While Barron Park was buzzing with endless Swamp Cabbage Festival events, the often unnoticed tiny, white, 105-year-old house that sits to the east of the American flag mural and tennis courts, near the river, had also come alive with activity. Crowds of people wandered into the Barron Park House Gallery & Gift Shop, probably attracted to the whizzing sound of an air conditioner and were surprised to find a group of local artists giving free art demonstrations. Yes, while many entered to simply seek refuge from the sweltering heat and humidity, all seemed pleasantly surprised by the creative goings on inside.
From the wonderful watercolor painting by the renowned South Florida artist, Penny Fox, to the brilliant brushstrokes by the accomplished oil painter Ron Nolan, the Barron Park House Gallery was teeming with talent.
Along with the awesome alla prima painting, Sydney Roper, of Sydney Fine Art and Muse Pottery, also mesmerized onlookers with her masterful wheel thrown pottery skills. Watching Sydney create uniquely beautiful, yet functional art was thrilling, but many visitors were even more enthralled with her acrylic paint pouring performances.
The limitless creative abilities of Heather Caldwell, of Heatheryish Gallery, were more than evident in the abstract painting she created, during her demonstration. When asked why she volunteered to be part of the Open House, she replied, “I love working with this gallery. The best thing about it is the other amazing artists who work so hard to support each other. The open house was a perfect example of how many artists used their talents to come together and celebrate the community. I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
She even titled her painting, “Peace, Love, and Swamp Cabbage.” That incredible painting is available for purchase, as well as the marvelous pottery thrown by Sydney. In fact, there are oodles of fine local arts and crafts for sale, created by these and many other artists, at the Gallery.
Guests who attended, weren’t just wall flowers to the Gallery’s parade of artistic endeavors. They also folded swamp cabbage themed origami, created art journals and bookmarks, and some even went home decorated with abstract body art. When asked about the event, Sydney said, “Artists sharing the creative process and technique with the community is a natural extension of the visual arts, I love to see the gallery doing more events to make art more approachable and accessible to our amazing community.”
Spreading the Swamp Cabbage theme of peace, love, and art throughout the historic little-house-turned-art-gallery, it seems that the Open House was a resounding success.