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Vice-Mayor Stephen R. Shelley honored more local artists in the Artist in the Spotlight Program for the City of Homestead. The artists who were selected for this amazing opportunity include: Marcia Maynard, Lillian Marlatt, Mimi Dickson, Mary Dee Burkhart, Ruth Campbell, and Carol McGunagle. These six artists are inspired and inspiring, and have titled their exhibition A Gathering of Inspiration.
“These artists have amazing stories to tell and they do that through their artwork,” said Vice Mayor Shelley. “Their stories aren’t just their own—their stories are also the stories of Homestead—stories of perseverance, inspiration, and beauty.”
The Artist in the Spotlight program was created by Vice-Mayor Shelley in 2010 to empower local artists by allowing them to present their work to the public along with the acknowledgement of the talent that these artists possess. Homestead and the community continue to be enriched by their art.
The award-winning merit of artist Mimi Dickson has been acknowledged at a variety of different art shows, festivals, and Florida Atlantic University and Miami-Dade College. Mimi’s natural talent and the knowledge gained at the Massachusetts College of Art were heightened by taking part in many different workshops and by practicing a broad range of media. For this acclaimed artist, the paintings she makes seem to develop from her own thoughts, feelings, personal ideas, and experiences.
Carol McGunagle is an artist that has been living in south Florida since the mid-60s, thirty three of those years with her husband, son, and daughter. Many places such as Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, and even the Florida Keys have inspired her to create a myriad of different masterpieces. The very versatile Carol dips her foot in all kinds of different art forms but says that her heart will always belong to photography and printmaking.
Lillian Marlatt’s love for art and painting started early in her childhood when she moved to Homestead from New York in 1954, and it hasn’t faded since. Lillian is another artist who utilizes the beauty of Everglades National Park for artistic inspiration. However, she has also ventured far outside of our area as well, visiting Monet’s Home and Water Garden located in Giverny, France. Her paintings from both sides of the Atlantic have won many awards and have even been publicized twice in The Best in Watercolor series published by Rockport Press, Inc.
Marcia Maynard uses things that happen in her life to create her masterpieces. Her artworks such as Feminine Chaos and My Son Russ resulted from her strong faith, personal emotions and life occurrences. Marcia hopes to continue her expressive painting for many years to come “My love of God leads me to continue this heaven on earth that He provides for me when I’m creating art,” she shares.
Mary Dee Burkhart, an artist who was featured during the November-December, 2014, Spotlight program, is back again for another round. When speaking in terms of art, she is not shy. “An open mind helps while doing artwork, since art rarely goes exactly according to plan. A failure of plan A is actually a good thing, because that pushes you to do something different and doing something different is a first rate definition of creativity” asserts Burkhart. “I believe that art is a basic necessity of life. It isn’t life itself, but it enhances life as to make it worth living” states Ms. Burkhart
Last is Ruth Campbell, keeper of Homestead’s precious history. As a living legend, Ms. Campbell was the first woman elected to the Homestead City Council in 1963. Currently, she is the director and local historian at the Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum. She is constantly promoting awareness for the City’s historic preservation as well as creating art. Ms. Campbell draws inspiration from her experiences and continues to support the community as it grows.
A certificate was presented to Vice-Mayor Stephen Shelley on behalf of the artists to show their appreciation for his perseverance and dedication for the arts with the “Artist on the Spotlight” program that will continue to showcase all artists and their works.
These talented artists will have their work on display at the William Dickinson Community Center, 1601 N. Krome Avenue and the Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum, 41 N. Krome Avenue, throughout September and October, 2015. Visit both venues to see and enjoy and get your own inspiration from the inspiring Gathering of Inspiration!