way and has now created more than one thousand pieces of art. You see examples of her talent installed throughout the Museum. For example, the installation of 1000 Prayers for Compassion (cover). While studying in Japan she had been told that creating 1,000 Buddhas gave one a better chance at reaching Nirvana. A gallery filled with 1,000 glass heads created by her, is a compelling reflection of that.

Duggan is also an avid collector of glass art by creators from around the world. The Imagine Museum was created in 2018 to share these varied and exquisite works with the public. She teamed up with the Habatat Gallery, the oldest and largest glass gallery in the US, and in partnership with their President Corey Hampson has created one of the most significant collections of contemporary glass art in the world.

She is a human rights advocate and philanthropist who believes in the power of positivism to improve the lives of people throughout the world. The stated purpose of the institution is to uplift, inspire and educate and it does so by showcasing amazing artists, offering a stunning visual experience, and teaching about the transformative nature of glass.

Trish Duggan deserves her own star on the map of Florida’s Glass Coast.

2020, and feature varied squares of symbols and animals illustrating these ideas as well as etched portraits and quotes from Nobel Prize winners and inspirational people. They are at once both beautiful and purposeful.

Not everything is quite so serious. There is a gallery of alien-inspired art by artists such as Czech artist Martin Janecky and Austrian-Irish artist Gottfried Helnwein who resides in Ireland. I even got my picture taken with an augmented alien.

Rik Allen makes wondrous sculptures made out of blown and cut glass with silver, steel, aluminum and copper that look like models of futuristic spacecraft. Oculus Gazer II, 2015 has two little tiny red lounge chairs installed under a glass dome, and gazing at them leads one to imagine oneself laying on it and gazing out at the galaxy.

Imagine Museum has one of the largest collections of contemporary glass art in the world. St. Petersburg is fortunate to have it in our city. You should visit.

10 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
“There is no substitute for being positive and having a positive outlook. The most valuable asset we have is our imagination. This gives us the ability to create brighter futures and help mankind.”
-Trish Duggan
Trish Duggan Image by Trakthor Promo Image by Trakthor Promo

Do you read? Do you write? Do you live in or around St. Petersburg? Well then, check out Keep St. Pete Lit, where we celebrate and promote the area’s literary community. Whether you’re a writer, a reader or just love the arts, we want you to help us Keep St. Pete Lit.

Read and Write on, my friend!

12 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine Open til 9pm for ArtWalk Plus, see the work of 34 other local artists in our main gallery! Onlyat... Sueño con España (I Dream of Spain) A solo exhibition of the pencil art of Marc Brechwald Tampa artist Marc Brechwald offers his latest graphite and colored pencil masterpieces to discerning collectors. OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, May 12th from 5 to 9 pm EXHIBIT DATES: Friday, May 12th through Saturday, June 3rd 2323 Central Avenue St. Petersburg, Florida 727-254-6981 Where art and fine dining meet in St Pete Open Tuesday through Sunday - Lunch, Dinner, Brunch - Live Jazz on Thursdays For online reservations go to • 1225 Dr. MLK Jr. St N, St Petersburg, FL 33701 To book your private party or make a reservation • 727-256-1691
KEEP ST. PETE LIT celebrates and promotes greater St. Petersburg’s literary community – past, present and future – through arts, education and events with a literary twist. We are readers, writers and lovers of words who strive to bring an approachable, engaging literary component to St. Petersburg’s vibrant arts community. Our headquarters are located at 2622 Fair eld Ave S. St. Petersburg within e Factory St. Pete. Welcome to Keep St. Pete Lit! Visit our site!
Founder Maureen McDole


K.R. Porter



Coastal paintings, fine art prints, and online painting classes for all levels.

Central Art Classes: The Downtown destination for art classes. All ages. Taught by professional artist K.R. Porter at the ArtLofts.

Blaquejack Studios

The Factory St. Pete 2622 Fairfield Ave S. 727-273-5011

IG: @blaquejackstudios

Nancy Koch


I love wildlife & photography, so I've combined them into my passion.

Nancy Cohen


Classical fine art paintings, studio visits welcome. Represented by Woofield Fine Art.

Carrie Jadus


Jadus is a Tampa Bay Artist, her work is exhibited in galleries and private collections all over the world.

Lance Rogers


Lance Rodgers’ thoughtful narrative paintings have been displayed in numerous galleries and museums.

Richard Minster



I use many different mediums, such as enamel, acrylics, and pastels.

13 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
Shelby Dillon
Scan each QR code above to find your next favorite artist. Artists - send an email to to be included. Patricia Tierney Moses Studio: The Factory St. Pete 2622 Fairfield Ave. S. 727-599-7144

Habit of Body

14 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine

Madie Artistry (Madie Gotshall)

When thinking about staples of the art community in St. Pete, the prominence of The Factory can’t be overlooked. It offers a gathering place for artists and art appreciators alike, by means of studio and event space. At one such event, a gallery opening, I happened to come across the surreal paintings of Madie Gotshall. While I was browsing the works on display by studio artists at The Factory, my eyes were drawn to this brilliant shade of blue present in a series of paintings. It was unmistakably the Florida sky, depicted in three different scenes of vehicles beneath power lines or traffic lights. I paused to study them, fascinated by both the realism of the painting style and the way the images warped and twisted. Power lines and crosswalks diverted from their rigid path to become almost fluid, like rivers against the urban backdrop. I was captivated; it’s not every day that you feel so impacted by a work of art, so naturally I wanted to know more. After doing some research, I found Madie’s Instagram account, and reached out to see if she’d like to meet for some coffee. She was kind enough to lend me some of her time to chat about her background, inspirations and life as an artist.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Madie attended college in a small town.

“Horse and buggy parking at our grocery store” as she described it – “It was very small compared to anything that you would experience here.” Although she painted often before college, while enrolled her focus was on art education. One of the classes required for the major involved soft sculpture, using techniques such as sewing and weaving. Madie had no prior experience with fibers or sculpture, but was interested in expanding her knowledge beyond the mediums she was familiar with.

“I ended up meeting a really great professor” she recalled. “I had absolutely no experience with [soft sculpture] before. And she was very open minded and more focused on feeling fulfilled with what you were making versus abiding by traditional techniques.”

With the guidance of this professor, Madie began constructing large fabric sculptures, some reaching six feet in height. Despite her lack of technique, these experimental sculptures were conceptually eye-opening. Prior to college, when painting, she often found herself struggling to come up with concepts. Having the opportunity to dabble in a completely different form of art had a significant impact on her style and approach to creating. Sculpture “filled the gap” for her, as she put it.

Upon graduating college, Madie became certified to teach in Pennsylvania, K-12. She taught during COVID, and feels that this experience, combined with the conditions of the education field in general, steered her away from teaching as a career. She knew she wanted to be an artist, but Pennsylvania didn’t offer the kinds of opportunities she would need to make a living; hence why she’s now a part of our community here in St. Petersburg. After moving down a little over a year and a half ago, Madie transitioned from sculpture back to painting the kind of work you see in her studio today.

continued next page

The Artisan Magazine
The Artisan Magazine - May, 2023

“It started accidentally” she said of this particular style. “Before I did those three [paintings], I was working on some really large paintings. I was getting overwhelmed. I was on deadlines for a couple of things and I needed a break, but I didn't want to stop painting. And so I was like, You know what? I'll just do something small, something in my comfort zone.”

She went on to tell me about how she collects photos, and has around 30,000 of them saved on her phone! Her artistic process begins with a concept, and from there she identifies memories from her life that fit into this concept. Then begins the search for photos of these specific memories, which form the basis for her paintings.

“One thing that I always painted in Pennsylvania was landscapes, especially power lines and roads. So when I came here, I still take photos of them all the time. And I found some that I really connected with here.

Power lines conceptually are really interesting, how they connect areas and people. And I was thinking, how can I show this area being new to me, still kind of connected in a way, but very different? So that led me to the distortion and like pulling and pushing sections of the pieces.”

These small paintings, intended as a simple project, ended up taking just as long as the larger ones Madie was working on at the time. She felt they taught her a lesson, however, and the reception of the pieces has been overwhelmingly positive.

During the past couple of months, Madie has been involved in several art shows, including the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. The experience of having all her work showcased in the same space has been enlightening, as have the reactions of viewers.

“I'm a pretty private person with emotions and, like, sharing details about my life. So imagine stapling your journal or diary to the wall, right? And then watching everyone come in and read it and make comments to you. That was kind of what it was like.”

People stopping by her booth during previous shows have tried to psychoanalyze her, asked her about drugs, and sometimes made patronizing comments. But at the same time, there were many who expressed that they felt a connection to the paintings. With the time it takes to complete one of these pieces, Madie feels that the artist can sometimes lose sight of what they look like as a whole. Hearing the thoughts of someone who was seeing something so personal to her for the first time was enlightening, if not a little nerve-wracking.

Madie emphasized that she is grateful for how much the community has embraced her, and for the opportunities she has had so far. As of this week, she is working on three new pieces, which upon completion will likely be on display at The Factory. In addition to selling her paintings (some to clients as far away as Los Angeles!) she works as a henna artist, a craft which she has eight years of experience in. She can often be found decorating people’s hands and bodies at events all over the city, which also provides a chance to do some networking. It seems that Madie Gotshall has a bright future in St. Petersburg, and I think it’s worth becoming familiar with her art. You may feel a connection to it as well, or perhaps just a look at the world from a new perspective.

Both originals and prints are listed for sale on Madie’s website, Her henna art and paintings can also be viewed on her Instagram page, @MadieArtistry.

16 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
Sun City Love Letter #2 Burying Violet
17 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine Spilt Milk




My ears registered the sound, but my brain didn’t respond, unwilling to abandon the novel’s heroine to an unknown fate. Besides, I was alone—there was no other voice.

Curled up on the corner of the sofa, blanket draped over my legs, I tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear without taking my gaze from the book resting against my knees. The lamp behind me threw a shaft of light across the page. The rest of the room was coated in chalky moonlight. The murder mystery neared a climax as the heroine felt the keen edge of a blade against her throat.


“We find our true voice through experimentation.”

In last month's column I mentioned that I recently started a weekly podcast called The Write Life. A couple of days after it was published, I got the intuition that I should change the name of this column to match the name of the podcast. In many ways, the podcast grew out of this column, so it only felt appropriate to name them the same thing!

This got me thinking about how often we are afraid to alter something once we have started it, especially something we’re doing in the public eye. I could easily have tried to talk myself out of changing the name of this column and not have listened to my intuition, but to me it felt right, so it was a no-brainer. It’s important to remember that we are always evolving, so we need to try to be as flexible and curious as we can when a new idea takes us somewhere unintended. Staying stuck doing something that doesn’t resonate with me is not how I want to live my life. The dominant narrative on social media is that we are expected to live perfectly curated lives. I worry that because of this pressure to appear to always having everything figured out, we have lost our sense of play and openness

to experimentation. These are two necessary ingredients to the creative process and what I consider a good life. If you are afraid of making a mistake and/ or are terrified of failing, you can miss out on the valuable lessons that come from not getting something right the first time you try it. Some of the best things in my life happened because other things ended up not working out how I thought they should.

Life can be a grand adventure if we let it. This means sometimes making a fool out of ourselves, so this is when the ability to laugh at yourself really comes in handy. I am often spilling things on myself (this is one of the many reasons I wear black, it covers the stains) and I am notoriously clumsy. I have learned to take both of these things with a grain of salt and to laugh out loud at myself several times a day. This sense of ease and levity has helped me in all areas of my life, especially as a creative person.

Try to take the opportunity to play and let your curiosity lead you this month. It's Spring, a time of new beginnings. Why not allow yourself to be anything but perfect and see if it leads you on a whole new path? Try not to push yourself too hard and get too serious about life. It's ok to break out of the mold and try something new. You may even learn a new thing or two. •

straggled to mid-back.

“I am not your Baby. We’re divorced.” I was over the shock. There was a scorch mark on the cushion at the other end of the sofa. I tossed the book on the end table behind me and sat up straight with my arms crossed.

“Look. I’m down in hell with Satan…”

“And why doesn’t that surprise me?” I snorted.

“Ha. Ha. I’m doing good down there. Following the rules. Keeping my mouth shut.” He started pacing—well, more like gliding—like a lawyer during opening arguments. “So, I’m up for promotion.”

“Promotion to what? Assistant fire starter?”

nose crinkled and my eyes watered. The sulfur was back.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“I really mean it. I want you with me for all eternity.”

“No. Absolutely not!” I cringed.

“Why? It’d be a blast.”

“You’re crazy. Why would I want to go to hell? With you of all people?”

A reflexive flip of my head yanked me from the story. My muscles tensed, contracting into themselves. Mouth gaping, a silent scream stuck in the back of my throat. With heels dug into the cushion, I scooted backwards until my spine was tight against the armrest.

There, smiling at the other end of the sofa, sat Danny, my ex-husband. We divorced three years ago when I discovered he loved drugs more than me. A year later he was arrested for DUI when his pickup ripped a fire hydrant out of the ground. He was in rehab for coke addiction eleven months after that. Six months ago he was DOA from an overdose of Fentanyl. He was supposed to be dead. Instead, he was sitting on my sofa, interrupting my story.

“What are you doing here?” My voice quivered, nerve endings jangling.

“Is that how you say hello after all this time?” He raised his hands in supplication. I saw the sofa through them.

“You’re… uh… dead.” I tugged the blanket higher and hid behind my book.

He shrugged and his shoulders shimmered in the light as he levitated above the floor across from me. “I need a favor and I know you’re good for it. Right, Baby?”

He had on the same clothes he died in—a grimy pair of jeans and a ripped Ozzie t-shirt. I was the one who identified the body. His feet were bare, toenails claw-like. His tangled hair

“Don’t be a smart ass. Satan says I got lots of potential. I’m going to be somebody in Hell.”

I snickered. The idea of Danny succeeding at anything was ridiculous. I turned back to pick up my book.


Now he kneeled beside me. A rancid smell filled my nose. Was that really sulfur?

“Danny, go away.”

“Shawna, listen. I really need this favor. You gotta do it. Nobody else would give up… Uh... I mean, give me help but you.”

“I don’t know what you’re up to.” I sniffed and pinched my nose. “But I’m not falling for it. I always end up on the short end of the stick.”

“Come on.” He held up his right hand and cocked his head. “I swear. Nothing bad’s gonna happen.” Tiny licks of flame puffed from his palm. “Let me just tell ya.”

“Go ahead, but the answer’s still no.”

He floated to the other side of the room, one hand behind his back while the other carved symbols in the air above his head. The carpet was burnt where he knelt. He turned and pointed his index finger upward. His fire-red fingernail sizzled.

“Shawna, my love.”

“Cut the crap, Danny.”

He was beside me on the sofa. I smelled chocolate and roses.

“I still love you, Baby. Will you come to hell with me?”

My mouth fell open. My

“Because I love you, Shawna, and I know you still love me.” Danny stood in front of the window, arms extended, a wavering silhouette in the moonlight. “Haven’t you noticed that when a husband or wife dies, the other one goes pretty quick after? That’s because the dead one comes back for the one left behind. Like soul mates, ya know?”

“No way. I’m not going and that’s final.”

He stood beside me and glared. His face blushed from dark pink to burnt orange to cinnamon. I saw a flick of tongue between his yellowed teeth.

“You know, you’re really starting to make me mad,” he hissed. “Just one little favor, that’s all I ask.”

The whites of his eyes were bloodshot and a tiny bolt of fire flashed across the iris. I shook my head and opened my book.

“You’re only making this harder on yourself. You’re coming with me, one way or another. I get bonus points if you come willingly, but, if not, I’ll take what I can get.”

“No way. I’m not…”

My ears popped and I gulped for air as blasts of thunder echoed around me. Roiling clouds of red and purple consumed my vision. Raging heat dried my skin to leather. Something grabbed me and yanked me down. I hit the ground hard.

“We’re here, Baby!”

Danny hovered over me, hand outstretched. I batted him away and pushed myself upright.

“Welcome, my dear.” A red-suited Satan nodded in my direction and bowed. “Not bad, Danny. But you’re still a few points shy of promotion. Who else have you got in mind?”

Susan lives in St. Pete Beach, transplanted from Massachusetts and a Social Work career. Her move was the catalyst to begin her life-long ambition to write. Susan's other interests include genealogy and psychic spirituality, and she often twists these themes into her writing. She self-published her first book in 2018 about her own psychic experiences and.

18 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
“Brilliant minds make errors, brave souls falter, kind hearts leave scars. We are none of us perfect, but we’re all perfectly human."
-Juliet Marillier
-Rick Rubin

Giovanni Cerro AKA Gios Typos is an "On-Demand Poet"

Simply put Gio writes poetry on the fly at markets, corporate events, and weddings. He uses a vintage Hermes 3000 typewriter that is littered with typewriter tattoos or better known as stickers. To keep the vintage flair alive all his poems come on the back of national geographic maps (we like to recycle).

Over the past 5 years, he has written over 4,000 poems for people.

On topics centered around healing, but not limited to newborn babies, next chapters, pets, sex, addiction and so much more.

Gio Cerro has a love affair with writing on a typewriter the mixture of the tactile feeling and the sounds really put him in a trance as he creates.

Gio Cerro says he really can't even hear the outside world when he is writing a poem for someone.

He believes this has everything to do with writing on a typewriter

It really gives you the ability to let yourself get lost in the words and honestly, there is really no better life than that he states.

19 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
Brenda McMahon Ceramics LITERATURE
Opening Reception May 11th 6-8pm Featuring Live Performances by: Chris Cava • Jennifer Real George Pennington • Kristopher James Art in Harmony presents A photography exhibition by Donna Green showcasing musicians of all genres. May 11 - May 27, 2023 Celebrating
years in downtown Gulfport, Fl
Anniversary Party: May
- 6-9pm

St. Petersburg Month of Photography

May is the international month of photography and a group of local photo professionals are using this fact to start up a whole new month long celebration of lens-based art called the Saint Petersburg Month of Photography (SPMOP).

The staff including Marieke van der Krabben, Águida Sanfiz, Clara ten Berge, Simone Leal, Katy Simpson, and Beth Reynolds are tapping into the large community of photographers and artists in the Tampa Bay area to schedule and promote exhibitions, portfolio reviews, events and workshops.

Their stated mission is, “ bring to Saint Petersburg the stories, beauty and humanity seen through the lens of photographers, local or international, amateur or professional, young and old. Like no other medium, photography has the ability to connect people, expand knowledge and create profound narratives.”

One of the ways they are working toward fulfilling this mission is to designate a Photo Laureate for the city. They held an open call and five nominees have been chosen.

The five nominees have very different artistic visions, but are all very skilled and

expressive artists. A selection of photos will be exhibited at the Morean Arts Center for the months of May and June, with an opening reception May 20th. The finalists are: Jaime Aelavanthara, Thomas Sayers-Ellis, Selina Román, Emily Will, and Tristan Wheelock. The winning laureate will then have a year to document the Tampa Bay area in their own distinctive style culminating in a solo exhibition in May of 2024. This will dovetail with the newly forming Lumen Photo Fest.

Photography is so prevalent in our society today that we sometimes forget to appreciate its power to show us alternative perspectives and the beauty surrounding us. Perhaps a month long celebration of the image will help us pay a little more attention.

Check out their website for more information and updates:

Photo credits: Jaime Aelavanthara

Thomas Sayers-Ellis

Selina Román

Emily Will

Tristan Wheelock.

20 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
Selina Roman Selina Roman Emily Will Tristan Wheelock Thomas Sayers-Ellis

“Mixed Messages”

Brings Together Artists of Varying Backgrounds

Of the five artists included in Soft Water Gallery’s “Mixed Messages” exhibition, only two were born on American soil. Hailing from diverse educational and artistic backgrounds, their styles, media and subject matter vary considerably as well. Still, it’s a pleasing combination.

Born in Cuba, AGalban relocated to the US in 1995. A doctor by training but an artist by birth, he is a prolific painter. His “Bicycling” series features colorful, wildly-stylized tricycles depicting seasons of the year, and “Mother In Law” radiates with familial warmth and good will.

With a BFA from Pratt, an MFA from Brooklyn College, and an extensive exhibition history, Lucy Barber has an impressive artistic pedigree. Her elegant, sophisticated still life paintings land softly, like a poem breathed into a lover’s ear, and “Lawnmower” is perhaps the most delightfully-whimsical “serious” painting I have ever seen.

Emerging artist Judy Pickett has a background in education and interior design. A member of Florida Wax, Pickett utilizes plant material to create unique encaustic cyanotypes. Arrestingly-beautiful, the deep blue, one-of-a-kind prints have a sleek aesthetic and a delicately-textured surface.

Former architect Helen Rosenkrantz was born in Moscow and emmigrated to the US in 1989. Now a full-time artist, Rosenkrantz’s “Blue Cove”, a vibrant patchwork of blues and greens with firey pops of orange, is like floating in a spring-fed lake on an August afternoon.

Largely self-taught as a painter, Ukrainian-born Vlasta Smola moved to the US to earn an MA in communictions. Her incredible eye for detail has landed her work in gallery and museum exhibitions across the US. Her “Ballerina in White”, encircled in an impossibly-translucent cloud of tuille, is as disarmingly beautiful as it is meticulous.

“Mixed Messages” is on view at Soft Water Gallery through June 3 For more information, visit

21 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
Rosenkrantz AGalban Barber Pickett Smola

The Power of Words

A crossword-puzzle gala will help people living with aphasia in St. Pete and beyond.

Clue: A language disorder often following stroke or traumatic injury.

Answer: Aphasia

Clue: A puzzle that goes across and down

Answer: Crossword

Clue: A fundraising event for Voices of Hope for Aphasia

Answer: Word Play

If you’re a crossword puzzle fan like me, you love words. Now imagine what it would be like if you could no longer find the words you love — not just when doing a crossword, but simply when trying to converse with your family or write a note.

That’s what a person with aphasia contends with every day — and that’s where Voices of Hope for Aphasia (VOH) comes in. A nationally respected St. Pete-based nonprofit, VOH offers free programs to people affected by the language disorder that emphasize communication skills, life participation, and mutual understanding. Currently, over 500 members benefit from these programs, but with more than 23,000 people in the Tampa Bay area affected by the language disorder, VOH hopes to expand its capacity to help even more.

It’s to that end that VOH is hosting Word Play, a fun-filled night of word-game competitions, dinner, and opportunities to support VOH on Thurs., June 8, at Banquet Masters in Clearwater. The evening will feature a special tribute to Tampa Bay’s own puzzle master, the late Merl Reagle, nationally known and syndicated crossword puzzle constructor.

“VOH strives to improve the quality of life of people with aphasia and their loved ones by creating a community where every voice is valued, understood, and supported,” said VOH Executive Director Debbie Yones. “We provide opportunities for people with aphasia to communicate, in whatever form, with friends in natural conversations. Word Play, a celebration of the joys and puzzlements of language, will be a great way to honor their journey and help others who are struggling with aphasia.”

Yones tells the story of a VOH member named Tara, who was fond of doing crosswords but struggled to do them after a stroke led to aphasia. Tara’s wife, Donna, told Yones that Tara had had trouble reading the clues and writing the answers in the squares, as her spelling had also been affected. But, “since joining Voices of Hope,” said Donna, “Tara has been able to improve her reading and has also found crossword alternative puzzle apps from her friends at VOH. She loves learning new and different ways of doing things she once was able to do easily.”

An estimated 2.5 million people in the U.S. are living with aphasia, mostly as the result of stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or brain tumor. The disorder can manifest in a variety of ways, not just in speaking and writing but in understanding verbal and written language. High-profile examples of people living with language processing disorders include U.S. Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania (due to stroke), actor Bruce Willis (due to dementia), and former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (due to TBI).

22 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
Word Play: Thursday, June 8 Banquet Masters, corner of 49th St. N. and Ulmerton Rd., Clearwater. For ticket info, go to
L to R: Debbie Yones, executive director of Voices of Hope for Aphasia, with Louise Krikorian and Marie Haley, partner of the late crossword puzzle master Merl Reagle, who will be honored during the Word Play event. The artwork behind them is a collaboration between poet Crystal Batson and artist John Dingman, both persons with aphasia. Tara (right) and her wife, Donna, have been Voices of Hope for Aphasia members since Sept. 2022. Art by VOH members (many using their non-dominant hand) adorns the organization’s St Pete center.
23 May 2023 The Artisan Magazine South Pasadena, Florida 33707 727-392-6936 Emeralds don’t lose their beauty for lack of admiration MAY 14, 2023 AX Theater @ WADA 515 22nd St South St Petersburg FL 33712 4:00 PM Meet & Greet 5:00 PM Panel Discussion 6:00 Renowned Canadian artist Bria Skonberg plays the Instrument of Hope At WADA, we aim to spark meaningful dialog about important issues, HOPE THE INSTRUMENT OF K EEPING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ON THE MAIN STAGE The Warehouse Arts District Association presents a Mother’s Day Event TICKETS $15 GA $12 WADA Members Donald Harrison 253 FIFT H AVEN U E N, S T. PETE R S B U R G, F L • MY PA LL ADI UM .OR G TICKETS AT MYPALLADIUM.ORG OR 727-822-3590 THURSDAY, JUNE 8 7:30PM SIDE DOOR
May 2023 The Artisan Magazine
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.