Live music greeted attendees as they entered the doors of the Laurel Manor Recreation Center on Saturday setting the tone for the Visual Arts Association Winter Fine Arts Show now in its ninth year. The work of 59 artists, all members of the association, was beautifully displayed using all the rooms in the center. This show featured two-dimensional art.
“As long as it can be hung,” is how Committee Chair for the Art Show Jo Magrum described the requirements. A sculptor and painter Magrum a former K-12 art teacher decided upon moving to the Villages to just relax and enjoy painting. Currently a resident of the Village of Dunedin, Magrum paints primarily in oils and describes herself as a photographic realist. “I paint items to look as close to reality as I can.”
Some of the artists in the show came to painting later in life. Ron Kucinski spent his career with the New York State Police in Buffalo, N.Y. and came to painting after retirement in 1996. Kucinski paints with acrylics on Masonite and is largely self-taught. “Wish I hadn’t waited so long to get started.” He paints realism, “I like to know what I am looking at when I see a painting.” Kucinski was a snow-bird for many years, but moved full time to the Village of Glenbrook in July of 2015.
The Visual Arts Association awards scholarships to high school students who are going to pursue a course of study in the arts after graduation. The VAA is one of only two scholarship sources exclusively for art education in the state of Florida. Helen Poor, chairman of the scholarship committee, reports that to date they have given scholarships to 48 students. As part of their fund raising efforts attendees at the show had the opportunity to purchase tickets to win an array of prizes from beautiful baskets and theatre tickets to an enhanced GICLEE image of an oil work called “Magnolias in Early Light” donated by noted Villages artist Roger Sherman.
Sherman, an avid painter and pottery maker, spends a lot of time painting. He painted some in college and let it go while he was working in Michigan running his own design firm. Now that he has settled into a villa in Bonnybrook. He has the time and space to devote to his art. “Some people have a two-car garage. I have a two-car studio.” Sherman a longtime member of the VAA remembers meetings where he was the only male member. He is glad to see that changing as more men are joining the group. “The Villages has a vibrant art community that is really growing.”
The VAA holds two shows a year. Their second show in 2016 will be the last Saturday in October at SeaBreeze Recreation Center.