Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Art of Three Passions: GinHol Mosaics

Holly Apperson and Ginny Allen are the artist duo GinHol, who started creating mosaics together fifteen years ago, in-between demanding day jobs. Ginny smiles and explains, “We made the decision to switch gears.” 

The pun doesn’t go unnoticed as we sit among more than a dozen decorated guitars, banjos, mandolins and a ukulele. Now, the women are living and working as full time artists.

“We use the term upcycled,” says Holly, “because they reflect our three passions: bicycling, music and art.” 

Ginny picks up a vibrant blue guitar decorated with stained glass, bike chains, sprockets and a metal sunflower. “We find them and they find us,” she says, “usually when they’re ready for another purpose.”

Each instrument takes approximately fourteen hours to complete and the work is done in staggered stages. The artists work on five or six at time with Holly being a sort of artistic director and Ginny more of a mechanical engineer. “We don’t plan ahead, but we realize what each piece’s theme will be,” explains Holly. “It’s almost like pottery; you’re not completely sure what you’re going to get until you open the kiln.” 

“We like to call the finished pieces wall jewelry,” adds Ginny.

Ginny Allen and Holly Apperson at Cycle Brewing





The guitars started gaining popularity after their debut at the first Safety Harbor SongFest, three years ago. Now the instruments are shown and sold at a design center in Denver, Studio Adams and Cycle Brewing in the Tampa Bay Area, and most recently Monroe Galleries in Jacksonville. 

Their next show is at the Dunedin Orange FestivalSaturday, 7/09/16  from 10am to 10pm, at Edgewater Park in Dunedin. 

They have also been accepted to participate in the 2016 ArtPrize in Grand Rapids from September 21 to October 9, 2016.  "We will be asking all our friends and followers to ask their friends and followers to visit ArtPrize to view our work and vote for us," Ginny says. (VOTE CODE 64066). There are 182 venues within the City of Grand Rapids. GinHol Mosaics has been selected by Harris Building at 111 S Division, Grand Rapids, MI 

I purchased a beautiful small guitar earlier this year and it rests perfectly on our mantle. The instruments range from $150 to about $500, depending on size and detail. When asked what their favorite piece is among all the ones they’ve made, the women laugh and without skipping a beat, say, “Every one.”

To see more of GinHol’s work, visit their website or like GinHol Mosaics on Facebook 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

With thanks to the North Pinellas Woman's Club

Debbie Struk and Jane Hussar at Safety Harbor SongFest 2016

Are you thinking about Christmas or any of the other fall or winter holidays yet? 

No, really, are you? 

Probably not, but there is a group of women among us who plan for Christmas throughout the year. They are the North Pinellas Woman’s Club (NPWC) and for the past 38 years have facilitated Christmas Under the Oaks in Coachman Park.  The annual arts & crafts event attracts thousands of visitors and raises thousands of dollars.
“We take those profits and each year we offer grants to 501c3 organizations,” explains Laura Bentz, who’s been a NPWC member for about 8 years and is the current grant chairman. “All the money from this event goes back into the community,” she explains.

Jane Hussar was the club’s president from 2003 to 2005, and continues to stay active as a member. "We started with about forty members and right now we’re at about 113," she says. "The club invites women of any age. Our members live in Safety Harbor, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Largo, Oldsmar, Dunedin … all over North Pinellas."

The North Pinellas Woman's Club is part of GFWC, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which has been active in Florida since 1890. They are a group of very dedicated volunteers whose mission is to enhance the lives of others through service in their community. "Many of us had joined as young moms and when we were getting to be fifty and older, we decided to start a new woman's club," Jane says. "We took a risk – a good risk – with the same federation so that the younger moms could keep the group youthful. So it wouldn’t die out, so to speak.

"We have six areas of service," Jane continues, "those are the arts, conservation, education, home life, international outreach, and public issues." The organization takes special interest in educating women about domestic violence and prevention.  SHAMc has been very visible in the community and because arts are one of the six areas in our focus, NPWC decided to get involved and we'd like to be a part of its growth." 

The Safety Harbor Art and Music Center applied for a grant, asking for money to purchase a projector, a microphone, and 100 stools to be used for classes, concerts, and other events. The North Pinellas Woman’s Club selected SHAMc’s application and in October a SHAMc representative will attend their meeting to report on how the grant impacted the community. “That’s always the interesting part,” explains Laura, “because we need to know what each other are doing. As we learn more about you and you learn more about our group, we all learn about the good being done in our community.

GSWC started their grant program three years ago and Jane says they received 24 applications this year, from all areas of the community, and selected six of those applications from 501(c)(3) organizations. SHAMc received a $1000 grant. 

Todd and Kiaralinda receiving a check from members of the NPWC
When asked what she'd like for the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center,  Jane  said that she'd like them to get more grants to help school children have access to arts education. "Maybe classes the average or below average income family couldn’t otherwise afford. Maybe that’s something other groups in our community can help with too. What's important is getting the youth involved with SHAMc.  We want children to experience things that they may not otherwise have an opportunity to do."

Trish Ford is chairman of community service projects. “I’m for the arts,” she says, “and SHAMc had a good grant writer. The time was right for us to give. There’s a high level of name recognition,” Trish says about the art and music center, “the odds are unfortunately often against the arts. Grants often go to other worthwhile non-profits, like animal rescue and such, but NPWC tries to balance our grants to the six areas that are important in a community.”

The club has won awards for many of their projects, including from the Department of Education for Teen Dating 101, where they bring in young speakers to educate teens on dating violence. The program reaches approximately 15,000 students over the school year. "We like lighthearted projects but we also take on serious projects,"  Jane says.

 “We have a lot of fun,” Trish adds, “this year we had 23 women volunteer for Safety Harbor SongFest. We loved the setting and of course, the music.”

Well, we hope you’ll be back next year, women of NPWC. And thank you for your generous help in allowing SHAMc to purchase much needed supplies and also for all the wonderful good you do in our community!

The North Pinellas Women's Club is always looking for new members. If you’re interested, they invite you to attend their meetings the third Tuesday of each month at the Safety Harbor Public Library beginning with a social gathering at 6:00 p.m. and a 6:30 call to order.

For more information visit their website, and LIKE them on Facebook.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Joe Craven's review and a video too!

Joe Craven.
Joe Craven.
Yeah, you know who I'm talkin' about.

He's the guy who walks his talk - and his talk is living an artful life.

Joe Craven has been a part of the #SongFestFamily since day one. When we saw what he wrote and posted for his SongFest review, we knew we had to share it with you here, in case you haven't seen it.

But first, were you one of the many supporters who contributed to the GoFundMe for Joe to teach kids about music improvisation to elementary school kids? He worked with the great folks at Instruments of Change and Judge PR and we can see how much fun the kids had. (I love how the class starts to giggle at the girl who spoke and then when Joe does his magic, one kid leaps backward in surprise and all of them are instantly tuned to the moment!) Well, take five to see how the kids responded to Joe's examples and then read his inspiring, insightful SongFest review and note (below). Thank you for helping to bring music and his message to these kids.

I will post a SongFest recap soon. Until then,be well, friends.
- Laura

Thanks to Judge PR for filming Joe at Hillsborough Elementary!





SHAMc and SHSongfest acknowledge the creative individual and the creative collective of us all. 
They are creativity sanctuaries where permission is provided, self expression welcomed, and personal growth harvested. As members of this unique family, I believe no doubt, we can grasp the concept that art really does save lives. Things happen here that will change people’s outlooks on themselves and the world at large.

Give yourself permission to express yourself. A creative life teaches us to learn how to think for ourselves and promotes critical thinking and flexibility. I believe learning to live a life full of creative possibility is an issue of National Security! Wouldn’t it be great if all people we elect to govern us, could have jam sessions and make art together before sitting down for discussion at the bargaining table. Art truly is the universal language and SHAMc events invite us all to learn how to speak it with creative commitment. We have the ability to have, play, and feel this vision on stages, with materials, in workshops... and the pathways of our lives.

Art invites us all to participate. For example, when you dance - you are a bridge between heaven and earth. I believe dance is integral to music because it allows the audience to answer back to musicians, creating an exchange that heightens the experience of both the performer and the listener, breaking down the barriers between the two. You are the only person you will never leave nor lose, so get up and move in your own personal, encouraging way. Find joy and confidence in your own unique movement with a musical instrument, a paint brush, a glue gun and on a dance floor.

In education, if we’re required to memorize data of the world as it is, then more difficult it is to create the world as it could be. Life begins outside your comfort zone. Pursue possibilities, look to see… and listen to hear. Ask questions and be inspired with what makes you and others creatively tick. It may well give you the life you didn't even know was already waiting for you.

Many of you reading this invested money and/or time in art and heart to be with the Safety Harbor Songfest Family this year. Why not think of your “Investment” to both SHSongfest and SHAMc as “Ourvestment”?  For gifting these experiences to yourself also make you a member in a “Community of Opportunity”. Creativity is truly the healthiest kind of oil we have on our planet for it is a social lubricant of the people. And it is also a glue that can bind us together like no other.

Thank you.


Joe Craven
Blender Logic Arts - Education Outreach and Performance
RiverTunes - Roots Music Creativity Camp
www.joecraven.com
www.rivertunes.net
www.vocalicamp.com
facebook.com/playjoecraven
facebook.com/joecravenmusic
facebook.com/rivertunes

Friday, February 19, 2016

Meet Kara Tanner - 2016 poster contest winner



You may already know Kara Tanner, this year’s Safety Harbor SongFest Poster Contest winner, but we wanted to write a bit about this multi-talented artist, mom and entrepreneur. 

Kara and her husband came to the Harbor around the same time as Todd and Kiaralinda’s fencepost painting SHAMc fundraiser four years ago. She holds a Bachelors in studio art and a Masters in art therapy but says that as her kids grow up she finds more time to focus on being creative. “I enjoy doing art with my kids,” she says.

Besides winning the contest, Kara has also recently completed a flamingo for the library’s Flamingo Art Fundraiser and she’ll be one of the artists at this year’s Chalk Fest March 19-20.

“We were so excited when we saw Kara’s entry,” says Kiaralinda, “because the musical manatee sure felt right, since we have manatees right near the pier on the festival grounds. It’s a cute mascot and it would be cool if the real ones knew how to play instruments! 

“It was exciting to find out that the winner is from Safety Harbor and that she also painted a fence post that is still at SHAMc,” Kiaralinda adds. “It’s also nice to know that she is aware and watching what we are doing and is supporting the arts and getting involved.”

And Kara has definitely gotten involved in the community in the past four years! Take for example her family's new company. Every Saturday at 1:15 p.m., Kara's husband takes groups of 2 to 12 through Safety Harbor. She, her sister, brother in-law and husband started Harbor Food Tours in January and locals have been very supportive so far. “It’s been pretty successful,” she says. “We’re excited about it.” 

Kara explains that tours visit nine different restaurants, pubs, bakeries and also stops at Francie’s for a glassblowing presentation. “There is a lot of history within these places and just going out and talking to the owners, you learn so much more about where we live,” she says. 

The cost is $50 per person and the tour ends at the 8th Avenue Pub for food and a drink, which is included. All gratuities for business owners are included in the cost, (but if you’d like to tip your tour guide, that would be separate.) To read more about it and to book a tour, visit www.harborfoodtours.com

We’ll post more information before Song Fest regarding the posters and when you can get yours.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WHO .... we want to thank!

Were you there? Last week I posted about Women Helping Others, an organization founded by locals Karen Errico, Lisa Kothe, Julie Brannon, Irma Cardoso and Amy Stinsman.

WHO is a group of women who meet four times a year to have some fun and help a local organization that is doing good in our community. SHAMc was fortunate to be the chosen WHO charity for the first gathering of 2016.

One-hundred sixty-five women attended the event, which was held at Whimzey, to raise funds to purchase a glass door for the art and music center. Kiaralinda had hoped enough women would attend so that we could raise $2500 to cover the door, but that  amount was pleasantly surpassed.

In a thank you email from WHO, Karen Errico wrote:  "We raised $4,432.00! (That included mailed in donations, opportunity drawing tickets, and donations at the event.) WHO bought that door and a lot more--thanks to you ladies! It was a great evening to enjoy the art and fun of WHIMZEY House. It is indeed an honor to have your support and your caring for charities in our community. What a great bunch of gals!"


So yes, thank you. Thank you all! Many of you have been on this journey with us from the day Kiaralinda and Todd thought of turning the property into a center for the arts, and many of you have joined us along the way, including many brand new to SHAMc through WHO. But no matter how long you've been part of the dream, it is finally happening, thanks to your support.

WHO had a sign-up sheet at the event, so if you added your email to a list that evening, you will receive announcements for upcoming WHO gatherings. If you were hoping to sign up for the SHAMc or Song Fest email list, or to volunteer, please head to our website and do so there. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we sure don't want to lose touch with all of you amazing 
women!


  
"For all who attended, who sent in donations, Todd and I want to thank you profusely for the difference that you are making and for including us in your vision of ‘giving back to the community.’" -Kiaralinda




               Peace and Love to you all!  -Laura